After Amsterdam we took a bus to a nearby small town where it would be easier to hitchhike. We had a few rides and waited for another at a rest stop. We had gotten a late start so it was late in the day. There were enough woods around that we knew we’d be able to string the hammock up somewhere if we needed, but we had wanted to get farther. Luckily an older couple stopped to pick us up. They took us pretty far, close to the border of Germany. As usual we didn’t have a plan, but they seemed concerned about the idea of us wild camping and took us to an official campsite. Wild camping would have been better as we could have used the hammock, but instead we spread out our clothes on the grass and bundled up once again. In the morning it started raining after we woke up and we hastily packed up. It was a pretty sight; we slept right next to the water.
From there we walked a while and hitchhiked to Germany. I don’t usually take pictures while hitchhiking but I snapped this one.
An older hippie dude picked us up and we got just passed the border of Germany. Stuck at another rest stop. This time it took a little while. Big, dark clouds were looming forward. We decided to try to walk to the next town before they reached us. A dirt path lead that way.
Then the police stopped us.
“Why are you walking into Germany?”
We explained ourselves.
“Can we see your passports?”
The moment Jason had been dreading since he lost his.
“I have an ID, is that alright?”
One of the two cops shrugged, “yeah, that’s fine.”
“Any drugs? Weapons?”
Jason always has knives on him. “Only camping knives.”
They didn’t have a problem with these either.
We had set our bags off to the side as they asked so that they could do a search. But they knew the storm was coming just as well as we did. The first large rain drop splattered down.
“Right, well welcome to Germany!”
Guess they didn’t want to deal with the downpour- and it certainly did pour. They drove off in their cars and we were left getting drenched. I opened my umbrella but the wind instantly turned it inside out. We ran back to the rest stop since we hadn’t gotten that far yet.
The rain stopped. I felt like we were going backwards- just getting stuck in a place we had already been. I told Jason we should try walking again. He thought we should have a snack and then decide (a decision making tactic we used frequently).
Less than two minutes later, of course, a guy picked us up. He was on his way to a business meeting. He drove us a long way then missed the exit he was going to drop us off at. He took us to the next one. It was still rainy and the forecast predicted more of the same for the next few nights. As luck would have it there was cheap accommodation nearby (all out of double rooms so they gave us a family room for the price of a double- it was two stories!) and close to the freeway we would need to hitchhike to next! It was a great place to relax during the rain.
Then back to it! Out on the road with our thumbs sticking out. Usually when we’re in a bad spot, someone picks us up and takes us to a better one. We were going to go all the way to the top of Germany, hoping our rides could take us across the bridges to Denmark. However, one of our rides, two guys on their way to a sailing trip, were going a different way- a way we could go and then take a ferry to Denmark. But before we did we landed in a small town on the water. It looked like this:
It was the weekend and everything was completely booked. We walked around. It was getting cold. And then it was 11pm.
“I don’t know”
Jason randomly stuck out his thumb. Might as well. Two seconds later a car pulled over. A young couple who worked at a hotel in that town but lived on the island of Fehmarn. They had just moved there and started new jobs. In spite of this crazy transition time in their life, and that they had worked all day and were tired, they invited us to go back to their home for a place to stay for the night.
People have been so amazingly kind. And their new home was amazing! We stayed on the third floor and slept great. The next morning she drove us to a good place to start our walk to the ferry. The walk looked like this:
At the end of the island we found where the ferry docks. We bought our tickets. Folks were running by us. We looked at each other.
And we were the last people to board the ferry. Boats are a neat way to travel. You just feel cool. Like you’ve voyaged across the world like a pirate.
On the other side:
And they were not as casual as Germany. They said they didn’t think they could let Jason in, but they’d check with their supervisor. They must’ve been in a good mood that day because they said Jason could go through.
Denmark! It is always exciting arriving in a new country, especially when you almost couldn’t get in. Next we, you guessed it, began hitchhiking. It seemed grim at first, the town was very small. Cars only went through every half hour when the ferry dropped them off. Someone got us though, and we were on our way.
Multiple rides brought us up to Copenhagen, my favorite being the one with the huge, happy dog in the backseat. The guy who dropped us off when we got there said, “If you’re only here for a short amount of time, then don’t bother going to see the little mermaid statue. Or, as I call it, the disappointing mermaid.”
So we took his advice and saw all this stuff instead:
As you can see Copenhagen is an amazing place and we wanted to stay longer. We looked around for a place to stay for the night, but everywhere was either full or too expensive. Somehow we always ended up in the big cities on weekends when it was the busiest. I enjoyed our experiences wild camping in more rural areas, but wasn’t too sure about it in cities. So eventually we decided we should just leave.
Jason asked a guy outside a bookshop where the train station was. We got to talking. By the end of the conversation he invited us to stay at his house that evening. Again- people are incredible (something I will continue to say in the posts to come). He was a special guy, we could tell right away- the kind that the planet really needs more of.
We met his little son that night and had a pleasant evening in. He said we were welcome to stay longer, and we did. His home was peaceful and we were so grateful to get to be there.
The next day we went to Christiania which used to be a military area and was taken over by people in the 70s and turned into a free town. Therefore the normal rules don’t apply there; they openly sell marijuana, for example. For this reason I was told photography is not allowed, and therefore I didn’t take any pictures except for the entrance.
The inside was pretty amazing- full of art and amazing houses people built along the water. I found out later that you could take pictures, just not on the road they sell the weed. I was bummed to miss out on all those photographic opportunies, but maybe better that I lived in the moment for the experience instead of the pictures. It was Sunday and it just so happens that every Sunday there is a big concert there. We grabbed some beers and went back, grabbing a seat at the top of the stadium seating and enjoying the music. A lot of people were there. It was a great day.
We also checked out the nearby church. Here’s what it looked like from a distance.
The next day we hung out with our host. He let us borrow bikes and we cruised around. We met his father, who told us stories of his life and travels. He told us how he once worked at The Round Tower. So we went there next. Our new friend generously paid our entrance to get in then said he’d see us later at his place.
We were so glad we got the experience. We went up and up the round tower.
On one of the floors were some art exhibits.
Then random corners and sights like these.
And the views from the top!
There was also an observatory up there.
Copenhagen held a lot of great experiences for us. Next we planned to continue north to the rest of the Scandinavian countries. Our friend walked us to the train station and presented us with a present- a little bottle of jagermeister. He said we’d need it because alcohol is so expensive in Sweden and Norway. We thanked him for everything then were on our way once again.