The island has a population of 45,000 and an area of 588 square kilometres. The main industries in the islands are fishing, dairy farming and arts and crafts such as pottery and glass-making. Tourism is a thriving industry in the islands too for more than half a million tourists visit Bornholm Island each year. The seasons are milder in Bornholm than the rest of Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. For the most part of the year, the island is warm and sunny.
Østerlars Kirke on Bornholm
Photo by Per Trangbæk, Wikimedia Commons
Bornholm has been a part of the Viking trade route in the 10th century. The island was under German and Swedish rules but after the Germans lost in World War II, Bornholm was returned to Denmark in 1946 as part of its Hovenstaden Region. Part of Bornholm to the north are the islands of Christianso which is part of the Ertholomene Archipelago. The island has castles and ruins that date back to the Middle Ages. Bronholm is quite easy to reach from Copenhagen, Sweden and Germany by ferry. There are also trains and buses that go to southern Sweden then on to Rønne, Bornholm by hydrofoil boat.
More than two centuries ago, there were several painters that came to the islands to paint the scenes of and views of Bornholm. Most of these painters stayed permanently and founded the Bornholm School. Swedish painter Karl Isaksson was one of the first impressionists who took residence in the island. Other famous painters who went and stayed in Bornholm were Olaf Rude, Edward Weye, Niels Leergaard and a Bornholm native painter Oluf Høst.
Photo by Darkone, Wikimedia Commons
The Bornholm Museum presents a wonderful collection of the island’s cultural history including a ceramic’s museum. A visit to the Erichsens Gård botanical garden is highly recommended. The garden and building date back to the 19th century. The Bornholms Middelaldercenter is located in Gudhjem which is a representation of authentic life led during the Middle Ages.
Today, tourists troop to the beaches of Bornholm especially those located in between Rønne and Hasle in the western coast and Dueodde in the southern coast. Biking around the island is also a great way to explore it. The bike paths were former railroad tracks. The villages in the islands are picture perfect.
If you prefer to camp in the islands, there are beautiful campsites in Bornholm too. Travelling by motorhome? No worries. There are several motorhome parks in Bornholm such as the one in Sandvig which offers a great view of the sea.
What are there to see in Odense? The top tourist attractions in the city are the Odense Zoo, Han Christian Andersen’s House, Danish Railway Museum and the Funen Village. Other attractions in the city are:
- Cathedral of King Canute the Holy (Saint Knuds Kirke)
- Odense Golf Club
- Odense Palace
- Hans Christian Andersen Museum
- Carl Nielsen Museum
- Danish Museum of Printing
- Museum of Photographic Art
- Local History Museum
- DSB Railroad Museum
- St. Knud Church
- Peace Church
- University of Southern Denmark
These are just some of the attractions you can enjoy in Odense.
Church of Saint Knud in Odense
Photo by Lars Bo Wassini, Wikimedia Commons
Located in 206 Sondre Boulevard, the Odense Zoo is the second largest zoo in Denmark. The zoo is a favourite destination for a jaunt. There are giraffes, lions, zebras, chimps, tigers and animals from different parts of the world. The oceanium has manatees (sea cows) and penguins too. The zoo is open the whole year round.
In Munkemøllestræde is the childhood home of the famous writer Hans Christian Andersen. He lived in this half-timbered house from 1807 to 1819 with his parents. In 1930 the house was converted into a museum and is currently a part of the main Andersen Museum in Hans Jensens Strðde. The HC Andersen Gardens is behind St. Knuds Kirke and is a sight to behold at the height of summer.
Danish Railway Museum, Odense
Photo by Matthew Ross, Wikimedia Commons
The Danish Railway Museum is near the Odense Railway Station. It houses quite extensive models of original locomotives and carriages including sleepers, royal carriages and dining cars. There are model railway layouts, computer games and simulations for everyone to enjoy. For small children are designated play areas.
Funen Village or Fyn is an open-air museum with some 30 traditional buildings dating back to the 17th to 19th centuries. The antique buildings were relocated from various sites in the island. A village-like environment was created with the half-timbered houses complete with streets and a village pond, enclosures for livestock and beautiful gardens. The Funen Village looks authentic and presents a picturesque view of “old” Funen.
