Mols Bjerge National Park

11 Oct

Four Germans, a Frenchie, an Italian, a Belgian (from Flanders, not Wallonia, in case you were wondering), and an American. Is this the start of some sort of internationally-themed bar joke? Nein nein nein nein nein. These were the nationalities represented in our group of friends who visited Mols Bjerge National Park in September!

The park is located on a peninsula across the sea from Århus, about an hour away by bus (or two depending on what part of the park you’re visiting). We began our day-trip at the Kalø Manor, part of an estate formerly owned by a wealthy German. After World War II, the Danish government seized the land as part of war reparations, eventually turning it into the national park it is today:

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Here’s the estate’s old hunting lodge:

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On our way through the forest, we passed a beautiful Danish church, with its iconic white-washed exterior and a Danish flag proudly flying out front:

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Known as Dannebrog, the Danish flag is the oldest continuously-used national flag in the world, dating back to a battle in present-day Estonia in 1219. The Danes were there on a crusade to convert the local heathens to Christianity, and were losing badly, until their beloved Dannebrog fell to ground from heaven. King Valdemar II seized the flag, rallied his forces, and led the Danes to victory. Today, Dannebrog is flown from front-yard flagpoles, store-front flagpoles, mini decorative table-flagpoles, and even from toothpicks! Public holidays, festivals, state visits, birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, anniversaries, and national football and handball team victories – these are all occasions to hoist the red and white cloth. I should note, however, you need not feel threatened by this quite overt sense of nationalism: tiny Denmark hasn’t been a threat to anyone for hundreds of years 😉

Next was a trek across a narrow strip of land to the ruins of Kalø castle, which dates back to the 1300s. This of course provoked Remi – the group’s lone Frenchie – and myself to make several references to the “French Taunting” scenes in Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

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After breaking for lunch, we set out for our lone afternoon destination: Trehøje – or Three Hills – which are actually ancient Bronze Age burial mounds. At an elevation of 127 meters above sea-level, these mounds may sound unimpressive, but in a country as flat as Denmark, they are practically mountains. After another bus ride, a walk through a village and a hike to the top, we had a magnificent view out over the park and the sea:

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And just when we thought our day couldn’t get any better, we were treated to a stunning sunset as we waited for our bus back home:

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More Denmark adventures to come…

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Rachel in Denmark

[American] Expat living in Copenhagen

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