The Hotel Royal, Gothenburg offered a delicious breakfast, including several varieties of my favourite pickled herring - tasty. I made my way to the Stena ferry terminal to catch the 08.00 ferry to Frederikshavn in Denmark. The ferry was very busy and the ship well equipped with facilities including a discount store and duty free shops. I tried out a liberal spray of the Dolce and Gabbana eau de toilette spray, only to discover it was the ladies version. Well hello, honky tonk!
It was a cooler, cloudy morning and the first time I’ve had to use my zipper, but the sun came out during the 3 hours 15 minute crossing to the top of Denmark. I caught the connecting 11.33 train to Odense. I couldn’t be in Denmark and not visit the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen could I? Again I was glad to have a place in 1st Class. The stewardess brought a flask of hot water and left it for us with a variety of coffee and teas (even green tea, Anne), and delicious violet flavoured chocolate marzipans. You don’t get that on ScotRail.
In the warm evening sunshine I had a lovely walk around the old town and a delicious steak dinner with a large glass of Merlot. Denmark, like the rest of Scandinavia, is certainly not cheap. As I walked back to my hotel I spotted a sign saying ‘Pee not here’. How did they know I was about to?
Odense really is Hans Christian Andersen town. With a dedicated museum, his birthplace and his childhood home all there to visit, I really enjoyed this charming town on the island of Funen, bang right in the middle of Denmark. It brought back happy memories of being in the show Hans Andersen with the Apollo Players at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow in 1987 - can you believe it was 31 years ago! John Sinclair was Hans, Jim French was Otto, Jane Macdonald (Waterfield) was Jenny Lind and I was Max Claus. My niece Jennifer appeared as one of the children singing Thumbelina. Happy days.
The lady in the birthplace museum was delighted to hear I was from Scotland. She smiled and recalled how she had had a happy school camping trip there in the 1970s. ‘We stayed at the beautiful village of Luss’ she explained ‘and every day I would stare at the lake, but I never did see her. I never saw my Nessie.’ I hadn’t the heart to tell her that that would be hard as she was at Loch Lomond.
Well time for the off again and continue my train travels down through Denmark and then via Hamburg, Germany to Cologne. It’s been nice, Odense - thanks for all those lovely reminders of these great fairy tales.Read more