Exploring Denmark's Nature
I've always had the perspective of a globetrotter, feeling that Denmark is too small for me. All I wanted was to experience true unspoilt nature. After a good 5 years abroad, I've returned to Denmark. But now what?
I'm used to being in close contact with nature and being outside, more specifically in the mountains. So exploring Denmark's nature was a perfect activity for me - but what in the world does Denmark have to offer with no mountains?
That's why I decided to investigate what Denmark's nature has to offer.
A Vast Coastline
I once read that in Denmark you're at a maximum 40 miles from a shoreline - there aren't many places on earth that can boast of that! As many might know, Denmark is a maritime nation to the bone; not surprisingly, considering its proximity to the sea. This has naturally also given rise to many a fantastic seaman's tale. One of my favourite stories dates back to the first war against the Swedish King Karl Gustav in 1658, when the Swedish troops crossed the frozen Little Belt between Jutland and Funen by foot.
Regardless of where we head along the Danish shores there is a story of old to be told and remembered. This gives us a solid perspective when we're out exploring these places for ourselves. Personally, I enjoy kayaking and thus also find marine life in Denmark incredibly interesting: Seeing and interacting with nature and wildlife gives me a stronger connection to places. My next project will be touring and exploring the plethora of all the small islands, scattered around Denmark. Do you have a project like that yourself? If not, you're more than welcome to set explore Denmark with me.
From Soil to Table
Most people love stimulating their senses, usually the more the better, and nature is the place to be for a rich experience. The soft scent of grass on a summer morning after soft rain, the view of the trees' sprawling canopies, the sound of twittering birds and of course the flavours! To catch, pluck and gather one's own meal in nature intensifies and enriches the experience and strengthens the taste and pleasure of eating it so much more. Have you ever spent an entire day strolling along the coast and rounding it off with a fish you caught yourself sizzling over a crackling fire? Have you ever tried cooking your own sauce from freshly picked fungi from the forest? Or have you tried pickling your own bladderwrack straight from the sea?
There are endless possibilities and it seems to me that this side of outdoorsy life has a dramatically growing popularity. I reckon that it is one of the best ways to wind down the tempo of mind and body and simply enjoy life. Even if the fish gets a little burnt, the entire experience makes it taste excellent nonetheless.
When talking about Danish nature, one can never avoid mentioning the sprawling beech tree forests. Beech woods are in fact such an inherent part of the country that the beech tree is honoured in Denmark's national anthem. Irrespective of where in Denmark you find yourself, there will be a patch of beech trees nearby. Personally, I like increasing my knowledge and training my eye for species of trees and plants. Others might enjoy birdwatching.
With all of these things to do you'll never get bored of walking about. There's a new sight and activity at every corner, depending on your mood and desires. The four seasons in Denmark offer each their own spectacular views of this country's forests. In springtime beautiful flowers sprout and trees burst with new budding leaves. In summer, the entire landscape throbs with lush growth while you walk along shaded paths leading up to a babbling creek or spring, lazily gushing with refreshing water.
When autumn comes we're offered a spectacular show of colours as last season's orange and brown leaves are shed - a painter's dream. Finally, winter leaves the naked trees bare and unprotected against cold winds, unless of course they're evergreen pine trees, since beech forests aren't the only type of forest in Denmark. For families with children who are dying to see an ant mound up close, the dimly lit coniferous woods are certainly the place to be.
What do you think when you think about wildlife in Denmark? Do you think about the fish in the sea, the beasts of the forest or maybe about the ducks in your local pond?
Depending on where you find yourself in Denmark, there will be different types of animals to encounter, both in plain sight and huddled up in hidden places. I recently moved to Funen and discovered a rare species that only lives in two streams in Denmark: the Painter's Mussel. Without saying too much, I can tell you that hundreds of people walk by these streams daily without knowing there's a protected rare species living underwater. I really enjoy to geek out about such things.
However, if you're from Jutland, you'd perhaps think about the various kinds of migratory birds that visit the area annually. Some people might have heard about the phenomenon called ''black sun'', when hundreds of thousands of starlings gather in the sky before descending down for the night. It is one thing to have heard of it, but seeing it with your own two eyes is another thing entirely! Animals are fascinating and perform wondrous spectacles that often only make sense after reflecting upon them in retrospect.
What I mean to say is that there are a lot of absolutely wonderful animals and sights out there with each their own amazing story and it'd be a shame to miss out on them! Sometimes I find myself a bit frustrated with the fact that many Danes haven't even explored their own backyard, and it's no secret that I was once one of them.
Now though, I'm hooked and I can't stop. That's why I'd love to share my experiences and excitement with some of you out there. There'll be a lot of recommendations for trips to various destinations - among them, trips I've already planned and can take groups along on. During my time as a guide, I have gained a ton of experience and I'm constantly open to new challenges, so if anyone has any wish or proposal for a trip in Denmark's beautiful nature, I'd be more than glad to give you an informative guided tour along the way.
We are happy to say visit nature with Guide Service Denmark and Magnus, one of our nature guides.
Tyrstrup Lake. Photo: Magnus
The coast at Storebælt. Photo: Magnus
Evening atmosphere at Isefjorden. Photo: Magnus
A dense bush of the shaggy scalycap mushroom in Dyrehaven. Photo: Magnus
A herd of deer keeping watch. Photo: Magnus