Around the Pond: 5000 km on the North Sea Cycle Route

This day starts like the previous one ended: strong wind from the north west, and intermittent rain showers. After taking a shower and packing my tent I pay the small sum the nice host requests for the night, and I'm on my way again.

My first stop is in Esbjerg, where I buy more cycle maps, and some food for the day. I already know Esbjerg and the peninsular to the north west, beyond the Ho bay, since I have spent a few vacations here with friends. Esbjerg has a large harbour, mostly for its fishing industries. There is also a ferry connection to England.

I ride past the harbour. The road then follows the beach for a few kilometers. Just outside Esbjerg is a huge sculpture, the "Men at Sea", four 9 meter high statues of sitting men. I make a short break at the sculpture. On the adjacent parking lot are a few few tour busses, a group of danish retirees are visiting the sculpture. Soon my bike is surrounded by some curious Danes who want to know about the strange bike and my tour. One of them is joking that this is more interesting than the sculptures...

The road continues northwest - always against the wind. I'm not very fit today, feeling tired. A few kilometers down the road I make another break, this time for lunch. I stop in a park, standing in the light rain, the benches too wet to sit. The soft shell jacket is a good protection in this kind of weather.

Looking at the map I see that 20 kilometers further the NSCR touches Vejers Strand, one of the innumerable danish summer house colonies. What makes Vejers Strand special is that it is surrounded by a military training area. I remember a vacation a few years ago where I was woken on a Sunday morning by not-so-distant gun fire. The former village Vejers lies in the middle of the military area, its few remaining houses deserted and shuttered. Vejers Strand lies a few kilometers west, directly at the coast. It consists of a few shops and restaurants, surrounded by a hundreds of summer houses and two camping sites. The only permanent way to get there is a single road crossing the military area. There are two other gravel roads crossing the area from the north and south, but they may be closed whenever the area is used by the military.

The North Sea Cycle Route approaches Vejers from the north. The barrier to the road is open, indicating that the road may be used. For a few kilometers I ride against the wind, now and then passed by military vehicles. In the distant I see hovering helicopters, and dust plumes indicating the presence of tanks. This looks like a maneuver. However, since not even the military police that is passing me does anything, I continue on my way. Until, suddenly, I am confronted by a tank on the road. The tank commander first in danish, then in english informs me that a maneuver is going on, and I may not pass. Acknowledging that he has the stronger arguments I turn around. At least now I have some tail wind.

With the direct road closed I have to take a detour to the east to take the public road. Eventually I arrive in Vejers Strand. I pick the camping site directly behind the dunes. While waiting at the reception I see a sign advertising their cabins. I rent a cabin for two nights. Tomorrow I'll have to do some laundry, and try to recover from the last few days of constant head wind.

Day 9 - June 11th: Tjæreborg to Vejers Strand


Tjæreborg - Esbjerg - Oksbøl - Vejers Strand


Distance: 59.47 km
Cycle time: ? h
Average speed: ? kmh
Total distance: 765 km
© Thomas Stets
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