Day 2 - Nysted (Lolland, Denmark) to Gdynia (Poland)

381 miles - "Soaked already"

In the morning, the neighbours invite me for breakfast. They're a nice couple from Copenhagen who just wanted to get away for the weekend. This part of Denmark is relaxing -- low density, quaint villages, groomed gardens, small rolling hills... you can tell spring just started, all the bushes and trees are in bloom.

I take the smallest roads I can find on the map that the nice campsite neighbours gave me, eschewing bridges in favour of old ferries and tiny country roads.

I ride along the coast, the place that you feel fifteen hundred years ago drakkars were being built and prepared for the impending invasion of Great Britain. Now it is quiet and you an scarcely imagine warriors gathering along the beaches with their swords and marching orders -- to pillage residences and ensure that all villages in the North of England end in "-by" (for village, in Danish). After all, the Romans left their "-chester) (for castle, in Latin) and the Saxons their "-borough" (for town, in what might have one day sounded a bit like German).

When I arrive in Copenhagen, it starts pouring. I add a couple of layers of clothing, and try to find the Little Mermaid. Unfortunately, it is the (annual?) marathon and the whole city has been cordoned off so that what appears to be tens of thousands of people can run in the rain. I'd like to point out that the rest of the city is riding a bicycle. It puts America to shame that the Danes, in spite of their horrendously lousy weather, are able to ride their bikes everywhere, just like the Dutch, Germans and Austrians do.

I give up seeing the Little Mermaid after getting stuck inside Copenhagen for what feel likes an hour. I choose not to take the bridge to Sweden, selecting the coastal road north to the ferry which joins the two countries where the distance is the shortest (the ferry ride is only 15 minutes).

Sweden is superb as well, but I'm running out of time because I have to reach the ferry in Karskrona around 7 pm. The Swedish countryside is already experiencing an explosion of colours, with fields alternating dark green (for budding wheat I suppose) and bright yellow. As you can tell, I'm botanically inept.

After I board the ferry the person who secured my bike (Jarek) helps with getting a private cabin instead of a shared one. He is a motorcycle enthusiast who lived (illegally, I might add) for three years in New York. There's nothing like motorcycle camaraderie.

The ship is luxurious and I offer myself a luxurious dinner in the lounge, overlooking the sunset. With a glass of California wine, it completes a wonderful day on an adventure that could not have started any better.