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