Meet Naja, Fiona and the Others in Fjord&Baelt!

Fjord&Baelt is a research institute and a museum dedicated to local marine wildlife. There are demonstrations with porpoises and seals – Naja and Fiona are two of the seals. Porpoises are related to dolphins.Fjord&Baelt is located in the north of the island of Funen.

Part of the institute consists of aquariums, where you can touch and pet crabs and small sharks.

Through the windows in this tunnel, where you can see the seals and porpoises swimming around, but you have to be very quick if you want to photograph them. The demonstration takes place outside, and there you can easily take as many pictures as you want.

We found the demonstration to be very informative and fun!

There is a gift shop, and you can buy something to eat and drink. Half a day should suffice for a visit. If you want to spend more time in cozy Kerteminde, have a look at this website. And here you can more practical information about Fjord&Baelt.

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Contemporary Art In The Danish Sky

Denmark is home to some remarkable museums and our favorite is ARoS in Aarhus:

If you are interested in modern and contemporary art – Danish and international, this is the place to be in Denmark!

When you arrive at the museum, this is what it looks like:

The massive circular object on top of the building is actually a work of art! It’s called Your Rainbow Panorama and was constructed by Icelandic – Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. It’s accessible both by staircase and elevator. When you arrive at the roof, you can admire some magnificent views of the city.

Yes, it’s challenging for people suffering from vertigo, but believe me, it’s worth it!

Once you are in the artwork itself, it’s a very overwhelming experience. You are immersed in the different colors, and you feel as if you are part of the cityscape.

If you are an art lover, and you love to take your time in a museum, you can easily spend half a day in ARoS, if not more. By the way, if you love installation art, be sure to check out the lowest floor and Bill Viola’s Five Angels for the Millennium (my favorite work of art ever). The museum has a very informative (and beautiful!) website. Have a look at if before your visit. Currently, ARoS is open again.

Aarhus is a perfect destination for a city break. This website will give you more than enough ideas!

Interested in Olafur Eliasson? Find more information here!

What about you? Are you interested in (contemporary) art? Do you like to visit museums? Is this a kind of museum you would like to visit? Let us know in the comments!

See you next week with more interesting posts!

Visiting a Unique Landscape in Stevns Klint

For the last post of this week, we take you to Denmark:

“Klint” stands for “cliff”. In this case a white chalk cliff of about 17 kilometers long. Since 2014, this location belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

A church stands on top of the cliff. Due to erosion, the chancel fell into the sea in 1928.

The church – or what is left of it – dates from 1200. A new one was built in 1931, further away from the cliff.

Stevns Klint is located on the island of Zealand, to the south of Copenhagen. You can easily reach it by car. You can also visit a Cold War museum in the area.

More adventures await you next week!

What about you? Have you ever been to Stevns Klint? Or is Denmark still on your bucket list? Is this a place you would like to visit?

The Ultimate Guide to Observing the Wild Horses of Langeland – Part 1

When you hear the word “Denmark”, you probably think “Copenhagen”, “Little Mermaid”, but wild horses? You will have to do some extra driving, but believe me, it’s worth it!

Where?

Langeland is one of the smaller island of Denmark, located to the south of Fyn (the big central island). You will have to fly to Billund then instead of Copenhagen, but that gives you three advantages:

  • It’s closer to your destination.
  • You avoid the bridge between Zealand and Fyn, which is quite expensive. Instead, you drive on the bridge between Jutland and Fyn, which is free and shorter.
  • Flights to Billund are generally cheaper.

Once you reach Fyn, drive into the direction of Svendborg. From there, go further south and cross the island of Tåsinge. Here you can visit the pretty town of Troense and the impressive Valdemar Slot (castle). Continue southeast and you arrive at Langeland.

What?

It’s an island of contrasts, Langeland. Go north and you see picturesque coastal towns. The south is very different though, with fewer towns and villages and large surfaces with long, thick grass. And that grass is the reason that the Wild Horses came here. They have to eat the grass, so that the sun can reach the bottom. Thus, there will be a bigger variety of plants and animals.

