Postcard from back-at-home

The coronation stone at Rørvig – erected by Frederik IX to mark the place where the Vikings crowned their kings

We were in Denmark for just four days, each of them packed as tight as a suitcase that won’t quite close.

Looking back now I see each section of our trip in detail. The weather was wonderful and we had the huge luxury of being guests – chauffered around and shown so much. I took a fair few photographs, and at the end of every day I explored a little more on the internet, checking, for each blog post, on what I thought I’d understood.

Now home, the memories are still ringing around my head, like bells from another land. I see the bright white of the sun-filled church standing by the stones of Gorm and his son. Then there is the cold mist of Thyborøn around the Sea War Museum in Jutland, followed by the blossom and green of the garden at Sanderumgaard. And finally, the simple crown carved into the top of the Viking coronation stone at Rørvig. In between there are colours, and meals, and the homes and faces of family and friends.

It was a crowded happy time, and to keep the memories close for a little longer I thought I’d post a few more of the photographs from the trip on Instagram (georgieknaggs) – one a day, for a week at least. Meanwhile, the blog will get back to the story. I hope to have another section of that up tomorrow.

Thanks for your company, and thanks to everyone who showed us so much of Denmark.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

Postcard from Rørvig, Denmark

We spent our final day in Denmark amongst the summerhouses at Rørvig. The sun almost shone, the schnapps slipped down, and the lunch table in the garden bloomed with the colours of herrings, salmon, two shades of rye bread, and blood purple beetroot.

It was tempting to sit, and to sit a while longer, eating even more as we soaked up the birdsong, but, as the wind chill turned chillier, we picked ourselves up and set off on bikes through the woods to the beach. It did not take long to reach the curve of white sand, deserted apart from a few other bikers, and a sail, dragon-flying across the waves beyond.

We admired it for a short burst of pétanque, and then headed inland again in search of the mid-point of Denmark. This we found marked by a lump of stone. It is a large lump, but not as huge as the next great chunk of granite which stands not far away, alone in a grassy spot. An inscription on one flank of this encormous stone states its role as the coronation rock of Viking kings, Harald Hen (1076) and Niels (1104), while a statement on its other side records that it was King Frederik IX who positioned the rock in that spot in 1940.

The final leg of our route took us on, through the characterful houses of the town, to the harbour. We pedalled out along its pier to the very end and faced out to sea. Behind us were the restaurant and bar, and in front the dark grey ocean, inviting us to imagine Viking ships on the horizon carrying their kings towards the shore to be crowned.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

Postcard from the romantic garden, Sanderumgaard

Today we had our picnic under an apple tree in the romantic garden at Sanderumgaard, Odense, Denmark. The sun was soft, and the blossom full. It was the perfect spot to pause, and although the roses and peonies were still to bloom, it was easy to imagine their colour and fragrance taking over the top lawns around the small orchard where we sat.

We’d arrived a few hours earlier and wandered through the garden, beginning amongst the apple trees, and then walking through the long arched tunnel of young limes, to the acres of beech trees and water features beyond. It was peaceful and cool, with occasional glimpses back to the imposing manor house.

The garden, restored after well over a century and a half of neglect, are managed mostly by volunteers, and the owners Erik and Susanne Vind, who have brought the garden back to life following the plans and pictures of its creation under the care of owner Johan Bülow, in the late 18th century.

I loved the feel of the garden – the water, the ducks, the enormous, gnarled old stump, the swing in the beech trees, the bridges, the field of peonies, and the promise of the roses encircling a statue of Hermes on his rock. Everything felt right, and all protected by the long low arms of old red roofed barns.

It was such a pleasure to be there, and easy to understand why the famous Danish artist, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, had wanted to paint this place.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023