Lydersholm ↔ Weesby
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Schwarzberger Moor, Westre
Ten new rest areas have been built for cyclists on the Border Route. One of them is placed north of Westre in a special preserved area: the Schwarzenberger Moor. While eating your well-deserved lunch in the refuge that was specially designed for the Border Route, you can enjoy the amazing sight of the upland moor, which is 9 hectares in size and surrounded by inland dunes, and the neighbouring forest.
Along the Border Route information boards are strategically placed telling amusing stories of the area. Near the Schwarzenberger Moor, one of them tells the tale of Adolf Tysker. After the Referendum of National affilliation in 1920, he lived close by. His real name was Adolf Ewertsen, but he was called Adolf Tysker (Adolf the German), as he did not want to be a Danish citizen under any circumstances. Before the adjustment of the border, he lived in Lydersholm, but when the village became Danish, he packed his bags and moved to the German side. He did not have enough money to buy a house, so he went to live in a cave with his cow and some sheep. Many people on both sides of the border immigrated to the neighbouring country after the poll, to stay either German or Danish.
The shared part of the Border Route and the North Sea/Baltic Sea Cycle Route, between the village idyll of Westre and the municipality Landelund, will surprise the cyclist, as the – until now - flat road rises. It is the only one far and wide and will reward you with a beautiful view.
If you are not only touring the Border Route to cycle, but want to learn a little more about the borderland, Ladelund has to offer a beautiful village centre, a nice church and lots of history. The folkloristic village museum (Dorfmuseum Ladelund, Westerstraße, only Wednesday, 14:00-18:00, groups by appointment: Tel: +49 4666 723) is laid out with exhibits about agriculture, crafts, house and living, and informs about the ‚general’ cultural history, while another institution looks at a specific chapter of history.
Since 1950 the KZ-Gedenk- und Begegnungsstätte (Concentration Camp Memorial and Community Centre, Raiffeisenstr. 3, all afternoons except Monday, December-March only by appointment, Tel: +49 4661 4400) has been doing highly appreciated reconciliation work. In a permanent exhibition it reminds of the fate of 2000 prisoners, who were held here under unspeakable conditions in 1944. It was an outpost of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp, and prisoners had to do the hard, degrading labour of building switch lines for Hitler’s so called ‚Friesenwall’(Frisian defence wall). During the six weeks the camp existed, 300 of the prisoners died.
If you prefer relaxation to an excursion to history: North of Ladelund (Stato) a wonderfully located bath with natural swimming ponds, a diving platform and a café invites you to recreation and water fun.
In Rens you should take some time for a break at the bank of the Sønderå, which meanders through the beautiful countryside. Here it runs through a fish ladder parallel to the original river bed. You often you see canoes at the Border Route’s resting area, as Rens is a perfect launch and popular resting place for canoeists. If you look closely at the surroundings, you will also find an old water mill. You can cycle directly along the nice bank of the Sønderå on the National Route 8 westwards.
Excursion tip (3,5 km):
If you love old churches, you should definitely see close-by Burkal Kirke (Saksborg, Burkal Kirkevej 2). The white chalked church with a led roof was built in 1025. The impressive paintings in the nave can be dated to 1622. Should the church be locked, you can get the keys from the beadle. (Tel: +45 7476 21 10)
Excursion (2,5 km):
You find a perfect idyll at the water mill of St. Jyndevad (Julianehåbvej). Even though the mill was first built in 1896, the history of the former royal grain and roll grinder can be traced back to 1230. It was friars from Løgumkloster who once built the mill. They also constructed the mill pond to supply themselves with fish as they did not eat meat. The picturesque view of the countryside in itself is worth the short detour from the Border Route.
In Bögelhuus, you cycle on the Border Route through one of the small border crossings, which was closed for public until 2001. Even before the Schengen Acquis, residents within a radius of 5km could pass the border without control – an entry in the passport or identity card was enough. Individual passports with information about size, age, etc. were issued for work horses, too. However, cows had no passports. For them, crossing the border could be a problem.
One day in the fifties, a cow escaped from a farm in Bögelhuus. It reappeared on Danish territory, and the Danish toll keeper personally led it to the border. But the German toll keepers stubbornly refused to budge. At last something extraordinary was happening and it had to be reported to their superiors. As a consequence the cow had to be quarantined at a Danish neighbour’s, and both the German toll commissioner and a Danish senior toll officer arrived to assess the issue. The result: The farmer got his cow back, and the German toll keepers were given the sound piece of advice, never ever to report something this trivial again.
While cyclist on the Border Route encounter the only noticeable (and not even remotely alpine) rises here, in the middle part of the Border Route between Ladelund and the Frøslev Camp, those on the North Sea/Baltic Sea Cycle Route have the pleasure of cycling up- and downhill near Bramstedlund, where gravel pits have cut deeply into the glacial sediments.
In the spacious nature of the Border Route, the attentive cyclist will notice uniform, ‘recurring’ red brick houses. Sometimes they stand on their own (like in Bögelhuus) or they fill whole streets of similar houses in the settlements along the border (e.g. Süderlügum, Zollstrasse). They once were the official residences of the toll keepers, who often lived near the border crossings, so that they could watch the border even in their spare time. The architectural style of the smaller ‘toll houses’ from the 1920s is called ‚heimatschutzarchitektur’, that of the bigger, less ornamental type ‚klinker-expressionismus’. The 33 Danish gendarme houses, which were built hastily after the adjustment of the border in 1920, are less eye-catching, as they have been adapted to regional characteristics in roofing and facing.