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The traveler: An expected journey This time it's the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden & Norway before England again for several weeks and on to Croatia.

On an island in Denmark

DENMARK | Saturday, 25 August 2018 | Views [72]

The dormer on this house is from the poop deck of a ship. Rick Steves calls this the cutest house in Aeroskobing, which is saying something considering the choices!

The dormer on this house is from the poop deck of a ship. Rick Steves calls this the cutest house in Aeroskobing, which is saying something considering the choices!

A couple train rides and a ferry away from Copenhagen is the Danish village of Aeroskobing on the island of Aero. Fires seem to have been common in the 17th century (and earlier). Aeroskobing was no an exception; all of the village but two houses burned in the mid 17th century during a war with Sweden. Still by American standards the early 18th century village is old, and by any measure artistic, charming, and pleasantly more extensive than just a couple idyllic streets.

We were lucky enough to stay in one of these old, brightly painted cottages with a view of the harbor through Airbnb for a very reasonable price. Apparently many people come to the island to get married for the obviously beautiful backdrop. We were asked twice while we were there if that’s what we were doing, to which the answer was definitely “No”. However we did see at least one wedding party which made their way to the 18th century ship in the harbor (by my guess) for their reception, accompanied by quite a few antique cars as well. Ironically the old sailing ship left minutes before our ferry the next day and I was able to watch it sailing away imaging the days when these were the only ships on the seas. 

Our first evening started with a short walk along the beach bordered by a couple dozen summer swimming huts, each a different bright color. At first we were surprised to find small pieces of flint in the sand where we sat down, but thinking back to the National Museum filled with flint artifacts it made sense that there would still be flint in the area. We would’ve stayed to watch the sun set on the quiet beach, but the breeze coming in with the waves was cold.

The next morning we set out for a bicycle tour of the island. Though the highest point is only 225 feet above sea level some of the hills felt nonetheless rather steep, but the downhills with the wind in your face and a view of the fields or the sea all the sweeter. Though it seemed the berry season was over there were a few road side stands offering honey. The sweetest of which was one with a tiny kitten on top, which turned out to be only one of several kittens on the island. While a jar of honey is rather bulky to carry around I did pick up a pear from one of the fruit trees by the road, which tasted just like a pear (a pleasant surprise after picking the occasional roadside apple in Colorado to find it rather mealy).

We stopped to see the 12th century church on the island with some of the original frescos still visible, albeit faded. The churches were strategically placed in valleys so their spires could not be seen from the ocean and invite unwanted attention. Today I’m not sure where the original cemetery has been moved to because the earliest headstones seem to date from the earlier 20th century. There was one person who lived to be 101 though!

Stopping for lunch we picked a scenic overlook with enough constant wind to ensure nothing was allowed out of our bags that we weren’t holding on to. Across the ocean, just visible on the horizon, was the north coast of Germany. Of course after lunch when we walked down to the beach below it was hardly breezy at all near the waterline. There too we found larger chunks of flint on the beach and still half buried pieces in the sea wall that are still awaiting the full light of day after what must have been thousands of years. 

Back in town we stopped at the cafe by the harbor for any afternoon sorbet while everyone else around us either went into the shop, or sat down licking their cold treats.

Of course the clouds came over just as I headed to the beach with a towel. Nevertheless I went in for a swim, which was rather more of a mid body wade in the water. Some people would consider the water “warm”. It’s warm after you’ve been in for a few minutes, and warmer than standing up in the breeze, but nonetheless cold at first. After the rough break-line the ocean floor was almost entirely soft sand with the exception of a few shells, including one beautiful “butterfly” shell with a blue interior. 

After drying off and trying to warm up we wondered around the cobble streets looking for dinner, and eventually ended up at a reasonably priced restaurant with a total of two dishes that night: vegetarian Dahl or veal and potatoes. I quite enjoyed my Indian dish, but unfortunately missed the appointed time for the night watchman’s village tour. However I’m not entirely sure it even happened that night (it’s the end of the tourist season). So after wondering around looking for the group for a little while I decided simply to continue wondering with my written guide of history and interesting points from Rick Steves, which included the only two houses which had survived the 1647 (?) fire, and “Virgin’s Lane” a colorful and varied row of houses on one side and a row of tall trees and the sea on the other. This is apparently where parents kept an eye on the young people courting from their windows. And of course Aeroskobing wouldn’t be complete without the periodic spy mirrors attached to windows to allow the occupants to keep an eye on the modern day people exploring the streets. 

The next morning it was off again, back across the water to another city and another country.

Tags: aeroskobing, beach, bicycling

 

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