Denmark

Denmark_map.jpgWith a bit of luck, Denmark might have been an island.  If you have a good look at the map here, you will see that the only bit of Denmark connected to mainland Europe is the southern bit of Jutland.  The rest of Denmark is made up of about 500 islands, which between them have more than 7000 kilometres of beaches. I guess that means there is plenty of space for your beach towel.

Sand Sculpting

Well, actually, if you are going to be in Denmark, the beach in Søndervig is definitely the place to be.  Every year the world championships sand sculpting take place here, and they last for nearly 3 months.  Sculptures are huge and can be be as high as 4 metres.   It is perhaps a bit more serious than your average spade and bucket castle, but it’s fabulous to take a look at these works of art.  There are usually some weekends when you can learn how to make your very own sand sculpture too.   I’m just not sure what happens to the sculptures when the tide comes in. 🙂

Land of Islands

Tallinn (156).jpgWith more than 500 islands, travelling around Denmark can take a bit of time and will often involve bridges or boats.  But it is very flat, with the highest ‘hill’ just over 170 metres.  This means that Denmark is a great country for cyling. There are bicycle tracks everywhere and the lack of hills means that exploring by bike is not only fun, but also very easy on the legs.

Did you know that the Danish Royal Family is the oldest in the whole of Europe?   They can trace their family tree back all the way to King Gorm (950AD) and his son King Harald Bluetooth.  But their family history is literally dripping with blood.  There are plenty of stories about blood-curdling murders and brotherly in-fighting.

Kronburg Castle

A short train journey away from the capital Copenhagen, you’ll find the town of Helsingør.  Its a small place, that you might overlook easily – but you shouldn’t!  Helsingør became an important stronghold in Denmark in the middle ages.  Its castle Kronburg towers over the Øresund, which is one of only three straights that divide Denmark from Sweden and it controls access to the Baltic Sea.  In in the middle ages, if you controlled the Øresund, you controlled all the trade going in and out of the Baltic Sea – and that could make you very, very rich.

Helsingor.JPGKronburg Castle is also famous as it is the original setting for Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.  It was only vaguely disguised as Shakespeare called it ‘Elsinore’.   It is probable that Shakespeare had heard lots of stories about the murders and intrigue within the Danish Royal Family, and based his play Hamlet on that.

This is only a brief sample text from My Travel Kit for Denmark.  If you would like more information, please contact me.