Photo by Kåre Thor Olsen, Wikimedia Commons
The Cathedral of King Canute the Holy or Saint Knuds Kirke is located south of the Odense Town Hall. It is a commemorative to Danish Saint Knud IV who begun the construction in 1100. The church was burned sometime in the 12th century and then was revamped to a three-aisled church in the 13th century. The construction took more than 200 years to complete. The current interior of the brick church is Gothic style.
Odense in Funen Island is accessible by ferry, road and rail.
What is there to see at the festival? There is a whole range of activities to do at the festival. There are plenty of activities for the young and old. There are multiple stages for music programs that are varied to cater to different age groups and music tastes. Concerts are held in tents or at open-air venues. There have been an extensive number of Danish musicians and artists who have performed at the Langelandsfestivalen. A long list of international artist have performed at the festival too and some of them are Toto, Santana, Gloria Gaynor, Earth Wind and Fire, The Corrs, Alana Myles, Simple Minds and more.
Danish band "Zididada" at the Langeland Festival
Photo by Lhademmor, Wikimedia Commons
Tickets for the Langeland Festival in July 21-28, 2011 will be on sale starting November 1, 2011 at designated outlets. Online ticket sale will be available in selected websites. Once you purchase tickets you are automatically given a free campsite. There are various spots for tent and you can take your pick. If you are planning to take a motorhome tour of Copenhagen summer next year, best book a campervan way in advance so you can enjoy the facilities at the Langeland Festival. In case you are going to the festival in a motorhome, you need to purchase a caravan ticket. Electricity is included in the price of the ticket. Check out the Lanelandsfestivalen website for the requirements.
There is Children’s World for kids of all ages. The area is the size of 4 football fields. There are playgrounds, bike lanes, bouncy castles and other form of activities and entertainment for the kids. More than 300 volunteers man the Children’s World that kids are quite safe in the area. Entrance is free. Parents have to check in their children for security purposes. It is also best for parents to write down their mobile phone numbers on their children’s arm just in case they get separated.
On the Festival grounds are a separate Toilet and Baths including several pools. A bath cost £25. Cars and all modes of transportation have their own designated parking space. There are fire trucks and firemen, policemen, nurses, paramedics on duty for security.
The “feet” are the mode of transportation within the festival grounds. Special dispensation is given for the disabled as long as they have blue card on their car. They can also opt to stay in camp designated for them. If you need to use a barbecue grill, there are designated areas for this.
Volunteers are being recruited. You can apply online should you want to experience Langelandsfestivalen as an organizer.
In 1982, four natives put their heads together and envisioned, planned and actually executed the first Aalborg Carnival a year later. More than 10,000 joined the very first parade and from then on the number multiplied as the popularity of the event magnified. Today the Aalborg Carnival is a weeklong celebration with three main carnival events - the Grand Parade, Battle of the Carnival Bands and the Children’s Carnival. In the week-long celebrations participants both non-pro and professional groups and children of all ages don their themed-costumes and dance their way in the parade.
Battle of Carnival - Poco Loco
Photo by Aalborg Carnival - Photographers, Flickr
The Children’s Carnival or Børnekarneval is held in the week leading to the Grand Parade which is always held on a Saturday. Children take centre stage as they dance and enjoy the parade with their parents. They dance and walk through the city streets of Aalborg with the parade culminating with entertainment and games at the Kildeparken or Kilde Park. No one is exempted from this parade. Every child can join the fun.
On the Friday of carnival week, the Battle of the Carnival Band takes place. Professional carnival groups from Europe and the rest of the world troop to Aalborg to compete in the yearly competition. A panel of judges grade the participants based on their costumes and group performance. The selected group earns the title of Best Carnival Group.
