Copenhagen was a wonderful city to explore and recuperate. The road has taken its toll and both my left arm and hand have decided to take a holiday. This isn’t particularly convenient when cycling relies on 2 arms and 2 hands as well as legs and can make simple things like clasps, hooks and zips a bit tricky. Commonly known as “sleeping” hand it is known as a cyclist condition. ADanish magic man physiotherapist poked, massaged, needled and cracked and has been a bit better since but at the end of most days it feels like I’ve been given a dead arm by my bike.
A few more fields of wheat and horizons of wind turbines and I was at the ferry port to cross over to Germany. Country number four – wow. How did I manage that?! The landscape has been less inspiring with industrial agriculture – fields of corn, wheat and turnips flattened out over many kilometres. Flatter than pancake Denmark even.
Germany has welcomed me with rain and busy roads. Without the comfort of a sat nav or the Where’s Wally signs on every corner plus a spiders web of roads to choose from, navigation has been less easy. I was daunted by this at first and could (and still can) often be found at a crossroads looking nonplussed, phone in hand, trying to work out where I am. I speak no German so pronunciation of places and trying to remember words with syllables longer than my (useless) arm has proven tricky. But the beautiful ancient towns with dominant Gothic churches and the sight of a copper green church spire ahead heralding a cake stop is always a welcome one.
I also now have a (German speaking – hooray!) travelling companion for a couple of weeks. My intrepid friend Katherine joined me in Hamburg. There aren’t many people I know who would be willing to cycle all day then sleep in field and be shower free for days but she has taken it all in her stride. Although Germany’s roads are busy there are often dedicated cycle paths which means politics, religion, and dating disasters are regular topics we can chat about whilst covering the distance. It makes a welcome change from the hours I spend on my own deciding how I can make my dinner more exciting or trying to remember song lyrics I can sing. Katherine is also my weather forecast. If she gets out the suncream it will start raining.. a lot.
We are staying with Lother – the cycling pensioner super star who happens to live on the border with … Holland! It has been wonderful to catch up and hear about his cycling adventures through America (the next trip?!) and to meet Renata his wife who has fed and watered us and offered us wonderful German hospitality. Next stop.. Netherlands.