Denmark
North Denmark

Here you’ll find travel reports about North Denmark. Discover travel destinations in Denmark of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

157 travelers at this place:

  • Day752

    Søndergaard Strand

    July 18 in Denmark

    A sea breeze is blowing through the open windows as we gaze out at the gentle waves rippling into the narrow sandy beach. Martha Motorhome is parked right on the edge of a strip of coarse, dried out grass, just a step away from the stones and shells. Will has hauled Little Green, our canoe, up onto the shore after a short fishing foray in her.

    The bay we are parked overlooking, as we sip our cuppas, is Amtoft Vig, part of the vast Limfjord network that splits North Jutland from Central Jutland. We spotted it on our way to a camping shop further up the road that had a campsite and stellplätz attached to it. The shop seemed to have closed down so we returned here, to the quiet pull-in, big enough for about 20 cars. A triangular white flag flutters at the top of its pole, displaying the blue swimming symbol with 3 stars. A wooden jetty extends 50m to waist deep in the water and a couple of metal ladders provide access for bathing. Needless to say Will made use of this! Light grey clouds have almost covered the sky, leaving only a few patches of blue. After yesterday's scorching heat we are thankfull of the shade they bring with them.

    We'd not made a decision about how long to stay, but Vicky needed rest and this place was both quiet and beautiful so we lingered a second night. On the drive here the red warning light on Martha's dashboard had suddenly begun to flash insistently, telling us she needed oil. Will had a look on maps.me and found a garage 2.6km away. It was a warm day, if a little blustery, so he took the tandem, bought a litre and emptied it onto the oil reservoir. Hopefully this will placate her! Vicky started a new crochet project while Will gave the rest of the day over to fishing, reading, swimming, playing his flute, downloading sat nav updates and making Vicky a delicious vegetable omlette and salad for tea, then washing up afterwards. He's a goodun!
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  • Day757

    Grenen, Skagen

    July 23 in Denmark

    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!
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  • Day750

    Thisted

    July 16 in Denmark

    It is late afternoon and 35°C in the sun, on this still, blue sky day. Luckily we have found shade under a bank of mature Alders in the free 5 place motorhome parking area on the edge of Thisted.

    Thisted is a medium sized town that sits on the shore of Thistead Bredning. Bredning roughly translates as 'broads' and this body of water is certainly broad. It is part of a series of sea lakes that stretch out from pinch points, into large open bodies of water, making up the Limfjord canal that cuts mainland Jutland off from the North Jutlandic Island.

    Our windows and doors are open in an attempt to keep the van cool, but this makes it quite noisy, because we aren't too far from the main road. Over this road is Thisted Søbad (seaside resort), a free area with toilets, indoor showers, grass, a shingle beach and a couple of wooden jetties with steps into the water.

    We've just come back from there, after a good swim and a lay out on our towels. Will went earlier and returned later than Vicky, taking his snorkle gear with him and having several swims to her one). There were a number of crabs scuttling along the sea floor (and over our toes), but thankfully Will only spotted a few small jellyfish and Vicky didn't see any. We are still marvelling at what a wonderful resource this is. The Danes pay high taxes but its no wonder they are one of the happiest nations on earth!

    Talking about things that make one happy, we'd popped into Aldi on the way here and picked up a couple of traditional Danish Tebirke pastries. The best way to describe them is a pain au chocolate without chocolate, but stuffed and cooked with marzipan and topped with poppy seeds. Vicky really liked the pastry and marzipan but wasn't sure about the seeds, Will liked the whole package.

    The heat was such that we kept the windows and door open until late. We are used to traffic noise, but it did seem particularly loud here. We watched as people cycled, jogged and strolled along the promenade. Among them were some non-white faces and it made us think. Having lived near Dudley in the West Midlands, we are used to a multi-ethnic society, but this has changed in the 2 years we've been on the road. The term 'white van man' rings true in a different sense, as meeting a BAME individual or family in a van, is as rare as meeting a solo female traveller. We hardly ever stay in cities, preferring the peace and quiet of countryside life most of the time, but as a consequence we move through populations with massively high proportions of caucasian people. It is ironic that in our quest to immerse ourselves in different cultures, we are spending our time amongst people whose appearance is far more like our own, than had we stayed put in Dudley!

