Day 10 – Esbjerg day 2

I am not a breakfast kind of girl, but when days stretch up like they had been doing for the last 9 days, it becomes a necessity to change my habits a bit…  And if breakfast meant spending some time outside out at a picnic table, enjoying the early morning’s sunshine, I sure could make a little exception…  So I took my tablet, my goodies and did a little trip to the vendor machine to get some hot chocolate to get the set up ready…

IMG_0595

 

Day 10 was time to meet Mennesket Ved Havet. Unfortunately, not long after my frugal breakfast, I noticed that the weather had changed drastically, and it was now raining cats and dogs (well, not litterally, of course, otherwise, I would have taken pictures for sure, which I didn’t do).

I could have taken my raincoat out and braved the wind, but I just had a feeling everything would eventually clear up. So I took advantage of the situation, and decided to use the hostel’s laundry services and get all my clothes all clean and fresh!

I was a bit surprised by the price of the precious (indeed) token needed to start the washing machine and the dryer. Fem og tyve kronner, twenty five crowns that is, nothing less! Five dollars! Each, that is! Do I need to say that I didn’t sort colors from white clothing, and delicate underwear from jeans?? I decided everything would have to get clean all together… That’s just how dare-develish I can get!!

Again, my Couch Surfing plans had been cancelled for my next destination, Odense, and I was a bit scared to get Aarhus 2 – The sequel! I decided to spend my clothes washing time in the common hall next door, and find a new welcoming place…  I was quickly contacted by a nice fellow, who unfortunately wasn’t free the 2 nights I was about to spend in his town, but who was offering his help if I didn’t get lucky…  We agreed to get in touch the same evening, I collected my good smelling clothes from the dryer, and got ready to head out to the beach!

A short bus ride later, I was walking along the shore, pretty much by myself. The clouds had spread a little, and the rain had stopped, but the temperature was at the coldest I had experienced yet, and the wind was constant. I walked a long way, watching Esbjerg’s harbour, and fooling myself into thinking I could find little pieces of amber in the sand…

A few pictures taken along the beach…

On my way back towards the four large statues, I appreciated their majesty, standing there, facing the ocean from their green grass stand. My knuckles were almost as white as the tall men, but it was well worth it. Unfortunately, I ran out of battery and could only take a few pictures, but here is a link to learn a little more about the 27 feet tall statues.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/man-meets-the-sea

I couldn’t spend too much time outside, worried that my windbreaker wouldn’t be warm enough to prevent me from catching a cold (Even Danish, it wasn’t part of my plans to get a runny nose or some fever…). I walked around the Fishery and Maritime Museum, a little disapointed to learn that it closed its doors at 5pm, which meant I wouldn’t have time to visit it after all.

Back to the hostel, I decided that I had had enough of Esbjerg… I was lucky enough to get a call from Ib, catching up on my traveling. I asked him for advice, and he suggested to spend the next day in Ribe, on my way to Odense. I noted it down, we chit chatted and I promised to give him my impressions of the oldest city of Denmark!

I also gave a call to Søren. Noone had answered my earlier requests to share their couches, and Søren went out of his ways to find places where I could spend the evening near his house if I didn’t find someone in the meantime. He insisted that I’d come to his place if no other opportunity presented itself.  It was heartwarming to see someone I had never met before caring for the stranger I was. I promised to call again in the morning…

It was already past midnight, and I had a long day coming, so I quickly slipped under my duvet, already wondering what my unespected day in Ribe would bring….


Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2 / Aarhus, day 1  / Aarhus, day 2 / Esbjerg, day 1

Advertisements

Day 9 – Esbjerg day 1

Esbjerg

Leaving Aarhus was a somewhat stressful experience, since the train indications were not the clearest for once. I even asked employees of the train station, just to be sure I was taking the right ride to Esbjerg, you know? But torn between what I was told and what the Internets were saying, I decided to trust my lady’s sixth sense, and chose not to listen the the Danish Railroad’s workers!!

How lucky for me, one more time! I have to say, if I might make a little “aparté”, that I learned two things during my three weeks journey…

  1. To trust myself. I found out I made better choices when not offered a second opinion, than I would have believed!
  2. To always think positive. Countless times during my trip, I faced situations that didn’t look too good at first… Bad weather, doubts about my upcoming whereabouts, Aarhus in general (LOL) and things like that. But being in Denmark, I always had the reflex to tell myself that everything would turn to the best eventually… How could things go wrong? I was in Vikingland after all! And by some Danish kind of magic, everything in and around Denmark did end up on the good side. (I confess to have more difficulty using all-time positive thinking since I came back to Montréal, but every now and then, I force my self to do so, and I am always pleasantly surprised by life!)

 

IMG_0591

Here is what my standard set up was when I took a train for more than a 45 minutes ride… My loyal tablet, my now-lost-somewhere-in-Skagen water bottle, my now-retired Lumia phone, and not-in-pijamas bananas 🙂

Once on the train, and not worrying anymore about where I would end up, the train controller showed up to check my ticket. I found out, as I was handing the freshly printed pieces of paper to the lady, that I had two receipts, and no ticket per say. In Denmark, boarding a train without a valid ticket leads to a fine (not so fine fine, if you ask me) of a little over 700 kr. (just a little less than 150$) It wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but that was starting to look like a bitter goodbye from Aarhus!

The lady and I discussed a little, and I don’t know if it is the Canadian flags on my packsack, my hush puppy eyes pleading I really had bought my ticket, or the sight of the numerous bus and train tickets I looked through in my bag, hoping to find the ONE to Esbjerg… But she finally told me it was ok for this time, but that I had to be extra careful next time. Heldig mig igen!! (Lucky me, again)

Esbjerg is the largest city on the West coast of Denmark, and has the most important seaport on the North Sea. All I really knew about Esbjerg before getting there, was that it had a very impressive set of 4 statues called “Mennesket ved havet” (Man meets the sea) which was actually the only reason I chose to visit Esbjerg (no offense to the citie’s inhabitants, I am sure there are tons of great things to do around, but I was just foolish like that, wanting to see Esbjerg just because it was on the West Coast and had four really tall men looking at the sea!)

