2016: Europe trip – Part 4/4

Berlin to Copenhagen

From my tent to a castle

Once I was in Berlin I was lucky that my older sister was in town, staying in some friends’ house, where I could also stay. My sister was house-sitting a castle-like mansion in the middle of Berlin. Going from living mostly out of my very small one person tent for two months, to living in a castle, in the middle of Berlin, was a crazy transition. There would be guide tourist tours passing by and taking pictures quite often.

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The castle I lived in while I was in Berlin.

Still a bit bummed out by the sudden end of my bicycle adventure, I decided that I didn’t want my trip to end that way, and used my time in Berlin to look around Kreuzberg and Friedrichshein for a cheap secondhand bike to ride home. It turned out to be more difficult than I thought, to find a reasonably priced bike that I could rely on to take me last 6-700 km home. But after visiting 20+ secondhand bike shops I came across a pretty decent bike, which I got for about 100 Euros. It only had three gears, that were way to soft for my trained legs, but the brakes worked and the size almost fit me, which can be a challenge when you’re 194 cm (6′ 4″). An hour after buying the bike I left the castle in Berlin and headed north towards the harbor town Rostock.

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Leaving the castle in Berlin on my new bike
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Wildcamping in a German forrest

On the way north I wild camped in some quiet, beautiful forests, but the harsh reality of not bringing a real sleeping bag hit me again, and much worse this time. Every night I would up wake up around 3 or 4 shivering from the cold, and this is despite wearing all my clothes at once: 6 t-shirts, a thick flannel shirt, 2 shorts, a pair of long pants, 3 pairs of socks and my shoes inside my silk inner liner. After three absolutely freezing nights I reached Rostock and took the ferry to Denmark, where I only had four days of riding left before reaching home. I spent my first night back in Denmark camping outside a cool place called the Møn Retreat Center, which I had also visited when I started my trip. The same day as I stayed there, the alternative green party from the Danish parliament held their annual meeting at the retreat center, which meant I got to meet and even have a beer with a bunch of the top politicians in Denmark. The next day I passed by one Denmark’s most famous natural sites: Møn’s klint – a giant chalk cliff dating back thousands of years. On my way to Copenhagen I joined three Spanish guys doing almost the exact same route as me just opposition – going from Barcelona to Copenhagen.

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The chalk cliffs on Møn
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Passed by the same rock when I started my trip. This time with a different bike
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Sunset on the island Møn

Returning home was a weird experience. I felt like so many things had changed while I had been away, although it was probably my perception of things that was different. I suddenly realized how comfortable my bed actually was and how nice it was knowing where I was going to spend the night. I also had a hard time fitting into my skinny jeans and shorts, as my legs and calves had grown so much over the past couple of months. Despite being comfortable at first, the lack of exercise and the return to everyday routines quickly made me restless, and despite having to start my studies at university, my restlessness told me that this definitely wasn’t my last bicycle adventure.

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On the way to Copenhagen I spotted a double rainbow. The one to the right is quite vague though.
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