Saturday, October 24, 2009

Berlin to Garmish-Partenkirchen

The second day of our expedition started out as Adrian and I woke up simultaniously at 6:55 - 5 minutes before our alarms were to go off.
Ten minutes later we were standing at the reception with everything packed and our bedsheets in our hands.

As we got our deposit back and went towards the U-bahn station we congratulated ourselfs on the military-like efficiency with which we had begun the day. Approximately half an hour later we were back on Berlin Hbf. where we got some breakfast, and coffee which were to be consumed on the way.

The day was to be spent inside the warm and secure bowel of a number of benign DB trains - using the übercool "Schönes Wochende" ticket which allowed the both of us to get from Berlin to Garmish-Partenkirchen for the sum of €35 equalling €17.5 pro capite (the price would have been the same if we were 5 people making it a whopping €7 pro capite).

Our first connection was to be Berlin Hbf.-Falkenberg am Elster a pleasent ride with a nearly empty train where we had time to wake up and eat our breakfast.
One of the passengers also decided to bless when he was getting off at his station, adding to the pleasant anticipatory feeling of seeing the Alps that lay ahead.

In Falkenberg we had 10 minutes before our next train arrived, this one nearly filled with travellers of who many seemed to be using the "Schönes Wochende" offer.

A couple of hours later we had arrived in Leipzig. We had about half an our before our next connection towards Gera, this time was spent on walking around the trainstation and resulted in the purchase of a couple of Currywursts which were devoured in the train towards Gera were we had a quick shift to the next train, which was to take up to Hof (in Bavaria).

From Hof we were travelling along the German/Chech border.
A bit further southwards as the border was still further to the east of our location, we were instead following the western outskirts of the dense Bavarian Forest all the way to Regensburg.

In Regensburg we had the next connection taking us to München where we had time to get some Red Bull before entering the last train of the day, which was to take us to Garmish-Partenkirchen.
As we sat down in this train, and drank our Red Bulls, the taurin and coffein uplifted our spirits, which had been dulled quite a bit by spending the entire day sitting in warm trains.
As the train set out from München Hbf. we were already plastered to one window each, scouting for a first glimpse of the majestic alps.

As we passed Starnberg and traveled alongside the lakeshore of Starnberger See there was a clear view and we could already see the Alps towering up in the background still some 40-50 km away.

Half an hour later out train mellowly rode into Garmish-Partenkirchen trainstation with a little delay.

Our hostel (Hostel 2962) was located only 100 meters from the trainstation, and as we were checking in we found out that some mix-up had occured.

We ended up getting our own room with a bathroom put only paid the price for a dorm room, as this was what we had ordered via when making reservations.

By now it was early evening and we had to get some dinner. After going around town, we ended up at a Burger King on the train station, and by 22:00 we were back "home" in our hostel room planning the hike of the following day before taking a bath and going to sleep.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

List of travelled distances

Only travel related distances entered - business related excluded.


Hitchhiking - 14,250 km

  • 2002 - 2,700 km
    • Odense-Paris (return) [Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium] - 11 days (11 days travel)
  • 2003 - 3,900 km
    • Odense-Vrsar (return) [Denmark, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia] - 10 days (4 days travel)
  • 2004 - 4,900 km 
    • Odense-Berlin (return) [Denmark, Germany] - 7 days (2 days travel) - 1300 km
    • Odense-Paris-Berlin (return) [Denmark, Germany, France, Switzerland] - 14 days (5 days travel)
  • 2005 - 1,350 km
    • January
      • Odense-Berlin (return) [Denmark, Germany] - 5 days (2 days travel) - 1350 km
    • August
      • Flensburg - Vejle [Denmark] - 100 km

  • 2006 - 1,300 km
    • Piotrków Trybunalski - Odense [Poland, Germany, Denmark] - 5 days (1 day travel).

Bicycle - 1697 km

  • 2010 - 600 km
    • March-April
      • Odense-Harderwijk [Denmark, Germany, Netherlands]

  • 2008 - 712 km
    • May
      • Odense-Frøbjerg (return) [Denmark] - 1 day - 55 km.
    • July
      • Hamburg-Rudolstadt [Germany] - 6 days - 550 km.
    • October
      • Roundtrip Ringkøbing Fjord [Denmark] - 1 day - 107 km

  • 2007 - 385 km
    • Odense-Büsum [Denmark, Germany] - 2 days - 265 km
    • Büsum-Ejdersperwerk (two-way)[Germany] - 1 day - 40 km
    • Büsum-Brunsbüttel-St. Michaelsberg [Germany] - 1 day - 80 k
Hiking/Wandering - 311 km

