July 27, 2016
My final day traveling Denmark came far too quickly. I felt that I could have stayed another two months and there would still be loads to see. My cousin Annelise, her (very knowledgeable) husband Søren and their wonderful children were superb hosts. They taught me so much about Danish culture and history during the first leg of my Scandinavian trip. (If you are just tuning in, read this Great Scandinavian Adventure from the beginning here.)
As we reluctantly said our goodbyes I vowed to be back to see the rest of Denmark, and there is so much more. As I waited for my flight to Stockholm I had the chance to take stock of my trip, and plan the next one! Although I saw much of Sjælland (Zealand), Denmark’s largest island, I had hoped to get the chance to make it up to Humlebæk where the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is located. I also had hoped to visit Funen (Fyn), the island just to the west of Zealand and birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen (Odense, Denmark). However, with just five days in Denmark, I chose to really enjoy Copenhagen and the surrounding countryside, and I cannot say that I regret my decision.
One night in Copenhagen, while dining with some of Annelise and Søren’s friends at The Italian in the Vesterbro district, I learned much more about the areas of Denmark. For instance, Bornholm Island, to the east of Denmark and south of Sweden, is a popular summer destination that is fabulous to visit. Since the weather was only in the high 50s and low 60s when I visited, and quite cloudy, I would have loved to see more of the Danish sun, which can be fleeting!
Additionally, to the south of Zealand is the island of Lolland, and the smaller islands of Falster and Møn, where the beautiful Sakskøbing and Nakskov Fjords nestle up to the Danish sand dunes. I was told you could visit the 12th-century royal residence, Ålholm Castle, there in the town of Nysted. Sign me up!
Much farther north, where the Norwegian Sea meets the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands enjoy their solitude. This group of islands located between Norway and Iceland, known for their nature, rugged scenery and fresh air, is home to about 49,000 people. Travel just about 1,200 miles from the Faroes, and the eastern-most island in the Kingdom of Denmark sits, displaying its ‘largest island in the world’ title for all to see. Despite its size, Grønland (Greenland) has a population of only about 57,000. However, its arctic wilderness is a well-kept secret among Scandinavian travelers, and I plan to partake!
Denmark is a country of approximately 406 islands, the majority of which surround the large peninsula of Jutland, which forms the continental portion of Denmark and the northern portion of Germany. This particular area, roughly the size of the state of Maryland and home to 2.5 million people, features Viking settlements, major ports, museums, nature, castles and so much more.
I guess my point is this: my trip to Denmark was eye-opening, fun, fascinating, awe-inspiring and relaxing to say the least. Although I was there for five days, I really did barely scratch the surface of the country that Denmark is, and the history it holds. However, I had an amazing time, and cannot wait to return. The scenery, food and people – it was all a fairytale!
Please visit my Scandinavian Travel board on Pinterest for pictures and information on traveling to Scandinavia.
Tune in next week as I arrive in Sweden!