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Old 09-27-2012, 04:56 AM   #9
Thijs_B OP
Keeps on dreaming
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: That floaty bit just north of France
Oddometer: 84
Day 2 - Crossing the Danish Islands and reaching the Swedish most southern point.

GPS track of the day

Because I didn't want to take the direct route to Stockholm, I planned to follow the Swedish coast and avoiding the main E4 highway. The next camping would be close to the south-west end of the Swedish coast, and I had to cross the cross several bridges between the Danish Islands to get there.

First bridge, very big.

The second big bridge was a toll road, with no exits for several kilometers. The road started at Copenhagen going through a long tunnel under the city. Exiting the tunnel I got a great view of the bridge I was about to cross in the distance.

The wide angle lens of the Contour doesn't do justice to the sheer scale of this construction, it took quite some time to cross it.

Although I had a bit of rain in the morning, the weather out here was beautiful with clouds creating nice shadows on the seas. To bad it wasn't really safe to stop and take pictures of both the weather and the bridge.

The border into Sweden is somewhere on the middle of the bridge, and reaching the other side there are the tollgates. I stopped at an automated one, where I only had to enter my creditcard. A toll-woman came running up, telling me out of breath that bikes would be cheaper if processed manually, and opened up the toll booth to do so. People genuinely helping me out without being asked to do so, I already like Scandinavia.

After a while, turning south, I reached the first milestone of the trip: the southernmost point of Sweden. Also being the southern point of the Scandinavian horse-head peninsula, it felt appropriate to go north to the Nordkapp from here.

Mandatory sign with distances to all kind of cities.

The weather was very warm, almost mediterranean, and there were even potted palm trees at the boulevard. I was able to drive the bike right up to the monument there, some elderly people licking their ice-creams looking puzzled why I appeared so happy to be there.

The area in front of the stones was a big boring parking lot at a harbor.

There was a small set of stairs down to the water's edge, where the 'real' southern point was.

Got accused by friends at home for not taking pictures with me in them when I got back from Wales, like the bike was on a solo-trip. Trying to correct that.

After that I started following the coast. The area reminds me of the Dutch countryside, with all the farms and the total absence of forest areas. Because of that I thought it wasn't really THAT interesting and since that small chunk of southwest Sweden is bigger than it looks on the map, I returned to the main roads to cross it.

These main roads where mostly two-lane, with no chance of overtaking since the lanes are separated by rails or fences. Every few kilometers however an extra lane would be available to overtake trucks and slow cars. There were plenty of resting areas on which one can escape from this and the Swedish religiously adhering to their speed limits (for instance, sometimes they keep going the allowed 80 km/h, right up to a 60 sign, and then suddenly hit the brakes to get to 60 instantly. I'm used to just reduce throttle and let it roll to 60).

A lot of these resting areas had a little lake where you could swim. Very peaceful.

Boats can also dock, not sure why you would want a boat on a small pond like this.

Finally reaching the campsite, I could choose where I wanted to put the tent. I think I was just one in five guest or something.

Relaxing at the tent at sunrise the next morning.

Scores for the day:
Travelled 640 kilometers, with 7:30 in the seat and 85 km/h average. Currently 900 km from home.

I was really looking forward being in Finland, 600+ kilometers in one day is to much I think to be enjoyable. Looking back it may have been better to book the ferry one day later. But at the time, I planned to have a much more expanded route up north. Anyway, I would be in Stockholm the next day and finally take the ferry. After that there would be hardly any requirements on daily progress, and I could tone it down a bit.
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