To Copenhagen

My mom left a few weeks ago from her home in Belgium, her bike loaded with the usual travelling stuff as well as tent, sleeping bag and cooking stuff. She does cycling tours regularly, but this is her longest ever at an estimated 1700 km. I’ve helped her the last few months to map the route on Ride with GPS, cut it into day sized pieces and add the camping places and stuff to the maps. At the end of the prep work, each cycling day started from the camping, had a few lunch and grocery store options and a checked route all the way to the next camping place. We even checked the operating hours of ferries!

In any case, I visited Copenhagen ten or so years ago and loved it, so I jumped at the opportunity to visit again and promised to meet her there when she arrived. Today’s the day! Up at six, some laundry to fold still (wasn’t dry yesterday evening), final packing and then off to the airport. Arne drops me off and we have loads of time, so it’s pretty relaxing. We use the new drop off zone – I say new, but it’s been at that location for a few years, having been moved from the previous location after the terrorist attacks in 2016 – and hug good bye. It’s quite a long walk now, even longer with the extra corona check point outside of the building. The tickets were so cheap that I upgraded to business class, so I use the priority baggage drop off queue, the priority security check queue and the business lounge to while away all the time I gained in the short queues.

The flight is quiet, the cloud cover sporadic when we fly over the Netherlands and I spend my time alternately reading and enjoying the view, shut out off the noisy compartment by the noise-cancelling head phones. I listen to my non-NL quiet list, it’s loud enough to keep my distracted but soothing enough to keep me relaxed. I’m extra careful during take-off and landing, avoid moving my head and manage to avoid the worst of the nausea. I take a cab to the hotel, check in, leave my luggage and then set out to find my mom. I pick up a Bycyklen (I haven’t figured out how to pronounce this yet) share bike and follow the route I have uploaded yesterday: I copied mom’s last route and inverted it, so we should meet somewhere along the way. When I call her around noon, she has already done 60 km and has 40 more to go. The sea is everywhere here and I follow the Øresund coast line west, on paths reserved for bikes and pedestrians. I pause for a snack bar on a bench and then push on. I don’t have to push much, the Bycyklen bikes are simply and sturdy but they have electricity!

We find each other by Køge Bugt Strandpark and decide to have a snack before continuing. Mom throws her tent over a nearby picnic bench to dry it out, today is very sunny but it’s still wet from the morning dew. Since we’re planning on leaving it packed and then shipping it by freight, we need to get it as dry as possible, both to avoid damage and to minimize the shipping cost. We take it easy cycling back, it’s great weather and I’ve put on sun screen for the first time in weeks. We drop off the share bike around three, or at least try to because I’ve just run out of data on my roaming subscription and if I can’t run the app, I can’t return the bike. I ask a tech-savvy looking bywalker to provide me with a temporary hotspot – this works perfectly – and we chat a bit. She’s Danish but working in Greenland for a non-profit organization, here on a holiday.

We park the bike, occupy the room and head out for dinner. Sushi ! Back at the hotel, we investigate the shipment options for the bike, this is really much more complicated than it might appear. I write the blog and sort the pictures. Tomorrow we explore the town, or, more likely, just walk around with the help of Google and Wikipedia. We have a list of buildings and museums to see, as well flagship stores to visit, and we have five days to do it.

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