  • 2009 - 171 km
    • November
      • Sönderåsen National Park [Sweden] - 1 day - 15 km.
    • May
      • Öetztal Alps [Austria] - 5 days - 95 km
    • March
      • Odense-Aarup [Denmark] - 1 day - 34 km
    • January
      • Faaborg-Ballen [Denmark] - 1 day - 27 km

  • 2002 - 70 km
    • Odense-Middelfart [Denmark] - 2 days - 70 km 

  • 2001 - 70 km
    • Odense-Æbelø [Denmark] - 2 days (55 km on first day) - 70 km

Sailing in total 288 nautical miles

By sail - 207 nautical miles

  • 2008 - 183 nautical miles
    • Nyborg-Nakskov-Aabenraa-Middelfart-Bogense (5 days on board "Fulton").
  • 2007 - 24 nautical miles
    • Bogense - Æbelø (2 times)
By engine - 81 nautical miles

  • 2009 - 3 nautical miles
    • November
      • Helsingborg [Sweden] - Helsingør [Denmark] - 3 nm

  • 2007 - 78 nautical miles
    • July
      • Bøjden - Fynshav [Denmark] - 8 nm
      • Büsum - Helgoland [Germany] (return) - 70 nm

Trains - 10184 km

  • 2010 - 1180 km
    • March
      • Bremen-Oldenburg-Cloppenburg [Germany] - 80 km
    • April
      • Harderwijk - Amsterdam [Netherlands] - 70 km
      • Amsterdam - Odense [Netherlands, Germany, Denmark] - 1030 km

  • 2009 - 3195 km
    • November
      • Helsingør - Odense - 210 km
      • Klippan - Helsingborg [Sweden] - 37 km
      • Odense - Stehag [Sweden] (3 hours) - 243 km
    • May
      • Odense - Berlin (1 day) - 620 km
      • Berlin - Garmish-Partenkirchen (1 day) - 750 km
      • Garmish-Partenkirchen - Innsbruck - Roppen (1 day) - 120 km
      • Lermoos - Garmish-Partenkirchen (20 min) - 25 km
      • Garmish-Partenkirchen - München (1,5 h) - 90 km
      • München - Odense (13 h) - 1100 km.
    • March
      • Aarup - Odense (20 min) - 22 km
    • January
      • Svendborg - Odense (45 min) - 44 km 

  • 2008 - 1200 km
    • July
      • Rudolstadt - Odense (14 h) - 780 km
      • Rudolstadt - Saalfeld (return 1h) - 20 km
      • Odense - Hamburg (4 h) - 300 km

  • 2007 - 1843 km
    • July
      • Esbjerg - Odense - 140 km
      • Stansted - Croydon (return) [UK]- 170 km
      • Piotrków Trybunalski - Czestochowa (return) [Poland] - 160 km
      • Piotrków Trybunalski - Warszawa (return)  [Poland] - 270 km
      • Berlin - Piotrków Trybunalski (13 h) - 620 km
      • Rostock - Berlin [Germany] (3 h) - 230 km
      • Odense-Gedser - 230 km
      • St. Michaelsdon - Büsum [Germany] (1 h) - 23 km

  • 2006 -

  • 2005 - 2700 km
    • August
      • Odense - Zagreb [Denmark, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia] - (34 h) - 1750 km.
      • Munich - Flensburg [Germany] (16 h) - 950 km.

    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    Berlin May 2009

    Setting of on an Alpine Hike (Öetztal Alps) with my brother Adrian Bak in late May 2009 we started out with a day in Berlin.

    I started out my day around 6 am, getting up to pack the last things into my backpack and making some breakfast for my daughter, my girlfriend and me. Around 7 am i delivered my little girl in the daycare center and then met up with my brother around 7:30, time enough to get to the train-station where our train for Fredericia departed a little past eight.

    We had gotten a pretty good deal on our train tickets paying around € 50 per person traveling with DSB in Denmark and DB in Germany. We had another shift in Hamburg where we shifted from to an Intercity-express (ICE) high speed train.
    The 300 km from Hamburg to Berlin took around 1½ hour with speeds being around 260 km/h. Normally the speed is about 280 km/h and DB staff came around with complimentary sandwiches, juice, water and chocolate as a apology for the 20 km/h speed reduction.

    So as usual I can only highly recommend traveling with DB, for they are truly wizards of transportation.

    We arrived in Berlin a little after 2 pm at Berlin Hbf. and quickly took the S-bahn to our downtown hostel (Baxpax) where we were going to sleep in a 48 person dorm.

