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Sunday 26 June 2016

An Odde Experience

 Good morning, lovely readers.
Well, I did mention that I'd have some technical difficulties for a short while and currently that's exactly where I am.

We've just come back from Sjaellands Odde which is a spit of land in the north of the island on which Copenhagen sits.

It is so beautifully peaceful there, with beaches on each side of the spit.  

The Danes have a strong summer house tradition.  These houses lie out from the cities and  families can take relaxing yet invigorating breaks at weekends and during holidays.

I am lucky enough to stay in one on Sjaellands Odde with my wonderful Danish friends when I am there.

Here's an example - they are typically wooden constructions,  painted black and trimmed in white and set in the woods.  Only Danish residents are permitted to buy them but they can of course be rented.  These days they have all modern facilities and are furnished charmingly - typically in traditional style with a modern twist.

The sea around the Odde is surprisingly warm (and warmer than back home!) so I spent much of my time swimming, often swimming with jellyfish!  On some days the edge of the water was filled with whole shoals of them - I'm sorry, I don't know if there is a specific collective noun for jellyfish and because I'm feeling beautifully chilled after my trip, I haven't jumped to Google it!  So you've got "shoals".

There is a sweet harbour on the spit.  It includes a fishmonger here who sells fabulous shellfish and fish.

Also on the spit is a farm shop, birkmosegaard, which sells its fabulous organic vegetables, a huge variety of meat and bottled preserves.  The front of house lady is a super character.

One can eat so well on Sjaellands Odde, that's for sure!

The Odde's shores are geologically interesting and stones from all parts of Scandinavia end up on its beaches.  I was there two years ago and much-enjoyed a guided beach walk learning about the stones' provenance.

The Red Church on the spit is beautiful, inside and out.  Denmark's church graveyards are very lovely, which sounds a bit strange but it is because family graves are made into little gardens, with each "garden" put together and lovingly maintained by those around to do so.

The beaches are peaceful and surprisingly empty.

Ideal places to read, or to do absolutely nothing!  One's mind can just drift away.

The Odde offers good shore fishing.

But one of the reasons for me being there at this time of year was to enjoy the Sancte Han's Aften (St John's Eve).  Traditionally it is a religious festival celebrating the eve of the birthday of St John but these days it is looked on as midsummer festival.  A time to party and enjoy the very long day.

Bonfires are lit on the beaches.  An effigy of a witch is burned. (not sure why).   Food is cooked on the bonfire.  Traditional songs are sung - I did my best to join in the singing with my Danish friends!

The beautiful sunset is then enjoyed.  It is dark for only a few hours, but not very dark.  I stayed up  L A T E  to enjoy the midsummer experience!

If you have the opportunity, midsummer in Scandinavia makes for a super holiday.  

So, that's what I've been up to of late. I will be able to post pics of me enjoying myself with friends elsewhere in a couple of days.  Should you want to see me, that is!  Heaven knows, you may have missed me!

A la perchoine.

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