Thursday 20 May 2010

A road trip around Northern Denmark

Our first stop on our journey was Aarhus to catch up with a highschool exchange friend of mine, Astrid. We had a lovely pizza and good times, before we were on the road again. We tried to find the Viking mound near Hobro but didn't have any luck, so we headed to our hosts for the night. They were very welcoming and their guest house was amazingly fancy. In the morning we were treated to a traditional Danish breakfast, with lots of goodies. Martin had the rye bread (that is typical of the area) and cheeses, and myself was homemade muesli which you put together yourself. She then drove us around the main sites in the local area. The first of these was an impressive neolithic burial mound for a king. The stone border of this massive complex is the most complete in Denmark. But the coolest part was the passage graves that we were able to actually go right inside the mound which has been there for over 3000 years. Very impressive. After that we found the Viking mound from the night before which was quite large. This was once the site of a military encampment as it was situated close to the water which is now quite far away.

After leaving behind our first host, we headed away to the Island of Mors. This island is in the the middle of the Jutland pennisula (which is the big part attached to Germany). The main thing we were there to see, was the Molar cliffs. These amazing formations are only found in Denmark, and are composed of volcanic ash with diatomacous soil (fossilized microbes). The resulting layering effect is very impressive, and throw in some tectonic uplift and the final result is very cool. The weather at this point was getting even crappier but we plowed onto the Jutland beaches of the south west coasts. The random thing here is that holiday homes are built in the sand dunes. At first I thought this was a bit weird because the lack of view, but it does cut out the wind which is ever constant in Denmark. Which is probably why there are wind farms absolutely everywhere. From the beaches we headed to a bird sanctuary at Tipperne, didn't see many birds, but heard quite a few. For dinner we were off to Esbjerg. Ended up having McDs in the town square which at least had a nice few. We were quite gutted that the entire time we were here, we didn't get to try any typical Danish food, as no one seems to do it. Spent the night at our next hosts in Spadnet and had a great evening laughing away.

Our final day in Denmark, we headed up to Ribe which is the oldest city in Denmark. Had some lovely pastries at the old re-dug channel through the city. The architecture here was awesome, so old school. As the museum was taking too long to open we quickly went down to the island of Romo. The causeway out to it is amazing. This island used to be a whaling port but thankfully not anymore. There is one remnant of that time, with an old fence made from whale bone. It was quite cool that on the far side of the island the sand is so compacted that you can just drive around all over it, similar to 90 mile beach back home. After driving over much of Romo (the settlement is not large) headed back to Ribe to go to the Viking museum. Saw a lot of interesting artifacts from several different periods of Danish history. After this we headed down to the top of Germany for lunch. Had great food, and some decent beer for a change (still not fond of the English ale). Then up to Billund for a play at Legoland, or so we thought. Due to the pricing we decided to head to Jelling instead to see the two large burial mounds for the first king and queen of Denmark and their corresponding rune stones which were huge! The runic carving on them was nicely detailed. Having to go back to Billund for our flight came to soon, and we were once again home and back to the routine.