    Come morning we drove a short distance to a large gravel car park adjacent to the bay and a short walk from Thisted highstreet. Vicky had been browsing Trip Advisor and spotted 'Fiskehuset Thisted' a fishmonger come delicatessen come restaurant on the harbourside. They had their own smokehouse and a good range of organic certified fish. The reviews rated it highly, so we tracked it down and bought a delicious looking smoked mackerel to take away for our lunch. We then had a brief but unsuccessful trawl of the highstreet in search of replacement guitar strings for Will and wool and toy stuffing for Vicky. We did however buy a wooden washing up brush in an attempt to cut down on plastic!
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  • Day755

    We are by ourselves in a spacious forest car park labelled 'Hesteparkering' (horse parking). There is a crossbar for tethering your steed and even a few bundles of hay on the ground. These Danes really do provide for outdoorsy folk!

    The tall trees sway in the wind but being here is a welcome oasis of calm after a morning that turned out to be a little stressful! After travelling for half an hour or so, we pulled into Hirtshall Transport Centre, a service station type area that provided van facilities. Once we'd located the van service point, we pulled in to the dedicated lane and were shuffling back over the waste water grill when we heard a horn and a crunch. A car had driven into the corner of our rear bumper. We jumped out and inspected the damage; a crack on their bumper and several on ours. We were confused at first but it soon became clear (to us at least) that the car shouldn't have driven over the solid white line into the motorhome lane. However, what is done is done, nobody was hurt, it was just one of those things and not worth getting too upset about. Luckily the other driver spoke perfect English. We swapped details, took photos and gaffa taped up the bumper. This done, we found a parking space and phoned Saga claims department, giving them all the details. We are awaiting a call back from their 'foreign department' on Monday to go over it again and hopefully find out where we stand. The gaffa tape will hold for a while.

    We considered staying at the Transport Centre but it wasn't the most relaxing of environments, so we decided it was best to move on and not be reminded of the accident. After a bite to eat we hopped on the motorway and made some more progress up north, before turning off onto a single track road that led into the large Tversted mixed forest plantation. It was here we found this tranquil 'horsepark' we are in right now. Each evening a couple of Icelandic Horses were ridden through and during the course of the 2nd day a total of three horse boxes pulled in and each unloaded a pair of good looking horses, who were promptly tacked up and ridden off. The final pair were ridden bareback by what looked like two young teenage sisters while their Mum walked the dog beside them. Vicky looked on with a touch of envy in her eyes.

    We had found this quiet car park on route to a larger area at the end of the track. On the last afternoon we cycled the tandem along and upon seeing the large car park, we were immediately glad we'd parked where we had. It was packed with 50 or so cars and around a dozen vans. We checked the map and cut through the buzz of people to follow the cycle track towards the beach. The forest opened up to flat land behind the dunes. A whitewashed building with thatch roof supported a small wooden windmill, so we deviated down a grassy track to have a look. Inside was area for animals, an old wooden cart, horse drawn sleigh and agricultural equipment from times gone by. There were information boards but they were all in Danish and we didn't feel we could spare the data, low as we were, to translate them.

    Checking the map again, we found the only routes leading to the beach were walking trails, so we pushed the bike, then left it chained to a tree while we continued on foot. On the way we passed a pond that had dried up to a mosaic of moss, then a firepit with a temporary sign, warning of drought and fire risk and asking people not to light fires. Cutting through the dunes we eventually reached the long wide sandy beach. There was nothing to stop the wind and it whipped the dry sand up so its fine grains flowed like a shallow river accross the harder surface underneath, whipping our ankles as it went. We paddled in the surf and watched, as the clouds skudding accross the sky created fast moving bands of shadow and light over the sand and water. The strong rays highlighted the dark blues and turquoise and shone radiantly off the substantial whitecaps rolling in. (Apologies for the wind noise on the video).

