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2011 - from Copenhagen, Denmark to Berlin, Germay - 750 km

The original route is Berlin - Copenhagen, but we have done it the opposite way for logistic and schedule reasons.

Period: 06/08/2011 - 22/08/2011
Distance: 750 km (on the official site 630 km)
Time: 10 cycling days +2 days for visiting Copenhagen +3 to visit Berlin = Total 15 days
The route: all cycle path, paved and signed; flat on the Danish Stage, with ups and downs on the German Stage
The official site:  www.bike-berlin-copenhagen.com
Mapps: Bikeline - Radfernweg Berlin-Kopenhagen - Editor Esterbauer (only in German)
       Radwarder-karte - Radweg Berlin-kopenhagen - Editor Publicpress (bilingual English/German)

Saturday 06 August 2011, in the morning - we take a direct flight from Venice to Copenhagen, with Norwegian Airlines. After  unloading the bicycles, we leave the car at Venice Airport Carpark. With Norwegian Airlines we load the bicycles without  packaging, we only have to turn the handlebars, take of the pedals and deflate the tires. A little “accident” with Phil’s bicycle during  the loading operation (the inexperience of the Venice airport operators) but fortunately without serious damage. After an hour and a half flight, we arrive at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen. After we mount the pedals and straighten the handlebars, Phil start to pump up the tires with a minuscule pump. And after an hour and all sweaty, he have almost finished, when a man comes out and show us the air compress machine…  we make the last checks and we start cycling! We arrive at the hotel by bicycle,  from the airport to the city center, all cycling paths (8 Km). On Sunday we visit Copenhagen and we do 30 km by bicycle. Nice city, very organized and clean,  cycling paths everywhere! And a lots of bicycles to! This is the reason Copenhagen is considered one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. We visit the Round Tower, the Christiansborg  Palace, the Old Harbor and the Tivoli Gardens, but mostly we enjoy the city’s beauty and the quality of life.

 

1st cycling day: from Copenhagen to Koge – 60 km – 4 hours
We start our trip on Monday morning but the Copenhagen – Berlin cycling route isn’t well-known in the city (not even at the Information Point) and we didn’t find a map to buy. We have some difficulties finding the way out of  the city but the Danish are very nice, so we ask for directions for Koge- our second stop After we leave Copenhagen and pass the railway, we cycle along the coast, beautiful view but very windy. The second part of the day we cycle near the road, on the cycling path, because we didn’t find the original route.  The official site indicate 71 km, but we did only 60…

2nd cycling day: from Koge to Fakse – 58 km – 4 hours
In the morning it is raining, not the best weather for cycling… while we are waiting for the rain to stop, we meet an Italian couple, from Brescia, doing the same trip. Their intention  for the day is to do 100 km, we have planned only 50… they tell us to look for National cycling route 9, written in red. The beauty of this kind of trip is that you meet a lot of people, different people, coming from all over the world, and  have one thing in common, WE LOVE ADVENTURE.  While we are waiting in front of the Hotel Hvide Hus for the rain to stop, we make friends with a German couple, who are at the end of their trip, they are arriving from Berlin, so they give us some tips for the route. Around eleven the rain calms down a little and we start our second pedal day. We cycle all along the coast and on a sunny day the sightseeing could be wonderful . On all the Danish stages we have the wind in our faces, maybe this is why they named the route from Berlin to Copenhagen, and not the opposite way.  We booked the day before our next stop at Faxe city, not on the cycling route, so at Faxe Ladeplads, after a short pizza break at the Pakistan Pizzeria, we turn right and do some extra 6 km to arrive at Dan Hostel.  The HOSTEL cost as much as a four star hotel ! The original price was not so high, but we had to pay extra for the towels, the sheets, the breakfast and the Hostel card… but in the end we had a good sleep (on a bunk bed). We concluded our second day with almost 60 km.