Two important observations:

  • “Wild” does not mean “feral”, it does mean that the horses live with little human intervention.
  • Technically, they are not horses, but Exmoor ponies. They are less tall and especially in winter, have a thicker coat.

The horses came in 2006 in a small group (about a dozen) to Langeland. During the years, their number has grown to a herd of 60 – 70 animals. And quite unexpectedly, they have become a tourist attraction as well. But finding them can be tricky.

How?

Upon arrival, follow the 305 in the direction of Bagenkop. As soon as you approach this harbor town, you will see a windmill at your left. Follow that road and you will soon see one of the two viewpoints. And then you have to be patient!

As an aspie, I am very fond of animals, especially dogs, bears, and horses. Thus, Lars and I have observed and photographed the Wild Horses on many occasions. I will gradually publish these pictures, so expect more parts to come in the next months or years.

If you miss these 2 viewpoints, don’t worry: there is another one. Get back to the 305 and closer to Bagenkop, on your right, there is a sign to another viewpoint, located on a high steep hill!

Final remarks:

  • Langeland – and especially the south – does not have that many tourist amenities. Better try Svendborg. We always use booking.com.
  • The best seasons to see the horses are spring and summer. There is usually a strong wind, so dress warmly if you decide to go in the other two seasons.
  • The horses live in an enclosure, but there are a couple of places where you have access to them. Follow the safety measures!

Have you ever seen these horses? Would you like to? What other parts of Denmark do you like? Let us know in the comments!

Taking the Sand Worm to a Fascinating Place in Grenen

From one unique landscape to another… Not in Spain this time, but in Denmark, in a place called Grenen, the tip of the peninsula of Jutland.

So, what exactly is this Sand Worm? A picture says more than a thousand words…

After you have paid a small fee, you will be taken to the place where two seas meet: the Skaggerak (which is part of the North Sea) and the Kattegat sea. It’s a violent encounter between these two, with waves crashing into each other. The current is very strong here, hence it’s forbidden to swim.

The forces of nature have created a sandbar of about 4km long, which keeps on expanding (about 10m each year). It’s shaped like a curve and attracts about 2 million visitors on a yearly basis. This is actually one of the most popular destinations in Denmark.

If you love animals, there is another reason why you might consider paying Grenen a visit. This is one of the best spots in the country to observe birds and sea mammals, such as porpoises and common seals.

The Sand Worm has its own website with all the practical information you need, in three languages: Danish (obviously!), English, and German. This is the link to the English one.

And if you cannot get enough of Denmark, remember this?

Exploring A Movie Location – Babette’s Feast (1987)

It is quite some time ago since Lars and I have explored a movie location! This time we discuss a masterpiece in Danish cinema and a magnificent place in Denmark. If you are a nature and/or history lover, you really need to pay this place a visit!

The Movie

Some interesting facts:

  • First Danish movie to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Denmark would win twice more.
  • Director Gabriel Axel also wrote the screenplay, based on a story by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen).
  • The movie had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival of 1978 (section of Un Certain Regard). It also won a prize there. And many other awards afterward…
  • The movie features Danish, Swedish, and French actors (like Stéphane Audran, who plays Babette).

What is the movie about? It focuses on two elderly Protestant sisters, their youth, and how a French maid/cook called Babette came into their lives. The second half of the movie centers around the feast itself and its preparations. If you are interested in the menu, check this! If interested in recreating one of the courses, use Google and/or YouTube. The famous “cailles en sarcophage” are easy to prepare and are incredibly delicious (and yes, I speak from personal experience).

Have a look at the mouthwatering trailer!

Choice of Location

The original story by Karen Blixen actually takes place in Norway. Yet, when director Gabriel Axel researched locations there, he found them to be too idyllic. The north of Jutland was a better alternative. Its rough and sometimes somber atmosphere complied more with the story.

There is a lot that works in writing, but when translated to pictures, it doesn’t give at all the same impression or feeling. All the changes I undertook, I did to actually be faithful to Karen Blixen. – Gabriel Axel

The choice of Gabriel Axel ultimately fell on Mårup Kirke. This Romanesque church dates from 1250 and is located on a seaside cliff near Lønstrup. The set designer actually built the village, featured in the movie. After the production, the crew demolished it.

