Travel Through Denmark on a Harley-Davidson

By Peter & Kay Forwood

Denmark on a Harley (14/5/09 - 19/5/09)
Distance 507 km (528695 km to 529202 km)

This is part of the fifteenth section of our around the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map

Coming from Germany or read our previous visit to Denmark  

14/5/09 Well actually there was no Danish border as such. A small sign, a petrol station, an ATM and another sharp increase in the cost of living, at least for us Australian dollar holders. Denmark still has its own currency, the Kroner, closely aligned to the Euro, and is a member of Schengen and there are no passport controls entering the country by land. We had arranged to stay with Nanna and Pauli, a couple we had met in 2000 along the road in Tanzania. A brief roadside encounter, as we were heading in opposite directions, emails again keeping us in contact, and they invited us to stay at their new home on a large rural allotment near Odense. Nanna entertained us (as Pauli was away for the evening). With such a brief roadside encounter so many years ago, it was difficult to remember details, even faces, but travel stories again brought us into an interesting evening.

15/5/09 NannaWindy Denmark with Pauli and Pauli are one of the few couples we know to have met on the road, in Capetown, both travelling, Pauli by motorcycle and Nanna by overland truck. Meeting again in Tanzania, and riding together on Pauli's motorcycle, the encounter has developed into a family, with Valdemar, their son, now over two years old. Pauli took us for a ride around the small farm village roads in his area, roads we would never find, only used by locals, roads weaving through small villages, past thatched roofed homes, past bright green fields and yellow flowering rapeseed. The brilliant green comes from manure, winter housed animals, and is spread in spring, unfortunately leaving a strong smell in the air as we rode past. The home of the modern windmill, many we passed, and more than 20% of the country's electricity is now windfarm generated, and the machines are a large export industry, and we could see why as the strong coastal wind buffeted us and our motorcycles.

16/5/09 It has been noticeable, the move of 1000km's north. The air is crisply colder and today it reached a maximum of 12 degrees as we all strolled theWindmills dot the countryside gardens of Egeskov, a castle, handed over to tourism more than 40 years ago in a effort to keep staff employed and the place in as original condition. The moated castle dominates the grounds, but extensively mown, trimmed and clipped gardens were the main outdoor feature. Light drizzle added to the appeal of antiquity along with the car and motorcycle museums in former stables. Specialising in distinctive and unique vehicle adaptations it was easy to picture how most inventions had been tried at some time and how perhaps we could revisit them with modern technology and better metals. An electric ladies car, almost a century old, half a dozen tiny production cars from the 1950's, and a wood gas fired A Model Ford, plus an 18cc diesel powered bicycle all indicated past ingenuity that could be revisited, the museum a great source of ideas. Valdemar enjoyed the extensive playgrounds as we watched and picnicked. The outdoor cafe revolution not having arrived in most of Denmark, perhaps it is the weather, but more likely the tax structure, exceptionally high, 25% consumption tax, plus high income taxes, to finance one of Europe's most socialist countries, all leading to not muchA day visiting the Egeskov Castle disposable income, and people eating at home or taking a picnic lunch when out, a little like we used to enjoy when we were children, a more value existence. 

17/5/09 A quiet morning spent with Pauli and Nanna, processing photos, updating the web page which has been a little left behind during our visits to friends, then saying goodbye after lunch, we were soon overtaken by a car, driven by Peter and Deb, and their children, heading home from a weekend away. Children are in the air in Europe, at least with people we have previously met travelling, and Peter and Deb and with another one due at any moment, we seemed to have been visiting a population explosion over the last few weeks. Peter's sister and brother in law, Margit and Kurt, invited us all for a magnificent dinner on the island of Als. Kurt is a restorer of motorcycles, his hobby, preferring Matchless motorcycles, but he also rides his restored machines to rallies, of which there are many in Denmark. We had met them eleven years earlier, when we were in Denmark visiting Peter, and were again welcomed, and were offered their summer house, close to the water, for the next two nights.Nanna, Pauli and Valdemar Peter and Deb, also have a summer house in the area, but it is not yet finished, being a work in progress, and as Peter said, he decided to build a summer house, not to finish a summer house.

18/5/09 With the high prices in Denmark many people make the trip to Germany to buy supplies, canned drinks particularly as they have a container recycling tax in Denmark, but most other foods are also cheaper in Germany, lower taxes, and much revenue is lost to the local government. Unavoidable taxes, like the 180% vehicle import tax, keeps the number of vehicles owned to low levels, and also makes cars on the road old, the oldest in western Europe, older than in Greece we were told. Relaxed in Margit and Kurt's summer house, venturing out for a walk along the beach and to visit Peter and Deb, just down the road, who were installing a toilet, and washing machine. Their houses internal walls were pretty much in, but not around the bathroom, well the bathroom doesn't have a shower or any plumbing yet either, so life is a little spartan for them at the moment. Having quit the United Kingdom, where they have been livingPeter relaxing between building jobs for the last few years, moving to New York for Deb's work, they intend to summer over in Denmark, at the hopefully, this summer finished home. Peter has taken on the role of house father while Deb remains the career income earner. They dropped over to our accommodation in the evening for a BBQ, a little more facilitated than their place.

19/5/09 With a farewell and the keys handed back last night, we could, and did leave early, in bright sunshine after overnight rain. Meandered back down the island of Als, then to the German border. The clean paddocks and forests enhanced by underground power lines. Only the main grid lines are above ground, those to villages and individual houses are underground, like most of Europe we have so far visited.

Move with us to Germany or go to our next visit to Denmark

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