Battle of Carnival - Aquerela de Paris
Photo by Aalborg Carnival - Photographers, Flickr
The main event is on Saturday. The Grand Parade is open for everyone. The Parade is divided into 4 groups that start off from different streets in Aalborg and proceeds in a star formation to the city harbour. The King of the Carnival takes the lead in this parade of “carnivalists” and international carnival groups as they continue as one into Kildeparken. The Grand Parade is the highlight of the week-long activity. At the park, four stages are set up to provide a variety of entertainment from the locals and international groups. The winner of the Battle of the Carnival Bands is also announced at this event.
Battle of Carnival - Mandinga Arts
Photo by Aalborg Carnival - Photographers, Flickr
Though you can wear basically anything you want in joining the Grand Parade, note that each year, a theme is provided as a guideline. This year, 2011, the theme is Sexzoological Zoo which was interpreted in a variety of ways. In 2010, the theme was Mars and Venus while 2009’s theme was La Dolce Vita.
If you are gearing up for Aalborg Carnival in 2012, start preparing your costume as the theme is “The World Upside Down”. Accommodations are slowly being filled right now. If you are touring Aalborg in a campervan the campsites in and around Aalborg are great places to stay as carnival ambiance is evident there too.
Photo by Andreas Schmidt, Wikimedia Commons
Amager Strandpark is just a few minutes away from the central Copenhagen. The beach is accessible by public transportation. This beach is very popular not only because of its proximity to the capital city but because of its white and soft sand, gentle waves and a spectacular view of the Oresund Bridge on the North Sea. If the weather is clear it is possible to see Sweden across the sea.
Nymindegab Strand & Henne Strand are adjacent beaches. These are Blue Flag beaches too which means excellent quality of water, safe and eco-friendly environment and clean public toilets. These beaches have high sand dunes and waves off the North Sea. The picture perfect beach is in the southwestern Jutland near Esberg. Great camping facilities are available here too.
Middelfart Marina, Funen is a family-friendly beach. The golden-sand beach has a playground and a long list of activities for the whole family. The beaches in Middlefart Marina serve as a kick-off point for tourists who want to drive to Funen Island. On the island are picturesque beaches that are accessible to the public.
Bisnap Beach in North Jutlad is just outside the town of Hals. This beach is big with ample parking, access for wheelchairs and a string of great organized activities for kids. There are waterfront attractions that will satisfy beach fanatics of all sizes and ages. Head off to Aalborg to get to Bisnap Beach. Jutland has the best and biggest concentration of beaches. Most have summer cottages and campsites for an ultimate summer holiday.
Photo by 11thearlofmar, Wikimedia Commons
Bildsø Beach is a quieter beach than most Danish beaches. The beach is surrounded by lush and verdant foliage rendering the area such a beautiful landscape. The beach is quite secluded but it is not hard to get there. Drive down to Slagelse then on to Road 277 until you find a public parking with a small convenience store. Park your car and walk to the beach.
For a more upmarket feel, the sandy shores of Tisvildeleje in North Copenhagen are a great choice. The beaches are family-friendly with shallows and sandbars for small children to enjoy. There are cafés and restaurants that offer great fares too. Gudmindrup Lyng Strand in Northwest Zealand is probably the best beach in the country.
Freetown Christiana is a “free-spirited” commune in Copenhagen. Some freewheeling Danish hippies of the 70’s decided to occupy the abandoned military barracks in Christianshavn in 1971. The controversial community was considered a social experiment, albeit a successful one, by others. To some, the commune became a safe haven where one can freely express himself. Still, this alternative community was considered a “stolen property” for no one in Freetown Christiania ever paid for the land.
Entrance to Christiania
Photo by Symac, Wikimedia Commons
Freetown Christiania started out as a social commune where one can take solace in. Jacob Ludvigsen, a journalist, proclaimed the abandoned military barracks as the “land of the settlers” in September 1971. The thrust of the commune was to create an independent society where every resident is held responsible over the welfare of the whole commune. It was also the ideal of Freetown Christiania for its residents to be self-sustaining in all aspects. The hippie movement of anarchy and socialism became the norm.
