The day we found out it can be fucking freezing out here…

knip

Today we set off for our biggest daytrip of the week. We of course want to see all the Worldheritage sites present in the country, and Jelling is not so far from Silkeborg – where the Tollundman lies. He has been on my husbands mind since he was about 6 years old, so we couldn’t leave that one behind. Sunday was the only day both Jelling & Silkeborg Museet where open… so we found ourselves in the car again, going on the expensive bridge, again. Twice.

The weather forecast for this week was actually quite good. Mostly about 9°C and sunny. They did predict a bit of rain for the Jelling area today. But they did not predict the Ice Age to hit Denmark today. It was freezing cold. Barely 2°C, and except for half an hour of sun at Jelling we found ourselves either in the rain … or in the snow.

The original plan was to take an easy stroll through Odense in the morning, but instead we made a small detour and paid a quick visit to two castles in the area: Nyborg Slot (nothing to do with Birgitte, but it does sound nice, right) and Egeskov Slot; which was actually closed.

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Nyborg Slot was built in the 13th Century as part of the defense line of the Store Baelt (which is the part of the sea the expensive bridge runs over). It is nothing like any other castle I have seen throughout Europe. Actually, it looked more like a big farmhouse or something like that…
It played an important role in Danish history, since an early form of parliament took place there for about 200 years. We especially liked the colourfull houses surrounding the place. And Febe loved the ducks. Toddler perspective.

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From there on we set for Jelling, our first Worldheritage Site of this trip. The road leading us there was quite surprising. We always imagined Denmark to be a flat country. A bit like the Netherlands. Straight roads, lots of meadows, bike country. And that might be correct for part of the country, but certainly not for Midlle Jutland. The area reminded us a lot of our Belgian Ardennes. Winding roads, climbing through vast forests. The only difference is that it is also the lake district of Denmark. We can imagine it will be a very popular area in summertime. Right now the lakes we saw were still quite frozen over…

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The Worldheritage site of Jelling was really nice to visit – although it was blistering cold out there. Quite appropriate for Viking burial mounds I guess. Below you see the only sunlight of the day, having a picnic at the burial mound of King Gorm and his wife Thyra – and a very enthousiastic cocker spaniel climbing down the burial mound of King Harald Bluetooth (yes; from the symbol you all know).

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The Runic Stones are situated next to a church. It was built on the spot where 3 wooden churches had once stood . King Harald Bluetooth burried the remains of his father there, excavating him from the burial mound. He had just turned Denmark into a Catholic country. He left his mum in the mound though – not really sure why.

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Last stop of the day was the Silkeborg Museet. It has a nice collection of prehistoric tools, along with the main attractions: the Tollund Man and the Elling Girl. Both date back from about 350 BC and where probably sacrificial offerings to the Gods.

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And although we could see some signs of spring at the museum… King Winter showed us he still rules this Viking Land on our way back to our cottage. I just hope he keeps calm for the rest of the week…

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-A-

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