One of my interests is to hike all the European Walking trails which pass through Denmark including the E1 and E6. Now, these trails do not pass through remote wilderness here in Denmark, but each have their own surprises as you wander. I quickly recognised that the trails are a series of connected paths linking important historical, geological and nature areas. As the E6 approaches Copenhagen the trails still manage to find areas of parkland as well as an ever changing variety of urban outlooks.
I alighted from the train at Roskilde, and set off through the suburbs of this important university town, Roskilde is also famous for its viking ship museum which is well worth a visit in itself. The well marked trail leads you through a variety of residential areas and parklands and soon I was crossing the main freeway and entering the adjoining farm lands.
You may wonder what I was attracted to in this photo, well my focus was on the design and metalwork around, what essentially is a garbage burner. The burner produces heat and energy according to their web site and I was fascinated by the design. The tower is constructed of steel and is visible for many kilometres. Making a garbage incinerator a focal point is an interesting concept.
The distance between Roskilde and Kastrup (Copenhagen airport) the end of the E6 in Denmark is approximately 54 km, in other words a 2 day walk, and given the easy access to public transport I decided to to complete it, as 2 day walks. I did consider sleeping in my backyard and cooking dinner over an alcohol stove but … maybe next time.
Part 1 Roskilde to Ishøj Landsby
Having set off from Roskilde, and marvelling at how quiet it was as I passed through the residential area, I was soon entering the surrounding farmland adjacent to Vindinge. There was some Asphalt walking as I wandered through the village, however, once again the track designers had considered the route and took me through the old part of the township ensuring that I wandered through parks and along foot paths. After I short stint along the road I entered Hedeland (Heath Land) Nature reserve with its undulating land forms. Hedeland Nature reserve occupies an area of 16 square kilometres and could be best described as an outdoor recreation area, with free access. As it was a week day it was very quiet but on weekends I can visualise how popular the area is.
I was somewhat surprised by Hedeland, in part because in my usual fashion I plan a walk but do not get into the detail, nor do I seek out information on what I will see, instead I prefer to consider the trip as a discovery tour, experiencing what is around me as I pass through it. Here in Denmark this is a safe choice as you cannot get into too much trouble with such a carefree approach, however, in Lapland and other locations, such an approach can be fraught with danger, or at the very least providing many unplanned challenges.
After passing Vindinge Langsø, I swung past a sign indicating that only pilgrims from down under followed this path,
then I crossed the narrow gauge railway line upon which a train runs every sunday during summer, and according to their website it is the longest narrow gauge line in Denmark.
Soon it was coffee time and finding an idyllic setting I relaxed in the sun and after an extended break I continued along the trail soon to be confronted with what appeared to be a chairlift atop a hill. I set off to investigate, and sure enough, after a steep climb there it was, complete with a ski slope on the north side. Another surprise.
The highpoint also provided an outlook to the opera amphitheatre, which will seat 3500 people, and undoubtedly provides a wonderful spectacle for all when there is a performance.
Leaving Hedeland I passed through the small township of Reerslev, before walking the line.
A few more turns and a few more signs indicating that I was following the Strandparken Hedeland trail connecting Ishøj Beach with Hedeland Nature reserve and I entered the wonderful village of Torslund. Finding a comfortable bench in the church precinct I sat down and enjoyed lunch. After lunch I was soon passing through Benzonsdal estate before following the Lille Vejleå river bordering the golf course, finally arriving at Ishøj Landsby.
Part 2 Kastrup to Ishøj Landsby
The following day I had 2 choices, start where I had finished, and walk to the airport, or alternatively start at Copenhagen Airport and walk to Ishøj with the final sections being in rural areas, there was no choice really, but to start at the airport.
I arrived at the airport and whilst most people were in a hurry to get to their flight, I wandered through the terminal and outside with the help of the GPS I was able to find the starting point. Once again, I was surprised to find a somewhat faded but readable sign indicating the direction. Crossing the main Copenhagen Malmo freeway I would then follow the roads adjacent to freeway, through Kastrup and Tarnby, I was surprised to see the number of sporting areas and other open areas as I headed west away from the airport. Most of the trail was on asphalted cycle paths, but it was still pleasant walking and the freeway noise was somewhat reduced by the foliage covered sound barriers. Once in Tarnby I crossed over the freeway again and followed the route, which was well marked as I passed the schools and commercial establishments.
The weather however, was not as pleasant as the day before, with a strong cold wind from the north west along with the occasional passing rain shower. Finally heading away from the built up areas I entered Vest Amager nature reserve, which is located directly opposite the Vest Amager Metro station, making it a short trip from the city centre. The area comprises a nature centre as well as offering a large area to wander, cycle, camp and to look at the sea. It is an open area and when the wind blows it can be cold and wet as it was for my walk through the reserve.
I decided it was coffee time and headed for shelter in the birch forest. Under threatening skies I set up the stove as the rain came down. Sheltering from the wind and the rain, I recognised that this was an ideal training trip for my summer tour to Cáihnavággi and environs.
The rain stopped, the coffee cup was empty so it was time to move. The route to Kalvebod bridge had me leaning into the wind especially as I crossed over the bridge from Amager to Sjælland. The cars whizzed by as I crossed the bridge but the sun was beginning to reappear as I finally descended to Bronby Strand, finding a sheltered spot I sat down for lunch on the deserted beach.
I soaked up the warmth and watched the birds as the sun played hide and seek in the clouds. As I set off to walk the length of the beach I was continually entertained by the birds and the changing light on the water.
I took one look back towards the recycling plant and the wind turbines before heading off into the sun and the wind.
The newly constructed jetties were ready for the swimmers, and I was pleased to see that no one was diving of the end of the jetty.
Having reached the end of the Vallensbæk Strand I continued towards the Starndparken trail which follows the Vajleå upstream.
The path along Vajleå passes, yet again, under a freeway as it leaves Ishøj and it was along this stretch that I cam across a duck and her ducklings, I spent some time watching and photographing them.
The photos, as expected did not turn as well as I would have like, but I feared if I spent time changing lens she would be gone, and as they say a duck in the stream is better than no duck.
Leaving Vejleå I ascended a small hill near Traneglide and sat looking out over the farmland and admiring the cloud formations.
There was one more freeway underpass before I finally reached the end of what had been a very pleasant walk, providing a contrast between urban and rural, coastal and forest river and freeway.