Thursday 19 October 2017

PHOTO DIARY: Roskilde, Denmark, June 2017

With our flight leaving Copenhagen in the evening we had to get from Aarhus to Zealand, whilst also managing to visit a ton of places en route. Of course we managed it, whilst also having a couple of great meals in the process.


Of course our last day in Denmark was a busy one. We left Aarhus bright and early on a Mols-Linien ferry to Zealand. The ferry is a much faster and cheaper way to get back to Copenhagen. Not only is the ticket pretty cheap, but you avoid paying any bridge tolls and you're obviously saving money not driving. It takes about 70 minutes from Aarhus to Sjællands Odde which is no time at all.

Our first stop was Dragsholm Castle, one of the oldest secular buildings in the country. It dates back to around 1215 where it was the strongest castle in Denmark. Now its home to a hotel and Michelin starred restaurant, but the grounds still make a nice place for a stroll.

Just outside Roskilde, we visited the town of Lejre and the accompanying Lejre Museum. This area is famous for it's Viking settlements and you can walk freely around the fields where Viking stone buildings and burial grounds once stood for 500 years. The museum presents information about various archaeological finds in the area. Nearby Ledreborg Palace, which dates back to the 18th century, has stunning gardens which you can walk around.

We made it to Roskilde where we spent the best part of the afternoon visiting the local sights. Our first stop is the renowned Viking Ship Museum where you can visit five well-preserved Viking ships from the 11th century. The ships were excavated from the fjord 20km north of the city and represent distinct classes such as long ships and war ships. The boat yard, found in the harbour next to the museum explains traditional ship building techniques and there's even a reconstruction boat that you can look around.

We headed into the centre of town to visit the magnificent gothic styled Roskilde Cathedral, where the monarchs of Denmark are buried. There are 39 Royal tombs here and the building is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is absolutely stunning and worth a trip the trip to Roskilde alone. Adjacent to the cathedral is Roskilde Palace, where the Museum of Contemporary Art is housed.

Roskilde is a pretty small place so it was no surprise to learn that most places were closed. However, we did discover Landmad was open and subsequently had a fantastic lunch. I had a lovely selection of salads, cheese and bread, in other words, a perfect Scandinavian lunch.

Roskilde is probably most famous for it's music festival so we wanted to visit Ragnarock, the rock music museum on the outskirts of town. To be honest I found it pretty underwhelming, it was more about the history of how music is made rather than specially about Danish music which is what I was hoping the focus would be.

We headed back to Copenhagen for one last tourist stop, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art. It wasn't my favourite contemporary art gallery of the trip, (bad day for museums perhaps), as I found some of the art a bit too weird, but I did enjoy the Damien Hirst room so at least it had that going for it.

Back in Vesterbro we grabbed dinner at Pony, the sister (and slight cheaper) restaurant to the one Michelin star Kadeau. Pony's philosophy is very much in line with Kadeau, using only local produce, and whilst the style of cooking is very similar, the dishes are simpler making this a more affordable option. I wish we'd known that our flight was delayed by two hours as we could have ordered the four course Pony Kick menu instead of going for a rushed two course meal. Nevertheless, the meal was delicious and the perfect way to end our holiday. A shame we had to wait an extra two hours for our flights in the crappy budget end of Copenhagen airport.

Experiencing the gastronomic delights of Denmark was a big aspect of our holiday so finishing with a great meal, using local Danish ingredients, was the perfect end to our perfect trip. Denmark was absolutely wonderful and I have so many fond memories of the trip. I feel incredibly lucky to have visited a country that many people don't bother experiencing beyond the capital. Denmark isn't all about Copenhagen and I hope this series of posts tells that story. From the food, to the sights, to the landscape, Denmark is beautiful and has such a rich and varied history. I really hope to visit again soon and discover even more, because despite covering a huge amount of the country during our visit, there's still so much to see. Shout out to Steve for doing all the driving, you really are an absolute star, thank you!

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