Denmark 6 | Out of the Trees, Denmark’s Highest Peak and Crossing the Kattegat

It was another morning which came around far too quickly – the sun sat low in the sky, out of sight, casting its morning glow on the clouds above and the tips of the trees. It was a cold morning, colder than the previous night had felt. The ground and its carpet of flora was covered in a thin layer of frost, the vibrant greens and yellows of the previous day had paled as a result, now subtle hues with a modest sparkle. Subsequently the deep greens of the trees looked darker, more of a charcoal grey in contrast with their glowing tips. A light mist, rising no higher than a foot or so, swirled across the ground dissipating into the air above it – it felt like a cold and crisp winter’s morning!

Up, dressed (which happened very quickly due to the air temp… brrr) and hammocks away we were ready to make our way out of the trees and head back to the car. When you camp in a truly beautiful spot when travelling, you never know if you will camp there again or even visit again, and if you are lucky enough to return you have no clue how the weather will treat you next time – sometimes this makes it pretty hard to move on and I definitely felt the wrench when leaving this place.

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On our return to the main pathway we passed by the ponds that surrounded our camping spot, as with the previous evening the water was perfectly still, offering a mirror image of what towered above, the soft hues of the morning shone out so clear that it was like looking into another world. They had the same layer of swirling mist dancing across their glassy surface.

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The various clearings and wide tracks were filled with sunlight; it was a gorgeous blue-sky day. In the trees where the sunshine barely reached, the air was bright and fresh, but the whole scene had an almost ethereal quality. It was so still and quiet, the greens so rich and the subtle movements of the light mist adding a certain mysticism to the place. A passing robin flitted between the branches of the endless trees, only emphasising the hushed solitude of our stunning surroundings.

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As well as photographing the location, I also had great fun taking pictures of the copious mushrooms which littered the ground. Deeper in I could see huge specimens growing proudly out of the mossy logs, stumps and other detritus that lay at the feet of the towering trunks. There was so much to marvel at that it felt like no time at all that we were reaching the final stretch of path through the stoic giants which surrounded us, before emerging into the bright sunshine with the car just a short distance ahead.

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We drove back to Silkeborg and headed just south of the town – we had decided to climb Denmark’s highest peak! At a whopping 147m it is a mere lump that bulges rather negligibly from the endless flat terrain – coming from a mountainous area (and ticking them off is our hobby) we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to climb the highest peak… despite its minuscule proportions. Himmelbjerget is a touristy wee place with a hotel, café, tourist info, shop etc. Not our usual scene, but we parked up and headed out for a wander anyway.

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We assumed there would be a small walk to a pretty view point, but we didn’t quite realise how small! Up a gravel slope and just five minutes from the car we came out from the trees and approached a small square clock tower with a pointed roof. The clearing was edged with a wooden fence/railing and looked down on the Lake below and across the tops of the trees which enveloped the area. It wasn’t a ‘big view’ but it was very pleasant, made even better by the good weather!

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There was a school trip loitering when we got up there so we decided to follow a footpath which descended down into the trees (hoping they would have moved on by the time we got back!) The wide gravel tracks, edged by the same wooden hand rails allowed us to escape the crowd and once again we were on our own enjoying the peace of another beautiful place. We were now in woodland rather than forest, a nice change from the previous couple of days. The sun filtered through the boughs of the trees, casting a dappled light on us and our surroundings. Every so often we would come to a break in the trees and be rewarded with lovely views of the area. We ambled along slowly, chatting away and didn’t see another soul until we found ourselves back near the car.

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Getting back to the viewpoint, the kids had moved on and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We sat by the clock tower and had some lunch whilst looking out over the lake; small boats wriggled their way across the water while fluffy white clouds tumbled in the bright blue sky above, the trees all swayed harmoniously in the calm yet stiff breeze. Feeling very relaxed we made our way back to the car and drove across country to Aarhus, where we had tickets for the ferry to take us across the Kattegat, back onto Zealand and towards Copenhagen.

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Boarding the ferry was very efficient; a surprising number of cars were queued to make the crossing. Driving on was just like any ferry, but inside was like a small multi-storey car park – it seemed like we just kept driving round and round. Eventually we came to a stop where we left the car and headed up onto the top deck to find some seats. We sat by the door which lead out onto the outside section at the back of the boat. Huge volumes of water sprayed out the back of the boat as we sped away from Aarhus. The industrial shoreline grew smaller and smaller until it disappeared completely.

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The sky was cloudless and sank to meet the blue waters of the Kattegat at the horizon without a single interruption. The sea was a deeper shade of blue, small white crests moved across the top of the water in a subdued manner as the boat powered ahead effortlessly. At one stage there seemed to be no land visible at all – we were completely surrounded by a multitude of blue and nothing else. The crossing took about an hour and the time flew by… who doesn’t love a ferry ride! Land approached ahead of us and an announcement called out, signalling us to return to the car deck – before we knew it we were off the ferry and driving towards the bright lights of Copenhagen.

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The start of the journey was fairly rural, the road ran parallel to the sea and the water glinted in the afternoon sun. We were in the car for about an hour and a half before getting to Copenhagen, the roads got a little busier the closer we got to the city, however this busyness was nothing compared to a similar time in any of the big English cities. Easily enough we found our accommodation for the next couple of nights, parked up the car, collected the key and got ourselves settled in.

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After some dinner we decided to do some exploring on foot, Tivoli Gardens was just a 15 minute walk away so we headed in that direction. Unfortunately it was closed to prepare for Halloween but it looked great and is definitely something I would love to go back to experience. With this mild disappointment we decided instead to stroll around the streets and enjoy the general buzz of the place, taking in the architecture as best we could in the dark and enjoying the bright lights of a new city.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. James Douglass says:

    Very nice too! I went to Tivoli in 1965 with the school cruise. I was 10 years old 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Journey Far : WM says:

      It looked charming – I wonder if it has changed much! It was a shame to miss out on it… perfect excuse to go back though 🙂

      Like

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