The Next Leg

Now that we’ve settled into Germany and will be meeting friends and family tomorrow afternoon for a few days, it’s time to peek down the road to where we expect to go next. The general plan, always subject to revision, is to head south, skirt around Hamburg and pick up the Elbe River Radweg. A conservative estimate has us arriving in Prague during the first full week of August.

Come join us for a day or three along the way or see you in Prague!

Enjoy the ride,

Janet and Jay

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Food in a Tube

We are now in our third country and are having fun walking through supermarkets and marveling at all of the different food choices.  Sometimes we will buy something based on a picture on the label- because we can’t decipher the name or ingredients.  So far this technique has worked in our favor.

Yummy Breakfast Foods -in a tube

Yummy Breakfast Foods -in a tube

In Norway we were introduced to the concept of “food – in – a – tube” .   Which, as gross as it might sound (and very processed) – was actually an advantage for us when out on the road. The tubes are easy to store and have an exceptionally long shelf life.

 

 

 

The foods that we tried in tube form are:

Caviar (yummy- salty)

Mayonnaise (all different kinds of flavors)

Liver pate’ (a common choice for kids- high in protein and vitamin D)

Mackarel in tomato sauce (yummy)

Smoked salmon (yummy)

Various cheeses

Various cheeses

And last but not least cheese (ost) – lots of cheese!

Ost with bacon

Ost with Jalapeno peppers

Ost with Taco Seasoning (not our favorite)

Ost with bacon and pepper

Brown Ost

Light Brown Ost

 

An example of the nutrient breakdown for Bacon Ost:

The Bacon Ost (100 g – 6.7 tablespoons) = 250 calories: 75% fat, 8% Carbohydrate and 18% protein.  A nice addition to a bicycle tourists protein and fat intake on a long hard riding day.  And, well, it tastes like bacon.  It spreads easily- and stores for an infinite amount of time. A perfect addition to the bike touring kitchen.

Brunost

Brunost

Brown cheese (Brunost) deserves its own explanation.  We were introduced to Brunost by Katie and Morten in Oslo.  It is a soft cheese with a slightly sweet taste usually sliced thin and eaten with toast and jam or butter.   The Norwegians typically eat Brunost as a sweet addition to their food.  Brunost is made from milk, cream and whey.  The milk sugars caramelize during cooking giving the Brunost its characteristic (and not very appealing) brown color.

We like our Brunost- and although we were informed of the traditional uses we found ourselves adding Brunost to any sandwhich – savory or sweet!  Then we found Brunost in a tube.  Fantastic.  Jay and I purchased our last tube of Brunost as we left Norway and it lasted all the way through Denmark.

Food in a tube 5

A tower of Ost!

Alexa enjoying some cheese in a tube on a lunch stop

Alexa enjoying some cheese in a tube on a lunch stop

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A Perfect Day in Germany

Yesterday was an amazing day on the bicycle.  We had stopped in at a caravan park 15k East of Glucksborg Germany (on the North East coast) the day before to wait out a rather nasty rain storm.  I now know what they mean when folks say “the sky just opened up”. The rain came down in sheets complete with heart vibrating thunder and lightning.   The caravan park owner offered the poor, drenched cyclists his sisters caravan for the night – which was a lovely reprieve from the rain.  The evening was complete with a showing of the world cup semi-finals in a converted play room and makeshift bar.  All in all it was a fun evening with Germany making football look easy.

Sleeping in a bit, we picked up our freshly baked rolls from the park store.  A nice touch for most campsites in Europe is that they will provide you with a choice of yummy, fresh baked bread for your breakfast.  We packed up slowly knowing that there was no rush for the day.  The sun was shining, an onshore breeze kept the temperatures mild.  A beautiful day to ride a bike.

Bicycle route signs in Germany.

Bicycle route signs in Germany.

Having made a Warm Showers reservation in Kappeln which was 60K down the road, we knew that we had nothing but time.  So we headed out along the Ostseekosten Radweg-  east sea coast cycle route.  This cycle route hugs the coast line as closely as possible for most of the journey.  Following the route is easy as it is very well sign posted.  The track was an ever changing surface, sometimes road, sometimes dirt and always close to the sea.  In, out and around the next hill, back out to the water and head south.  Each turn brought new landscapes and beautiful beaches.

A sample of the route!

A sample of the route!

Not being in a hurry is one of our goals for our entire trip.  We want to be as stress free as possible. And yesterday we reached that perfection.  We would ride some, stop at a beach and watch the kite surfers.  Ride some more and take a nap on the beach after eating fresh erdebeer (strawberry) ice cream. The best. Ever.

We arrived in Kappeln (pronounced Kappel – with a silent “n”) just in time for dinner and to met up with our host, Katherine and her roommates. Katherine lives in the heart of downtown Kappeln – a bustling center for a small coastal town.  After settling in and meeting everyone, we were whisked away, by bicycle to the neighboring town of Arnis five kilometers to the south. Arnis is the smallest official town in Germany. Katherine, Laura, Johanna and Felix put together a feast, brought all the necessary accoutrements and took us to a very beautiful picnic spot on the south side of Arnis.

