Denmark 12-14 August 2012:
We arrived after a very smooth trip across the North Sea in Esbjerg on the west coast of Denmark. Being a Sunday, the roads were almost empty and we weaved our way north-ish through back country lanes and along the roads hugging narrow strips of land between lakes and the coast. Our first impressions were of a very flat country of exceptional neatness.
Inland, farmhouses were in pristine condition with beautiful gardens and all machinery neatly put away. Fields of pleasing greenness, all regimented and tidy. Roads, though sometimes narrow, in magnificent condition - not a pothole to be seen nor a ragged edge to annoy.
The coast drive did not allow us to see the North Sea. High dunes hug the shore and the road hugs the dunes. After a while it all looked the same and so we preferred to drive inland.
By the afternoon we had reached the northern coast and we booked into a very large campsite not too far from Hirtshals from where our ferry is to leave for Iceland. What a campsite! After a month of sites in Morocco, this is a palace! The little village it is in is pretty but not overly interesting… the tourist guide says of Tversted: 'in Tversted it is nice just to be there'. Not exactly a resounding wrap for the place! But the beach is close by and we discovered that everyone drives right onto the beach - so we did too.
The next day we headed for the most northerly point of Denmark called Grenen. It takes half an hour or so to walk out along the long sand spit that marks the divide between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Despite the fact that Danish school holidays were finished, there was a steady, and large, number of people heading out to the point. Large trailers filled with people and towed by huge tractors transported those who didn't fancy the walk. Ships littered the sea all around on water not as cold as we expected but as clear as glass.
Skagen, the town just south of Grenen, is an artists' hub with many galleries. A pretty town where almost every house - and every warehouse on the harbour too - is painted a soft ochre yellow. A few really break out of the mould and are white - and we even saw two houses painted grey! It was probably buzzing last weekend, the last of the school holidays, but it was a quiet spot in general. We tried our first typical Danish meal, buying a hot dog from a food truck parked in the mall. It was making a fortune - everyone was getting one for lunch.
Tomorrow, a new adventure; we will be returning to Denmark a couple of times in the next few months but next we head off on the ferry to Iceland.