We are due at the ferry crossing early morning of the day after tomorrow – most of the day is spent on the road. Granted it’s not the most exciting way to spend a day, but it offers a rare chance to sit back and just observe.
We complete the remaining section of the Ringkobing Fjord. It’s a little more tamed than the first part. A walk to the top of the dunes reveals the North Sea in all her glory, still ferocious. The town of Hvide Sande has an active shipping trade, its harbour a beehive of activity. It’s here the sea and Fjord meet, under the main bridge. We can’t see the infrastructure, but as we drive over it, we can see the whirlpools created in the lake as the sea rushes through the barrier.
The dunes and marshes give way to open country. Open country to crops. Bar a little morning rain, it’s a clear day, if mostly overcast. Every so often the sun peeks out from under cloud and the transformation the light delivers is extraordinary. Gone are the muted sage and olive greens and ghostly silvery fields, in their place blaze bright green and golds. The water changes through all the tones from grey to deepest blue. The change is extreme and not one I would have thought possible. The wind is constant though, it ripples through the grain crops like an oncoming tide. It’s a constantly changing landscape. I read later that this area in northern Jutland is famous for a 19th century art movement, the Skagen School. Painters flocked here “to paint the light”. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to stumble upon that myself. With no artistic skills to fall back on, I would have happily sat the here all afternoon to photograph the light and marvel at the difference.
We’re now bearing east into Denmark’s largest inland lake, Limfjorden. It bisects the road and appears on either side often. This is more what I thought Denmark would be like, a land of water and coastline. Chris spots Viking burial mounds occasionally, sometimes one, often a few together. Still perfect, centuries later. We’ve been watching the series Vikings and it’s rather fabulous to see their footfalls across the land.
We stop briefly in Fjerritslev then debate our next move. I’m torn, desperate to see a famous garden on the lake, Chris is tied to the clock, concerned with the distance we still have to cover. Practicality wins and we forge on. The compromise will be a day of activity tomorrow, in exchange for driving today.
The drive pays off not only in distance covered, but in beautiful landscape. We cross a thick forest at one stage and see a small fox padding across the road. He’s one of three we see. There are also two hares that make an appearance, one on the fly across a grassy knoll, and a fat rabbit.
Best of all, I get to make friends with two tiny pom-poms when we stop. One only a little bigger than my cupped hands, a Teacup Pomeranian, her buddy quite a tiny Toy. Her owner tells me she’s a rescue dog, fully grown. She’s only had her for three days and she’s very nervous of people having been mistreated. I don’t think the little one spoke English, before half the story was out, she’d sized me up and trotted into my hands, licks and cuddles a plenty. Little pet. People that hurt innocent fluffs should be strung up. Her brother, keen not to miss out, bounds over for his share of love. Happy.
Dinner tonight is is Frikadellar, Danish meatballs. Despite being a famous local dish, I’ve not been able to find them; I’m making my own.
It’s after midnight as I write this and the light is still weaving its magic. The sky is not yet dark, at best, it’s twilight, part velvet inky blue where there are clouds, the rest a soft light blue. It hints of the northern midnight sun to come and is quite mesmerising.