Phew! It’s been a while… Haven’t been here for so long and kind of figured out that it’s maybe high time to put on some updates! I can hardly believe that the last post is from the end of January. Since then I’ve done a bunch of cool trips and have had some really exciting and time-consuming projects. All this, together with a solid dose of idleness, kept me away from my blog.
My recent stay in Skagen, Denmark, seems to be a pretty good reason to animate this place a little bit ;)
As Skagen happens to be one of the most popular seaside resorts in Denmark, I was quite happy to visit it out of tourist season. In late September the temperatures are already getting much lower that in August, but it can still be very sunny and nice. There are only a few tourists and I definitely prefer that kind of atmosphere, even if it’s a bit too chilly to take a dip in the sea.
Early autumn is a perfect time to immerse yourself in the town’s history and to see with your own eyes that famous light, so well captured by Skagen’s painters, as well as enjoy long walks in the stunning scenery.
The easiest way to get to Skagen is to catch a plane to Aalborg and then rent a car. It’s around 1h30 drive from the airport. Long before the town you’ll find yourself in the middle of a very distinctive and surprising countryside landscape, driving past the dune plantations that give to the whole place a very unique look. This beautiful scenery, shaped by the wind and waves, is now sheltered and very calm.
Once at the destination, I checked in Skagen Harbour Hotel, a very cool place to stay in, only a few minutes walk from the port of Skagen - the best place to try fresh and delicious sea food.
The next day I got up super early to shoot the sunrise. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any light and it was all blue and grey. On the other hand I did enjoy the soothing atmosphere of this silent morning and delicate mist enveloping everything.
There are more that 60km of beaches around Skagen and they can differ quite a lot between Kattegat and Skagerrak side. As for me, I headed straight to probably the most fascinating among them - Grenen, “the land’s end” .
This tiny tip of the headland at Skagen Odde is one of the most visited places in whole Denmark and it is so for a reason. When In Grenen you can literally stand with a foot in two different seas, for the Baltic sea and the North sea meet there. To my huge surprise it’s actually something that you can see with the naked eye, as waves are getting somewhat chaotic in that place. At some point, the water looks almost like it’s boiling!
After wandering around the sand dunes and managing to get some breakfast, I grabbed my car and went to see the Sand-Covered Church, another must-see location in Skagen. This old church dating from 14th century ended up buried by the sand from the nearby dunes and abandoned in 1795. Today, only its tower is still standing.
When it comes to lunch, Iscaféen turned out to be one of the loveliest places in the whole town to enjoy the warm sun and the most delicious open sandwiches on rye bread. It was a pleasure to have a chat with the café’s staff too and thanks to them I happened to visit a really cool place that, otherwise, I would most probably overlook.
Just next to this charming café is located Bamsemuseum - a whole museum dedicated to Teddy bears! To be honest, while going there, I was expecting the worst. To my huge surprise, it turned out to be quite the opposite - a real cool place mixing craziness and fun. I even found two Teddy bears that looked pretty much like the ones, I had when I was a kid.
Without any doubt the best way to get around Skagen is by bike. Luckily, they have lots of bikes at Skagen Harbour Hotel and I was very glad to leave the car and explore the town on two wheels.
Architecturally speaking, Skagen looks pretty much like a typical, nordic town, with timber-framed houses, white fences, cute, colorful doors and well-kept gardens. With only a few people on the streets, it looked almost unreal.
While cycling around Skagen, you’ll surely pass next to Brøndums Hotel, the oldest hotel in town, founded around 1859. Having a lunch or dinner there is a must, unless you get a chance to actually stay at the hotel. The food is absolutely delicious and the friendly staff will happily tell you about the hotel’s interesting history.
Right from the beginning, the hotel received prominent guests, such as Hans Christian Andersen for instance. Later on, the artists that started to gather regularly in Skagen in the 1870s, were spending lots of time at Brøndums too. Even the Danish Royal Family used to have a holiday apartment at this hotel which seems to be an ultimate confirmation of its prestige.
Today, the unique atmosphere of the hotel has remained unchanged. The original furniture and colors of the walls are still the same, as when Karen Blixen was writing parts of “Out of Africa” in the hotel’s rooms. Getting a delicious dessert in such a decor, by the fireplace, was a bliss and a true moment of hygge.
I may not have been able to enjoy a sunrise at one of the beautiful Skagen beaches, but at the same time, Mother Nature made it up to me with the most gorgeous sunsets. Although very different every day, they were all incredibly spectacular.
I guess the best place to admire those beautiful, changing colors, is in Højen, an old fishing community, located on the west side of Skagen Odde, that is now the part of the town. Højen maintains the unspoiled look of a 19th century fishing village and is definitely worth a visit.
In the evening, better not be too late to get the best place at the Sunset Viewpoint, offering unforgettable views of northernmost sunsets in Denmark.
Once there, try to go a little bit off the beaten track and climb the sand dunes. The breathtaking view nearly swept me off my feet and I spent a lot of time taking photos and simply savoring the most beautiful light.
When all this was finished, I just had enough time to jump in a car and go to the eastern part of Skagen, where Det Grå Fyr - Skagen Grey Lighthouse - is located. Perfectly on time to take some moody photos at the dusk.
The last ones before heading back home, to Paris…