segunda-feira, 2 de agosto de 2010
A place called Hirtshals...
(The lighthouse, the trademark of Hirtshals, Jutland, North Denmark)
For our summer vacation this year Per and I decided to take a road trip into the European continent and the trip was totally amazing, exhausting, but really great. It was an adult trip and we were on our own for ten days, circulating around some very special corners of this old continent.
First I must confess that it was not easy to have fun without our kids, we missed them so much that I dare to say it is almost boring to live without the kids. For this adult trip we prioritized some small villages and towns of Central Europe and tried hard to keep the big towns at a good distance. We wanted peace and quite, what doesn't mean that we were able to keep ourselves completely away from the cities of Europe. Not at all! Specially because Amsterdam was an obligatory stop in our journey, the not so great part of the trip I must confess...
The highlights of our trip:
* The experience to travel with our own car to distant and different countries was amazing, it was all so comfortable and exciting, we loved it. It was an extra fun to put our car on ferries and boats to cross some seas around Europe.
* Arriving by land is just fantastic, it offers the traveler a totally different perspective of the place, the arrival takes place slowing and continuously while we can take our time to see whatever pleases us more, to find our own way into the country, to identify things and slowly connect with the place where we are. I just loved the whole driving experience...
* We traveled with Bob, our friend GPS without whom this car trip would not have been possible.
* We crossed six countries (Norway not included in this account) and we fell completely in love with Switzerland, specially the cantons of Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Bern. We drove thousands of kilometers to get to Switzerland where we had "deposit" our highest expectations in this trip and the country didn't disappoint. I definitely must come back with a post exclusively about Switzerland.
* But before that I want to write about something else. About my certainty that the best travels are made out of unexpected situations and this trip wasn't different. We didn't plan it but we ended our trip in Denmark. This country was not in our map this time and do you want know something ? We loved it...
(Beach in front of the camping site in Hirtshals, North of Jutland, Denmark)
* Hirtshals in Denmark was definitely an amazing surprise and it turned out to be one of our favorite places in this trip. It was a totally unexpected place. I am more, and more, convinced that some of the most amazing things happen when we lower our expectations or, better, when we are able to just go through life without any expectations at all. Let me explain.
* As I mentioned before, we did not plan to cross the entire Jylland in Norwegian or Jutland in English by car to get to Hirtshals. It all happened after Estela's arrival was delayed and we had to stay some extra days in Amsterdam. The unexpected delay forced us to change our trip plans since we would not have time enough to get the boat from Kiel (Germany) to Oslo, the boat we had booked and paid for some months in advance. Isn't it amazing how things happen?
(Per was really brave to step his feet in the cold waters of the North Sea!)
* Once we found ourselves "boatless", we were forced to find another route to get home from The Netherlands. We immediately rushed and booked places in the ferry between Hirtshals and Larvik, South of Oslo because it was the only boat with places available in the midst of the high summer season. It turned out that our new slightly longer trip became a more beautiful and pleasurable one, as we definitely enjoyed our days driving around the Jutland.
* Once we got to Hirtshals we immediately fell forthe place and its amazing camping site. Located in front of one of the most amazing sandy beach on the North Sea, the camping is located literally below the lighthouse, a trademark of the small village.
* The entire North coast of Denmark is surrounded by beautiful, endless sandy beaches which includes the coast of Hirtshals, Skagen and Frederikshavn, some of the Northernmost towns on the Danish territory.
(The delicious little museum where a visit offers you the chance to enjoy a fish meal served by voluntary senior citizens happy to receive their guests in the garden of the museum).
* Life in this small town goes around the port, the fishing industry and tourism. Who needs more? The front of the small museum exhibit a line of salted fish hanged there to dry on the wind, reminding the visitors where we are...
(Estela accompanied us the last days of our trip and I believe she had a lot of fun exploring the area outside the camping site in Hirtshals).