    From here on it was time for getting supplies for our mountain hike, so we set of to the Backpacker grand cathedral also know as the Globetrotter store.
    At the store I got a jacket and we supplied ourself with rope, canteens, dried food, compass, carbines (just to get that mountaineer feeling), maps and much, much more.

    After visiting the Globetrotter store we were a whole lot of equipment heavier and a whole lot of money lighter. However we were now only missing some sunglasses (Swiss army glacier goggles) which we were to buy at an army store by Schönhauser Allé.

    After buying some sunglasses to (in a really cool army store called 'Trash Clothing') we went back to our hostel with our stuff, locked it up and went out on a little sightseeing.

    Having been to Berlin numerous times in the past decade I had some favorite places I wanted to show my brother. So we wallowed down southwards from our hostel and just wandered through the city and took some pictures.

    Before long we had wandered to Checkpoint Charlie and from there we passed into my favorite Berlin borough Kreuzberg.
    Here we wandered up Oranienstrasse toward the lively area around Kottbusser Tor or Am Kotti as the locals call it.
    When we got there night had fallen upon the city and the area was bursting with the relaxed and rebellous atmosphere.

    It was this atmosphere that made me fall in love with this part of Berlin back in 2003 when I came around a couple of times to visit my stepsister Stine who was studying at the Humboldt university and lived in a WG (wohngemeinshaft) with some nice and relaxed young Germans in Kreuzberg.

    Ever since my first Berlin exploration in 2003 I seem to be driven compulsively to the city, and being there again with my brother, even though just for one night, renewed the strength of the invisible strings that draw me this way every time I set out on a southbound trip.

    After getting a Döner and a drink in Kreuzberg we took the U-bahn from Kottbusser Tor to Kurfürstendamm (Ku-damm) and then further on to Alexander Platz (Am Alex). By then the clock was ticking towards 2 am, and as we had to get up by 7 am we went back to our hostel and hit our bunk-beds just around 2 am.

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Hiking in the Fionic Alps

    As we crossed into 2009 I thought it would be nice to take a winter day trip exploring the southern parts of my home island. I asked my brother if he would join me on this little expedition and luckily he was ready to team up against the cold and wet elements of nature. As we were only on a one day trip there was no need for heavy backpacking and we ended up with all necessities in just one half-filled bag.

    We took the bus from our hometown of Odense and after one hour we were on location in the hills of Svanninge (Svanninge Bakker). It was 10 in the early noon (definately late to start hiking, but it was the first bus this sunday). The sky was covered with a thick white blanket which extended all the way to the ground leaving the visibility round 200 meters.
    We started out by visiting the observation tower, but did not get any good view because of the foggy conditions

    As we went down from the observation tower we began our hike by following the marked hiking path "Sydhavsstien" which runs along the southern coast and hills of Funen, Tåsinge and Langeland for a total of 220 km. We quickly ascended one of the highest hills in the area Lerbjerg (126 meters) and with the fog slowly lifting we got a little bit of a view of the newly reinstated heath. From the hilltop we walked downwards for some kilometers through the back country with forests, field and farms before passing through the village of Diernæs.

    After Diernæs we went by an old church ruin and round one of the numerous mansions that lay scattered round Funen, before turning south towards the sea.

    On the way to the southern shores we passed some old rail tracks, now only being used for veteran trains. This provided a good opportunity for a classic picture for which my brother volunteered.

    From there we had a couple of kilometers of farmland to cross (including the nice smells of manure) before reaching the village of Åstrup where we had a little lunch.

    After Åstrup the Øhavsstien hiking trail that we were following went from following tractor-trails to just a narrow patch following the wateredge of the Nakkebølle lake, which is a wetland area restored in 2003 (read more).

    A couple of kilometers down the coast we reached the Fjællebro marina, where we found a bench to rest on while we boiled some hot chocolate before continuing down the coast. At this point we had hiked some 15 km following the Øhavstien.

    The next 7 km were a bit more wet than the first part as we were walking along the beach, crossing large patches of marsh and small creeks. Some parts of the trail were upgraded with wooden plancks to avoid mud and water but we still manag
    ed to get our shoes a bit wet here and there.

    last part of our hike was intended to bring us up through the Syltemade Å valley. However the valley was flooded with som 20 cm water so we had to turn around an just follow the paved road to Vester Skerninge from where we took a bus to Svendborg and then a train to Odense.

    All in all it was a nice start on the hiking season all in all 27 km with a vertical climb of about 140 m. Including breaks we walked for some 7 hours, so it was a nice and easy tempo.

    Hike route 115993 - powered by Wandermap