Travel: Denmark

Knitting: Denmark Yarn Scarf

This is the first in my series of souvenir scarves made from yarn purchased from countries I’ve visited. This particular yarn was produced in Odense, Denmark. Usually I use two small skeins of a yarn to make one scarf, however, one skein produced a lovely summery accessory scarf with fuzzy creams and tabs of blues, I can use the other skein to make a gift:

Denmark scarf Close up of Denmark yarn/scarf

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Travel: Denmark

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Just a place holder

We’re back from Denmark and Sweden as of late Sunday night, but am now sitting in a hotel right on the shore in Blackpool. (There is a random dog roaming the halls of this place who is now sitting in the chair next to me staring at me, he’s creeping me out).

I haven’t really had time to research things to do here. Blackpool is the Atlantic City of the UK, so yeah, hmmm, I’ll be heading out the door soon to stroll along the promenade that lines the shore, surely there is a coffee shop I can decompress from traveling in with a book or some knitting.

I decided that an ideal souvenir for me is to purchase yarn from where ever we travel, enough to make a scarf and ideally yarn that is produced locally or in said country. I brought along the yarn from Denmark that was produced in Odense should I feel inclined to knit.

So much to write about, Mons Klint (the cliffs in Mon), the Denmark countryside, I could seriously see myself living in Sweden, Lund is lovely… but I digress, much posting will be forthcoming…

Okay, time’s a wastin’ time to get myself out the door!

Travel: Denmark

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Denmark: Kronborg Slot

Kronborg SlotWe left the Cliffs of Mon and drove back towards Copenhagen, we decided to head a little further to Helsingor and visit the Kronborg Slot. This castle is purported to be the inspiration and setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We toured the castle, through the rooms arranged as they would have been for the kings and their families who had once lived there. We walked through the opulent halls bedecked with artwork worthy of being an art history museum.

Deb by oil lampThe most interesting part of the castle were the casements. These were the chambers and passageways that lay beneath the castle, it was here where munitions were stored or prisoners were held. These narrow low ceilinged cave like passages were dimly lit by oil lanterns, casting a warm glow in a small radius and eerie shadows. So many of the rooms and carved out nooks were not lit. I think there should be a ghost story tour, telling tales of the goings on in these mysterious looking passages, surely there must be some interesting history that happened here.

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Travel: Denmark

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Denmark: Møns Klint

Møns Kint, “the Cliffs of Møn”

Mark on flint beachThese chalky cliffs are the result of deposits made by microorganisms, the bulk of their mass moved to their present location by glaciers. Throughout the white there are visible dark lines of flint layers, metamorphic rock created under the great pressure of glaciers. Near the base of the cliffs the flint stones have that jagged toothed edge where you can easily see and understand how and why early tools were made of this stuff.

The beach here is made up of fist sized weathered rounded flint. As the waves poured over the flint and receded, the stones clicked together as they settled against each other. As we walked along, our feet caused the stones to sing, the tinkling of glass.

Our shoes are covered with chalk by the time we’re ready to turn back. Later that night, we notice the white traces our foot prints are leaving everywhere we tread.

There were 495 stairs leading steeply to the shore, we know this as someone so kindly marked them periodically with the count. This did not seem so bad going down, but on the way up, we made good use of a number of rest stops and benches on platforms overlooking the ravine.

(more photos to follow soon).

The complete photo set

We had some spectacular evening entertainment, the band in the hotel bar! Danish sure is entertaining put to music and hearing a crowd sing and dance to it :)

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Travel: Denmark
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Møn’s Klint

Today involved driving down to Møn’s Klint on the Baltic sea shore.  Every little town we passed by has two or three wind mills.  So many homes and small buildings were all painted the same color, so much so that I’m convinced that “Denmark cottage yellow” must be a patented color.

I purchased some of the softest fluffiest yarn from the yarn store in Stege.  It’s a cloud of pale blues.

Day one of the cliffs and we drove to the top and walked along the high precipice.  Up here I couldn’t dare get close to the edge.  My fear of heights and my weird strong vertigo that seems to pull me to the edge combining to a frenzy here.  Mark getting his fearless photos with his foot on the edge and then with a shot where he laid down on his belly and reached the camera out over the edge looking down the 300 foot cliff face.

