I stayed in Stockholm for two weeks working remotely, I had fixed schedule where I got up at 6:00 cycled 20 km to Eriksdalsbadet, where I swam for 40 minutes and cycled back then I had my breakfast and started working.
On the only weekend I had in town, I visit the graves of family and friends. During my stay in Stockholm, the weather was really hot, the weather had been hot since I left Kirkenes a few weeks earlier – It had not rained at all while I was travelling.
Travelling can be hard if you mix it with physical activity such as cycling, I had left Amsterdam in early June and when I was in Stockholm it was the end of July. It was good to switch my mind to work, soon it was time to get going back home to Amsterdam
Stage 5 of my Tour of Scandinavia took me back home to Amsterdam, The journey started in Stockholm.
Stockholm – Vedbæk
As the weather had been hot for several days in Stockholm, and the forecast was thunderstorms over the route I was going to take. So I decided to take the bus from Stockholm to Helsingborg.
On the day of departure I got up early, it was already 28 celsius at 6:00, I rode into town as the bus station is close to the Stockholm Central Station. I waited for the bus where a few other cyclists came to take the same bus. The bus arrives and I and the other bikes were placed on the bike rack in the back of the bus and my bags were put into the luggage department.
The bus ride would be about 7 hours, as it stopped at several places along the route. The final destination for the bus was Copenhagen, I could have gone all the way to Copenhagen, I want to ride my bike along the coast in Denmark from Helsingor to Copenhagen.
While on the bus I booked a room for a night in Vedbaek, Denmark.
I arrive in the afternoon in Helsingborg, got my bike from the bike rack on the back of the bus, and my bags. I set up my bike and rode a lap in Helsingborg to see the town before I went to the Ferry station to Denmark. I did not need to wait long before I got on to the ferry, it is a short ferry ride as you can see Helsingor Denmark from Helsingborg Sweden. The ferry takes all kinds of vehicles.
When departing the ferry I rode around Helsingor, I have been through Helsingor many times never actually done any sighting before now. I rode to the castle Kronborg Slot and looked around.
In the city centre I stopped to buy a drink, some young kids with parents stopped asked where I was heading, I told them about my trip and they asked me a lot of questions, it was a fun moment.
After Helsingor I rode down the coast to Vedbæk, I booked a hotel room. I got my room, unpacked what I needed and had a shower. Then I headed down to a waterfront restaurant where I had a nicely cooked fish dish. I then walked along the beach for a while before I went back to the room to sleep.
Vedbæk – Rødbyhavn
Got up early, there was a buffet breakfast so I ate a lot, I like Danish breakfasts buffets they have a lot of good food. On my bike, I started heading towards Copenhagen, the ride today would be very long. I took it easy and enjoyed the sceneries, I had chosen a route that took me on the outskirts of Copenhagen down to Greve Strand.
In Greve Strand I rode onto highway 151 that would take me all the way down to Vordingborg, on this segment of rode towards Vordingborg I puncture, a little metal piece got into my tire and gave me a puncture. I had to repair my tire, as I did not have a new one, I gotta locate the hole and patch it up. A cyclist stopped to offer her help, I turned her down as it did not take me more than a few minutes to fix.
Back in the saddle, I continue to ride, it was a hot day I stopped several times to refill my water bottles and eat popsicles. I like popsicles on warm days it gives me some energy as well as they slightly cool me down.
At Vordingborg I rode on to highway 153 that would take me all the way down to Rodbyhavn and the ferry to Germany. The first part on highway 153 is the old bridge, and this is old it crumbles you can see the concrete falling apart, this is the only bridge you can use if you are on a bicycle. I got over it, my weight is not that much, and trains go over this bridge I was ok.
The last few kilometres to Rodbyhavn was slow, I was tired and a bit beat by the heat of the day. I got to Rodbyhavn which was my goal for the day.
I had booked a room at a hotel close to the ferry station, I settled in – there was not much around this area the hotel had a restaurant. I sat down to settle for dinner with pork chop and potatoes, when I order I was surprised at the size of the pork chop, it was big and really tasty. Denmark is known for its pork industry, this meal did not disappoint.
After my meal, I relaxed in my room and fell asleep,
Rødbyhavn – Hamburg
I got up early to go to the ferry station, it was already a lineup, I have to wait in the queue for my turn to get a ticket and get on a ferry to Puttgarden, Germany. In the summer times, this crossing between Germany and Denmark is very popular, there is a departure every 30 minutes, you do not need to wait too long.
I got on board, the ferry ride is about 45 minutes so I took the time to eat a 2nd breakfast, as I had one at the hotel as well. On the ferry I read that they are going to build a road and train tunnel between Puttgarden (Germany) and Rodbyhavn (Denmark), I wonder how a cyclist would go will there be ferries after the tunnel opens, or do you take the train with your bike. The main business case for the tunnel is that it will save time, travelling from Copenhagen to Hamburg, and it would boost the local economy in the future.
We have to see that when the tunnel is ready.
On the road again, I rode through the village of Puttgarden, down to the town of Burg auf Fehmarn, before I had to navigate the Fehmarn Sound Bridge, this bridge has a bike lane to find it from where I came from was a little tricky, there is a steep hill up to the bridge.
