New in Denmark

Following the trail of Tycho Brahe in Hven

This is a story that my fingers should have typed away years ago, yet for some reason it never happened, until now, that is. The typing inspiration came from a Danish food show that was filmed on the location (for Danish speaking food lovers it is a quite interesting DR show).

And now ahoy… We need to board a small ferry and do some sailing down the memory lane to reach the destination. Welcome aboard Hven ferry!

Hven ferry - the only way to get to and from the island to Copenhagen, unless of course you are in a possession of a water or air transport.

Hven ferry – the only way to get to and from the island to Copenhagen, unless of course you are in a possession of a water or air transport.

It is about our adventures in Hven, a tiny island, born Danish, bred Swedish. Squeezed in between Denmark and Sweden, in Øresund, this 300+ inhabitant island becomes a big tourist attraction for the Scandinavians, in the summer. Highlighting the word denoting the season is very important, as we have learned. Only 3 weeks into the autumn, the island was totally deserted, and without exaggeration we could have been the only visitors crazy enough to venture out there after the official travel season has ended.

Of course, if you don’t mind chasing the entire island in search of little food to fill your hunger, and end up finding the only restaurant still open with bumped up prices for a buffet choice, then autumn is a good time to visit. You have the island all to yourself, not counting the friendly islanders, who call Hven their home.

The iconic yellow bikes of the island - a great way to get around if you didn't bring your own iron horse with you.

The iconic yellow bikes of the island – a great way to get around if you didn’t bring your own iron horse with you.

Down the main island road...

Down the main island road…

Nordic idyll

These houses… felt like we were in a nordic interpretation of Hobbit’s land of Shire.

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Storm before the calm

Cruising the stormy waters

Vast, endless panomaras – this is something Hven knows how to impress you with.

Tycho Brahe was a famous Danish astronomer and nobleman, who was given an estate on the island of Hven by a Danish king to conduct his scientific studies. The island today houses his museum and the reconstructed observatory.

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The towers of beautiful København – a sight that welcomes you on the way back from Hven.

Photos © Andreas Eriksen & Ani Movsisyan

Loneliness: A hidden surprise for many!

Accepting requests of many people, I have decided to write again about my experience of Denmark and touch upon lot of pending ideas, I wanted to write once. So, here is my first coming back article.

Scene 1:
You are surrounded by people, even though it looks crowded and sometime uncomfortable; you can talk to the people and see them around you majority of time. This is the case in many countries.

Scene 2:

You arrived in Denmark and after a initial few days, do not find such crowded atmosphere and apart from your work place, may not find people to talk. Come winter and you are trapped inside your house. Even though, you got everything you came for, you started to fell lonely.

Let’s come back to reality. These scenes are not from any drama but are part of reality to many people. It is no hidden fact that Denmark is open society but to many it is also a closed one. Privacy of any individual is very much honored and no doubt that often you will find people are among themselves after working hours. This possess challenges for many people, who are used to live in social environment much more than what is on offer in Denmark.

Socializing with Danes requires an open minded attitude and as I have written in my previous article, being open minded is one of the key in adapting to live in Denmark. I have seen many other people, who are so used to their home environment, that they found it very difficult to adjust to this new reality. During the winter months, you will be forced to lock yourself inside the house. No matter, how much you try; the long winter can be difficult to cope up with. Those long dark nights can bring lot of troubles, if you are unable to cope up with the loneliness. M Though it can vary from individual to individual, feeling depression can be very normal in such scenario.

There is no denial, that Danes do socialize and you will find plenty of opportunity to talk and build communication. But first of all, it is very individual. And second, this will be slightly minimal, to what you were used to at your home country.

So, if you are coming to Denmark, then be aware of this hidden secret!!

In Hamlet’s city of Helsingør

You find so many interesting and quirky things around you when you roam the streets looking beyond what the eye can see.

A small city of Helsingør has many culturally rich experiences up its sleeve – the absolutely cool Maritime Museum, Hamlet’s famous castle – Kronborg, a really slick library, and a very charming city center with so typically Danish colourful houses. And as if these weren’t enough, it also boasts a white sand beach.

We have already been there, done all of that. So this was not a cultural pilgrimage, rather a quest to discover cool and weird details that hide around the city. Kind of like a treasure hunt, without getting materialistic about it…

Kronborg - Hamlet's castle - the royal pride of the city

Kronborg – Hamlet’s castle – the royal pride of the city.

Han - apparently someone was really jealous of the Little Mermaid!

Han – apparently someone was really jealous of the Little Mermaid! I don’t think she will approve of this impostor.

Rise and shine - marching on to the shipyard.

Rise and shine shipyard workers – a new day to greet, a new ship to build.

Such a graceful fountain!

Such a graceful fountain! Yes, it is a fountain.

Dannebrog undulating in the dark blue sky.

Dannebrog undulating in the blue sky.

Kronborg Castle in the setting sun

Kronborg Castle in the setting sun

An evening scene

A postcard from Helsingør

A postcard from Helsingør

These were some impressions from our day. What we didn’t show is how we walked around counting anchors and steps, photographing house signs, wall murals and door knobs. Gotta leave something for the imagination ;)

Photos © Andreas Eriksen & Ani Movsisyan

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 :)