Denmark. Take it slow.

Denmark takes time

For instant gratification the Scottish Highlands take some beating.

Denmark is different. Utterly different.

This is an entirely calmer place and its beauty takes time to recognise.

After two nights of pleasant places, exciting houses, but less than exciting scenery we headed further north.

The beauty is more subtle here.

Crossing some of the marsh lands felt like driving across savannah. Huge flocks of birds rising from the water as cattle graze the edges.

Generally very straight roads took us across mile after mile of flat land, and at an 80kph speed limit it takes a while to cover ground.

Arriving at Hanklit, on the Thisted Bredning sea lake the tempo changed for the better.

There are cliffs, even reasonably high ones. And there were a flock of paragliders making the most of the afternoon thermals.

Dinosaurs come in from the sky – and the dog goes berserk!

Oh how Polly loves anything with a kite attached. A child with a normal kite, a kite surfer, or a paraglider, it doesn’t matter, they all get shouted at.

Trying to take a dog’s perspective is the only way. And looked at from their world I guess a kite the size of a lorry coming in is pretty scary. Patience paid off and we got her to a state of accepting the massive dinosaurs hovering above her van with not much more than a whimper.

Looking down on ArchieVan from one of the few cliffs.

Our second cycle outing introduced us to the hills properly and taught us to respect them, small though they are, and the few miles we rode made dinner of Van Dahl all the more tasty (I’ll write about van food soon, it’s good, but I forget to take photos of our fab meals).

My two favourite modes of transport.

Uggerby Strand

Night four we camped in the woods just back from the beach of Uggerby Strand, part of the 50km+ stretch of white sand from Hirtshals to Grenen at the very top of the country.

In the evening light I have to confess it’s pretty stunning.

Evening light at Uggerby Strand.

I climbed a lookout tower that’s about 15m high, like standing on top of a three storey house, from where the sense of peace was even more moving than the view. At home you’d need security to make sure no one got hurt – but here it’s available for anyone, in the middle of the woods.

Lookout tower off Uggurby Strand.

Vans park overnight on the beach, but we weren’t that brave, this was a photo stop only.

I wouldn’t recommend this on Perranporth!

Speed

German friends warned us that the Scandinavian countries are all hot on speeding and issue punitive fines if you’re caught. And the limits are low. Normal roads are 80kph (50 mph), but all towns are 50kph and there’s no sign to tell you. All that should make for an economical drive, but ArchieVan is barely ready for top gear at 80, and the towns come too frequently to benefit from the gentle pace.

Versterklit

Nights five and six are within a cycle ride of Uggerby Strand, the previous night’s spot. We’re at Vesterklit. It’s just east of Tversted where we had our only Danish meal out at the very good Café Fisk – herrings three ways, and fish and chips washed down with a tasty local brew.

 

Herrings three ways. Cafe Fisk. Tversted.

And here I learn more about Denmark and appreciate its charms.

My sister had asked whether I’d seen the communal grass roofed huts in the Danish woods, and last night I found them. This is a huge shelter come eating hall with a long line of tables. Outside there were fire pits with grills – even with firewood provided. I’m deeply impressed.

Communal dining hall.

I wander further and find an old mill and cattle shed. It’s open so I walk in and a sensor turns on the lights. It’s a sort of museum. No entrance fee. No need to watch over people to make sure they behave.

Mill and cattle shed – free to access.

When we came out there was a deer stood in the grass, just watching us.

Next day a young school group arrive for a trek in the woods, the teachers have the children pile up their rucksacks in a corner of the car park, and then they set off, leaving all the children’s possessions for an hour or so.

This is special. What must Danes think when they come to Britain?

50+kms of flat sand isn’t always impressive, but last night’s walk in setting sunlight, with not a soul in sight was a moving experience.

Denmark isn’t obvious.

Things happen slowly, including progress on the roads.

Here’s Denmark’s (very) slow moving biggest sand dune, a surprisingly calming sight.

The biggest sand dune in Denmark – an interesting accolade.

It’s not as obsessively clean as Germany, but it’s still very good.

But it’s the freely available facilities that have blown me away.

I wonder why the Danes seem so grumpy though? Smiles are less ready here than anywhere we’ve travelled so far. Perhaps their inner happiness is such that there’s no need for outward displays of joy.

Tomorrow an early ferry will take us from Frederikshaven to Gottenburg and our Swedish adventure will begin.

Battery power ferry!

5 Replies to “Denmark. Take it slow.”

  1. Judith Hunt says: Reply

    Love the lookout, sheds to look round and sand dunes absolutely stunning and moody but slimy herrings 3 ways no, no, no

  2. Richard Hunt says: Reply

    I had the herrings in Norway, quite an experience. Sadly if the communal dining sheds along with the mill were in this country, they would have been trashed long go and as for leaving ruck sacks piled in a car park, well!!!!

  3. What a contrast to stage one of the Great Adventure. Extreme calm and wide open spaces, where the sky, sea and sand create such an impact in varying degrees. How wonderful to be drawn into the landscape on a journey of discovery. But no smorgasbord as yet from the bounty of the land and sea (unless of your own making)?

  4. Great blog KC….it sounds like you are having an amazing experience.

    Seeing your sand dune photo reminded me of about 20 years ago I went on an “educational tour” of Jutland with the Danish Tourist Board. We started at 0900 and walked up a tiny hillock to be told that we were at the highest point in Denmark. Denmark was not famous for its heights we were told, but it was for its Schnapps of which they had 17 varieties at which he produced a carrier bag with the first and shot glasses and announced that we would try them all that day. Which we did. So back to the sand dunes…day 2 was zorbing (a blown up oversize beach-ball which you sit within) rolling down the sand-dunes. I can testify that day 2 should not follow day 1 and I never have drunk Schnapps since.

    So be warned!

    1. Kelvin Collins says: Reply

      Genius!
      Definitely the award winning blog comment so far.
      From memory Denmark’s highest hill is 142 metres above sea level.
      Zorbing sounds mad and looks worse under any conditions, and with a schnapps hangover could be fatal!
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      KC

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