A Bit of Everything
Berlin to Copenhagen – Stage 12 – Faxe to Køge 56 Km (Thu 22-Jun-17)
Weather: 15⁰C min – 18⁰C max, overcast
“Well, you go to Holland and everybody’s on a bike – nobody would think to have a car” ~ Stone Gossard
This 56 Km stage from Faxe to Køge had it all, a surprise or delight around every bend … thatched cottages, half-timbered brightly coloured houses, fields of canola and wheat, ponds, lakes, ocean vistas, horses, buffaloes, a cyclists hut (free shelter), white cliffs, limestone quarry, tree-lined avenues, roses, hollyhocks and (of course) red poppies.
My first pleasant surprise was the breakfast that Gitte had prepared for me at her charming old timber-framed, thatched, country cottage, where I slept soundly in the attic last night. Can you imagine how good the fresh home-baked bread and home-made apple and rhubarb jam tasted while sitting in the back garden overlooking the surrounding meadows! It was tempting to stay for a second cup of English breakfast tea, but I was worried by the storm forecast and the gathering dark grey clouds overhead. Also, I had read that in Køge over the past 30 years it has rained 24 out of 30 times on this day. By 8:30 am I was therefore heading down the road determined to beat the rain.
Yesterday my friend Rolf from northern Germany had mentioned in a comment on my website that Stevns Klint (cliff) was worth seeing, so when I arrived at Højerup I made a 1 Km detour to check it out. Like the ones at Møn Island the white cliffs were spectacular, but what really captured my imagination was the Hoejerup Old Church at the top of the cliffs.
It happened quite slowly. The trees at the church began to wobble, then the bottom of the overhanging cliff gave way and finally the topsoil crashed to the beach with a roar. According to three fishermen that is what happened when the choir at Højerup Old Church fell into the sea on 16th March 1928. The church became a tourist attraction instantly, drawing 20,000 people the first Sunday after the fall. The building has since been secured, and a balcony now stretches out to the open sea. And yes, it is possible to have your wedding ceremony on the balcony with the sea rolling in below (if you dare).
The town of Køge where I am staying with a family tonight is amazingly beautiful. Have you ever seen more stunning burnt ochre coloured buildings? After a tasty bratwurst hotdog at a kiosk approaching town, and then a good cappuccino at a lovely courtyard coffee shop, I checked into a great AirBNB close to the heart of the town.
And I beat the rain! This has been a day of delights indeed.