Day 7 Monday 30th May 2016 – Halmstad to Helsingor 63 miles
I was woken up at 6am by the sun shining on my tent and an ant crawling up my face! I must have pitched up on a ants nest, as it they seemed to be everywhere. Luckily only a few were inside the actual tent, but outside, in my panniers, pots, water bottles….they had managed to get into most things!
After a thougher shake of my belongings, I set off cycling through Halmstad. A flat city, busy with people cycling on their way to work. It was going to be another hot day, but the wind was also picking up.
The landscape in south Sweden seems to be mostly flat, but as they don’t go in for hedges, there is little to slow the wind. On reaching the end of the typical Swedish conifer woods, I nearly got knocked off my bike the wind was so strong! The difference between the sheltered forest and the open fields was incredible.
As I battled on against the mighty wind, I came across some large mounds. Intrigued and looking closer they were burial mounds from the bronze age. In the village called Tönnersa, there were dozens of these mounds, from around 1800-500 BC. In those times they worshiped the sun, so on the ridge of the hill, they could been seen for miles. They were originally built just for one person, but soon 10-20 people were buried in each mound. Enough of history for now, back to cycling!
Marko had warned me about a large hill from Skottorp and had suggested me to cycle around the coast to avoid it. On hearing about the hill I thought ‘challenge excepted’ and decided to attempt it. On the Garmin elevation, I could see a massive rise between the otherwise flat route.
As I neared it, I could see it looming in front of me. It took around half an hour to reach even the bottom from sighting it as the wind was super strong at this point. The temperature was getting on to 30°c and wind at a estimate was 30-40 mph on the straight sections. Reaching the bottom, I could see a long line of lorries grinding their way up the hill, it must be big!
I didn’t time myself but it must of taken towards an hour to climb, it was a straight road so I could see the top but looked as if I’d never make it. The heat made it exceptionally worse.
I thought I would be never reach Helsingborg today, with the strong winds, the heat and the hills but around 5.30pm I drew close to the ferry terminal to Denmark. It seemed too good though, normally at ferrys you would by your ticket on advance then wait a good hour queuing to get on the ferry. However, I cycled straight in, bought my very cheap 30 SEK (£3) ticket and was instructed on to the ferry, all within around 10 minutes. The ferry goes every 15 minutes so they must be well practised!
The journey itself between Helsingborg to Helsingor is only a short distance so went very quickly. I had just enough time to take a picture from the top deck and log on to the WiFi to find a bed for the night before being called to get ready for arriving. An excellent service!
Another country I had ticked off my list, now in Denmark! I didn’t really think about leaving Sweden, so still have lots of SEK coins left over, mixed together with NOKs.
Having had a tiring past few days I decided to stay at a youth hostel instead of camping, so the Helsingor Danhostel it was going to be.
A quick cycle back into the town center to buy food and I was shocked how different the bike felt without having any panniers on, I as so used to the handlebars feeling slow, it felt very twitchy all of a sudden. It felt I was riding on air!
I realised that this was my seventh day of this trip, a whole week has gone past. Arriving at Stanstead Airport full of nerves felt a long time ago!