Day 0-1. Utrecht to Odense by train.
Distance 3.96 km Max 24 km/h Time 0.16:45 Av 14 km/h
Damae's diary"Yesterday I came back from Jazz camp and today we head out towards the start of our cycle tour in Norway. We cycled the short distance to the station and now are set in our straight-through sleeper to Odense. Today we spent the whole day sorting out bits and bobs and it went well. Cash went into the joint (account), the fridge got defrosted and cleaned and turned off, Damae packed her stuff and checked it twice. Stan packed and checked, the watering computers were set, one load of laundry, three dishwashes. I could go on. I also chatted with Mia who sounded sad and tired. She's worried about Vanya who's been bitten by a tick and is on a four week antibiotic cure. She (Mia) was happy to catch me before I left on my long vacation..........
........The stay in Trondheim and meeting real Norwegian people has strengthened my belief that it might just be good when we move to Norway. OK, back to the bikes. We've gone for a four bag solution. I have sleeping bag plus sleeping bag (in my) front (panniers) sleeping mats and clothes rear. Stan has wet tent and inner tent plus drys and spares in the front panniers (rear panniers) clothing plus computer, cooking + food. We'll have to see how this system goes. It was easier to walk down the train corridors with one bag less. Our train compartment is really roomy and we've stowed all the bags."
Yes, a busy day it was. We tried to leave the house in a reasonable state, which we thought we did, that is until we got back in late August. I managed to get all the 2007 travelogue in place before we left, although only part of it had been proof-read. That made the day rather busier than I'd hoped. Still we ended up with plenty of time to get to the station as is our want. We hung around on the platform for an hour or so hoping that the few drops of rain from the grey sky would not turn into a shower. Damae was looking cool calm and collected although it would take her a few days to wind down from a busy term at school.
A short while later one more cycle tourer turned up on the platform. He was quickly named the Dutch Giant Guy (aka the DGG, we never did find out his real name) and we'd bump into him a few times in the first week of our trip. For now he wasn't being very talkative which was a little strange. Usually Dutch cycle tourers with Giant bikes and Agu bags are quite chatty. Maybe he, like us, was a bit tired. I doubt he was overawed by our nice shiny new bikes but we thought they looked neat.
The rain held off and there was more good news. We looked at our tickets again and realised that our sleeper train now went all the way from Utrecht to Copenhagen, so there was no need to change late in the evening at Duisburg. Yay! We felt no sense of loss about not stopping in Duisburg, it would be great to be able to stow our bags at eight in the evening and relax in our two person cabin. We were going as far as Odense, arrival time 08:20 the following morning, which would leave plenty of time for breakfast and a shower without getting up earlier than we normally did.
So we settled in for the night. The only downside we could find (and this was a very small one) was that the train no longer had those cool double decker sleeper cars. The new cabin was much roomier, had the usual facilities and three beds and could be connected to the cabin next door to accomodate a family of six. You might wonder what the downside was? Well, a small point but we missed the view out of the upper deck cabin window. Still otherwise the 'new' cabin was roomier, had the same facilities as the old one and had much more space for storing our bags. A bit ironic really as we both now had only four panniers each instead of four panniers and a rack pack....
The night was to pass uneventfully after testing the shower at the end of the carriage, and drinking a cup of tea. It was great to have started our big Norwegian adventure.