Climbing to the top of Denmark…

 

Again, jetlag played around with me, and this morning, I was up at 4 o’clock, before the sun even thought of peeking over the horizon… But the ever-present birds of Silkeborg were already rehearsing, and I caught them preparing for the amazing day to come!

 

 

After a couple of hours more, sleeping soundly under my comfy duvet, the sun was up, the sky was blue, and before getting ready for a day of adventures, I was treated with a tall glass of vitamins with a gingery punch by my host.

 

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Skål!

 

The weather was perfect for a boat trip to my next must-see spot: Himmelbjerget! So my host and I walked downtown to catch one of the excusion boats, after packing a light lunch for our hike.

 

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Canoes and kayaks can easily be rented, all around Silkeborg, but I felt a little lazy!

 

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The Hjejlen is one of the oldest paddle steamer in operation…

 

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Some people were braver than I was… Well, she was! Mouahahaha

 

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Paddle boards are also very popular on the different lakes around Silkeborg!

 

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No worries when things are “Viking-safe”!

 

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The ride from Silkeborg to Himmelbjerget is about 1h15 long, and our little excursion had a couple of stops in different villages along the way. I highly recommend to sail your way to Himmelbjerget if you decide to go see it from your eyes… The journey is definately worth it! Such a quiet, and relaxing trip on the calm water…

 

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And after a little more than an hour of sailing, there it was on the horizon… “Heaven Mountain”… The peak of Denmark!

 

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A little geographic lesson, before we take our hike up Himmelbjerget.

Denmark is the 4th flattest country in the world. Not in Scandinavia, not in Europe… In the world! It has its advantages… It probably made it much easier build a railroad network around the country, and it is definately a plus if you decide to bike yourself around Vikingland. But if you love tall mountains, you’ll soon find out that your options to reach Denmark’s heights, are very few.

Himmelbjerget is recognized as the highest point in Denmark. But if you’ve done a little research online, you probably know that this is not really accurate.

Ejer Baunehøj is, at 170 meters above sea level. But although scientifics gave Ejer Baunehøj the (not so) impressive title, back in 1874, most people will still agree that Himmelbjerget is the real deal (although being 23 meters short of the gold medal).

 

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Welcome to Himmelbjerget!

 

Although 147 meters might sound like a smooth hike, don’t be fooled. The walk up the summit is rather steep, and you might need a couple of breaks to have a sip of water and catch your breath, if you are not top shape!

But it is well worth the effort, and you’ll see that the view gets more and more amazing as you make your way to the very top.

 

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Tower at the top of Himmelbjerget.

 

A little boutique is waiting for you at the top of the mountain, selling all kinds of reminders of your heroic way up. You can also climb an extra couple of stairs to visit the top of the tower for a reasonable 10 Kroner (2$).

Time to enjoy the amazing postcard view, from the peak of Denmark!

 

 

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Just a couple of minutes of walk down the peak of Himmelbjerget, you’ll find the mountain’s Hotel, where you can enjoy a good meal or just a cup of tea or coffee, in the middle of a couple of more souvenir shops, a children playground and a nice picnic area.

 

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Almost there… But there’s no rush, right?

 

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Kid friendly, as most Danish attractions are.

 

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The Himmelbjerget Hotel

 

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Of course, everything good in life has an end, and after taking a little snack, and enjoying a nice tea on the hotel’s terasse, it was time to walk our way back down to our boat stop.

 

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My chance-encountered fur friend seemed disappointed I had to leave, too!

 

And here are some of the last sights on our way back to Silkeborg…

 

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Yet another fun day spent in Denmark… And tomorrow, I’m going to Hobro, and you don’t want to miss this Viking historic site!

Beautiful day in Silkeborg…

 

 

Today, my host here in Silkeborg, took me for a long walk, in and around town. What is most impressive about Silkeborg, is that within one or two minutes, you can go from the heart of the city, and find yourself in the forest, by the water.

 

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Welcome to my quiet neighbourhood, in Silkeborg!

 

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Silkeborg is not a very touristic destination. If you are looking into spending some time in Denmark, it certainly wasn’t in your top ten list of must-see cities. I won’t blame you, this is my fourth visit to Vikingland, and Silkeborg was a surprise in my improvised tour!

To say the truth, it wasn’t even my idea… Not long before I flew over from Canada, I had posted an ad on the CouchSurfing site, stating that I would soon be in Denmark, and would appreciate if people offered to host me for a couple of days, to discover new places!

And that’s how I found my room in the middle of Jutland.

When I told my Helsingør host that I was moving to Silkeborg, she assured me I would enjoy my stay… It was all about nature. Luscious forests and lakes all around. And she was absolutely right.

But first, a little walk downtown!

In every city in Denmark, you’ll find at least a torv, or torvet, which means “square”. And it is the place to start, if you want to take the city’s beat. During my stay, there was a market at torvet… International delicacies from around the world, people selling all kinds of craftings…

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Right across torvet, you can find a building I assume to be the late city hall. It is now a restaurant, but the building still looks stunning.

 

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And I’d like to tell you more about the cute small statue surounded with fountains, that is sitting just in front of it, but all I found online was its name…

 

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Drengen og skidpadden (simply “The boy and the turtle”)

 

Two churches can be found right in the heart of Silkeborg too. Silkeborgs Kirke is a Lutherian Church…

 

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A mothers/toddlers meeting was taking place when we walked in… And I didn’t want to disturb anyone, so these are the only pictures I got the chance to take.

 

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Silkeborg’s Catholic Church

 

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I can’t help but light a candle whenever I can…

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Impressive organ, given the size of the town…

 

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This picture doesn’t do justice to the beautiful stained-glass windows… Sorry!

 

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We then walked through Kulturhusets most colorful backyard. Hosting different live shows, artistic exhibitions and popular gatherings, I could easily understand why the locals enjoyed getting together in this very special place!

 

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Kærlighed, litterally “Love” tagged on one of Kulturhusets walls.

 

Just a couple of minutes of walk, away from Kulturhuset, we walked out of the city, and into the woods.

 

 

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I must say, one of the most memorable things I’ll take with me from the Silkeborg area, is the constant singing of the birds, at all times of day (and night). If you don’t manage to relax, sitting by the water, enjoying this view… Well, you need professional help, my friend!

 

 

 

Just like anywhere else, in Denmark, design, and art in general is omnipresent. Danes like pretty things (don’t we all?) and they make sure to suround themselves with them, in the privacy of their homes, and in public areas… Here are a couple of examples.

 

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Pretty hand painted rocks on sale!

 

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Camel sculpture at the public library.

 

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Amazing mural overlooking a hot dog stand… Hmmm Hot dogs!

 

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View from the heart of Silkeborg to the lake…

 

Another thing I love about Danes is their very particular humor. Unless they are drunk, most Danes don’t give the impression of being very expressive people. But Danish humor is very straight forward and playful. The contrast makes if really funny… At least to me!

 

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Knock knock? Or not… LOL (Danes are very welcoming people, just sayin’)

 

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Stress reliever poo-poo anyone?

 

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Translation: ”Grrr no poo-poo here!” You’ve been warned!

 

One last stop on our way back home… Not an unusual sight, but it is still surprising to see the quality of some of the furniture left on the side of the road, for the taking.

 

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Translation ”Free! Take what you can use”

 

And tomorrow… We’re going to the top of Denmark! At long last…