After couple of weeks on the road – cycling & camping I found myself getting used to the lifestyle and loving it. Hence, it was a really grievous matter that I had totally only 17 days on the road, which meant just 2-3 more days to go before I head to Copenhagen (either reach it by bike or take a train or such quicker transport).
Faxe Ladeplads was one of the many quaint and charming coastal towns I passed through in Denmark and it was one of the last such towns on my cycling trip. I was on my way to Rodvig (or even Koge if I could manage a longer ride that day. Koge being 40 km or so from Copenhagen). However, it turned out that my distaste of buying water bottles from supermarkets bit me in my back. I ended up being dehydrated as I didn’t have enough water the previous day and got leg cramps. I had never got such leg cramps before so for a while I was really concerned but then a friendly German guy biking with his family came to my rescue. He lent me some water and told me that cramps are okay, you just have to drink more water and it should be ok. 🙂
So typically I may have cycled through Faxe Ladeplads except that I was cramping like hell and also hungry. So I entered the town walking, towing my cycle along.
As I entered the town, I was even struggling to walk because of the cramps, but when I spotted the coastal promenade ahead I was excited. I love sitting at promenades by the sea and watching waves rolling in. The first time I spotted the sea I thought there was something odd. The water was differently coloured, I wondered whether it was the sky? But it took me some time to realize that the water was actually Glowing! I was amazed. I had never seen such a thing, what does it mean that the beach water is flourescent, electrical, bright, glowing!? And the beach itself was strewn with a lot of sea weeds typically red in colour. I wondered if that caused the glow?
BioLuminescence at the Faxe Ladeplads Beach
This phenomenon I later found out is called Bio Luminescence. (I googled it later). Caused by some chemical reactions when the water comes in contact with oxygen. Typically bright bio luminescence happens at the beach front where the water is splashing around and coming into contact with oxygen. It also happens when ships mid-ocean disturb the water and it starts splashing and glowing as it interacts with oxygen.
Now that I am writing this I think that I should have stayed back at this town. There was a campsite just nearby and should have come in the night to watch this bio luminescence. In the night it would have been even more brilliant. 🙂
The coastal road had lovely bungalow type buildings lining it. A wide promenade. Not much traffic.
In the distance I could see a marina with a cafe. I was hoping for pizza (or anything else that is vegetarian) but as I grew closer I figured that marinas usually imply Sea Meats. As anticipated, not much vegetarian was available there, the lady did offer to give me bread with cheese and vegetables but I would rather have a full meal. I asked her if I would get pizza anywhere.
Typically in India I wouldn’t ask one restaurant about another restaurant because it means they lose business and they may not be so helpful. However, in Germany & Denmark I found that everyone is pretty much looking to help. In fact when I ask for vegetarian food and they have to say ‘No’, they really feel sad. Especially considering that I am a solo woman cyclist, they would love to be nice and friendly to me. So when I ask them if there is any other place I can go, they are too happy to help, because they realize that I will at least get to eat and won’t starve out on the road. 😀
It is amazing that I have met these people and had these interactions. Most of these restaurateurs didn’t know English but so much is gauged by overall body language and expressions!
So the marina cafe lady directed me to a pizza place a little ahead. So hoping to get my belly filled…. I went on wards cycling gingerly. Enroute, I came to the town church, an interesting architecture.
Finally saw the pizza place and it was Open! #phew
It was owned by a non-European guy so while he recognized I was Indian (most people did, I don’t know how!) I had a hard time placing him. The English language exchange was really flaky and there were some cultural abruptness I feel. Maybe I made some faux paas as per his culture, but I don’t really know what. Anyway he said he was from Kurdistan. And he really looked and sounded like I would imagine a Kurd to. Tall, dark eyed, strong. The cook was a non-European too, maybe Russian who didn’t know any English at all. So when I ordered Vegetarian he started making chicken or something. It was bizarre. So I told the Kurd, just see what he is making! And the Kurd ensured the right stuff was made. I then confirmed that they were giving me everything properly vegetarian 3 times – they might not have liked that but I would rather be safe than sorry. 🙂
This time went for the usual Vegetarian Pizza with french fries. Despite the cramps I was still against ordering bottled water! (When in Rome, live like the Romans do! Or not.)
As I was leaving, the Kurd was sitting outside with his Danish friend – an old lady who had helped him get settled here. This lady knew a bit of English.
Me: Is there an ATM nearby?
Lady: ATM … what’s that?
Me: Well, you know I want money so machine which gives money *lot’s of sign language*
Lady: Oh, sorry … there is no ATM until the next town. It is many kms from here.
Me: Ohh, alright no problem I will check the next town then as I am anyway heading there. 🙂
I went off getting my bike ready for riding off. While the lady seemed a bit agitated… then she came to me,
Lady: I am really sorry that there is no ATM here. You wanted money and now you can’t get it. I am so sorry about it. How will you manage?
Me: *taken aback at this profuse apology that the town didn’t have ATM* Ohh, it is okay. I have already eaten today so even if I don’t find an ATM it is ok. I have hardly any expense. Cycle, Eat & Sleep. 😀
Lady: *Smiles* Yes that is true when you have food in the tummy then no problem.
Then we had a bit of chit chat about my cramps, yoga and how she is getting old and gets leg pains. Anyway that little exchange just brings back the point I was making earlier. The people here in the European countryside are so different. Forget being helpful, when they see someone in difficulty they start apologizing for not being able to help, for the town not having the amenities and everything under the sky. Stark contrast from here in India where even for one’s own mistake, giving an apology is considered a big deal.
So with a satisfied belly, cramping legs, somewhat depleted wallet and happy heart I headed onwards.
As I finish off this post, I can’t believe I missed seeing this bio luminescence at night! At the time I didn’t think about this at all. This is why blogging is amazing. It let’s me go over my trips. And gives me more mad ideas. Can’t wait to be on the road again. 🙂