New in Denmark

In the world of Karen Blixen

Karen Blixen or Isak Dinesen, depending on which part of the world you come from, is one of the greatest individuals Denmark has given to the world of literature.

It was only recently that we discovered her house-museum on the whiskey belt of Zealand – in Rungsted.

It is a very charming setting – the family’s old farm house down by the coast, surrounded by a beautiful piece of nature.

One part of it is a museum exhibiting her books, her memorabilia and different interesting facts about her life. Another part of it is the actual house she was born and raised, and spent the last years of her life upon returning from Africa. Yet a third part houses a cosy café and a bookstore, where you can buy many of her books and the replica iconic hat she was so fond of wearing.

Karen Blixen had an adventurous soul, and the place somehow managed to give us a glimpse into her soul. It couldn’t convey her whole personality, but it could make you understand how much more there was.

A large forest and a small pond hides behind the house. A few hundred meters into the forest you can also find her gravestone on a small hill under a towering tree. It is a beautiful and very peaceful setting. Probably something she would have liked.

Watching the movie Out of Africa based on her book, was a good way for us to continue the journey into Karen Blixen’s world. If you ever find yourself in the area, a visit to the house-museum is highly recommended. They also offer guided tours.

Photos © Andreas Eriksen & Ani Movsisyan

The mystery of the missing blogger…

My Dearest Readers!

The last time you heard from me was December when I was bombarding you with 24 Days of Danish Christmas and jumping from a chair into 2015… Apologies for the radio silence! On the personal front, this past winter has been a rollercoaster. But – hey ho – onwards and upwards…

On the bright side, I’m back at my writing desk, pencil sharpened, reporter’s notebook ready and raring to go! Having mulled over various new projects, two weeks ago I had an epiphany. And will be (boldly) going where I’ve never gone before. I’ve decided to step out in faith and [deep breath] write my first ever novel – a cozy mystery!  I ♥ reading cozies – now it’s time for me to write my own! (If you’re not familiar with the genre, lookie here.) Off with my blog hat and on with a deerstalker and a magnifying glass… Who knows what I’ll find?

I hate to leave you in the lurch but – after five solid years of blogging here at denmark.dk – there should plenty in my archives to keep you entertained until I return. Yep, I’ve written so many posts (over 300 at last count) that even I forget what I’ve covered over the years… Try not to get lost in the stacks! ;)

 

Happy reading! See you on the bathing bridge!

Diane :)

 

Tisvilde Hegn – where the forest meets the beach

Zealand is so much more than its pretty capital, København. It is castles, cliffs, small and picturesque towns… It is also vast forests that suddenly open up into wild waters of sea. This latter kind of landscape is what I associate with Denmark most. Forests-turn-beaches!

If we didn’t live in the era of Google Maps and well maps in general, I imagine the surprise we would experience when under our feet the mushy soil of forests transforms into sand of Danish beaches… when the pine trees disappear into sand dunes… when the green forest veil is lifted up and blown away by the undulating waves of the sea. This scenery amazes me every single time.

Tisvilde Hegn, nested on the northwestern shores of Zealand, is one such place. Well it is actually more, to the perfect forest & beach union it also adds a touch of history, with fortress ruins and lost villages.

Asserbo Slotsruin

Asserbo Slotsruin – here once stood a fortress and a monastery, in the 1100s. Some 600 years later it surrendered to the mighty sands blowing from the beach.

Into the deep, deep forest

Forest elves holding a meeting

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Stillness of nature

Love in the forest – our Lithuanian friends, Karolis & Aiste

Believe it or not here once stood a small village with rich and not-so houses. But there came the sands again and took control. Pity for the owners, true, but on the other hand, the beautiful forest now stands intact.

Feels like a Game of Throne’s scene, but thankfully it isn’t, otherwise the flocks of fans would have already attacked this peaceful forest. It is a typical viking grave site.

At the end of this mushy forest path a surprise awaits…

… the wild waters of Kattegat! It was crazy windy, incredibly beautiful and peacefully deserted.

Embracing the wildness!

Feel the power!

Looks like we are searching for something…

The sea is bathing.

 

Harmony

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Sunset on the beach – looks very idyllic, what it doesn’t show is that we were quite close to being blown away by the frosty winds of the sea.

Photos © Andreas Eriksen & Ani Movsisyan

Walking in wintery København

Strolling is my favourite mode of discovering the new and the familiar. From an efficiency point of view it is not the best choice, from the Danish point of view it is quite crazy, considering I prefer stomping on my feet more than I do on pedalling my bike.

Here are a few impressions from our Sunday stroll around the lakes. The blue of the water was truly mesmerizing. It was so lovely to feel the sun on your face and see its rays dance on the water.

Duckies on a nice hygge stroll on Copenhagen lakes

Dronning Louises Bro – The favourite hangout of Copenhageners

Blishøne 1: I am small, but I am determined!

Duck: I am deep in thought!

Blishøne 2: I am beautiful, ain’t I?

Winter reflections

Like a graceful ballerina

Hanging out

Winter shapes and reflections

Photos © Andreas Eriksen & Ani Movsisyan

Stevns Klint – Denmark’s UNESCO, a collapsing church and dramatic nature

Sense of beauty leads to castles, quest of adventure brings to impressive elements of nature. Of course you should neither expect a breathtaking sight as of the Bavarian pride Neuschwanstein, nor will you find a piece of Grand Canyon in Denmark. Here the beauty shines through modesty, both in castles that dot the country, as well as the natural landmarks, of which this little country has plenty. After all it is home to 5 UNESCO sites!

Margueritruten here we come again…

Where the sun shines...

Where the sun shines…

The most recent addition to UNESCO in Denmark is Stevns Klint, a 65 million year old cliff made of chalk and limestone. It is around 20 km long and there is a hiking route, which is probably very nice in the summer months. On that winter day, despite the shining sun, the winds of the sea made sure that any dreamy intentions of a nice walk along the cliffs were limited to the absolute minimum.

Stevns Klint was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2014

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Before you reach the cliff, pay attention to this beautiful church, set off a few feet away from another more ancient looking church. Yes, this little area has two churches, standing across the “street” from each other, and of course there is a reason for that. The reason is not that the other church wasn’t enough to fit all the residents of the area, nor because they belong to different religions, not even because some rich philanthropist wanted to leave his name forever engraved in the history. Nope… The real reason is rather dramatic.

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A collapsing church! It looks rather breathtaking. You would never imagine that the highly flat land suddenly takes a dramatic 40 meter descend to form the Stevns Klint. Once it was probably a good idea to put the church on this pretty cliff. Not anymore… Surely the people who built the church in 1200 could have never imagined that the land will slide one day, and one part of the church will collapse with it. The newer church was built in 1913 as erosion kept eating away the land from under the older church.

Dramatic cliffs took claim to the centuries-old religious landmark in 1928

Øresund – a beautiful scene opens up from atop the cliffs

There is a rather steep staircase by the collapsing church leading down to the cliffs. It is probably a good idea to keep a grip on the handrail, the level of grip firmness is something that you will find out once you make a step down. It was not an utterly leg-shaking, but also not light-as-a-butterfly descend.

Andreas making his way to the shore

Let your gaze wander up and up. You will discover many different layers of chalk and limestone.

In the cliff you will also find flint pieces - the stone of ancient weapons

In the cliff you will also find flint pieces – the stone of ancient weapons

The sea was rather tamed

Beautiful nature – a perfectly shaped rock has grown trapped inside an old branch

In sync

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Love is in the nature

Photos © Andreas Eriksen & Ani Movsisyan