Grenen, SkagenJuly 23, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C
Today we visited Grenen, the famous finger of land at the northernmost tip of Denmark, where the Baltic meets the North Sea.
We'd been here several years back and knew how busy it could get, so put it off until Monday in the hope there would be fewer people. For all we know there was, but traffic increased noticeably the closer we got to the nearby town of Skagen. We'd entertained the possibility of stopping here to have a mooch around; with its boutiques and eateries it seemed like an enjoyable place to while away a few hours, but its busy streets put us off and we continued along through the dune landscape towards Grenen. We'd been following Denmark's North Sea coast up until this point, but now the road took us alongside the Baltic Sea on our right. As we approached Skagen Grey Lighthouse (now a centre for birdwatching) cars began to line the verges and more and more people were using the pavement and cycle track. Reaching the end of the road, a high vis official directed us round the roundabout to the motorhome parking, but being cheapskates we saw the ticket signs and doubled back to where we had just come, choosing instead to park in a small grassy picnic area a kilometre or so away and make use of the excellent cycle track.
After grabbing a bite to eat, applying sunscreen and packing water, we set the van up to remain as cool as possible and made our way towards the hub. Parking the tandem in the extensive (and nearly full) bike racks, we climbed over the dunes and read a small information board about friendly seals, before skirting round an old and grafittid WWII bunker to the beach. Off came the sandals! Vicky waded out into the water and hopped up onto a partly submerged bunker to take a few photos of the beach goers making their pilgrimage to the point. We trekked along with them, sticking to the surf line and allowing the Baltic to surge up over our toes and around our calves as we went. Being nosy, we paused to see what someone was pointing at in the shallows, soon realising that the two dark shapes moving quickly under the water were seals! Vicky had her camera to hand and began filming as one of them swam towards the onlookers and deliberately beached itself just a metre away from the growing crowd! Luckily people were sensible, but it wasn't long before the seal became nervous and turned tail, undulating itself back into the waves. Vicky had been standing in the water to film and got an extra special treat when it swam towards her and poked its head out to say hello!
You can watch the video on the VnW Travels YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/zDoOwXIv6ZI
On a high from this close encounter, we reached the point in record time and wove through the large group clustered where the sand ended and the two seas began. Less than 4 months ago we passed by the Gibraltar Straights, where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. Here it is a lot more tangible because the point is so thin. We waded out into the turbulent seas, the Kattegat (an arm of the Baltic) to our right and the Skagerrak (an arm of The North Sea) to our left. Waves crashed together from either side and the current was strong; signs had warned that it could be life threatening and prohibited swimming. We took an obligatory selfie standing knee high in the convergence, then walked round to the North Sea side where, at a suitable distance, Will took a super quick dip. Even here the current was strong!
Making our way past the Sandormen; a bus pulled by a tractor to ferry tourists to the point, we retuned to the Baltic coast, where Will again took a very quick dip. The sands seemed even busier as we waded back to the bike and as we cycled towards Martha Motorhome, we feared she may have been blocked in by the nose to tail cars that had at least tripled in number. Luckily we had nothing to fear as despite space being tight, people had parked considerately.
The van was a lot cooler than the air outdoors but we still made sure we got underway quickly to provide a cold stream of air for Poppy. Until this point we have been driving north in the hope of reaching cooler climes, but having reached this point, we can drive no further north!Read more