    As mesmerizing as these scenes were, the wind drove us back to the shelter of the dunes, where we continued barefoot through the forest to the bike. From here we walked round a small lake covered in lillies, many of them in full flower, it was quite a sight!

    We'd done about 7km in total, not much, but enough of an excuse to reward ourselves with icecream back at Martha Motorhome. On these fine summer days we really enjoy the fact we have a small freezer in the van!
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  • Day757

    Sæby harbour

    July 23 in Denmark

    Out of our front window Arctic Terns are shrieking as their lithe bodies turn into torpedos, dive bombing the water and often emerging with a wriggling flash of silver between their beaks. They are joined in the air by Herring and Black-backed Gulls and bizarrely, a hoard of ladybirds! The bugs crawl across our van, prompting us to pull the flyscreens over the open windows and door to keep them out. Vicky is wary, one of them has already bitten her arm!

    We are parked up in Sæby harbour and have paid 150kr (€18) for the privilege, our most expensive overnight tarif for a long time! The waterfront development extends over a large area, with a sea wall along which fishers are lined up with their rods. Traditional red wooden huts run adjacent to the vans and act as storage or workshops for the repair of boat and fishing equipment. The moorings are full with a diverse range of boats, from casual day trippers to vintage fishing vessels, elegant sailing yachts and 'flaunt it to the world' pleasure cruisers; huge beasts of boats with luxury seating areas and shiny railings. Different flags fly from the vessels as their engines guide them gently in and out of the marina. Many are Danish, but we also spot a fair few Norwegian, Swedish and German. The vans parked alongside us are also from these countries as well as a couple of Dutch and an Italian one.

    We were lucky to get a place looking out over the water when we arrived straight from Skagen in the mid afternoon. There is no shade, so Will went out and joined the fishers while Vicky filled up with water from one of the harbour's long hosepipes, got the van as well ventilated as possible and stayed with Poppy, looking over our photos and videos. After a while, Will came to the door with a 'very pretty' little fish, asking if she knew what it was. Neither of us did at that point but he later returned, having caught a second. 'Do you think it could be a Weever fish?' he asked. This one, it appeared, had got its own back and stabbed him with its venemous dorsal spines. Vicky got on the internet and positively identified it as a Weever, reading through the long list of possible symptoms (significant pain, itching, swelling, heat, redness, numbness, tingling, nausea, vomiting, joint aches, headaches, abdominal cramps, lightheadedness, increased urination, and tremors). Finally she got to the bit that recommended heat be applied, so made Will sit down with his finger in a cup of very hot water for 10 minutes; a cure that worked well enough for him to go back and start fishing again. Weevers will bury themselves in the sand in shallow water and lie in wait for their prey. Injuries often occur when they are trodden on by unsuspecting paddlers enjoying a splash around.

    Towards the evening Vicky spotted a lifeboat speeding out of the harbour mouth and we both saw it return sometime later with a white haired man and a boy of around 8 with their kayaks. They were both wrapped in blankets but able to walk to the waiting ambulance.

    After tea we headed into town for a drink. We knew from Park4Night that we needed to pay our overnight fee at a ticket machine that was hidden away some distance from the van. The place wasn't well signed and we had to wend our way through a large crowd of elderly people, to beside a stage where an ageing live band was performing. The harbour was heaving with its temporary residents, many of them a nutty shade of brown, perusing the high priced clothes shops or sitting outside the many eateries with cool glasses of beer or white wine.

