After an amazing week of friends and festivities we sailed out of Copenhagen. Like many visitors, we, too, felt as if we could have stayed for a much longer time. Yet, we vowed to return, which eased the pain of seeing our home for the past week disappear in the distance.
Once again the wind spirits changed our plans for the 90-mile sail from Stralsund, Germany to Bornholm. Light winds and a motoring speed of five or so knots meant we needed 18 hours to reach this Danish island sitting between Germany and Sweden. So, we opted for an overnight sail on a night that promised the best chance to catch a strong breeze. Leaving at 11am we waited for a bridge opening out of Stralsund
After our Sunday morning in Odense walking in Hans Christian Andersen’s footsteps we drove off the Island of Funen and back onto the mainland, or Jutland. Our next destination promised immersion into Denmark’s first official rulers in Jelling. This town gained prominence in the 10th century during the Vikings’ hey day. Here, Kings Gorm of Old (ruled 936?-958/9) and his son, Harald Bluetooth (ruled 958/9-985/6/7) established Denmark’s monarchy. The current monarch, Queen Margrete II, can trace her lineage back to Gorm, which is why some people consider this country’s monarchy the oldest in Europe.
Packed up and ready to go, we headed north from Copenhagen to continue exploring Funen Island, our first stop being Frederiksborg Slot, the summer castle Frederik II (1534-1588) bought as a manor. A favorite of the king, it was also the birthplace of his son, Christian IV (1577-1648) who heavily renovated the place. Unusual in not being on a coast or river, Frederiksborg was constructed for the specific pleasure of the king, not for defense. And, it was definitely a beautiful ‘home’.
Like most world-class cities, Copenhagen’s offerings are many, one being located in the Rådhus, Copenhagen’s Town Hall. A famous clock tick-ticking away on the ground floor, open for any and all to view.
After our first day when we performed our self-guided tour of Copenhagen we generally added one to two sites to our daily to-see list. Much more and our brains explode. Not really, but by the third site, especially a comprehensive museum, we’re so google-eyed and slack-mouthed it’s a wonder we don’t leave a trail of drool as we stagger from one display to the next.
We tend to peruse guide books and websites both prior and during any travel we do. Of course, just experiencing a different area no matter where its location offers a different perspective on life; and, museums often provide an easy method for absorbing some of those views.
Back in the saddle in a rented steed we headed for Denmark where hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-gah‘/‘hue-gah‘) flourishes. This little Danish word comes from Norwegian meaning well-being; and, to create an English definition simply relax in a comfortable setting with folk you care about and share thoughts big and small. Delectable nibbles and drinks can add to the ambiance if you so wish. Ahhhhh… you’ve got hygge :)
Once again our summer cruising found us in the company of amazing and wonderful people. Looking back through my posts I’m remembering the chance encounters and hospitality of those we met during our three months in Scandinavian waters: