Focus on Denmark

To keep in the Poland-Ukraine 2012 spirit, I’ll focus on a different country playing in the tournament each day during the month of June; looking not so much at the national football team but more about travel to and visiting the country itself.

Today’s spotlight is on Denmark.

‘The large white vessel waited patiently, as they dipped into their money-belts to produce passports and rights of passage’.

Foreigners all around them spoke in Scandinavian languages that the Comprehensive system had not fore thought to teach them.

To retreat from the strangeness, a log was recorded daily, but the day and date does not read too well; even though Dervla Murphy used it successfully in her Andean Adventure and others.

Everything was new to the boys, so dated entries were hastily written in snatched moments, while waiting for rides.

Later in life, the day and date would not seem as relevant as the continuity of the journey. The object was to hitch-hike from Scandinavia to the South of France.

That was how I first presented our hitch-hiking adventure to connected computers on the world wide web – through the free web space that was Geocities – back in 1996; although the boat departed from Harwich (England) to Esbjerg (Denmark) much earlier than that.

Whenever I think about Denmark today, my mind still goes back to when we first set foot on Danish soil.

We didn’t have a travel guide to Scandinavia; didn’t have mailing lists and travel forums to ask for travel tips; but we did have a map.

Once on the outskirts of Esbjerg, I remember thinking how – compared to England – this land seemed so open, flat, green, and remarkably clean.

It is well known that the cars drive on the right, but not every new pedestrian to the country is prepared for the cycle lanes that seem like pavements. The danger is that mopeds used them too.

The cyclists in Denmark may be safe from motorists, but us poor, foreign pedestrians had to be wary of the bike.

Satellite view over Denmark: The Great Belt is...
Satellite view over Denmark: The Great Belt is the passage in the center. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Cycle lanes are a lot more common now but back then I really wasn’t prepared.

Our route took us across Jutland to Kolding and up through Aarhus to Grenaa for another ferry across to Varberg, in Sweden.

We wouldn’t get to visit the Danish capital, Copenhagen, until we’d hitch-hiked up to the Fjords of Norway then sailed down Kattegat Bay from Oslo.

Visit Denmark – Visit Copenhagen:
Official Danish tourism websites.

Short URL: http://tnot.es/DKfocus

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