    The area is really an additional village for the summer visitors, but we wanted to get away from the main tourist trawl, so headed into town where the streets were quiet. We passed the Lanternen pub whose music blasting out made Vicky a little nervous, so we carried on. However the Italian eateries on the square lacked character so we returned to Lanternen and Vicky at least, was pleased to find it had quietened down. We ordered two 'Royal' beers, choosing the 'mellem' sized one out of the little, medium and large glasses. According to our guide book Danes often accompany beer with an akvavit chaser. We therefore did as the Danes do and asked for a Danish brand, being given a couple of glasses of the fennel flavoured Linie spirit (of Norwegian origin).

    Strolling back to the van, happy with our experience, we caught the sun setting over the masts of boats moored at our harbour; a beautiful sight.

    The following morning we visited the Lady from the Sea; a sculpture in the harbour area inspired by Henrik Ibsen's play of the same name, written after a stay here. Will had to brag that he ahad recently read the book! Making our way into the pretty town we passed hollyhocks and roses growing against earthy yellow, timber framed houses. More than a few doorsteps or back yards displayed second hand or craft items for sale and at several points the pavements were lined with canvas paintings propped up against walls. As with many Danish towns, Sæby was clean and attractively presented, its highstreet had good quality products on sale in jewellery shops, cookery and homeware stores and clothes boutiques. Its stand out feature was definitely its focus on the creative sector. Paintings, ceramics and glassware were first and foremost, but handmade jewellery, wood craft and yarn based works featured too. We even stumbled accross an atmospheric former barn that had been repurposed as a space for independents to display and sell their work.

    The stalls and shop windows were enjoyable to peruse, but the heat of the day tired us quickly so we rounded our visit off with a trip to a café for icecream. We failed to find anwhere that sold sundays which Vicky had taken a fancy to, but we got a triple stacked cone each from a friendly place with shaded outdoor tables. One of the flavours we chose was liquorice- something that neither if us had tried before but seems to be a big thing up here. Is it anywhere else we wonder? It was delicious so we certainly hope so!
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  • Day759

    We've squashed Martha Motorhome up into the shady corner made by two tall hedges because we are trying to hide from the heat. This area of Denmark provides a lot of picnic spots where people are happy for you to stay overnight. This one has an apple tree whose fruits are not yet ripe and a Mirabelle wild plum, whose fruits are deliciously in season. Will picked a punnet of them for us to munch on.

    After the first night we took a trip into Aalborg, a city on the Limfjord. Will has become adept at looking ahead and finding good places to park for city visits. Today he had programmed in an open parkland near the zoo, where there was a small amount of shade. We arrived just after 11am and were able to nab the last tree covered spot, thus keeping the van as cool as possible for Poppy. The park even had picnic benches with metal holders for your bbq! The only disadvantage was that it was up a hill - a bit of a rarity in Denmark! We enjoyed the ride down and loved the provision for bikes as we cycled in; seperate lanes, traffic lights and racks when we got to the station.

    As we wandered around Aalborg's shopping precinct, we found it had the same peaceful quiet as so many of the Danish settlements we have visited. There were enough people to breathe life into the streets, but not so many as to stifle. On one of the wide, well planned and kept city thoroughfares we found a haberdashery to keep Vicky occupied, but no music shop for the guitar strings Will was looking to buy.

    Our tummies were beginning to rumble so we began to look for a place to eat. Vicky found a café that she liked but Will didn't and Will found a pub that upon further investigation, neither of us liked. Looking on the Happy Cow app (a Trip Advisor for eateries with veggie options) we entered a sandwich shop into the map and began making our way toward it, only to stumble upon We Feat, a purely organic hipster café serving salad bowls, fresh juices and smoothies. Will enjoyed 'The Hottie' with pulled beef and chillis and Vicky had the morish Summer Bowl with falafel and watermelon, accompanied by a Green Gun juice of avocado, lemon, ginger, spinach and apple. It was scrumptious!

    Aalborg is built on the banks of the Limfjord so following lunch we meandered down to the waterfront. The area had obviously been spruced up but it was time to make our way back to Poppy, so we backtracked to the station and cycled up the hill significantly more slowly than we had come down. The heat and final steep incline beat us, but we loved the freedom of being able to ride most of the way.

