Denmark 2 | Møns Klint, Neolithic Tombs and 13th C Frescoes

I awoke to an enticing orange glow from the window, peeking out I noticed it was from the rising sun and this was enough to get me out of bed to go and explore. Just across the road from our little barn conversion, past a small field was the cliff edge overlooking the Baltic Sea. As I walked through the grass with the birds chirping in the trees and bushes nearby I could see the intense glow of the sun crawling slowly into the pale blue sky.

It was a windy morning but as I settled myself down into the long grass right on the cliff edge, I was sheltered from the worst of it by the gnarly little tree behind me. With every passing second the sun had crept a little higher, transforming from a vibrant orange to a softer, more yellow glow with every passing second. The clouds drifted across the sky, turning silver in the light with the water’s endless motion below, crashing quietly against the cliffs beneath me. As with the previous day the seabirds floated atop the undulating water, occasionally rising up in great numbers only to glide and flutter in the wind for a moment before settling back down.

2 1 GOPR5657.jpg

I dragged myself away and headed back to the house to get ready for the day and have some delicious egg rolls for breakfast! We had decided on a short excursion south to visit Møn, and Møns Klint. It was fairly gusty as we drove and the clouds raced across the sky. Dark, black masses would move swiftly towards us, the rain would start suddenly and thunder down, hammering down on the car raucously, reducing the visibility to about an arm’s length. Then, as quickly as it started, it would stop, and the sky would be blue again with the only remaining clouds being white and fluffy – insane weather!

2 2 GOPR0072.jpg

We arrived at our destination, and set of for the day’s adventure – the walk started in the forests which topped the cliffs. Wooden boardwalk steps meandered their way through the trees, descending quickly with the gradient of the land, traversing the cliffs. The trees which surrounded us grew tall; they were crooked and twisted, looming towards the sky at jaunty angles. Their impressive height was accentuated by the ground and the way it fell away steeply from their roots. It was a bright day and the light illuminated the rich green leaves, they in turn cast the forest floor, and subsequently us, in a dappled green-tinted light. Down and down we climbed until, as we neared the bottom, we broke out of the trees.

2 GOPR5663.jpg

We had made our way down to a slither of pebbly beach with the green-blue sea rolling in; the wet pebbles looked almost black compared to the lighter grey, dry ones and this created a high contrast line along the full length of the beach. The moody sea varied in colour, offering up patches of a deep murky green in the diffused light of the sun. The clouds were spread thinly across the entirety of the vast sky; it was awash with silver, every so often breaking up just enough for a few rays to shine through.

2 3 GOPR0096.jpg

The beach was only a couple of metres wide with the tumbling ocean on one side and the steep white cliff face rising vertically on the other. Large chunks of chalks had crumbled away, crashing on the pebbles below, covering huge patches in thick chalky dust. As we walked along the beach we took the opportunity, and the convenience of a dead log, to sit and look out over the vastness of the sea, there was absolutely nothing but water until the horizon. The waves would repeatedly crash in and then retreat over the pebbles, making the most incredible sound (which is very hard to describe, so I am going to refrain from trying!)

2 3 20180921_134946.jpg

We continued our walk along the beach, the stones moved underfoot which made it a surprisingly difficult to walk on, but it was an enjoyable stroll nonetheless. Different sections of the cliff face opened up as we rounded a corner; shadows on the white surface highlighted the rugged nature of the rock climbing high above us – it was very easy to feel tiny and insignificant in a location like that (which is something I love to feel because of nature!) Further along we enjoyed the convenience of another dead log to sit and have our lunch on something that wasn’t covered in chalk.

2 3 20180921_131137.jpg

We came across another wooden staircase climbing steeply up into the trees, which signalled the end of the beach section of our walk. Just the same as the way down, the stairs wound their way through the trees, the boardwalks smoothing over the contours of the uneven ground below. Once at the top we headed back on ourselves, this time along the forested cliff top, retracing our steps – only a few hundred metres higher. The trees on top grew straight and tall, the floor littered with the first fallen leaves of autumn and mushrooms dotted the path edge here and there – we even found a cool hairy caterpillar!

2 5 20180921_142652

There were a few ups and downs but on the whole a mostly level walk, every so often there would be a break in the trees or the path would lead us right to the edge, where we would be treated to a big view over the edge and across the water. Just as we were getting back we felt the first few drops of an impending shower. Quickening our pace we made our way back down the last few sets of steps towards the car. The heavens opened and we were caught in a deluge, running the last section to get back in the car before getting soaked – well, more soaked than we already were.

Mushroom Collage (1)

The rain persisted as we drove on, we had found a couple of minor things of interest in the local area and decided to ignore the rains perseverance and heading to them anyway. We drove west on Møn and just as we pulled up and stopped the car the rain had eased and ceased – what luck! We made our way across a corn field, no real path just a muddy track between ploughed areas, the mud clumping in our boots as we slid around on it.

2 4 GOPR5678.jpg

It wasn’t long before we could see the grassy mound rising out of the ground ahead of us, a Neolithic tomb dating back 5000 years! It is all very underwhelming when you approach; it just looks like a well-manicured lump in the middle of a working corn field. Once there, however, it is hard to miss the small, stone clad, rather dark tunnel leading you into the middle of the mound. The tunnel was about 1m2 at the very most, which resulted in us on our hands and knees clambering through the darkness.

2 6 20180921_162028

At the end of the tunnel was a small chamber, tall enough to crouch over in and to manoeuvre around a little more freely. None of the light from outside managed to penetrate the darkness and we fumbled around for the torches on our phones. There was a small gap in the stonework and a window which allowed us to look into the main body of the tomb, inside were skeletal remains with a few odd pieces of pottery and other trinkets – despite it being obvious that they had been arranged for viewers, it was amazing to think those bones had been sat in there for 5000 years.

Untitled

We crawled back out, trudged back across through the mud, cleaned our boots with an audience of white ducks and the moved onto the next sight of interest. We drove to a small church by a little inlet, described as being extremely picturesque and a perfect spot for water-colourists – unfortunately due the grey clouds, grey water and strong winds the scene did not live up to the description. Neither of us is at all religious, however we had found out that this particular church had original frescoes dating back to the 13th Century and something that old is always worth seeing.

20180921_170012.jpg

The entire ceiling was covered in creative depictions of the bible; it was surprisingly colourful (although mostly in oranges and reds) and had a few amusing images. Our personal favourites were of the devil taking a soul, which showed a very typical red, horned creature pulling a tiny replica of the man out of his stomach and every image of God, in all of which he appeared to be making a gun sign with one hand. Admittedly, we probably didn’t take it as seriously as we should have done, and if not the religious aspect it was their age and how well preserved these painted images were that really impressed us.

GOPR5698.jpg

Driving home and stopping to do a quick food shop on the way back, we arrived at dusk and decided to wander over to the cliffs to enjoy the view for a while before heading in to cook dinner. The light was fading, and the sky was a patchwork of hues with thin wispy clouds still streaking across it in the strong winds. The water looked more choppy than it had done previously but it still felt perfectly peaceful perched where we were, looking down on it all.

2 GOPR5699.jpg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s