Monday, 23 July 2018

Denmark Biking Route Day 6: Fredericia to Haderslev

Click here for route map
Length 88 km (55 miles), terrain: light hills, gain 506 meters

Hey folks, it's #SummerFun time! This week, as a vacation from the normal blogging routine, each day we'll publish a short biking route in Denmark. Maybe it will inspire a few people to try something a bit different from their usual workouts!

Today's route follows the east coast of Denmark's Jutland peninsula, heading south along National Cycle Route 5. This route is known as the Vand Vejen ("Water Way"), and for good reason. There are plenty of bays, beaches and hilltop views out over the Baltic Sea to the east, with regular spots to swim, which is great on a hot day.
Fredericia cannons
We're starting in Fredericia, the old fortress town on the water, surrounded by deep moats and high walls. Originally, I had planned to take the train home from here, but I had gotten into the biking groove so well, and the weather was still holding, sunny and warm, so I decided to add-on another two days and bike back down to Flensburg, in Germany.
And the Fredericia town center
This area is the crossroads of Denmark: where the east-west highways and railways cross the north-south ones in Jutland. So at the beginning, we'll be crossing a variety of roads, freeways and railways, until we get past nearby Kolding.

But no worries: the bike route keeps us away from all the traffic.

Leaving Fredericia, we head directly westwards, crossing car route 171, then two freeways and a railway. There are also some industrial parks nearby, so this is one of the least scenic stretches of the whole week-long trip.
Gudsø Vig, secluded and shallow!
But as soon as you cross the railway, you leave all that behind, just west of Taulov. You now head through beautiful hilly woodlands and come down to the water's edge for the first time, at Gudsø Vig, a wide bay. I took a side trip into the hamlet of Gudsø and rode down a cow-path to the water for a quick swim. I had a little beach all to myself, but the water was so shallow, that I could only float a few centimeters above the bottom.
Kolding students
From Gudsø, it goes inland for a while, through more beautiful woodland, then comes down to the Kolding Fjord before entering the Kolding old-town. Here's another place to take a nice break, in the lively downtown, with half-timbered houses and a castle. I was ready for an ice-coffee break there, on the main square. There were a lot of students in their white caps walking around. When students graduate, the get to wear the hats for their last weeks. A nice tradition!
Picnic spot along Kolding Fjord
To leave Kolding, you first head south past the harbor, then head east to follow the road along the south side of the fjord. Soon you turn off onto a foot/bike trail along the water's edge, going by local beaches and picnic areas, the whole time with views of the fjord. There is one big hill to climb, where I had to push the bike, but I was rewarded with an enchanted little woods at the top.
The enchanted forest
From there, it heads east via little country roads to the Stenderup woods, with beautiful trails along meandering streams. It then heads downhill past a lagoon to follow the Baltic coast again, at Bjert Strand and Binderup Strand, then Grønninghoved Strand. 
Beach cottages at Binderup Strand
There are plenty of spots to swim or to rest with a cold drink.
Time for a beer break at Binderup!
At Hejlsminde, there's another little beach before you go inland and, from that point, only see the water from the hilltops.
And at Hejlsminde, time for another swim
When National Bike Route 5 reaches the Haderslev Fjord, it turns west to head along the rise above the water towards the town of Haderslev.
The main square in Haderslev
Enjoy this pleasant town, with the Torvet -- the market square -- lined by outside restaurants. I had a great burger and craft beer at RAS. A great way to end a hard day! I then rode south of town to a horse-farm B-and-B, Louisenlund, where a wonderful breakfast awaited me the next morning.
Louisenlund
At the B and B, an ex Danish Army Bedford truck, now used as a party truck for graduating students, pulled up, and the driver stayed the night. The trucks are rented by groups of graduating students, to take a tour through town, driving to each student’s place, one after the other. And at each house, they then have to drink, of course. The driver said he works for a company with 30 such trucks, and they are only used for about 10 days a year, at graduation. Another nice tradition!
Training the jumpers at Louisenlund

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