Day 12 – Odense (day 1)

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God morgen!

Good morning, that is, coming from the other side of the bedsheet hanging between Anne’s bedroom and the living room, for the night.

And day 12 was on its way! I didn’t know much about Odense, aside from the fact that it was Hans Christian Andersen’s home town, Denmark’s 3rd largest city and one that had to be on my itinirary (Lucas’ advice)… Anne told me a little more over a hot bowl of oatmeal and I quickly got prepared for another exciting day.

My host had to go to work, but she insisted on walking me to the the river. From there, I couldn’t miss downtown Odense, and she assured me it was a great walk to take. What she didn’t mention, as we left her apartment, was that she also wanted to show me huuuuuuuuge lilac trees on our way to the river. And anyone who knows me a little knows I love lilac! I honestly don’t know how I managed to pull myself away from the trees, but I eventually did, and walked all the way to HC Andersen Haven (park) with all of its strickingly colorful, newly bloomed flowers, and people sitting here and there, enjoying the lovely morning.

Just over the bridge, I arrived to Odense’s Domkirke (Cathedral) where the day’s service took place outdoor. What surprised me, was that the celebrant was a woman. She stood, in her long black robe, and her white collar, and adressed the many people sitting in the grass behind the church.

I took a long walk downtown before looking for a café, where I was supposed to meet with Søren. As you might remember, he had been a great help, finding a last minute stay in Odense, even if he couldn’t host me himself. I really wanted to see him!

 

Søren showed up, and invited me home to have tea and have a chat. He lived in the cutest house (ok, I’d say that about a lot of houses in Denmark, and I still will when I go back, no doubt about that) and we sat in his little backyard, to sip on mint tea and discuss my trip and his many travels. Søren is an accountant that travels many times a year and hosts couch surfers from around the globe when he is back to Denmark… And I understand his good ratings online are so impressive! He is one charming, interesting and entertaining person to spend some time with!

But all good things having to end, I soon had to leave him to his evening plans, but not before he walked me back to the river where I had decided to take a stroll all the way to the zoo.

 

In Odense, the zoo has been built along the river, so you can have a look at some of the animals without paying to get in. It is a good walk  from downtown, but it is totally worth the time, especially when you are on a budget!

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Then it was time to quickly go back “home” so I just hoped not to get lost along the way…

 

 

That house… It is a house. It was not part of the zoo, and I just thought it was awesome having two “pet” lamas!!

Anne welcomed me back to her apartment as if we were old friends now, and I helped cooking dinner, a homemade potato-turnip potage with rye bread croutons and grilled kale (I think)… Exactly what I needed after my long walk…

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Anne couldn’t believe how far I had walked… and quite frankly, looking at the map, I surprised myself too! I very well deserved the treat that my host had prepared as a surprise…

Rødgrød med fløde! (red berries purée with cream)

The simple Danish desert is a classic, and its name is often used to “test” foreigners’ level of Danish, because it is a bit complicated to pronounce…

 

Before we knew it, it was already passed bedtime… And my duvet was calling! Anne put up the wall bed-sheet, and we were off to dream land after a quick good night through the fabric…

Godnat, that is…

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Today has been pretty quiet preparation-wise.

I had other things to do, and it was my last day off work for a while. I had to stock on some energy for the week to come.

But I didn’t want to leave a blank page in my trip’s book, so I just wanted to take the time to thank two very special people. I am not a name dropper, so we’ll just call them Pippa and Ib.

Pippa is the sweetest girl I know. We met via the Internets over a year ago, and we’ve stayed in contact ever since. She lives on Fyn Island, in Denmark, and she is my first Danish friend. I feel lucky for having crossed her path, every day. She is caring, understanding, and an incredible artist on so many levels… She helped me greatly with my Danish, and thought me countless things about her home country. I don’t realize yet that next month, we’ll meet in person. We haven’t spoken live yet, and have chatted on messenger only a few times, sticking to our epistolary friendship. I wish everybody knew a Pippa, because she is the kind of person who can light up your day with her good words!

Ib lives in Jutland. We also met through the Internets, but through blogging. Although we’ve only been exchanging for a few months, we quickly built a special connexion. Ib was not born in Denmark, but he has lived most of his life over there. He is an incredible storyteller, that can make a soar foot interesting. He would say I am biased, but through the weeks, he keeps surprising me with his endless imagination, clever writing, playful ways and twisted ideas. Ib is one of the most thoughful people I’ve had the pleasure to know. It could look like nothing destined us to be friends, and that time, distance and the likes would have kept us from developing a friendship, but it makes him just that much more special… Ib is helping me a lot with my trip preparation, and I can’t wait to thank him in person!

I’ll soon meet them both, and it is heartwarming that although I’ll spend most of my traveling by myself, I’ll know that they will be close by all the way.

Pippa… Ib… Thank you for making a place for me in your lives!

Jeg er en heldig kartoffel!