    We hadn't managed to find any guitar strings for Will, but when driving through the suburbs we spotted a music shop with room to park. Job done - thank you Aalborg!

    We'd been running low on LPG for a while, so leaving the city we visited two petrol stations that the Fuelio app said sold LPG. They didn't. Checking the MyLPG.eu webpage, we discovered there were only 5 stations in Denmark that sold the gas we need for our fridge, cooking and water heating, the nearest being 200miles down south! Oops! We don't have a guage to tell us how much we have left, but after having a think, we decided to return to the picnic slot we stayed at last night then make our way slowly towards the fuel station. We could cover the distance in a day if necessary and didn't want to cut short our time in this beautiful part of the country unless it was necessary.
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  • Day754

    It is early morning. The occasional far away car can be heard, but otherwise the soundscape is made up of the calls of swallows, chirps of woodland birds and rustle of wind in the trees (oh, and our gas fired fridge that has just clicked to life)! The field ahead of us has been harvested for hay, but the sandy wheat still stands in the one beyond that. We are nestled in a clearing on the edge of Kajholm plantage (forest) in what is signed as an 'overnatningsplads' (overnighting place). Nearby, but out of sight, is one of Denmark's free camping grounds, with a wooden hut, cooking and toilet facilities. Many are only accessible on foot or bike but this one has a small area for people to drive and leave their cars. We aren't sure whether we are technically allowed to be here without staying in the hut, but nobody has asked us to move.

    We set off yesterday from our seaside spot and headed for Løkken. According to the Lonely Planet, this town had a great kite surfing beach and a lighthouse that has been overtaken and almost engulfed by the marching sand dunes. It sounded interesting! Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones who thought so and when we arrived the place was heaving. We couldn't see the designated area we had been due to stop and the streets and car parks were jammed up with people who had got there before us. We spent a short while searching for a parking place but quickly decided we didn't want to stay. On the outskirts we found a supermarket and Will popped in for supplies before we left the hustle and bustle behind.

    Standing in contrast to Løkken, the quiet of Kajholm Plantage was doubly appreciated! The mature mixed forest even protected us from the wind that had blown constantly at the coast. Vicky needed to rest and we had accidentally used up nearly all our data downloading updates for the sat nav, so we spent the day reading books, crocheting (Vicky), playing the flute, exploring and picking wild raspberries for tea (Will). A few people came and went; a long distance walker with a huge rucksack, a man and child on bikes, dog walkers and a family of three with cool boxes and mats.

    Before leaving we took a wander down the well signed forest trail to the campground. It looked like a boy scout's dream come true! Solid cuts of wood with a rich reddish brown had been used to build a sheltered eating area, open air picnic tables, two grass rooved, raised sleeping huts, a compost toilet hut and benches alongside a fire trough, over which was suspended a height adjustable cooking grill. A drinking water standpipe stood in the corner next to another crop of wild raspberries. There was even a saw and a log splitter, although the latter was unfortunately out of action. We found it flabbergasting that all this was a free public resource! On a previous summer in Denmark we'd cooked and slept at a similar site with a much younger Poppy, but she is too old and tired for all that now and we wouldn't want to leave her in the van by herself all night while we camped out. Still, the idea is a fun one and parking in the car park provided us with a very peaceful retreat.
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  • Day758

    Hals

    July 24 in Denmark

    From one harbourside overnighter to another, we've driven a short distance from the luxury marina at Sæby to the working harbour here at Hals. It isn't an official motorhome area, but comments left on Park4Night by a resident said the town doesn't mind vans staying, enjoying the area and shopping in town.

    A shallow bay lined with reeds spreads out in front of us; Will has tried fishing but the weeds make it difficult. To our right, a black wood community centre with a pyramidal roof stands empty and a row of yellow painted huts lead along the left side of the marina. The boats here are more practical than the cruisers at Sæby, many of them focused on fishing. A huge beige ship, that we believe is a ferry, is moored to a large concrete wall beyond them.