Glass house in Freetown Christiania
Photo by seier+seier, Flickr Creative Commons
The Christiania Law of 1989 governs the commune where it states that supervision of Christiania is in part transferred to the state, which in reality owns the former military base. The stand of government authorities and its relationship with Christiania is quite controversial. The 850-strong population of the commune like their autonomy but they are not exempted from paying for their utilities and taxes. The community is known for its less than stellar merchandise. Cannabis is openly sold in the area. “Pusher Street” became synonymous with Freetown Christiania. In 2004, a ban was implemented on the sale of illegal drugs.
The residents of the commune still apply their own set of rules such as: no stealing, no cars, no hard drug (which basically mean hash is still being sold), no bullet-proof vest et al. Smoking is allowed in the area but visitors are not allowed to take pictures of the community. If you are touring Copenhagen in a motorhome, it is best it you park the campervan in a trailer park and walk to the commune.
Wallpaintings near the entrance to Christiania
Photo by Quistnix, Wikimedia Commons
The “openness” of Christiania branded the commune as a liberated and progressive force of Danish life. Visitors such as tourists, musicians, students, academicians and artists frequent the place. The freewheeling community was rejected by some because it has become a hub for illegal drugs and a haven for criminals and misfits. On the other hand, there are residents who take pride in the “Danishness” of Christiania and show -off the commune to guests and visitors.
In June 2011, the Danish government and the residents of Christiania have finally come into an agreement that would benefit both. Freetown Christiania residents have formed a foundation to buy the squatted land from the state.
Residents of Christiania work as blacksmiths and carpenters. The bicycle trailers branded as Christiania bikes are made here too. In the area are restaurants, cafés, meditation centres and night clubs. Guided tours are every Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 pm.
Copenhagen has plenty of tourist destinations and one of the more popular places to visit is the Copenhagen Zoo. The zoo has been established in 1859 by Niles Kjaerbolling and is one of the oldest zoos in all of Europe.
Main entrance of the zoo
Photo by Hans Jørn Storgaard Andersen, Wikimedia Commons
København Zoo is located in Frederiksberg, between Søndermarken and Frederiksberg Park. It spreads on an 11 hectare property that is right smack in the centre of Copenhagen. If you touring Copenhagen in a motorhome, it would be best for you to park in a motorhome park near Lystbådehavn first and commute going to the zoo. With more than a million visitors trooping to the zoo yearly, the venue is the 4th most visited tourist attraction in the country.
The zoo is divided into sectors. The Norden (North) boasts of animals such as reindeers, seals, polar bears, brown bears, muskox, grey wolf and more. Sydamerika (South America) has the guanaco, capybara, mara, anteater, nandu and screamer.
The observation tower
Photo by Björn Söderqvist, Flickr Creative Commons
Afrika (Africa) visitors are treated to views of giraffes, rhinoceros, impala, ostrich, hippopotamus, zebra, caracal and the rare okapi. Øer pertains to Islands and in this area are found native animals of Australia such as the kangaroo, emu, kea, lemur and Tasmanian devil.
At the Børnezoo or Children’s Zoo are animals that are good enough to pet: goats, llamas, pigs, horses, chickens and cows. Children may ride ponies or take a closer look at rabbits, snakes and other animals in the Zoo Stage. Daily at 3:20 p.m. the cows are milked to the delight of children as they watch. You can check the schedules of feeding time for seals, chimpanzees, sea lions and other carnivores.
A latest addition to the zoo is the Elephant House. Designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster with Danish landscape architect Stig Anderson, the structure has two glass-domed enclosures for cows and bulls. Contained in the building are an exhibit and lecture halls. The main area in the Elephant House is the 1 hectare landscaped paddock for the elephants. The enclosure has a pool that spans 60 metres long. The fence that separates the paddocks from Frederiksberg Park has been opened up so the people at the park can take a view of the elephants too (and vice versa).
Copenhagen Zoo continues its partnership with other Danish zoos so they could all join in an effort to implement for programs beneficial to the animals. Copenhagen Zoo is open 365 days a year. It has become a great place to spend and enjoy a day. The animal habitats and enclosures are well-designed and constructed. The many animals and displays and facilities in the zoo afford for a relaxing atmosphere. A trip to Copenhagen Zoo is an inexpensive alternative to amusement parks.
