Aarhus & Odense, Denmark
The drive to Aarhus, located on the water, was again flat and uninspiring. Aarhus was about twice the size of Aalborg and contained an actual shopping centre - we hadn't been inside a shopping centre in months. Not that we bought anything, but it did remind us of home. The city itself wasn't very attractive: the churches were ordinary, the main square was nothing special. There was a small canal running through the city lined by cafes, which would have been lovely on a sunny day but today was cold, overcast and devoid of people enjoying the outdoors.
We visited a free Viking museum, situated underneath a bank (we had to walk through the bank to enter it) that ended up being quite insightful. As I knew almost nothing about the Vikings, the museum provided a well-rounded introduction to the topic for me. The Nordic mythology on display was also interesting, despite not being much of an expert on mythology either.
As the city wasn't holding our attention we drove a few kilometres south to Marselisborg Park, where the royal summer palace is situated. The park itself was huge and contained beautiful, brightly coloured gardens. Once the rain subsided I walked around the palace grounds, admiring the many sculptures and looking out at views over the sea. I'm guessing it wasn't a popular place as I was the only person there.
After dinner we drove further south, where we found a spot to park next to the beach. We took a walk along the water while it was still light outside, where Danny procured a few rocks to sharpen his knives with. As the car park was at the end of a road, we thought it would be quiet. Of course, it wasn't. Apparently it was where every young person came to hang out on a Tuesday night. The cars didn't stop coming until after midnight, although I fell asleep before then. Thankfully I'm a heavy sleeper.
We noticed that the supermarkets in Denmark only seem to sell Greek feta, not Danish feta. Is that just an Australian thing we've made up?
When I woke up the next morning it was broad daylight, so I presumed it was probably time to get up. Instead I laid in bed for ages, only checking the time once Danny had woken up. It was 7 a.m. I must have woken up around 5:30 a.m. and the sun was already high in the sky at that time. I was annoyed that I was awake so early, so I went back to sleep and woke up again at 9 a.m. Life of a full-time traveller.
After finally getting up and ready, we took a quick stroll along the beach then drove to Odense, on the island of Funen, just a short bridge away. On the trip we passed many truck and campervan stops on the side of the road, providing water, waste disposal, showers, toilets, shops - everything we could ever need. Great to see Denmark embracing the campervaning lifestyle.
Once we arrived in Odense we walked through a tranquil park, where we saw the cutest baby swans swimming on a lake, to reach the pedestrianised centre. The main road seemed to go on forever and of course the tourist office was at the other end of this long street. After picking up our map, we sat at an outdoor cafe and people-watched for a while. The town was beautiful, easily the best looking town we had seen in Denmark so far. A three-piece band was playing nearby, outdoor beer gardens spilled out onto the street, and crepe and hotdog stands provided easy access to unhealthy snacks. It was a sunny day and the whole town seemed to be outdoors enjoying the summer weather.
I visited the Hans Christian Anderson museum, which covered his entire life. Danny wasn't interested so he stayed in the centre of town and drank beer instead. The museum was excellent and taught me loads I didn't know about the man. This wasn't hard, as I didn't know anything about him. There was a massive library containing all his works - it looked like he did nothing with his time but write fairy tales. Apparently he was also a fan of paper cut outs, as these were on display all over the museum. The Danes were obviously very proud of him. Afterwards, I found Danny and we bought some snacks then headed to a park for a couple of hours. We sat on the grass while eating cheese and bread, drinking wine and reading our books. It was one of my favourite afternoons.
After dinner we attempted to visit Egeskov castle, only half an hour away. We knew it would be closed but thought we could still walk around the grounds. Not only could we not walk around the grounds, we had to wait until tomorrow morning when it opened and pay roughly €21 just to enter the gardens. Not a chance we were going to do that. We sneaked a glimpse of the castle by standing on the roof of our van; that's as close as we were going to get.
To reach the island of Zealand ("Old" Zealand) the next day we needed to cross an 18 km bridge. It was huge and cost us €30 but it was much quicker and less hassle than the ferry. When we arrived in Roskilde we thought we had stopped in a ghost town. I think we saw 10 people the whole hour we were there. When we noticed that all the shops were closed, we guessed it must have been a public holiday today (which we later confirmed). This made it a little hard to do anything, like buy food or exchange money, which of course we needed to do today. Luckily for us there was one small fruit and veg shop open to buy a few ingredients. Roskilde didn't have much going on other than a beautiful church, so we didn't need feel the need to hang around any longer.