The Church Itself

As I said before, the church dates from the 13th century. Unfortunately, the magnificent landscape is prone to severe wind, which causes significant erosion. Until 2008, there were still services in Mårup Kirke. Afterward, it was gradually dismantled. This was done to prevent parts of the church from falling in the sea.

When Lars and I visited the region around 2012, this is how it looked like. We were absolutely thrilled to be there. Mainly because Babette’s Feast is one of our favorite movies. And we had always dreamed of visiting this location. Fulfilling this dream was an incredible feeling…

Around 2016, nature finally won. What was left of the church, is now completely gone. Of course, the breathtaking landscape that contributed a lot to the atmosphere of the movie is still there.

There are lots of smaller towns in this region of Denmark, where you will certainly find a place to stay. Best use Booking!

If you like this kind of locations, then we have some exciting news for you! Lars and I live about 100 kilometers away from one of Spain’s most famous movie locations. We have been there once, but tend to return soon in order to have more pictures. The place also happens to be one of the most unique European locations.

Two more announcements:

  • I have finally finished editing all the pictures of our recent explorations in the province of Granada. I still have to work on some videos, but at the latest on Monday, I will publish a preview!
  • Next Tuesday is Belgium’s National Holiday and this will not go unnoticed on this website either…

By the way, next week we will also be on the road again!

A Beginner’s Guide to Møns Klint

The first time I traveled to Denmark, Lars showed me this beautiful spot. Møns refers to the name of the island, Møn, whereas Klint means cliff. Given the fact that Denmark is quite flat, these cliffs are quite impressive.

Møns Klint is not one cliff: it’s a 6 kilometer stretch of chalk cliffs, some of which are more than 120 meters high. These belong to some of the highest points of the country.

The cliffs are easy to find because there are many road signs to them. Once you arrive there, more than 100 steps await you to take you to the top. It’s a bit of an exercise, but you will be rewarded with stunning views! Even when the weather isn’t so nice…

If you are in really good physical condition, you can take about 500 steps down to go to the beach – and back up!

Right next to the cliffs is GeoCenter, a museum devoted to natural history and especially the geological history of Denmark. We didn’t visit it, but you can check its website.

Tomorrow we are back with a post about our transition to Phase 1 here in the province of Granada and its impact on travelers. Hasta luego!

Celebrating Sankt Hans Aften in the North of Jutland

Sankt Hans Aften is Danish for Saint John’s Eve, the evening before the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist. This is the eve of 23 June, which Danes celebrate with bonfires, usually at the sea or a lake. There are some other traditions as well, which I will explain in this post.

In 2015 Lars and I decided to celebrate Sankt Hans Aften in the north of Jutland, near a town called Grenen. This is the place of one of the biggest and most beautiful summer solstice celebrations in Denmark. After having traveled all over Denmark for 5 years it was time to check it out.

Although this is one of the most popular destinations in Denmark to celebrate Sankt Hans Aften, we still found a parking place nearby.

On top of the pile of wood, you can see a doll resembling a witch. According to Wikipedia,

The origin of this custom is a Danish folk belief that Saint John’s Eve is also the night of a witches’ meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains in central Germany. (…)

Traditionally, the bonfires were lit to fend off witches, but today – when the witch effigy catches fire – she is said to be “flying away to Brocken”, which can be interpreted as helping the witch on her way. 

Celebrations usually start around dusk. First, there are speeches and people sing Midsommervisen (by Holger Drachmann).

This is the classic version of the song, composed in 1885. There is also a modern one, which I do not recommend listening to.

And then it’s time to light the bonfire!

During Sankt Hans Aften, people usually drink beer and eat hotdogs. This is not only a celebration of the birth of Saint John the Baptist (and not his death, by the way). The Danes also celebrate the beginning of summer and the summer holidays.

It’s our goal to go back to Denmark this year and if possible, participate in some Sankt Hans Aften celebration(s). Or maybe we will see how the Spanish celebrate this special day. Anyway, have a look at this!

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