30 December 2018

Jaunt to Jutland

In the middle of autumn, a few months ago, in September and October, I went to Denmark for a week-long road-trip. Given that my experience about Denmark was mostly in Copenhagen and the surrounding areas, my spouse and I have decided to check out Jutland, or the Danish mainland. Well, I take that back, I was the one who actually decided it, but he played along and we eventually bought tickets.

I was actually thinking about this plan since March. I wanted to make full use of an old Denmark guidebook I have. So I came up with a plan, which was realised for the most part. The plan involved a week-long trip, together with the two weekends sandwiching it. We would fly to the northernmost part of Jutland, to Aalborg, and slowly work our way heading south.

So that's what we did: on Saturday, September 29, we caught an early flight from Berlin to Amsterdam, connecting to another flight to Aalborg. That was almost an uneventful flight, but apparently we were off to a rough start. Our luggage didn't arrive. So we got some emergency supplies, provided by the airline. After sorting things out, we picked up our rental car and drove to the very end of Denmark, Skagen. This definitely had an end of the world feel to it, though the sand dunes were fun, and the seafood was absolutely superb. Aside from Skagen, we also headed down to Sæby, which was a nice small town. Afterwards, we headed back to Aalborg where we had a three-night reservation in a bed and breakfast.

On Sunday our luggage arrived, and we drove back to the airport to pick it up. Now that we had our luggage, things were better. We then drove to Hobro to check out Viking museums and fortresses. This was also the day when we explored Aalborg on foot.

Monday, October 1 was a fantastic day, involving a lot of driving. We went to the west of Aalborg, first starting at Bulbjerg, a limestone cliff facing Skagerrak. After that, we spent the rest of the day in Thy National Park, driving along the coast, checking out small villages here and there. Along the way we found bunkers, interesting museums, very good seafood, and licorice ice cream.

On Tuesday, it was time to leave Aalborg, and head to Aarhus, where we were to stay for 3 nights. But before we left Aalborg, we checked out an interesting Viking museum and burial place, Lindholm Høje. When we finished, we drove south, stopping by in Randers for lunch, as well as a short exploration of the old town. Once we reached Aarhus, we parked the car and explored the waterfront as well as the city centre which was quite apt for walking.

Wednesday was another day we spent exploring the area, this time we went to Silkeborg, in order to check out mummified human remains, as well as Himmelbjerget, one of the highest peaks in Denmark (elevation is 147 metres, and yes, Denmark is a flat country).

On Thursday, we stayed in Aarhus, exploring its museums. We especially liked ARoS, one of the largest art museums in northern Europe. We also checked out the Aarhus Cathedral, as well as the botanical garden. We did not use the car at this time.

Friday was another travel day, this time, our destination was Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark. Before we reached Ribe, however, we spent a significant amount of time in Jelling, which is the spiritual heart of Denmark. Denmark's "birth certificate" is here, in the form of large stones with carved declarations about the formation of the country. We reached Ribe in the afternoon, and we still had more than enough time to explore the very quaint old town.

On Saturday, October 6, we spent the whole day driving. We went to Møgeltønder, a village close to the German border. And then we also went to the island of Rømø. There's plenty of natural landscapes that we have checked out this day.

Sunday was our final day. We had a flight from Copenhagen to Berlin in the evening, so after checking out of our bed and breakfast in Ribe, it was time to head east. We stopped by in Kolding, to check out a large castle, as well as in Odense, where we had lunch, and a stroll in the centre of town. I actually was in Odense back in 2008, but I was there for an academic workshop and I didn't really have the time to check out the town. In any case, we did a walking tour on our own, and when that was finished, we headed to the airport. We dropped off our car, and took the flight back home.

Pictures, of course, will follow, so stay tuned.

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