Denmark is a true cycling country, where the bicycle for many is an important means of transport. Copenhagen is also several times been voted the world's best cycling city.
the Danish author Peter Junker Alsted is the bike also come into focus. He cycled namely in september 2019 from Denmark to Greece in 55 days. The exact route was from his apartment on Frederiksberg to the city of Athens.
the Trip lasted 55 days.
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For 116 years ago in 1904 published Peter's great-grandfather, the author Peter Christen Alsted, a small collection of poems with the title 'Cykelviser', as Peter took on his bike trip to Greece. And it gave him the idea to write some poems along the way, there is now the 15. July will be published in the collection 'Cykeldigte 1904-2019'. Here you can read both Peter's new poems as well as certainly cykelviser from 1904.
Peter Junker Alsted and his great-grandfather Peter Christian Alsted.
Peter Junker Alsted, who also made several documentaries, was actually in the process of making a documentary film about humanity in Europe seen in the light of the migrationskrisen in the EU, when he got the idea at the same time to make its new digtsamlig.
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- How were you treated by the people you met on the road to Greece?
- I was generally greeted by very great hospitality. I got food, water and shelter, and in several places I was invited in and was for a short while a part of a completely foreign family. It was a completely fantastic experience, says Peter Alsted and adds:
- There were also many who rejected me or would have money to help. But when it managed to get help, I was treated really well.
Peter Alsted cycled along the Saronic Gulf in Greece and looking here across the sea. Photo: Peter Alsted.
- did you experience anything unusual or dangerous on your bike ride?
- It is dangerous enough to be attacked by wild dogs. It happened many times in Croatia and Greece. I was attacked eight times in a single day. They are just there in the sun, and hazards, and so forth, when you come. It was really close in several times, and in some places, there was a whole bunch of against me. But I got away every time and also discovered that it was good to have a few stones in your pocket by shelling.
Peter Alsted was caught by a big torrential rain and had to seek shelter from the rain in a cementrør in Greece on the road to Athens. Photo: Peter Alsted.
- Have you taught yourself to know better after the long bike ride?
- I certainly have several times thought: 'here I take with me in the grave - in a very grateful way.'
- Well, think that I have experienced it here. Come completely of its own power. And many times after being helped by strangers, I felt that they had changed me. That I was a better person, more optimistic. That I would help others more at home. Or wherever I am now.
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- It has opened me in a way I couldn't think or read me. The personal contact. I felt also that I was not afraid of anyone. To take contact to one or another stranger, no matter who and where they were. It was cross-border to start with, what to go to a complete stranger and ask for help. But slowly that changed, and after some time there was not any, which I did not dare to go to. There was just - and is not something to be afraid of, says Peter Alsted.
the poetry Collection "Cykeldigte 1904-2019' is released on 15. July. It can be purchased at selected retailers and at saxo.com.
The Danish author has here taken a picture of his bike in the extraordinarily beautiful scenery. Photo: Peter Alsted.