    There was no shade so we took it easy after arriving in the afternoon, putting ice packs near Poppy's bed to cool the air. Will cooked up the three Weever fish he had gone on to catch after being stung by one yesterday. They were pretty bony but tasted good.

    The following morning dawn saw a great burning ball of vermillion bridge the horizon just after 5am. It was going to be another hot one!

    Part of the reason we chose Hals was for the Wednesday market mentioned on Park4night. There were a few food stalls under cover at the sea side of town, making us think that it was just a small affair, but beyond these we found a buzz of activity in the streets. It seemed the whole population had stepped out to sell their wares, with people coming from far and wide to trade alongside the locals. As well as the roving traders, shops extended their square footage to outside stalls, homes spilled out onto tables and gardens opened their gates for people to peruse the goods they offered. We kept approaching corners, thinkng we had reached the end, only to discover another street was buzzing with life from this weekly phenomenon. The number of independents selling their second hand goods meant it was a cross between a market and a car boot sale. There were so many different stalls it was difficult to take in all the items each displayed. We love this sort of thing, but by the end, even for us, it was verging on being too much! We came away with some smoked mackerel, locally made honey, fresh cherries and peas from a market gardener originally from Brighton and Vicky found some wool and toy stuffing in one of the yarn stores.

    We were in two minds about whether to stay a second night, but the baking temperatures drove us to move on and seek shade. Before leaving, Vicky emptied our small box of rubbish in a bin and was grumbled at by an ill tempered old man who stuck his head out of one of the huts and called over the car park 'is it full yet?'. We hardly ever get anyone showing ill feeling towards us, but it is upsetting when somebody does, even though we don't believe we did anything wrong.
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  • Day761

    Martha Motorhome is once again sitting in the shade of tall trees. They are pines this time, lining the gravel track leading into a large forest area. At 8,000ha Rold Skov (Rold Forest) is the second largest in Denmark and along with Madum Sø, the lake just 150m away, is a site of international importance for nature.

    It wasn't a long drive to get here from our picnic area stopover. We popped in to empty and fill the van with water at a motorway service area before visiting an Aldi to return our bottles to the deposit machine and stock up, indulgently placing a large iced pastry called a Dagmar Tart into the trolley; they seem very popular here.

    Arriving at Rold Skov, Will followed the forest path to a clearing at the edge of the lake and joined the other bathers. Despite being in the shade, the van heated up. The temperatures here are similar to in the UK, sometimes warmer sometimes cooler. Poppy couldn't make it as far as the lake but later on we stood her outside the bathroom window and set the shower hose on her. Unfortunately she didn't enjoy it like we did our afternoon swim. The lake water was so warm that Vicky didn't even hyperventilate when she took the plunge (and that is saying something!) The blue sky and tree lined shore made for a beautiful setting.

    A maze of trails wove through the forest but the hot weather sapped our energy and we didn't want to risk doing too much activity in the sun, so took it easy until the evening. A blood moon was due to rise some time after 9pm and by our calculations there was a good possibility we'd be able to see it over the lake. When we got to the clearing, some bathers were emerging from the water and another couple sitting on the bank. Little neon blue Damselflies zipped around the long grasses and when we sat down and looked up, large golden Dragonflies buzzed in the lofty heights of the silver birch canopy. Oh, and a few mosquitos buzzed menacingly just above the water surface. There was no sign of the moon but the other couple, Louise and Tonny, were friendly and we got chatting. They'd brought their phone with them and gave us updates on where the moon should be. They wondered whether a wildfire 30km NE of here had anything to do with the unexpected clouds. The fire had been extinguished on the surface but had ignited the peat bogs underneath, meaning it may break ground at any point.