When I got over the Fehmarn Sound Bridge, my next goal was to get to Dahme, this day was another hot day with temperatures over 30 degrees on the way to Dahme I cycled past a lake, and it was full of dead fish floating on the surface.
Eventually, I got down to the bike paths that go along the coast, this part of Germany is part of the Baltic Coastline, with many beaches along the coastline. I was very warm at this time, so I decided to stop and go for a swim. I took off my clothes except for my cycle shorts and jumped in, I spend a good half hour cooling down in the sea. When I got up, I noticed a short distance away that people were walking naked on the beach, it turned out to be nude camping near the beach and that area the naked people were at was a nude beach.
It did not matter to me, I was on my bike again heading to Dahme. Dahme was a nice coastal town, we two large beach areas, it was busy lots of people, I just had some drinks and snacks and moved cycled on.
After Dahme I rode to Neustadt, by the time I got to Neustadt I was quite exhausted, I had not gotten halfway to Hamburg yet, still, I had a few hours of a bicycle ride in front of me to Hamburg. I decide to take the train, went to the station and there was a train to be leaving in 10 minutes, got my ticket and jumped on board, I was not the only cyclist that had decided to take the train, the train was full of cyclists.
I rode the train to Hamburg Hbf. A place I have been to so many times before, my first visit there was in 1974 when I was Interrailing for the first time as a 16-year-old. While on the train I had booked an air condition room at a hotel.
I rode my bike through the streets of Hamburg from the Hamburg Hbf to the Hotel in the west end of Hamburg. I settled into my hotel room, had a shower and went out for dinner, I found an Indian restaurant not far from my hotel. After my meal, I went to a supermarket to buy food for the next day.
I was in bed early for an early start the next day.
Hamburg – Delmenhorst
I had a marvellous sleep, the air-conditioned room created the magic. I was out of the hotel by 6:30 after having breakfast, I rode through empty streets in residential areas navigating my way down to the river Elbe locating the Teufelsbrücker Platz where a ferry takes pedestrians and cyclists over the river Elbe.
It took me some time to find it, I crossed the Elbe on the other side just off the ferry, I saw this huge container ship passing by. You get impressed by the size of these ships, and the number of containers they take on their journeys.
I took a different route this time compared to the last time I cycled between Hamburg and Bremen, just other roads. The last time I bike here I got a flat, and then my derailleur got crooked when I changed the tire, and I did not see it so I broke eight spokes that were the end of the trip, took the train back to Amsterdam. You can read here about it
This time I got to Bremen, during the way I had lost my sunglasses, found a bike store in a village where I picked up some new sunglasses. I had stopped at a gas station to refill my water bottles when I discovered they were selling these cold lemon juice, it was so refreshing I probably had a litre off the lemon juice.
I had not booked a room yet when I got to Bremen, I stopped at a coffee shop and had some sandwiches when I decide that I still felt ok and I could go on to Delmenhorst which was a few more kilometres down the road for me. I booked a room in a hotel, with an Indian restaurant on the ground floor.
I have stayed in Delmenhorst before on a previous cycletrippin, not at the same hotel. This time I was a bit further out from the city centre, the room was on the 2nd floor on top of the restaurant. A small room, it was ok with the room. I took a shower change clothes and went to look for a supermarket, found one of these newer times of strip malls, it had an organic supermarket so I went shopping there. I do not know why I took a paper bag and on the way back to the hotel the paper bag broke and my beer bottle in glass crashed on the ground. There went my beer.
I had to go to the Indian restaurant to have a beer and at the same time I had a meal, got to bed and lights out early, Did not sleep that well as the night before, as there was no air-conditioning, the room was warm I got a few hours of sleep.
Delmenhorst – Emmen
I got up packed my things, got on my bicycle and started cycling towards Cloppenburg, I was on my final legs before reaching home.
For every pedal stroke, I took, I got closer and closer to the Netherlands. In Cloppenburg I stopped for food and drinks, I always have to make sure that I am always fully hydrated and have enough food in my stomach.
The closer I got to the border the landscape changed canals appeared with canal locks, the landscape became flatter. I got to the border, I read about a border crossing that is a bike path that was where I wanted to cross and I found it – did this little video.
The bike path crossing the border is on the Netherlands side also the border between the Dutch provinces Groningen and Drenthe, I stayed on the Drenthe side and rode to Emmer-Compascuum where I stopped at a bar and had myself a Heineken.
Emmer-Compascuum is 10 km from Emmen, I rode into Emmen – got to the train station. Do I have anything to prove by cycling the whole way back to Amsterdam, which meant I had to stay another night in a hotel or jump on the train to Amsterdam and my own bed.
It was an easy choice for me, I jumped on the train and was in Amsterdam within hours.
Emmen to Amsterdam
On the train ride to Amsterdam, I reflected on my trip. I came to the conclusion that I did a journey with my bike, and sometimes we (me and my bicycle) were transported on a train, a boat or on a bus.
The trip was not about proving that I could cycle to whole way, which some puritan long-distance cyclists would argue is the right way to do it. I had a great journey through many countries, I adjusted my days accordingly to the weather and my well-being, overall a five-plus journey.