Jutland and embarkment – Fire&Ice – days 3&4
I had a rather frugal breakfast in the somewhat shabby hotel and set off at a quarter pass nine. I passed the “Men at Sea” like the evening before and decided to join them for a minute.
My plan was to go up north at the west coast of Jutland, riding on back roads next to the sea. My first stop was at the ‘Tirpitz Museum’, a bunker of the WWII ‘Atlantic Wall’. It was never finished, but had it, its cannon on top would have had a range of 55 km. The bunker was spectacular, but the museum was a mixture of the history of the bunker, a very simplified summary of the war, local history and information about amber. Very modern and multi-media, but quite family-friendly and on the light side. Despite the hefty entrance fee, I had quickly done my tour and set off north.
I went mostly near the coast, sometimes only separated from the sea by large dunes. In Hvide Sande, a popular tourist resort, I encountered a sort of traffic jam.
I stopped and crawled over the dune to have a look the sea. The wind was quite strong today, a good training for Iceland.
In Thyborøn, I needed to take a ferry to cross that little gap. I passed all the cars and waited in the front to be called, the boarding was already ongoing. I made it on the ferry and parked the bike on the side stand. I climbed up some stairs to have a better view. The crossing is not very long and the sea was rather calm, apart from the wind. Yet the boat started to seesaw strongly – in a worrying way. The captain reduced speed and got it under control again. There was some noise behind the van where my bike was parked. People were calling for a motorbiker. Not good! I was the only one on the ship. Apparently, the bike had dropped and someone put it upright. I could tell by moved mirror, I had to fix it again. Luckily, nothing else was affected or broken.
I continued my ride along the pittoresque coast and decided in Agger to have a small snack. I ordered a Pølsermix, believing it to be a small hot dog dish. I received an enormous plate with chips and sausages, enough to feed an army. I had to leave big part of it, I was not in the mood for that amount of junk food.
I passed Denmark’s largest National Park Thy and stopped in Halstholm to get some needed commodities in a grocery store.
I realized that my chain lubricant consumption was a bit higher and regretted that I left the big bottle at home; I reduced the flow of the Scottoiler and concluded that I could always use motor oil as a second best option. My next stop was Blokhus at the coast, for a particular reason. It’s a nice touristic town and I was surprised that I could ride onto the beach. This was unexpected!
But my real intention was to find the main attraction of the town, I had apparently rode past it, so I had to go back. And then I found it…
Very impressive! Luckily, I could take a picture of the data, so I don’t have to type them 😇
I was considering to make a trip to Skagen, the Northern tip of Denmark but I realized this would get too late today and I didn’t arrive late at the hotel. So my next stop should be the last one for today. It was the Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, situated in/on a large dune. I had read that it had been moved 300 m recently (!) to save its existence as the waves eat sand for breakfast.
I parked the bike as close as possible to the lighthouse that could be spotted far in the distance. I noticed that there was a kind of tourist trap about to set off to the dunes: a tractor with a trailer to transport lazy tourists. How lame is that, you might think, but it turned out that the 5 Euros for this return trip were the best investment in a long time. During the ride, I realized that the lighthouse was about 2 km away, this would have been a torture in warm motorbike gear. Almost Alpenbutt-esque, haha (this joke is for the knowing).
The tractor set off and it quickly turned out that this was fun: the guy went off-road up and down, criss-crossing through the dunes:
We were awaited by some sheep who were begging for a treat. The farmer would return in 40 minutes, this should be enough time to discover the area. I climbed up the dune and enjoy the fantastic views. I wondered how they could move the entire lighthouse in one go. Unbelievable.
On the bumpy, but entertaining way back in the trailer I realized that any attempt to walk to the dune would have been led to spontaneous self-combustion of my body due to overheating. It was also evident that the detour to Skagen was totally out of question now.
Only 25 km left to the hotel; as usual, watching Shawn makes me smile….
I quickly found the hotel in Hirtshals and the petrol station next to it. I saw the first off-road van and realised that I was at at the hub to Iceland.
I checked into the hotel and was quite miffed when I learned that the restaurant would not serve me dinner tonight. I had reserved the hotel particularly because it had a restaurant, so I didn’t enter the centre of town, and now they wouldn’t be accommodate, asking at 7 p.m. Nope. OK, plan B. I didn’t fancy to take a shower and then to ride anywhere, so I just rode without the hygiene stop. I stopped at a restaurant with a terrace and ordered something that sounded interesting….seafood “tapas”! A massive platter and a lot of work (35 min!)
I returned to the hotel and finally had my shower, after all I rode more than expected, some 410 km in the wind and sun made me feel tired.
This morning, after breakfast, I met an acquainted coupled from my home town in front of the hotel. How probable is that! We had a chat, they take the ferry to Norway. I went to the harbour and waited until it was my turn for check-in. In the hour before that, I chatted with some bikers in the queue. The amount of off-road, hardcore 4×4 cars is impressive. They will go where I won’t: the rough tracks in the interior of the island. I’d need another bike for that.
In the ship, we motorbikes had to strap our bikes, carrying the luggage to the cabin usually lets the sweat flow, but finally I’m in my cabin….only to find out that I hadn’t been cleaned! The receptionist made a walkie-talkie call: “housekeeping, we have a surprise cabin on deck 6, I repeat, ….” I waited sitting on the floor until my home for two nights was finally ready.
I found a relaxing spot where I could rest a bit until the restaurant was opened.
I had pre-booked all my meals, something that I rarely do. But as everything is breathtakingly expensive, pre-booking gets some discount and I need some food anyway. It sounded not like a large meal – “two sandwiches and a snaps”, but it was a good portion and the quality was very good, including the aquavit from the Faroer.
Later I discovered the Laterna Magica Bar with a fantastic view where I am writing the whole time. They have seats and sofas, what a great idea!
In the end, I spent the afternoon in the Panoramic lounge. I have slow internet, but the upload speed is not enough to post pictures. I hope that I will catch some phone signal on Faroer Islands.
(Indeed, after fixing some issues, I could upload it in Torshavn, the tiny capital of the Faroer Islands).
In the evening, I had an unspectacular dinner in the buffet restaurant. It’s a quiet boat trip.