“No eating before swimming” was the rule.  So, we all jumped into the Schlei Fjord, a mixed fresh and salt water inlet.  The water was pleasant, mostly fresh water and warmer than the North Sea in Norway.  After a short swim, we were treated to a fine meal of fresh salads, cheeses, breads, pasta and all kinds of fancy spreads.  These four 20 somethings really know how to put on a picnic.

Arnis Picnic and swim

Arnis Picnic and swim

We stayed chatting until the sun went down.  Me with my terrible German and Katherine doing most of the translating.  Katherine, Felix and Laura are all completing a boat builder apprenticeship.  Kappeln has four boat yards and offers a selection of apprenticeships.  Laura and Katherine are the only two female boat builder apprentices (that they know of) – way to go girls.  Johanna is finishing her pottery (ceramics) training and is about to set off to become a world famous potter!  A few of the  bowls they used for the picnic were made by Johanna – they are beautiful.

We cycled home with the last light of the day and were tucked into our bed for the night by midnight.

We cannot thank Katherine and her roommates, Laura and Lilli enough for hosting us and sharing the evening.  A beautiful ending to a perfect day on the bicycle.  :)

picinic group picnic group 2

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Linen from Straw

Who knew?   I did not know that linen was originally made from a straw derived from the Flax plant.  I always though linen was cotton based.

On Saturday we played tourist in Odense, Denmark.  We took the 10am train into town and learned all about Hans Christian Anderson.  After all, the famous author of fairytales was born in Odense and lived here until he was at least 14 years of age.  So with that, the whole city is more or less dedicated to the great HC Anderson.

To properly complete the HC Anderson tour of Odense, all one has to do is follow the painted footprints through-out the town.  Which got us hopelessly lost on bicycle.  With the city construction combined with the pedestrian areas, we ended up going in circles a few times before we stumbled upon an outdoor Children’s Theater in honor of HC Anderson.

Hans Christian Andersen Theater

Hans Christian Andersen Theater

The theater is a nice tribute to the author and a chance for children to get involved in community art. A few adults and mostly children act out short segments of some of the more popular HC Andersen fairy tales. Even though they were in Danish, we were able to get the gist of the tale they were depicting. (For a fairly comprehensive collection of HC Anderson’s fairytales in English check out this Site:  HC Anderson. – Thanks Maibritt for the find).

I even had my picture taken with the ugly old witch and the soldier from

The Tinder box crew

The Tinder box crew

“The Tinder Box”.

 

 

 

 

 

After our excursion to the HC Anderson Hus we ventured out to Den Fynske LandsbyA Danish open air museum that has over 25 dwellings representing a village from the 1800’s.  It is clear how hard life was back then.  The phrase “it takes a community” kept running through my head.

I was particularly taken with the spinning of the Linen. I had no idea that true linen comes from the Flax plant (Linum usitatissimum).  The dried fermented flax plants (called straw) are crushed in a wooden device and the outer shell is broken off.  This leaves a fiber that is then further cleaned of the crushed outer casings by scotching and heckling. Then, once the fiber is cleaned enough, the fibers are woven into usable linen to make all kinds of clothing.  The more coarse fibers are used to make lower quality products. The newly minted linen was kindly compared to my hair- “just like your hair” – thanks for that.

Fascinating.  The dude running the crushing device asked if we wanted to give it a try. Of course I did. He said that I could not crush the flax as this is man’s work.  To which I responded that I am from Oregon, women can do man’s work in Oregon and proceeded to crush the plants.

Dried Flax

Dried Flax

Spinning the LInen fibers

Spinning the LInen fibers

The straw after the shell has been pounded.

The straw after the shell has been pounded.th

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Naturist Camp Follow-up

The view from the pier.

The view from the pier.

Follow up to our previous blog about naturist camps in Denmark: 

Our camp spot was near the potable water spigot which made for some interesting viewing. Aside from the occasional naked person walking to get water, we were mostly left to our own devices while in camp that evening.  We decided to cook dinner in the provided kitchen area and found that clothing was the norm in the common areas- unless there is a party, then all bets and all clothes are off. We chatted with a nice Danish couple and their young kids (approximately 5 and 7) who wanted to practice their English.

The morning came quickly as mornings on the road do and it was a spectacularly sunny start to the day.  I made my tea and headed down to the pier to enjoy Earl Grey in solitude, just me and my tea.  The camp ground was a buzz with folks drinking coffee, reading the paper and keeping their privates from getting sunburned.  The two kids were racing around in their European versions of Big Wheels – with not a stitch of clothing except their plastic sandals.  Sensible, that.

On our way out we were once again greeted by our camp host, Anita, this time buck naked.  ‘By the way’ she said as she retrieved the nipple cups ‘this is a naked camp, you know?’

Yes, Anita, we figured that out.

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