(This post might be a bit boring, as I am mainly listing different sites we visited. bear with me, please…)
In October, me Simon, Malin and Kristofer went to Denmark. I had planned a trip for a long time, and now it was finally time to make it. I put together a series of places I wanted to visit – churches and museums throughout the distant parts of Denmark, where you never really put your foot; normally us Swedes go to Copenhagen or just pass through Denmark to get to Germany. But now I felt it was time to really open my eyes to our neighbors and what they have to offer.
We started out at early evening and went across the bridge to Copenhagen, and just went on driving. We arrived at Louise and Mikkel about ten or so in the evening, and we were offered splendid food and as splendid drink. I guess you know by now, that I have been working as a chef, but I was truly impressed with Mikkels cooking. After dinner we sat doing stuff reenactors usually do when they meet; we were discussing crafts, showing of craft, telling stories and drinking beer. It was regular hygge and we really enjoyed ourselves.
It was so nice to finally meet Louise and Mikkel (and Simon); we’ve been reading each others blogs, chatting on Facebook and so on, but we have never met. It was truly a grand gesture of the, taking us in and letting us stay in their wonderful home. It’s one of the things I appreciate the most with medievalism; people are hospitable and friendly to a great extent. You can always count on your fellow nerds! We haven’t got around to it, but there is a simple gift for our hosts, to show our appreciation. Just you wait, guys! 😉
Next morning we started out early. We had a tight schedule. We were to visit the museum of Randers, the Cathedral of Århus, the museum and Cathedral of Odense, the church of Sorø abbey, the church in Højby, the church in Skamstrup, the Cathedral and museum of Roskilde and the National Museum in Copenhagen. This, plus travel time, was to be covered in two days.
We arrived in Randers, just to discover we were nearly two hours early – the museum wasn’t open yet. We took a stroll in a nice town before we went to check on the exhibitions. The museum was really good, with quite a lot of artefacts. Some months have passed, so I can’t really recall any favourites, but I remember I enjoyed it.
Before we left Randers we had lunch, and Simon thought it would be a good idea to put a sharp eating knife in my butt. I am not kidding you. My best trousers were pierced and it hurt like hell. It was of course meant as a joke, but I became really pissed off. We finished our meal, and I decided not to be grumpy – it was a silly thing to do, but it wouldn’t help to be sour about it. So I cheered up and we went for Århus to visit a nice cathedral, but with no vivid signs of the 14th century (which makes it a dull spot :-))…
Next stop was Odense. We visited a newly opened medieval part of the city museum, but I must say that I was not impressed. They had a grand exhibition on iron age and viking age, but the medieval bit was really pitiful. Too bad. The cathedral wasn’t very impressing either – at least not from a 14th century point of view – but it was chilling to se the remains of the murdered S:t Knud, which are on display in the crypt. At the same spot you can also admire the beautiful Ørnetæppet, a form of tapestry from the 11th century. On our way to the car we passed a bakers shop where we bought honningkage – honey cake (OK – this one says ”merry christmas” but I couldn’t find a better pic)
We left Odense, before agreeing that we wouldn’t stay in the hostel there, and pressed on for Sorø. We were in luck, as it seemed the hostel wasn’t really open this time of the year, but they had some kind of a party going on, which meant we could get accommodation anyway. We took the car to Sorø town center and bought a couple of bottles of Danish porter, which was excellent! And then we went to a restaurant, where I wasn’t knifed, but instead had a great meal – a kind of Danish speciality called Stjerneskud (Shooting star). It’s a fish dish, and I really enjoyed it. We had a quiet and nice time in Sorø that evening. We returned to the hostel to have some porter and some honningkage for dessert. After that it wasn’t long until we fell fast asleep. I didn’t sleep very well – it was kind of hot and stuffed in the room.
In the morning we went to Sorø again. We had a quick breakfast (on top of the car) with coffee and rolls with cheese, plus some yoghurt, while waiting in the morning mist for the church to open. We managed to get into the church, just 15 minutes before mass. We had a quick run through the magnificent church and took loads of photos of an effigy from our period, before we had to evacuate to leave room for the church goers. The effigy is kind of famous, as it shows a king and a queen, and the queen has a frilled veil, which is really cool.
Then we departed for Skamstrup and Højby. Louise had made arrangements with the caretakers of both churches, so we were welcome as soon as mass was finished. Both churches were amazing in their own respects. Perfectly good murals and frescoes from 1350-1380. It was pure joy to see. I will try to post pictures when I have time. I would say this was the best part of the trip. The pictures show male fashion and armour in great detail, and as such images from our cultural sphere is very rare, it was like manna from heaven for us! The colours and the people depicted seemed so vibrant and alive. I was quite taken by it; it really made my day, in spite of an annoying headache.
Next stop was Roskilde. It turned out that we couldn’t get access to the cathedral as tourists, so we skipped it for a later date, and went to Roskilde city museum instead. I for my part, have visited the cathedral before, so I wasn’t very concerned. Also, Roskilde is not very far from Malmö, so it gives us possibility to go back another day.
The city museum was a good museum with a decent collection of medieval stuff. I especially remember a cistern, a really cool one! Me and Kristofer had a handful of photos, but Malin was having a severe headache, and hence she and Simon went looking for painkillers, which I happily accepted when we got back to the car.
The trip was all but finished at the National Museum in Copenhagen, where we had a proper look (for the 10th time or so) and had loads of pics taken. We arrived in Malmö about 18:00, and that was the end of it. I had a pleasant time and got to know Kristofer a lot better, and I also had the chance to meet some of our Danish colleagues. Next time I will find new ways and new places to visit. Just you wait!
The green markings on the map show how far we really travelled. Louise and Mikkel live in a village south of Århus, and that’s where we stopped before continuing to Randers. The orange markings show our route the second day, whereas the yellow markings show the third day’s route.