From Cuxhaven we took yet another ferry across the Elbe to Brunsbuttel, Germany, which is where the Nord-Ostsee Canal starts. The Ost See, or East Sea, is also known as the Baltic Sea. The Germans have built a canal the goes from the Elbe River across the northern part of Germany all the way to Kiel, on the Baltic. We took that awesome canal until just past Rendsburg, where we turned north and made it to a campsite at the Gross Wittensee where we stayed on August 31st (really nice lake). The next morning we rode to Eckernforde and then north along the Ostsee route, up the east coast of Schleswig-Holstein, the northern-most state of Germany. On Sept 1st we made it to Waabs, where we ended up staying for a Baltic Sea vacation for 3 nights! Of course, as we were ready to leave again, it got windy, and not in the direction we wanted it to go. On Sept 4th we rode up to Steinbergholz and camped for one night, then on the 5th we made it to Denmark, camping just across the border at Kollund.
Then the wind started really beating us up. We rode north in Denmark as far as Vojens, then battled north again as far as Egtved, where we had a dreamy stay with new friends at their campsite after a really dreary and difficult day against wind and on gravely roads.
We got out again on the road on the 8th and started feeling the effects of blustery days again. Although we made it quite far in the morning, we realized that the we might just go crazy if we spent another 5 days to a week in that weather. Plus the forecast was for rain, and for the wind to turn south - just the opposite of what we needed at that point. So we made the decision to hop on a train in Jelling, and spare ourselves the wind crazies and any misery that we might possibly encounter.
From Jelling we actually had to go south on the train, to Vejle, and switch to another train that went straight north to Hjorring, where we promptly caught another train up to Hirtshals, our destination for the final ferry to Bergen, Norway. Of course, we didn't know the schedule for that ferry, and it turned out that the next time it went was two and a half days later! Crap! So we hung out in Hirtshals until the 12th, took the overnight ferry to Bergen, contemplated and planned for a ride over the mountains to Oystese, and then a nice cyclist told us that the biggest rains in a long while were scheduled for the following days.
We were more ready to arrive in the warm home of our friends than to spend a couple of days climbing huge mountains in the rain. So we took a bus! We arrived in Norheimsund, on Hardangerfjord, and surprised Anders at his work around 3pm. He stopped work immediately, grabbed his bike, and rode with us up to the house above Oystese. So on the morning of the 14th, Joshua's and my birthday, we woke up in the cozy house with a view of the fjord. Posts to come soon!
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