3rd cycling day: from Fakse  to Stege (Mom Island) – 62 km – 4 hours
The next day we return to Fakse Ladeplats and from there we  again take the 9th cycling route and continue our Danish adventure.  All day raining… And very windy also… Beautiful landscape, beautiful countryside, but I start to think that in Denmark the sun didn’t exist... After 40 kilometers we arrive at Queen Alexandrine bridge, which connects Sjælland, the big island, and Mon Islands. The bridge is 1,5 kilometers long and it climbs until 70 m above sea level. The cycling path is near the road and there isn’t any protection from the street On the sea side only a one-meter railing, and with the wind, we are afraid not  to end up under a truck or in the sea. After the bridge we do others  4-5 km in the rain and arrive at Stege, and immediately we find the Stege Motel . We had originally booked one night, but the Motel  become our house for 3 nights, the rain doesn’t seem to stop. We have 3 relaxing days, not because we really need it (we are at the beginning of our trip, with only 150 km) but the Stege Motel is very nice and cozy, the owners are very nice and we make there some very nice friends, Claudio and Fabio, father and son from Milan, who are almost at the end of the trip, they are heading for Copenhagen. We hoped to visit Mom Island,  “a nature paradise crowned with white rocks”, we wanted to visit Mom’s Cliff and the white sand beach, but the rain doesn’t permit us to do anything, so we only stay in the motel and rest. And we don’t mind!

But after two days break, even though the rain hasn't stop we restart our adventure, we didn't want to miss anything of the Copenhagen - Berlin Cycling Route.

4th cycling day: from Stage to Marielyst – 75 km – 4,5 hours
So, on the morning of the 13th August, on Saturday, we leave our friends at the warm and cozy Stege Motel and, in the rain our 4th cycling day starts. The rain didn’t stop for all the Mom’s Island stage. We pass a bridge and arrive on Bogo Island where we take the ferry to the Falster Island. Getting off the ferry, the rain seems to stop and for an instant the sun comes out… But not for long, at least it doesn’t rain anymore. At Hillestrup we take the 8Th cycling path instead of the 9th, so we avoid Nykobing and at 4 o’clock in the evening we arrive at Maryelist and we spend the night in a very nice apartment. We have time to do some shopping, and after salad and some smokedsalmon we have a good sleep.

5th cycling day: from Marielyst to Schwaan – 50 km - 3,5 hours + 2 hours of ferry
The next day we get up early in the morning, we want to catch the 11 o’clock boat from Getser - Denmark to Rostock – Germany and we have still 15 km to get to the ferry station. But surprise-surprise! My bicycle had the back tire flat. After a half hour of mechanic work, Phil make it! He change my tire and we can start our race to the ferry. But we miss it, so we have to wait almost 2 hours for the next one. We arrive at Rostock at 15 o’clock in the evening and under a cold and heavy rain we arrive to Schwaan, 35 kilometers from Rostock. We lose the way and after a few rounds, we decide to stop here. The only hotel in town is closed! A man with the car stops and asks us if we need help. We are looking really hopeless, all wet  and under the rain, we are really pitiful, so the man call the hotel owner and in the end we have a warm and dry room for the night. After the best finferli mushroom soup of my life and a goatsteak at The Steak House in Schwaan, we conclude our first day in Germany.

6th cycling day: from Schwaan to Krakow am see  – 60 km – 4 hours
On the morning of 15th of August starts our 6th cycling day. But not even in the morning we can’t find the right way to the cycling path. And on Monday morning the tourist information office is closed and no one in that town knows the route. After a few rounds in town, we see 3 cycling tourists with a map on their bicycles. We stop them and ask  for indications. The map isn’t clear, so we decide to cycle together for a few kilometers. They are from Birmingham, Brat, Chris and Mark, and they are doing the same route we are. After we tell them our adventures, they ask us a question, a really important question: “And you are still together?!” Yes, it’s not easy to stay together, but a trip like this makes friendship stronger. After a few kilometers we break apart from our English friends, they go on a shortcut and we continue on the original route of the Berlin – Copenhagen cycling route. We make a short break at Gustrow, a really nice town, where we meet again the 3 English friends, we have a good German sweet and a coffee. At the information point we book the hotel for the night and we buy the map!!! We finally found it! We are save now :-)

We conclude our cycling day in Krakow am See, with 60 kilometers. And after a good lake fish diner a few good beers, we have a good sleep.