When I got there, the weather wasn’t actually great. It was pretty chilly, compared to what I had accustomed to during my first days of vacation, and the wind was pretty strong. I walked a bit downtown, had a McDonald’s cheeseburger, just to get WI-FI (and because I was hungry too). After visiting the Tourists’ Bureau, I decided that I’d better head to my hostel right away and decide what to do from there…

 My home in Esbjerg, the Danhostel! No, I was not the only guest, but I must admit that we were just a few… Which is great, since I got the 4 bunk beds room all to myself! 

It was about supper time, and I decided to go to the grocery store and get myself something yummy yummy for my tummy, since I had access to a fully equiped kitchen. I finally toned down my cooking frenzy, bought rye bread, sausage, two pots of bread spread, and some remoulade (all of my goodies costing me under 10$ total) and walked back “home”…

My loot… It might look basic, but I am just not a fancy eater!

I made myself comfortable in my new home, ate my meal at the round table by the open window, and enjoyed a good hot shower before preparing to hit the sack. I puffed my white duvet while thinking about visiting the four tall men the next morning, and fell fast asleep, once again, still happy in Denmark…


Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2 / Aarhus, day 1  / Aarhus, day 2

Day 8 – Aarhus day 2

 

My second day in Aarhus started at sunrise, which means a little before 5 O’clock. Actually the only time I really saw the sun rising, since in Denmark, come mid-May, even my excitement wasn’t enough to get me up that early…

I headed downtown, to my “secret” Wi-Fi spot to send a few early bird messages, hoping to find a nice place for my second night in town, and to make sure my next future stops wouldn’t be a worry once again!

While browsing around, concentrated on my tablet’s screen, I noticed a few people sitting at the other end of the large roundish bench. Two drunk men… Not an unusual sight at all, as alcohol drinking is largely enjoyed everywhere.

Danes are not all party-all-nighters like the Internets depict them, but it wasn’t uncommon to see men getting on the train with a six pack of beers, and leaving, after a short ride, without much to take home with them… People drink everywhere, and anytime, and those who party, party hard! In the early morning, the empty bottles were always there to testify that Mr. Fun was there the night before!

But surprisingly, drunk Danes, at least the ones I’ve seen, don’t go angry-drunk. They are loud (OMG can those otherwise discreet people scream loudly when under the influence of alcohol!!!), but other people just scream back at them, and that always seemed to settle the spontaneous need to express themselves in public (as loudly as possible, obviously).

So after a while, I left my drunk bench-fellows, and went to the bakery to get myself my very first Danish pastries. I am not into sweets, but pastries are a MAJOR thing in Denmark, and I felt like it would almost be a crime not to try them at least once.

So one frøsnapper and a chokolade bolle later (well, after buying them, I mean… I could never eat 2 pastries that fast), I was back on the road to get to Den Gamle By… The Old Town!

Frøsnapper

Example of a frøsnapper…  Chokolade boller being chocolate croissant, I don’t think a picture would bring anything more to this post 😉

I had to see the open-air museum, and after my afternoon at Copenhagen’s Glyptotek, I thought it was better for me to show up early in case it would take me a little more time to see everything, than expected.

On my way to Den Gamle By, I received a text message from Ditte, my Aalborg host, who had noticed I was looking for a place to stay in Aarhus…

“My sister has a room to lend, near Den Gamle By, if you are still looking, that is?”

When I say that Danes are nice people, Ditte is one perfect example of the experience I had with them… Unfortunately, Ditte’s sister’s room wasn’t available that night after all, but who cares? Just the thought of having caring people following my whereabouts was enough to make my day.

That, and Den Gamle By.

It is basically a reconstitution of Danish life, in the 1800s, 1920s and 1970s… Genuine houses from all around Denmark have been moved to Den Gamle By, and you can enter some of them to discover the different merchants that provided their services back then. Every here and there, you can also find live characters glad to tell their story to the visitors…

This post is already getting very long, especially for Aarhus, and I wouldn’t want the city to get a wrong impression, thinking I liked it better than Aalborg or Viborg… So I’ll just put a selection of pictures and the official link to the museum’s website (https://www.dengamleby.dk/the-old-town/)

I’ll just add that the open-air museum is REALLY worth stopping by. Especially if you are off season, like me, and don’t have to bump into tourists every step you take in town. The characters are just incredibly interesting to talk to. (I fell in love with the general store’s owner who spent a long while telling me about his business as if we were still in the good old days… Not stepping out of his charming character one single time. I have a picture of him, but I promised I wouldn’t put it online, so you’ll just have to imagine him. Special mention to the baker too, who gave me extra sweets when I told her I was Canadian, hehehe) But plan at least a whole afternoon… Because it is HUGE! And you don’t want to rush in.

In the late afternoon, it was time to rest my Ow feet and check in at the City Sleep-In hostel (http://www.citysleep-in.dk/en/), since I hadn’t found any couch to surf for the night. I stopped on my way to buy a Frikadelle burger, a must in Aarhus, according to Lucas! And I wouldn’t want to miss one of Lucas’ musts!! I might write a post about the hostel later, since it was an adventure of its own… But here are a few pictures in the meanwhile!

 

P.S. The frikadelle burger is worth the detour… I thought it’d be heavy and a little dry, but it is a fast food delight! Med remoulade, of course 🙂

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2 / Aarhus, day 1