Denmark’s most northerly destinations – Aalborg and Skagen
I was woken early by bright morning light, signalling the beginning of my spring holiday at the very top of Denmark aptly named, ‘the Land of Light’. The sunlight seemed to gain extra brightness as here it bounces off the Baltic and Northern seas
The vibrant city of Aalborg in North Jutland is less than 2 hours flying time from Gatwick.
My wander through the city’s cobbled lanes revealed a fifteenth century monastery, cathedral, castle and a fine collection of Viking monuments.
In contrast the modern lively new waterfront is home of the spectacular new Utzon Centre, an iconic building designed by the world-famous architect, Jorn Utzon – designer of the Sydney Opera House. It is in typical of his raw style and use of natural colours. Not to everyone’s taste but well worth viewing.
The Danes take the use of their local food very seriously. I tucked into the typical Danish delicious Smorrebrod, open-handed sandwiches of local herring and snow crab,
They take their drink seriously too. Famous for its aquavit and beer the city has a fun ‘Beer Walk’. Joined by many Norwegians I was given a specially designed beer glass and walked between city centre pubs tasting the local specialities.
Leaving the city lights I had an easy drive north to the contrasting destination of Skagen to find the wildness I was looking for.
Nearby at Grenan, the most northerly tip of Demark, the Baltic and Northern (Kattegat and Skagerrak) seas meet. It is fascinating to see changing mood of the restless seas as waves collide.
In June and July it is a trendy holiday spot frequented by young Danish royals. In the spring, bird watching, walking and cycling are all the possible activities on offer and if you are really brave winter swimming.
Rita, a resident, told me she swims daily in the North Sea along with many fellow enthusiasts, some well into their 80s. She organises an International Winter Bathing Festival there every January – anyone interested? How cold must that sea be?!
The migrating sand dunes hold their own secrets as the shifting sands have buried whole villages over the years and left a lone church tower stranded on the landscape. It really is an extraordinary place.