Travel: Denmark

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Copenhagen

Above City Hall doorWe arrived at the hotel, dropped off our baggage and headed out for a walk around the city. As we started off, I had done enough research ahead of time, I was recognizing buildings and spires and pointing them out to Mark as if I were some sort of native :)

We walked to the City Hall and the town square. We had hoped to climb the tower of city hall for a birds eye view of the city, but we missed the window by a few minutes. The city hall itself is adorned ornately with metals and odd statues.

Copenhagen is home to The Strøget, the main pedestrian street full of shops and restaurants, it happens to be the longest such pedestrian shopping street in Europe. We stopped at a tiny hole in the wall place for refueling having crepes and belgian waffles.

As we walked along we approached Kongens Nytorv (The Kings New Square), a town square at one end of the Strøget, which was encircled with ice for ice skating. The square was designed by King Christian V in 1670 and contains of an equestrian statue of him. Christian and Frederick are apparently the alternating King names in Denmark for the past few centuries. You get a little inundated with statues and monuments to either a Christian or a Frederick.

Nyhavn with its colorful buildingsContinuing on, we walked along the Nyhavn (New Harbor), the “new” dock area that was also built by Christian V, this harbor is lined with colorful buildings containing restaurants on the ground levels and within a few feet there are dozens of schooners docked in the water. Our photos of this area look exactly like a postcard we mailed out.

Amelienborg slot, the four identical corner palaces that border the royal square. At the center of which was a statue of King Frederick V. A bell rang and the black feather topped guards in all their regalia, started their march and patrol around the square. We decided to take the palace tour, it was a pleasant indoor diversion that let us warm up a bit as well as admire the lush interior.

Marmorkirken, the large marble domed churchJust outside the square, visible between two of the palace buildings is the Marmorkirken, the large marble domed church. This church was also built by Frederick V, its dome, which the largest church dome in Scandinavia, is a landmark of the Copenhagen skyline.

Kastellet, one of the best preserved fortifications in Northern Europe built in the 1620’s (or start of the construction) by King Christian IV (have I mentioned the Kings of Denmark have been named either Christian or Frederick for the past few centuries?). This is an interesting star shaped moat surrounded fort, we deemed it far to cold and windy to walk the upper perimeter, but you can trust us that it was neat.

Den Lille Havfrue, “the little mermaid” statue in the water. Although it was fridgedly cold with the wind right near the water, we persevered to make it to this iconic statue. Hans Christian Anderson lived in Copenhagen and he is celebrated all over the city, including this statue that was erected in the early 1900’s. She has suffered the abuse of vandalism on multiple occasions, including having her head removed and being spray painted. She remains, waiting in the water.
Den Lille Havfrue, "the little mermaid" statue in the water

Rather than walking back to the hotel we took advantage of the public transportation by boat. It was a nice way to see another side of the city, and it was warm. For the record, an outdoor thermometer informed us that it was -2 Celsius but it felt so much colder with a stiff wind coming in off the Baltic Sea.

We stopped in the Glyptotek, an art museum with free admission on Sundays so it was surprisingly packed. We made our way through the ancient Greek and Roman sculpture halls before we decided to move on and grab some dinner. It’s a huge museum and would be worth a repeat visit on a subsequent trip, as we passed by all the more modern art.

Dinner was at the Hard Rock Cafe. I know. I have never been to one as a matter of principle. When traveling, we try not to go to chains or places we easily find in Pgh/U.S. (the exception being while on the road and trying to make time), why go to those places when there’s so much more out there to try? But one of Mark’s coworkers was with us in from the States and this was his thing. It was funny though, we get there, we’re told there’s a forty minute wait, his coworker asks, “would having an All Access Card help?” the hostess replies, “Yes. Yes it does. The next table that’s cleared is yours.”

After dinner we hit the road and drove across the Oresund, a 16km bridge between Denmark and Sweden. Just driving into another country, but that also means I do not have a Sweden stamp in my passport.

The complete photo set

Travel: Denmark

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