Hi all -- I am currently awaiting the bus into town, so now is as good a time as any to get started on my trip report (unless I get too annoyed with using the keyboard on my phone).
My brother did a gravel cycle race in Iceland in July 2021 and enjoyed it so much he decided to do it again this year - but this time he brought his family (wife and two teen daughters) with him. They had done a whistle stop tour of the Nordics pre-Covid (August 2019), and my SIL asked to add a few more days in Copenhagen this time around, as she had really enjoyed it then.
I would love to go to Iceland, but i know it's too expensive for my budget. Denmark is expensive too, but for a week, i figured I could make it work. Also, I had taken two weeks of leave to go home and see my parents in May, so I only had one week remaining anyway.
My brother's plans had them arriving into CPH the evening of Sunday, July 24, so I went to figuring out what to do.
In part to lighten my carbon footprint, in part to avoid the hell of the airports this summer, and in part for the intrigue, I decided to come to Denmark from Paris via train 🚂.
Figuring out possible routes and purchasing strategies took a little time. I started looking in early May but then with going home and everything wasn't able to finalize and purchase until about mid-June. So I know I paid more than I might have, but I felt pretty happy with what I ended up with.
Forum train pals (especially those with experience on the German rails), as well as the Man in Seat 61 website, were absolutely invaluable to my planning.
I ended up with the following route:
Paris --> Cologne --> Hamburg --> Fredericia Denmark --> Copenhagen on the way here
Return route is Copenhagen --> Kolding Denmark --> Hamburg --> Cologne --> Paris
I broke the trip up (shaving 2-3 hours from what would be the one-day trip time) by staying overnight in Cologne on the way to Denmark, and here in Kolding on the way back to Paris.
I bought RT Tix on Thalys Paris- Cologne, and then bought Cologne - Copenhagen and Kolding - Hamburg on Deutsche Bahn with a 25% off Trial first-class Bahncard. With so many hours on trains, I was willing to pay more for a little more comfort. I had second class from Paris to Cologne on Thalys, but will have first class on that segment on my return tomorrow, as it was only 5€ more than second class.
For all my train (and metro and S-togs and bus) travel within Denmark, i bought their special summer Rejsepas, which allows unlimited travel for 8 days. I added a seat reservation to the ticket for my trip yesterday from CPH to Kolding.