Relaxed Movement. From Tisvildeleje in the north to Årø in the south, from Copenhagen in the east to Blåvand in the west. Three cosy, comfy seaside abodes as our points of departure. A lot of kilometres driven and a lot of wavy green fields, cyclists, neat colourful towns and rugged coast line spotted! Well-functioning task distribution: Sanoop behind the wheel, me as map-reader, joint dj initiatives. Bouts of Swedish and Danish radio (with primarily American music!), one single podcast (‘All in the Mind’ on synesthesia – very recommendable!), lots of sightseeing. How much can we see, do, take in without challenging the vacation vibe? Harmony. Cultural treasures and peculiarities – experienced for the first time, or in a new light. Balancing ‘show & tell’ and creating new memories together. Presence. Trying (with varied success) to manage my expectations to the hygge-level and balmy weather – I want Sanoop to like Denmark, and I want him to have a good time here, but it’s not ideal or fair if he feels a constant pressure, a constant expectation from me to express nothing but appreciation – and lots of it. Each of us is responsible for creating our own good time – so, I need to just relax and trust myself and him. Haha. Recognising the beauty and value integrated in each moment regardless of external factors. There’s no such thing as ‘bad weather’ – it’s all about appropriate attire, smiling at the rainbows and enjoying the rush of energy experienced after immersing yourself into ice cold sea water. Steaming tea and candle light. Morning yoga in the sand or sweet-smelling grass. Those long light nights. Walking, hiking, sightseeing-running, swimming, crossing bridges and taking ferries to small idyllic islands. Beech forests, deer-filled meadows, cosy cafes and impressive galleries. Fresh air. Town and country. Seasonal and regional treats. Earth candy. Biodynamic wine everywhere we go. Happy friends and family – everywhere we go. Smiles, laughs, stories and blissful silence. Holiday.
Road Trip Day 3:9: Ærø, Svendborg. Early morning drive through the countryside of Zealand, across Storebælt and down to the idyllic South Funen Archipelago, where our destination is the charming, well-kept 18th century village of Ærøskøbing on Ærø – we spend the day eating freshly made local strawberry sorbet and meandering around among the colourful historic villas lining the cobbled streets and beach huts dotting the coast. Quaint and peaceful. This island was my favourite summer holiday destination 25 years ago… it’s still pretty awesome. 🍀
Road Trip Day 4:9: East Coast of Jutland. Waking up in a new cosy black-and-white wooden summerhouse, one that we’ve rented for the week, in Juelsminde, we walk along the beach to get to my parents’ place for a breakfast consisting of quintessential Danish Summer on a plate: locally grown strawberries picked this morning on bread baked this morning by my mum ♥️. Lovely day of hanging out with my granny, my best (and only real, haha) friend from primary school and my little brother in Horsens and Aarhus respectively – and driving back home to our idyllic abode in the most beautiful orange-pinkish 10:30pm sunset. Ahh.
Road Trip Day 5:9: North Sea Coast. Refreshing morning swim off Bjørnsknude beach before the next leg of our drive across Denmark – today’s stops are along the cool, windy North Sea Coast, and we’re accompanied by two sweet and cheerful guest passengers, my parents. We set off at 10am and head straight across the lush, green farmlands of central Jutland to check out the gorgeous island of Fanø: munch on bakskuld (smoked, salted, wind-dried dab) and North Sea shrimp at Rudbecks and marvel at the thousands of creative kites soaring in the air above the wide white wild beach. Back on the mainland, we check out the majestic Mennesket ved Havet statue and the spectacular new bunker museum designed by BIG, Tirpitz Museum – before dining at hyggelige gourmet Restaurant Høfde 4 nestled in the heather-clad sand dunes by Hvidbjerg Strand. It’s been more than 20 years since my parents and I last went on a roadtrip in our home country, haha. It’s very nice! A nice way of spending time together and being reminded that there are adventures to have without travelling far. And, finally, once again: we head home to Juelsminde in an orange-peachy 10pm sunset. This time with my dad behind the wheel to give Sanoop a rest from navigating unfamiliar roads lined with signs he cannot easily decipher…
Road Trip Day 6:9: Billund, Juelsminde. Wonderful morning coffee tour of our friend’s brick-based work place, LEGO House – such a fantastic universe for kids and childlike souls of all ages! We spend the rest of the day chilling at the Juelsminde marina and beach – and host my parents for dinner consisting of many things fresh from the Danish gardens, fields and waters. 💚💛💙
Road Trip Day 7:9: Christiansfeld, Årø, Juelsminde. Fifth island visit of the week – Årø, off the southernmost part of Jutland. This charming small chunk of land, where all 160 inhabitants know and greet each other (‘møjn‘!), offers an array of organic farms and farm shops, a winery, a brewery, a dashing lighthouse, a crab race course on the marina and similar essentials. Calm, wholesome ambiance. And it’s where my paternal grandmother lives – who greets us at the ferry terminal with an enthusiastic wave and a big smile. We have lunch with her at a quaint farm restaurant across from her house and go for a walk on the beach to check out the lighthouse I remember from my childhood. We used to sail to the island when I was a little girl; one of the only times a year I’d see my grandmother. She’s so sweet and joyful – very happy to see us, and to finally meet Sanoop. Short and sweet visit – and then we head back to the mainland. Stop in nearby Christiansfeld to buy the pride of that neat and sweet historic town: spiced ♥️-shaped honey cakes! Other than that: blissful seaside morning and evening in Juelsminde, incl. long, slow walks on the beach, picking fragrant heather and meadow flowers, hanging out with wild rabbits and eating lots of ice cream made fresh today and new Danish potatoes, as per usual…
Road Trip Day 8:9: Wedding in Fænø Sound. After saying goodbye to Juelsminde and my parents (my least favourite thing to do in the world; it’s been lovely to have a week of being able to just pop in at each other’s houses throughout the day as if we lived near each other), we pack our car and head south to check in at the lovely seaside Sixtus Signatur Hotel, where friends of ours have invited us to join in the celebration of their love, the actual reason why we planned our summer holiday this week. The wedding ceremony is beautiful – led by the bride’s childhood girlfriend, who is a priest, which makes it particular intimate and sweet. The reception and party are equally wonderful – great seasonal and organic food, great conversations, great weather enabling us to spend the majority of the time outside by the water, great entertainment and dancing the night away under the stars twinkling above the softly rolling waves. Furthermore, it’s a setting that’s close to my heart as my family and I scattered my grandfather’s ashes across the sound 10 years ago. Every summer for 50 years, he and my grandmother would go sailing all over the Danish waters, and this was their number one favourite spot for regattas as well as relaxed outings. As such, the two of them, my parents, my uncle and his family as well as a very young version of me and my brother created lovely memories in this very spot. Right before falling asleep at 4am and right after waking up 3 hours later, I gaze across the sound from the panorama window of our hotel room and smile while thinking of all of them.
Road Trip Day 9:9: Transport. It’s good to have a place like Juelsminde in your heart (and a travel buddy like Sanoop) when leaving a beautiful morning in Fænøsund, driving across a Sunday-silent Denmark and flying off to a new work week in Singapore.