It has been said that the Danes eat and drink a lot. They enjoy good food and take beer and wine for their meals. They are very proud of their local beer- Carlsberg and Tuborg. Danish cuisine is noted for its Smørrebrød or open sandwiches and Frikadeller or meatballs. Back in the days, the Danes preserved their food by salting, smoking or brining meat, fish and fruit. These methods are still used today and is preferred and served in Danish dinner tables.
Photo by jacobms, Flickr
Smoked pork or ham is still a favourite Danish treat. Salami or Spegepølse is pork that is air-dried and has a shelf-life of one year. Brawn or head cheese made of meat from a pig’s head and meat jelly. These dishes are favourites among peasants during the Middle Ages. Smoked herring is also a Danish traditional food. This national meal is also called “gold from the sea”. An alternative is pickled or marinated herring. This food is usually paired with Danish Snaps or Akvavit. Cheese making has been practiced in Denmark during the Viking period. Popular Denmark cheeses are: Blue Castello, Cream Havarti, Danablu (Danish Blue), Danbo, Danish Fontina, Esrom, Fynbo, Havarti, Maribo, Molbo, Mycella, Saga and Samso.
A favourite everyday Danish dish is the Stegt flæs which is made of slices of fried pork belly eaten with Danish potatoes with creamy parsley sauce. This dish is traditionally eaten during winter.
When in Copenhagen a taste of the famous Danish Smørrebrød is a must. Almost all restaurants in Denmark serve their own version of open-faced sandwich. Different portions of food such as cold cuts, cheese, fish, vegetables, paste and salad dressings are artfully put on top of buttered rye bread.
Smørrebrød with different toppings
Photo by Nillerdk, Wikimedia Commons
Dining out in Copenhagen is expensive. It is usual to pay as much as €150 to €200 for a meal. This is the reason why for most Danes, dining out is only done during special occasions. Now how can one eat Danish food on a budget? Opt for mobile street food! There are plenty of mopeds and bikes that go around the city offering budget yet very satisfactory Danish food. Fish cake with tartar sauce is a favourite at only €2.75 per order. If you are touring Copenhagen in a motorhome you can opt to buy the local sausages, cheese and pastries and dine Al fresco!
Rød Pølse and beer
Photo by vargklo, Flickr Creative Commons
Another favourite is røde pølser which is actually a hotdog-like sausage bought from a Pølsevogn or a sausage wagon. Other types of sausages are also available from this cart. Served with a slice of bread, ketchup, Danish remoulade and mustard this sausage and bread are alternately dipped into the sauce and eaten. Yummy!
Tivoli Garden - Perhaps the most popular park is Tivoli Garden Park. Present-day Tivoli Garden is a mixture of garden spaces, amusement centre, hotels and exhibits. The garden park is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. It opened its doors to the world in 1843 when Georg Carstensen convinced the King of Denmark to build an amusement park right in the middle of Copenhagen. Over 4 million people visit the garden park yearly. Tivoli Garden is akin to a fairytale village twinkling in the heart of Copenhagen. There is something for everyone in Tivoli Garden - from fantastic flower gardens, theatres, gourmet restaurants, outdoor stages, cafés, bars and park rides. This theme park is not usual as the place does not carry the usual theme park branding with its accompanying fast food stalls. In preparation for the Christmas season, Tivoli Garden transforms into a winter wonderland.
Bakken -is the oldest amusement park in Copenhagen dating back to the 16th century when a spring that reportedly has healing properties was discovered in the area. It is now a tapered version of Tivoli Garden and it is located in Kalmpenborg.
Amaliehaven- is a beautiful fountain garden adjacent the Amalienborg Palace, the royal residence. The garden is accented by graceful fountains and magnificent waterfalls and rose gardens. The garden, designed by Jean Delogne affords a great view of the palace and the Marble Church.