    A few people came and went as we sat and watched the clouds rising over the far shore. They seemed to be taunting us; the higher the moon climbed, the higher they reached. After a while Bibi arrived, then Thomas and 6 sets of eyes watched the skies. At 10:30pm we called time and went for a last dip. The skies had darkened but the orange glow of the sun burning below the horizon could still be seen through the silhouettes of the pines, as we swam in the warm waters. We had really enjoyed the company and the experience of sitting out as dusk fell, even though we hadn't got to see the moon.

    Vicky had gone to bed when the knock came at our door. 'The moon is out now, if you want to see it!' We hadn't asked him to, but Tonny had trekked 150m along the dark forest path away from the moon to tell us it was visible! We excitedly grabbed the camera and hurried down to the lake where, if we stood knee deep in the water, we could clearly see the red tinged moon as it was moving into partial eclipse! We hope we expressed how grateful we were to have been told about it! We watched, chatted and photographed as the earth's shadow covered the distant orb, feeling incredibly fortunate, especially when the red dot of Mars rose over the treeline too! We'd stayed up later than planned and been bitten by mosquitos, but what an amazing evening.
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  • Day762

    Mariager Fjord, near Hobro

    July 28 in Denmark

    Fluffy white clouds provide intermittent shade but the forecast thunderstorm hasn't materialised. A gentle evening breeze blows, but the air is so warm it doesn't seem to be making much difference. Saying that, we all appear to be acclimatising to the hike in temperatures. We are sitting in our camp chairs in a grassy clearing on the shore of Mariager Fjord; a long wide estuary with the town of Hobro at its head a few kilometres away. Poppy has gone back indoors, she has enjoyed a paddle and a lay out on her mat, but tiredness has overtaken her and she needs her bed.

    It was a long single track, gravel road with low hanging tree branches that scraped along the roof to get here, but it was well worth it. Several kayaks were docked on the shore when we arrived and their occupants were making use of the covered wooden picnic table in the edge of Hobro Skov; the forest that borders the shore. As soon as he could, Will went for a fish in our canoe, while Vicky feasted on slices of the watermelon that had been cooling in the fridge.

    After lunch we both paddled downriver for an hour. Although we travelled with the flow of freshwater, the estuary was so vast and the sea such a long way away that the current wasn't noticeable. The wind and waves were the dominant forces and they were against us, giving our muscles a satisfyingly challenging workout. There were a dozen or so kayaks on the water, most looked like they were from a hire company we passed in town. The scenery reminded us a little of Lake Bala in Wales, with hills leading down to the water's edge, great swathes of them covered in dark leafy woodland. We docked in the lee of a small headland and climbed out onto the pebbly beach. At intermittent points along the shore we had seen picnic tables, benches and little huts for walkers or boaters to use. Here there was a pallet bench for Vicky to rest on while Will swam. The return journey was significantly faster with the wind and waves helping us along, which was just as well as Vicky's hand was beginning to blister! Nonetheless it was brilliant to get out in Little Green again. For one reason or another we'd not managed to do as much canoeing as we'd hoped so far this summer, therefore we were doubly appreciative of the opportunity.

    Mid afternoon we were joined by two other vans and a large family who came to use the firepit and picnic area. Everyone was friendly but the kids and standard black poodle from one of the vans noisily ran amok. We'd given up hope of rain, but late evening brought flashes of lightening, ground moving rumbles of thunder and gloriously fat drops of rain that bounced off the fjord and saturated everything they touched. Like for so many people, it was the first proper rain we'd had in a long time and we were overjoyed to see it. The only slight downside was that when Vicky had climbed up on top of the van to fetch the canoe, she'd discovered the cap to our oven flue was missing, leaving a 6cm wide hole in the roof. We didn't cover it for fear of carbon monoxide poisoning, but we were left with a wet rug in the morning. It had probably been ripped off by low hanging branches, so before leaving we walked up the track to see if we could spot it, but to no avail. We'll have to see if we can buy another.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

North Denmark Region, North Denmark, Region Nordjylland, Jutland-du-Nord, Nordjylland

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