Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Early Autumn escape to North Jutland

Grenen - the tip of Jutland, Skagen, Denmark
Autumn is here and with it comes unpredictable weather. Luckily, Indian summer greeted us and the first weekend of October was surprisingly mild and warm. This weather was glorious for a full day of exploration in North Jutland. The pack was gathered at the most northern point of Denmark, Grenen (Skaw Spit) in Skagen, where we had ourselves a morning walk along the beach. I love Autumn for its remarkable transformation and its enchanting color palette, which is slowly becoming more and more dominant in the landscape. Right here in Skagen the fiery and earthy colors were blended to perfection with the remaining summer greens and the blue waters. It was such a refreshing morning. There is just something about fresh air and ocean smell that makes you feel alive and free!
Grenen does not only allow you to stand at the very tip of Denmark but also allows you to witness an extraordinary wonder of nature: Convergence of two seas, the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The shape of the peninsula on Grenen is temporally unique; meaning it is constantly changing as it is formed by the continues wave interactions between the two seas. Normally you will see Grenen depicted as a long stretch of sand on the map of Denmark, however this morning small waves were peacefully rolling in and covering the entire Grenen so that only a snout was visible. I recall the first summer I was setting foot on Grenen, it was packed in tanned-meat and floods of tourists, making it impossible to appreciate this famous landmark. Today, however, we had the whole area to ourselves and it was beautiful.
Desert landscapes are not exactly what comes to mind when you think about Denmark. Nevertheless an area of around 1 square kilometer between Skagen and Frederikshavn is covered by migratory sand dunes. This impressive scenery is known as Råbjerg Mile and is the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. Classical fall weather was lingering in the air as we arrived: The sky was hanging heavy and low, uniting itself with the sand far out in the horizon. We wandered through the camel-colored dunes and collected treasured memories in the form of sand particles that undoubtedly will be hidden in the most sacred pocket holes of our shoes for the months to come. We only covered a small fraction of Råbjerg Mile, which leaves me no choice than to return ones more to fully explore this natural phenomenon of drifting sand dunes.
Råbjerg Mile at Bunken Klitplantage between Skagen and Frederikshavn, Denmark
The effects of the shifting sands can be devastating and its severe impact can be experienced by visiting Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse. The lighthouse is found on the impressive coastal cliff, Lønstrup Klint - but not for long. Left desolate and abandoned, the lighthouse is battling a fierce fight against sand dunes and coastal erosion, facing an inevitable face-plunge into the sea within the next 10 years. I was over-the-top excited about visiting "The destructive Sahara of Denmark" and could totally imagine myself traversing through the desert with solid wind blown sand lashing against my face. There was, however, no whirling sand this day and to our big surprise Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse was under construction. Regardless, this ghostly sentinel still made his impression; standing with the remaining power he has left on the brutal battlefield, the very edge where sand meets ocean, and overlooking the North Sea which soon will become his future home.
Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, Lønstrup Klint, Denmark
The past couple of weeks have been intense at work, so it was an incredible relief to get out and get away. Normally my schedule is super packed and I haven't been able to spend much quality time with my friends from work. I have been missing out on a lot of social activities and it annoyed me, so much that I started feeling a hole of empty space being drilled in my heart. Spending an entire day with these lovely faces was an incredible joy and it was fantastic to be able to explore Denmark together with them. "A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles" - this statement is so true and this weekend trip wouldn't have been the same without you.