We managed to do a fitness test in the rain. It only rained from the time we left the house to the time we came back. I ran 1k in under 5 minutes, which is a good achievement for me. As the cars and two trailer trucks swept past like sea barges, flinging pre-gritted tyre-loads of cold water in our faces, Andrew got to the end and realised his Runkeeper session had failed, not recording his time. Which is a shame, because he would have beaten me two ways to Sunday. (Yesssss!) Good thing it stopped raining, because the rest of the day would be beach.
Skagen is the kind of town that makes people with yachts, in ports, and the ports themselves, in places like… I don’t know, California, seem like cardigan-shouldered, stripy try-hards. Things get fished, in Denmark. They get fished good. The port is lined with fish restaurants, yes, but the fishing boats are right around the corner.
This post seems a bit boring, so far, so I’m going to montage through the bits that don’t bore me.
We went to the northernmost tip of Denmark. Grenen the little piece that comes out from the top of Denmark like a hook nose, as if the country is sniffing for Vikings. We prepared for a walk from the car park to the place, looking forward to it: but it turned out to be a short little walk with a lot of tourists at the end. And there was a tractor to take you there. Huge tread marks gouged through the sand, the giant tractors pulling what looked like a tram car to the point, and back again. The tractor only left when another tractor was almost there. Seriously – it wasn’t a long walk. At the tip, about seventy people were milled around the sand and in the water. To the right, the waves came in from the sea at a furious rate. Not Australian waves, but they would have been surfable. To the left, the sea was as calm and glassy as a mirrored table; it was the Jekyl and Hyde of beaches. Andrew went out to his knees (swimming is prohibited, because the currents are too unpredictable), and said that his foot would be on sand one second, and under it the next.
The beach itself was covered, further in, with small pebbles of all colours, sheared smooth by the sea. I thought one was an orange bottle cap, but it was just a bright orange rock.
On our way to Hirtschels, where we would catch the ferry, we drove to another beach, and found that the road stopped right at the sand. People just drive their cars onto the beach. We went for a swim in the North Sea, while the sun struggled to be heard over the gathering storm clouds. The water wasn’t too cold: which was good. We got lots of lice bits: bad. But overall: good.
As we lined up in Hirtschels with the other families, all running about like wild Hyenas in the boarding lanes, our Danish hamburgers and crap machine coffee in our bellies, we watched the sun go down on our ferry. We boarded at about 10:30pm, and were hitting the bar at 11pm. Hitting the bar, for us, means that we were trying out the whiskey sour, and whether or not it was a) made from whiskey and b) sour. One out of two. The bar wench looked pretty confused most of the time, though her flicks of the wrist and turns of the bottle made it look like she had a lot of confidence, which is I think the most important skill to have as a bar wench. Most of your customers are not going to care after about an hour, and there aren’t many other bars on the ship. Actually, that’s a lie: there are several. But you know what I mean. (If you do, tell me.) I ordered a royal mojito, which is a normal mojito made with champagne. Which looked great, and tasted terrible. It’s not the alcohol, I’m sure – it’s me. And possibly the amount of lime in the glass. It was like two limes.
I was so tired that night as we slipped through the North sea to Norway that I didn’t wake up for the rocking of the boat, which Butters said made the curtains parallel and then perpendicular to the porthole. He was scared to go to sleep, it was so rough. At eleven o’clock, the bags under my eyes had been pulling hard towards the floor. I think there must have been roofie in the champagne. It’s probably derived naturally from lime. I remember almost falling out of the bunk at one point, but I just rolled back and was asleep again before I could think.
In the morning, Norway was sliding past in bits.
Bergen is the most beautiful of towns from the bow of a ship.
This coffee shop in Skagen had real coffee, real good decor and real good service. And there was a giant ice cream outside. So.
Horror movie natural.
Sorry about the landscape pics.
Bergen. And football. With odd fans. But the best fans I’ve witnessed.