Heading North to Head South

It’s been an outstanding couple of days as we moved a little further north – just so that we could begin moving south! Following our stop at Råbjerg Mile we headed for the furthermost northern spot in Denmark, and Europe’s newest landscape! Before getting there we stopped at the buried church at Skagen, deconsecrated in the 17th C as it was no longer possible to keep the sand at bay.

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Only the steeple remains of this church at Skagen.

We camped out right next to the beach at Grenen, and given an extremely rainy night were happy to have a mild day with little wind and no rain, as we wandered along the beach to the meeting of the Baltic Sea and North Sea. It might look a little kitchy, but a million annual visitors can’t be wrong…

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The headland grows by up to 18 meters a year, so it’s interesting to see the lifeboat station now a long way inland, and the extensive remnants of German fortifications from WWII now buried, or close to being so. The beach was also interesting for the astonishing array of chalcedony, and we eventually met up with seals – although these do look like sardines drying in the sun! Missing from our great northern migration – orcas.

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Seals, Grenen.

We’ve had a chat, and after awakening today to a thick layer of ice on the van (fortunately outside) we’ve decided to speed up our southward migration. The birds have all left, and we should be doing the same. So we’ll try to bump up our daily average to around 200km (never going to happen, but I had to state a number for Niki). Having just had he discussion we found ourselves, quite by accident, at Rold Skov, one of only three Danish National Parks (or so we were told). It’s been so beautiful we’ve extended our stay to 2 nights – there goes the daily 200km! In any case, we’ve taken a beautiful day and had an amazing cycle trip through the forests. There are marked cycle routes (White = for granny, Blue = gentle mountainbike, Red = hmm maybe but I’m worried, Black = don’t even look in this direction!) so we did a mostly blue with some long red sections (Well Done Niki! I put my feet down in a couple of spots) over 40km. What a day – stunning forests, beautiful lakes, great cycling … and some really interesting views. Ended off with coffee and sticky Danish (the buns) in a pretty flash restaurant, which accounts for the €20 price tag.

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Crossing one of numerous springs
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Lovely colouring, and easy roads off the MTB tracks
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Autumn – gotta love cycling!
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Calm pools everywhere

The area is renowned for its numerous springs that siphon out of the limestone plateau. As with everywhere we’ve cycled so far, the range of fungi & mushrooms is amazing!

And, to end the cycle, a visit to the Troll’s Forest – beech that has been logged for ages, assuming twisted form in a forest where vertical is the exception!

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Troll’s Forest

Weather is due to close in with rain most of next week. Perhaps time to get to Belgium and drink some beer?

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