Thursday, August 07, 2014

Whistlestop in Denmark I


Children crabbing at Nykobing, Denmark
Since I was in the neighbourhood so to speak, my lovely Danish friend whom I had met in Mongolia invited me to drop in. With a few days before my next flight, I couldn't resist the temptation. Previously I had only seen a bit of Copenhagen and the remote dunes of Romo, so I was delighted when my friend and her  partner offered to show me around.

It really was this green!
The weather was perfect. Everything was lusciously green and this was only interrupted by the occasional bright splash of yellow rape fields or the purple of hundreds of lilacs in bloom. Here and there a few windmills turned lazily in the breeze, most of them sleek modern wind generators but there were at least two traditional ones too. One of the things I really liked was  how low key and decentralised all the housing was, spread over low hills with lots of green in between. Although Denmark is a small country, only 43 thousand square kilometres, you never felt crowded anywhere except perhaps at the beaches. Even there, there were so many inlets and coves - Denmark is surrounded by water, that you could always get away from it all if you wanted to.

A traditional farmhouse. I am told it's hard to insure them because thatched rooves are a fire hazard


On the first day we visited a former artists' residence which is now a museum. It was set in beautiful gardens overlooking the sea. These artists were way ahead of their time. They home -schooled their children and travelled around Europe to paint. They also knew a thing or two about skylights and how to keep a place warm in winter.


View from an upstairs bedroom
Afterwards we drove to Nykobing for coffee at one of the beachside cafes. As we were walking along the dock everyone smiled and said a friendly "Hey."  As it happened, my friend's workmate was there on their yacht with her family and she duly invited us aboard for drinks. A very pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon. Later we strolled in the forest to collect some wild garlic. My friend's partner used it as a filling for roulades which he served with new potatoes and fried asparagus. Afterwards we had the fresh strawberries and cream we'd bought on the way home and a bottle of Italian wine. When I hinted that if my friend should ever get sick of her partner, she should send him to me, he laughed and said, "Get in line."

Denmark is boatlover's paradise
As well as being a boatie's heaven, Denmark is also very kind to cyclists. The highest 'mountain' is only 170.9 metres and there are cycle paths everywhere. Cyclists are also shown inordinate respect by motorists.


Lowenborg Castle is set in lovely grounds

The next day we did a bit of a castle crawl. Danish castles are different, more like large estates. Perhaps they didn't have to keep out as many enemies as their central European counterparts. The churches are more modest too and look very modern although some of them are very old. If someone had not pointed out what they were, I may never have known, especially given the absence of crosses.

Torbenfeldborg Castle



A typical Danish church

We wandered around the sprawling grounds of  Lowenborg Castle admiring the lake and the chapel and listening to my friend tell the story about a poor drunk who, while seriously under the weather, was taken to the castle, put up in sumputious rooms and attended by beautiful women. After he went to sleep the young nobles who had brought him there for a lark, deposited him back where they found him and no one ever believed his story. He died a sad man I am told. Afterwards we walked around a beautiful lake in a national park and went home to another amazing meal which included smoked baby potatoes.

Lake and National Park

1 comment:

Cluan said...

I cannot believe how green that is! Just Beautiful!!