Denmark

Esbjerg
24/05/2007

I like Denmark. It took me about five minutes to reach that decision – the people are friendly, the days are long, and there are actually bicycle roads – not just lanes – next to the major car roads. Now that’s cool. It’s a shame other countries haven’t followed this idea, it makes inter-city riding a dream come true.

Did I mention the days were long? I haven’t gotten used to it yet – the sun rises at about 4:30am, and there is still plenty of light at 10:30pm. In fact, it’s only truly ‘night’ for about 3 hours. Glad I brought an eye-mask for the tent.

Here’s me, enjoying my first taste of a local brew – my reward for finding a campsite and getting the tent up before dark. I actually had 5 hours of daylight to spare, though I didn’t know it at the time…

A little celebration

A view of Esbjerg’s main square – the fancy building on the right with the white window-frames was my dinner destination. Great food, and not expensive, surprisingly.

Esbjerg’s main square

Some of the locals: Nice people, but rather quiet…

A rather ominous view above me at one of the local pubs. Quite symbolic really, though I’m not quite sure of what…

A sobering sight

And finally, my view of the Pentagon Internet cafe – my lifeline in Esbjerg – as I was leaving at 2:00am:

My lifeline in Esbjerg

Sorry about the dodgy formatting of these images and posts in general – still getting a grip on WordPress. Expect a bit of stylification when I have nothing better to do (ha!)

My next post will be to rewind back to the beginning of this trip, and fill-in a few blanks between leaving Tokyo and arriving in Esbjerg. In particular, to give credit where credit is due – to my family and friends around the world (thank you Maki-chan!), and especially to my newly embraced and dearly loved family in the U.K. – the Foulkes.

Tomorrow I’m off to fulfill a life-long dream – I’m going to Legoland!!!


Legoland
27/05/2007

Today I went to Legoland! A life-long dream, realized – and a fine dream it was. I set out from my campsite in Esbjerg mid-morning on May 26th, enjoying a fine (though windy) day of riding to the NE, fueled by half a pack of chocolate-chip cookies, a litre of chocolate milk, and 1.5 litres of apple juice (!). Yes, I drank it all before riding – which proved to be a mistake – but I couldn’t manage carrying half-empty cartons of beverages, or justify throwing them away. Thankfully there are plenty of trees between Esbjerg and Billund.

I didn’t quite make it to Billund before dark – pulled into my new campsite in Grindsted at about 9:30pm (late as always) and was granted a site next to the amenities block, where I quickly pitched tent and headed for the shower. Not the most satisfying shower, however – extremely cramped and coin operated, and after inserting my 5-Eurocent coin, I discovered that the lights were not part of the coin-operated deal as I’d thought – they were broken. I also discovered that I had exactly 3:47 remaining to get my clothes off and under the water, in a pitch-black broom cupboard, and get clean. I’m not known for my speedy strip-shows (yet), but I made it, and I even found the soap.

The next day I was up early and on the bike to Billund (about 20km). I arrived at the park under a blustery grey sky, and promptly celebrated by eating a block of marzipan (my second-favorite fuel, next to ice-cream). Locked the bike, bought my ticket, and I was in LEGOLAND!

legoland-gate.jpg

As a child and young teen, I was the world’s #1 fan of Lego, and I still believe it is the most excellent toy known to man. There may be a few too many ‘special parts’ these days (such as entire jumbo-jet wings as a single piece) but I love the stuff absolutely, and I can’t really express how happy I was to be there. I didn’t *quite* wet myself with excitement, but I may have squealed and giggled a bit…

I headed straight for the buffet lunch restaurant and ate myself silly again, and then it was down to business:

Copenhagen:

legoland-copenhagen.jpg

‘Typical Japanese scene’:

legoland-japan.jpg

Kinkakuji!

legoland-kinkakuji.jpg

Lots of cyclists in Legoland:

legoland-cyclist.jpg

Some less skilled than others, apparently. Very disturbing.

legoland-rescue.jpg

Lots of amazing creations:

legoland-capitol.jpg

legoland-la.jpg

legoland-aqua.jpg

legoland-nasa.jpg

And if your cat ever swallows a critical piece, this is the place to go:

legoland-shop.jpg

Yes – parts in bulk! In non-standard colors, even!

Despite the pitiful weather, I absolutely loved every minute of it, and I can only hope to return some day. Billund actually has an airport, so you can fly directly there, I believe. Do it!

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