After a beautiful (but gruelingly strenuous) day’s ride, leaving those endless grassy fields behind to enter another of Denmark’s welcoming cities felt like the triumph of a lifetime. And I could tell from the start that we had a great night ahead of us.
Many of you might expect Denmark’s best nightlife to be in Copenhagen, the country’s capital and largest city. But you’d be wrong. In fact, it’s Aalborg – a comparatively small college town – which holds that undisputed title. And it just so happened that Aalborg was our first stop on the path from Oslo to Roskilde. It also just so happened to be graduation weekend, when open-aired trucks overflowing with celebrating graduates circle its streets honking their horns and cheering with anyone who passes by. I was utterly exhausted from the ride…but could I really miss out on a night like this?
No, I could not 😎
We pulled into town at around 5pm and proceeded straight to a campground Peder had patronized during his last visit, nearly nine years earlier. We setup camp, inflated our air mattresses, cleaned ourselves up, caught a quick two-hour snooze, and wolfed down an enormous homecooked pasta dinner before it was once again time to head out.
(Not only was I just about as hungry as I’d ever been, but after Peder’s extensive experience with competitive cycling he was convinced that my day’s struggle had a lot to do with a lack of nutrition. I had to fill up on carbs, he told me. If I did, tomorrow would be immeasurably easier. We shall see.)
It was nearly 11pm when we finally rolled out of the campground and made our way into town, but the sky was still bright and blue.
Then the music started. Aalborg’s party district of Jomfru Ane Gade could only be described as…mindblowing.
A very short stretch of road – shorter even than Kiyamachi in Kyoto – Jomfru Ane Gade is absolutely overflowing with people. Both sides are packed with wall-to-wall bars, often handing out tickets for free drinks. Nowhere charged admission. It was one wild free-for-all, something like Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong, where – unlike the last 3 weeks in Norway and Ukraine – we were free to pick up a beer at the corner 711 and stroll from place to place at our leisure.
Jomfru Ane Gade truly is the perfect place to clubhop, where each venue seems larger than the last and all are packed to the gills with students and graduates alike. We stayed out until 6am – once again, leaving just a short time for sleep before our next day’s big ride.
Party, nap, ride. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Onward to Roskilde.