|September 6, 2010
We had to check out of the hostel by 10am this morning so we packed up and got our stuff out and put our luggage into the storage room. We had a couple of things we wanted to see in the town which had been closed over the weekend plus we knew we couldn’t check into our hostel at our next destination, Silkeborg, until 4pm.
In the main town we visited the Domkirke, the town’s main cathedral, the Vikingmuseet which is housed in the basement of the Nordea Bank and the Vor Frue Kirke and its crypt. The Domkirke was quite impressive but the reason we came here was to see the crypt, rumoured to be one of the oldest buildings in Denmark. However, we were to be disappointed as there was no crypt here and it was at that point we realised we had the wrong place and that might also help to explain why we ended up visiting another church later on! The Vikingmuseet was free and was in the basement of the Nordea Bank. When the bank had been building this premises they had discovered some artifacts from the Viking city of Aros. As a result, the building work was delayed while excavations were carried out. Ultimately the bank still wanted to use the land and compromised by making the basement area into a museum to show the finds there. As you walked down the staircase they had cut through the rock and you could clearly see the different lines showing the different time periods. Amongst the exhibits down in the basement there were also remains of the boardwalk which ran just inside the city defence walls and it was really amazing how these wooden planks had survived so intact. Much of the text around the exhibits was the same as that from the Mosegard museum. It was still quite an interesting display though and the bonus was it was free! Finally we went to the Vor Frue Kirke to finally see the crypt but it really failed to impress when we got there – it was really tiny and there was hardly anything in there. It took us longer to find the entrance to the church than we spent inside it!
We walked around a bit more of the town and then went to the Jensen’s Bofhus for our cheap steak lunch. We ordered garlic bread as a bit of a treat and the two pieces that turned up were good. The trouble was that the two pieces constituted two servings and it cost nearly $10. Ten bloody dollars for garlic bread? You must be kidding me! We also saw the crazy crack addict guy as we walked back to the hostel but I managed to avoid making eye contact with him! Back at the hostel we had an hour or so to waste before we went to the bus station and got the bus to Silkeborg.
We had a 10 minute walk or so from the bus station to the hostel and when we arrived we were checked in to the Garden House. It was all they had available and they had said they don’t usually rent it out as it isn’t near to the main building where all the facilities are. It was a small wooden shack down by the river bank and seemed very pretty and scenic. It seemed just fine to us and it was costing 250 Krone per night – half of what two dorm beds would’ve cost us!
We went to the supermarket and got some food for the next few nights. We had our sandwiches leftover so for tonight we had those with a decent bottle of cheap wine! Hopefully here our food won’t be stolen – most people staying here are part of one big school group, which is another hassle entirely!
September 7, 2010
Today we went to the Silkeborg Museum. The guidebook had suitably prepared us by saying it was pretty bad and only really had one thing worth seeing but I knew I wanted to see that! And the guidebook was right, too – the museum was pretty crap and it was quite outdated in the main building. They had the oldest piece of glass ever found in Denmark and an old wooden cart thing but other than that there wasn’t much to spend any time looking at. However, in the new building they kept the amazing Tollund Man. Like Grauballe Man we had seen in Århus, this was another of the Iron Age bog men. You could still clearly see his leather hat, the rope around his neck with which he had been hanged and his leather belt. His body position looked just like he was asleep. On closer inspection, you could even see the stubble on his chin. It was so amazing to see these bodies which are dated at over 2,000 years old, this one believed to be from 350BC. The bodies are so well preserved it is even possible to tell what they ate in the lead up to their death, Tollund Man eating a mixture of grains! The museum also housed Elling Woman – this body had been found a few years before Tollund but only about 40 metres away. Her head had been flattened due to some kind of pressure on her skeleton but you could still clearly see all of her hair and the way it was plaited. To see these bodies in such a condition is so interesting. You so often think of bodies decomposing and leaving a pile of bones behind but to be able to see the skin, hair, facial features, clothing and even the reasons for their deaths so clearly is amazing, even more so given that experiments have shown that the temperature in the peat bog would have to be just right plus the water content just right for these bodies to survive even a short time let alone over 2 millennia.
After the museum we wandered around the shops and I checked out some possible new camera bags. I bought one in Australia but it is really crappy and the cheap duffle bag I have is annoying the crap out of me, too! Unfortunately, like everything else, the bags here were expensive but I noted a couple that I liked and had a look for them on the internet when I got back to the hostel. We just spent more time lazing around and had a decent chilli for dinner (not spicy enough though!) and enjoyed some more cheap wine!
September 8, 2010
Back in Copenhagen (Roskilde, to be exact), we’d visited the Vikingshipmuseet and picked up a couple of vouchers for free entry to some attractions around Denmark. Here in Silkeborg they had AQUA and we decided to use our free vouchers here. The fact we got in for free was very lucky as it was particularly rubbish. It had obviously been setup more for children but even so I couldn’t see much to keep them amused, either. It had a few local fish displays (dull), otters, raccoons we didn’t see, mink, black stork and two sleeping beavers as well as ducks and sheep. It was all a bit pathetic really and it would’ve cost almost $20 EACH without the vouchers. It was about a 25 minute walk from the hostel to AQUA and we spent more time walking to and from the place than we actually did inside it.
Back at the hostel we enjoyed the calm (the school group being out for the day) and caught up on our travel journals over lunch. We walked around town a bit more and I had another look at the bags before deciding which one I wanted to get. I didn’t buy it here as it was just too much (most of them were over $200!) but was able to order one to be delivered to my parent’s house for when we get back there. The one I ordered was only about $70 so it was quite a difference in price! I’m afraid to say we haven’t done a whole lot the past few days so there isn’t that much to write about unless you want details of me emailing my brother a food shopping list or a transcript of the conversation with my mother where she told me how honoured I should be to have her as a parent! See, nothing interesting.
The last few places in Denmark since we returned have all been very pretty but there is not a huge amount of things to do and see. I have no idea what the groups of school children we saw in Skagen and now Silkeborg have being doing all week but then I don’t want to hang around with 30 brats to find out, either! This part of Scandinavia has been interesting and we have enjoyed our time here but it seems to be very similar wherever you go – many of the places seem just like the last and there doesn’t even seem to be much of a distinctive character here, either. The people are friendly but very reserved and as a consequence it has been difficult to get to meet local people here, especially as we haven’t been going out and drinking in bars and pubs and such.