Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rebild Bakker draped in a morning gown of silky fog

Rebild Bakker, Rebild, North Jutland, Denmark
Undoubtably, there are days that are better than others for letting out your inner explorer but shady weather does not have to be the limitation. Sometimes the best way to discover new places are on foggy days; days where your eyes can not drift far away in the horizon but instead have to focus on what is right there in front of them. Our very first visit to Rebild Bakker (The Rebild Hills) happened to be on such a day, where the landscape was partially hidden behind hazy curtains. We had heard so much about this marvelous hilly heathland from friends who have been there before us and now it was just a question about walking through the curtains to uncover it for ourselves.
That Sunday morning, the landscape had casually draped herself in a morning gown made of silky fog. She was still slumbering as we entered Rebild Bakker - and who can blame her, it was weekend after all. With time she slowly dropped the gown and uncovered what was beneath: a hilly heathland painted in the colours of Autumn
We could have spent hours walking the many pathways crisscrossing the hills of Rebild Bakker, but an old leg injury had us limiting ourselves to a short route around the hills Nørrekol and Sønderkol. Even though we did not walk many of Rebild's shady dips and round hilltops, we felt like we had entered another realm as the landscape was shrouded in mystery and wilderness.
Rebild bakker is bounded by adjacent woodland and collectively the whole area is known as Rold Skov (Rold Forest). Perhaps best known among all of the forests is Troldeskoven (The Troll Forest) with its characteristic crooked and gnarled beeches. We call them troldetræer (troll tress) here in Denmark; not only these beeches but generally trees that twist and turn in a peculiar manner. The trolls in Troldeskoven have yet another distinctive feature; each individual is composed of multiple trunks caused by an effect of their genetics and growth conditions. We were eager to see these knobbly tree creatures but had beforehand agreed to save that meeting for another day. Climbing one of the hills, we were suddenly caught by surprise as we discovered that a patch of trolls were living here too. Still slumbering through the dreary winter, they continued their sleep barenaked and unaware of our presence as we stepped inside their home to admire their uniqueness.
The frosted hush of winter never really kicked in this season, leaving the sights and smells of fall to be perfectly preserved in Rebild Bakker. The colors of Autumn were totally transfixing, with the dark greens woven in between earth browns and yellow ochre. It is in moments like these, where we recall that the season that most often is associated with decay and deterioration, also has a charm and beauty of its own. The world sets to slumber, only to awaken and rebeautify itself. Never in a lifetime would we give up on this celebration of colors and renewability despite its affiliated downpours and darkness.

Late afternoon Rebild Bakker was still in the same state as when we arrived, with its hills shrouded in a lingering fog - however, as we left the scene our mindsets had changed and we had grown an even greater appreciation of this day's misty and mellow Autumn feel.