Amalienborg, the Marble Church and Amaliehaven
Photo by C Jill Reed, Flickr Creative Commons
Botanisk Have- This Park was formerly part of the city’s defensive moat. When Copenhagen grew, moats and fortifications were turned into gardens and lakes. The Botanisk Have is now a part of Copenhagen’s Botanical Gardens. The greenhouses are special as they house many tropical and subtropical plants alien to native Copenhagen. Included in the garden are houses for different types of cacti, palms and Alpine plants. Its location is in Gothersgade 130, Copenhagen 1123.
Churchillparken - This Park beautifully surrounds the Nationalmuseet or National Museum. Located in this garden hill is St. Alban’s Church that has worship services in English. Location is in Ny Vestergade 10.
Photo by Mark Chapman, Flickr Creative Commons
Dyrehaven- Located in Klampenborg this garden park is at the city outskirts. This area used to be the private hunting grounds of the King of Denmark. Today the park is lush patch of beautiful blooms and plants for visitors to see. This park also offers a view of the sea. Adjacent to the park is Bakken amusement park.
Kongens Have- King’s Garden is located behind Rosenborg Slot near Strøget, the pedestrian shopping area in Copenhagen. Kongens Have is filled with patches of different blooms, flower beds and trees. These plants and flowers wash the whole area with fresh scent and vibrant colours. In the park is a statue of Hans Christian Andersen.
Royal Library Gardens-Located in Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1 this garden park occupies the former Christian IV’s naval port. The garden park was established in 1920 and the small pond in the park serves as reminder of the area’s maritime beginnings. The park has benches and seats in and around trees for visitors to rest. The gardens are placed between the Parliament building and Royal Library.
Start at the Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall Square). View the bronze statue of Hans Christian Andersen at the street bearing his name. You can also see the statue of two lur horn players (1914). Pass the lur horn players and walk eastward along Vester Voldgade to a narrow alley on the left to arrive at Lavendelstræde. The street is lined with 18th century houses some of which were the homes of famous people.
Photo by Malte Hübner, Wikimedia Commons
Walk further on to arrive at Slutterigade. This street is lined up with courthouses on both sides. What is unique is that the courthouses are joined by elevated walkways or footbridges. The area was actually Copenhagen’s fourth town hall. Nytorv is another square where you can see and admire 19th century houses. Note that Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) lived in a house right next to the courthouse.
To reach Strøget cross Nytorv and veer to your left towards Nygade, one of the five streets that makes up Strøget, the top traffic-free shopping street in Denmark. Shopping and walking through this 1 km street that cuts right into the heart of the city is surely a delight for both shoppers and strollers. Walk northeast along Nygade to reach the winding and narrow Vimmelskaftet then on to Amagertorv. To the left of that street is Helligåndskirken (Church of the Holy Ghost) founded in the 15th century is the oldest church in Copenhagen. Also on this street are buildings that date back to 1616. Further on is Østergade where the famous Illum’s Department Store is.
Photo by Roger Wollstadt, Flickr Creative Commons
Walk further on to arrive at Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen’s largest square. An equestrian statue of Christian IV is found here. Proceed to the right to arrive at Laksegade. Go south until you reach the intersection at Nikolajgade. Turn right to reach Nikolaj Kirke. This church is circa 1530 and was the place where Hans Tausen, the father of Danish Reformation, preached. Head to Fortunstræde to arrive at Højbro Plads where you can view an equestrian statue of Bishop Absalon, the founder of Copenhagen. At the park you can take a view of Thorvaldsens Museum and Christiansborg Palace on Slotsholmen.
Further west is Gammel Strand, a waterfront promenade. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs is in this area. To the right of the building is Snaregade, a quaint street in the heart of the city. Walk on to Knabrostræde to have a view of structures that date back to 1795, after the great fire of Copenhagen. Do a U-turn at Snaregade then turn right to Magstræde, one of the most preserved streets in the city. Walk along Rådhusstræde and take a view of the two oldest buildings in Copenhagen. At the end of Magstræde is a square, Vandkunsten. Turn right to Gasegade and then left to Farvergade. At the intersection at Vester Voldgade is Vartov Church. Process westward until you reach Rådhuspladsen and find the entrance to Tivoli Gardens at Vesterbrogade 3, an amusement park that has attractions and entertainment choices to the more than 4.5 million visitors it receives every summer.