Skagen

I had a pleasant morning – woke up to find Julie and Sean had been shopping for delicious Danish bacon and eggs! Pålægchokolade (chocolate for bread!!) was served again and some strong Earl Grey tea. Then we headed to Aalborg station!

The journey to Skagen was a lot less eventful than the Copenhagen to Aalborg stretch – just two trains, and a sunny journey over Jutland. We arrived at Torben’s (Julie’s grandfather) house, and had another delicious lunch with the famous Danish rye bread with paté, meat, cheese, eggs, and vegetables. It’s such a fresh and light way to eat and I’m a bit in love with it, even when herring is involved.

Then Torben took us on a tour of Skagen! He has lived here for fifty years and knows everything there is to know about the history of Skagen. We went to Grenen, which is the topmost tip of Denmark. You can walk right out onto the beach and see where the two seas (the strait of Skagerrak and the Kattegat sea area) meet, clashing together at the top of the country. There is also a famous Danish poet, Holger Drachmann, buried in the sand dunes, as well as German bunkers left over from the war. It is obviously a very popular spot, with Danes as well as other Scandinavian tourists. There were heaps of people walking their dogs, and even with a cold wind, the sun was warm and relaxing.

Then we drove to an area known as Højen (Old Skagen) and wandered up to a lookout that gave us a beautiful view over the orange rooftops. The houses are mostly a warm yellow colour, and it’s quite strictly regulated if you want to alter their appearance. It creates a beautiful-looking town! We could also see the top of a church that is now buried completely in sand (Den Tilsandede kirke) and Torben told us that he and his wife had actually met Crown Prince Frederik when he was younger, as he used to holiday in Skagen a lot as he was growing up, and his uncle had a summer residence here. This was obviously before he married Mary, but maybe one day they’ll have their own summer house in Skagen too!

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Then, despite the wind and the fact that it was still much colder than we are used to in Australia, we stopped at a beach and went for a dip in the sea! I very nearly chickened out, wading around the shallows while Julie and Sean dunked themselves in the water and then got back on the sand. I exited the sea twice before working up the courage to put my head under, but I can see why people get addicted to it! It’s incredibly invigorating to submerge yourself in something that cold, just briefly. Standing on the sand in the sun to dry out afterwards was not nearly as freezing as I thought it would be. Torben dropped us off at the ice cream store afterwards so we could get some ice cream and walk home and I was nearly dry by then anyway. Denmark has the normal delicious ice cream flavours with waffle cones, but they add a light sort of sugary cream called guf as well as a flødebolle, the chocolate and marshmellow fluff confections we had back in Copenhagen. Utterly brilliant.

Back at Torben’s house, he cooked a lovely dinner with smoked ham, vegies and béarnaise sauce, before we drove back to Højen to see the sunset (with a large portion of Skagen’s population it seemed!). Then we sat eating Swedish and Danish sweets and drinking tea while we chatted. We have been so lucky to meet Julie’s family and have them show us around!

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