7th cycling day: from Krakow am see to Waren – 52 km – 3,5 hours
For the next day we plan a short stage. The windy and rainy previous day,  the tough hills, with unfriendly ups and downs, left us without any desire to ride the bicycle .  So, on our first sunny day, after only three hours of cycling, through forests, fields, and small pleasant villages (with the usual ups and downs) we arrive at Warren, a very nice town, on the Muritz Lake. We have to check our bicycles, so we find a nice mechanic who takes good care of our loyal “horses”. In the evening, after a good pizza (after 10 days away from home, we started to miss Italian food), we enjoyed the view over the "small sea" (that’s the German origin of the name Müritz).

 

8th cycling day: from Waren to Wesenberg – 66 km – 4 hours
We have only 3 days to arrive in Berlin (we booked our hotel in Berlin before we left Italy) and 225 km to cycle. So, the moment we have to really start cycling arrived! We get up early in the morning, but as usual before 10 o’clock we don’t start to ride… All the day we cycle in the middle of the Muritz National Park, infinity of trees and green. Through the trees we can seen blue lakes everywhere. On our way we pass near Neustrelitz, a nice baroque town, but to visit the city we should do some extra 10 kilometers. We are already behind, so we decide to continue on the cycling route. After some slight ups and downs, we conclude our day near Wesenberg, in a bet&bike (it’s the name used for the hotels who host cyclist, have a covered place for the bicycles and rooms with terrace) named Hotel Waldrestaurant. The place isn’t very clean, but the courtyard is wonderful. We have a decent diner and a good sleep.

9th cycling day: from Wesenberg to Liebenwalde – 85 km – 5 hours
We start our first serious cycling day! We do lots of kilometers today and get closer to Berlin. But our day effort is rewarded by the Best Western Hotel, an old village transformed into hotel, 3 km before Libenwalden, in the middle of the green, with Sauna, swimming pool, etc. Total relax before our last cycling day!

10th cycling day: from Liebenwalde to Berlin – 85 km – 5 hours
Last day and the hardest! On the cycling map we read 70 km. We leave the Best Western Hotel at 11 in the morning (after the sauna we had the day before, it was hard to get up in the morning). After 20 km we arrive at Oranienburg, an important city near Berlin. From here you can take the train to the center of Berlin. In Germany all the trains take bicycles with only an extra ticket, unlimited places.  But we decide to go until the end! The last 65 kilometers are in the suburbs of Berlin, with summer houses and beautiful well cared gardens everywhere.  After some kilometers along the river (Havel canal) we get closer and closer to the Berlin city center. We have to stop a few times and ask for directions, even thought the signs for cycling routes in Berlin are everywhere, maybe too much for us , and we were afraid to go the wrong way. The most beautiful moment of our trip was the moment we reach the Brandenburg Gate, our final destination!

We arrive in Berlin on the evening of 19 August 2011 and we have a 3 relaxing days in Berlin, visiting the Reichstag and Bundestag (only from outside, because the queues to enter were infinite), Alexander Plaz with the television tower,  Potsdamer Platz, the Berlin Wall and  Checkpoint Charlie. We also do part of the Berlin Wall Cycling Path and on the 2 days of Berlin visit we do an extra  40 km.

On the Monday morning of 22 August 2011, at 6 o’clock we ride our bicycles until the  Zoological Garten rail station, and we take the train for Berlin Schonefeld Airport. We have to disassemble  our bicycles and buy the special packaging from the Easy Jet information office (30 euro per piece). At 10 o’clock our easy Jet plane took off from  Berlin and at 12 o’clock we landed at Marco Polo Venice Airport. We left Berlin with 253degrees  and we lend in Venice at 42 degrees. Our holyday is  finished, but the 750 km of beauty will remain in my memory and in my heart FOREVER!