De Små Fisk Park, BrassøAugust 7 in Denmark
We've found a spot for the night at the busy De Små Fisk park in the heart of Denmark's Lake District. Vehicles come and go from the large gravel car park, bordered by a pine woodland. Between us and Brassø (Bras Lake) is an area of grassland with picnic benches and some metal open canoes (free for anyone to use). Families share food, play games and cool off in the lake. Adjacent to this is a toilet block with outdoor sink and standpipe, providing drinking water for those staying at the free campground, either in tents or in one of the raised wooden sleeping huts.
When we arrived, Will soon made use of the fenced off bathing area. There were signs warning of blue-green algae, advising you not to swim if you couldn't see your feet when standing knee deep in the water. The algae was present in the lake but not at this high concentration. All the same, Vicky didn't want to risk it and instead spent the afternoon in the van making 'no cook' vegan ferrero rocher bites, that Will had to admit were tasty. People continued arriving even after 10pm but there was no problem with noise.
We had considered taking a ferry from De Små Fisk to Himmelbjerget (Sky Mountain); one of Denmark's highest spots at a cloud topping 147m above sea level! Ok, so its no Ben Nevis, but we were keen to climb it. Unfortunately the itinerary of the ferry meant that when we got there it would almost be time to come back for Poppy so we gave it a miss, even though one of the ferries, Hjejlen, was the world's oldest operating paddle steamboat.
The following day was forecast to be a sweltering 30°C. By now we have become adept at keeping the van as cool as possible by parking in shady spots, opening windows and vents, closing blinds, putting out ice packs and warming water on the hob instead of using the less efficient hot water tank, but we were still worried Poppy would overheat.
When we'd done all we could to prevent the van from getting too hot and doused our grumpy dog in cold water, we popped our canoe on its wheels and trundled it down to the lakeside, where there was a specific canoe launching spot. The moorings at the small wooden pier were already taken with 4 of the metal canoes, but it was easy enough to get our Little Green in from the bank. Brassø was also busy with groups of kayakers and canoes not to mention the Great Crested Grebes diving in search of fish.
We paddled accross the small lake and up a channel that the sight seeing ferry disappeared into. A while back we'd done a canoeing holiday on the Norfolk Broads and the area reminded us of this, although the Danish Lake Distrct is made up of more lakes and fewer channels than is the case with the Broads.
The passage we paddled through was lined with pleasure craft, tied securely to a variety of jetties that protruded from long, well kept gardens and sought after holiday homes. Several small boats were out and about, but there was a speed limit of '8 knob' (knots) so they weren't going too fast.
Emerging into the Borre Sø lake, we paddled around Borre Ø, one of the many tree covered islands that lay waiting to be explored. At this point it began to rain but even though it was quite heavy, the temperature was so warm that it was a pleasant sensation.
Despite it being busy, we enjoyed our stay at De Små Fisk and are increasingly falling in love with Denmark for providing areas like this, with camping facilities and access to swimming, canoeing and walking.Read more