Saturday November 28th 2015
Early Saturday morning at 5:32 AM I boarded the local S train and changed to the Intercity Train in Høje Tåstrup, where I travelled to Svendborg on the island of Fyn in the south of Denmark. Arrival time at Svendborg was 8:04 AM. I made my way down to the harbour where I found the other hikers that had decided to also join this group for the weekend to hike the Archipelago Trail. Our ferry arrived and soon we were sailing at 09:15 AM on our way to Ærøskøbing, which is the capital of Ærø Island.
On arrival at Ærøskøbing our host Peter, @naturvagabond on Instagram, welcomed us. We were given a little tour Ærøskøbing, while on our way to the shelter site where we would be sleeping tonight. We left our backpacks at the hostel which was only 500 meters from the shelter site.
Through the morning it had rained but now it was clearing up a little and we set out on our hike along the Archipelago Trail with our daypacks. Our goal for today was Marstal which is a little fishing town located on the southern end of the island and about 17 km from Ærøskøbing.
The rain kept away the rest of the day. After following the coastline south for a couple of hours it was time to stop for some lunch. Our lunchroom was Kragnæs Galley Grave. It appears as a low hill to the north of the trail. It was built more than 5000 years ago in the Neolithic Period and was restored in the 1970’s. You can enter the burial chamber too.
After lunch it was onwards to the harbour at Marstal.
After a short wait we caught a “free” bus back to Ærøskøbing. It is free to ride on the busses on Ærø Island.
It was soon December and so Ærøskøbing was decorated with the Christmas spirit. Close to the town centre we found the local gathering place where we warmed ourselves to hot beverages and eating some local sweet specialities.
Our host, Peter, had prepared a nice dinner for us and together with the local island brew we had a cosy time around the campfire for the evening.
Through the night it rained and at times the wind was quite gusty too. Although, I had a pleasant night’s sleep in my winter sleeping bag while it stormed around the shelter.
Sunday November 29th 2015
After a nice sunrise and breakfast consumed we set off towards Søby with our daypacks loaded with water, lunch and rain gear.
This section takes you from Ærøskøbing, past the little beach huts at Vesterstrand beach just north-west of Ærøskøbing. The famous beach huts of Ærøskøbing stand in a row along the waterfront.
And yours truly standing next to one of the huts below.
The weather soon changed and the rest of the day we experienced wind gusts and at times, heavy rain. We followed the coastline most of the day and through Ærø Nature Park.
In the north-west corner of Ærø Nature Park is Gammelgård, a farm that dates back to 1830. It belonged to the dukes of Northern Germany. The very steep thatch roof is typical of Northern Germany and Gammelgård is the only farm left on Ærø that has a thatch roof like this. The next section takes you through farmlands, past Søbygaard Estate (below) and Søby Volde, and finally our goal for today Søby.
At Søby we caught another “free” bus back to Ærøskøbing. Today’s distance was 19 km.
From Ærøskøbing we caught the ferry back to Svendborg and from here I managed to “hitch” a ride back to Copenhagen with one of the other hikers.
Thanks to Peter, @naturvagabond on Instagram, for a great weekend with fine food and friendly island hospitality.
Photos on Flickr here.