No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

20 November, 2011

Bike Tripping

We were giddy when we found out about the extensive network of cycling routes across Denmark.  Over James's Fall break from school, we tried out the route from Hillerod to Gilleleje on the northern coast of Zealand.  
This route started in Hillerod, just a 20 minute train ride north of Copenhagen, at the entrance to Frederiksborg Slot (castle).  Normally we would ride out that 20 minute train ride, but we've learned not to push our luck when it comes to how long an active 9 month old will happily stay strapped down, so we put all three bikes on the train.

We felt we didn't earn a bike photo as we traveled less than half a click -- but not many routes run through the courtyard of a castle.

Ambling through the kings forest on national bicycle route 33.

 Foraging for nuts and berries yields a peanut butter and jelly bounty.

The island of Sjælland, prounonced "Zeeland" (I think), feels as if time is standing still. This area, known as Kongernes Nordsjælland (The North Zealand of the Kings) doesn't appear to have changed much since the various kings carved trails for hunting and running the hounds. I suppose the trail is a bit wider now.

It is no surprise this area has been nominated to be a national park.  Am told, the idea of a national park is a new one in Denmark. The first national park was dedicated in 2008. To date, the park total is three.

A web search reveals that in the 16th century the vassal of Kronborg made a list of the taxes that the fishermen should pay. This was one or a half barrel of cod. Perhaps subjects would have paid the cod tax to the last inhabitant at this "borg" (another word for castle) known as Søborg (lake castle). Apparently, this area was a fjord -- drained in the industrial era long after the castle had seen its heyday in the middle ages. In its day it was the mightiest fortress in Denmark complete with a requisite dank dungeon. It once housed the Roman Catholic Archbishop, Jens Grand, who was imprisoned because of his opposition to royal power. On December 14th, 1295, with the help of an assistant, he broke loose from the stone to which he was tethered. 

The only opposition we faced was a stiff wind and Felix's frightening encounter with a dressage horse and its friendly rider. 

No comments: