From Fanø we hopped back on the ferry to make our way North to our last stop in Denmark, Skagen.
The drive from Esbjerg, where we drove off the ferry, to Skagen can be done in about 4 hours. We decided to take a little extra time and on the more scenic roads of the Marguerite Route. This route, which kept us closer to the west coast of Denmark also gave us chance take advantage of one last recommendation from our friends in Viborg and stop for lunch in Klitmøller, also known as Cold Hawaii.
Now, I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I’m going to say this nickname is a bit of a stretch. Sure, it was kind of cold, and there were beaches and there were even a few people surfing, but Hawaii? I don’t know.
What we did find was a quiet little fishing/tourist village. Unfortunately, we were there mid-week so it seemed particularly quiet and many of the shops and restaurants were closed. The people we did see around seemed to be the hardcore of the local surfing community, several of them looked to be living in their vans near the water.
We went for a little walk along the beach to check out the surfers before heading to one of the few open restaurants to grab lunch and coffee before heading back out on the road.
Before reaching Skagen we made one last stop. Like “Hawaii”, Råbjerg Mile is something you might not associate with the northern end of a Scandinavian country, a giant sand dune park covering 2 square kilometers.
Ella could have explored the sand dunes all day. She even made a new furry friend named Mia who seemed happy to follow her around.
Eventually it was time for us to finish the drive to Skagen, find our airbnb and get some dinner.
Skagen, it’s windy up here
Skagen is a small town at the northern tip of the country with a population of around 8,000. A port town, Skagen is a nice little place to walk around with a small pedestrian area and a number of patios for a meal or just a drink watching the people go by.
For us the highlight was Grenen beach, just north-east of town. Being in Denmark, we quickly parked the rental car for the duration of our stay and rented ourselves some bikes.
Grenen beach is about a 15 minute ride from our apartment in Skagen. Despite the aerodynamic look of Ella’s ride, it definitely made the crosswinds and headwinds a little more work. The tailwind on the way back was fun though. Wouldn’t have guessed I could hit 30 km/hr with Ella in front.
We parked our bikes at the end of the road and walked the kilometer or so to the point where the Skagerrak and Kattegat seas converge. The walk takes you past abandoned WW2 bunkers with expansive views toward Sweden in the east and Norway to the west.
The highlight for us was getting the close-up experience with a seal that we thought we were going to have on our seal tour in Fanø. We, along with others around, kept some distance, but it was pretty neat to see a seal calmly sunning himself a couple of meters away.
For some reason, Ella was even more excited about a shiny, polished rock that she found on the beach. A love that would come to a tragic and tear-filled end that evening when it was lost to a sink drain while getting cleaned off. Heartbreaking for a 4 year old apparently. We heard sobs of how beautiful it was as it got whisked down the drain.
On the way back to town we stopped to climb up the lighthouse where it was even windier. Fortunately, up at the top of the lighthouse we weren’t also being pelted by sand so the exfoliation stopped.
Finally, we made one last detour to have a look at the giant trebuchet, because, well, it was a giant trebuchet.
Just like that, it’s time to go home
With our time in Skagen over it was time for a drive down to Aalborg (with one more stop at the Råbjerg Mile to please Ella). We spent an exciting night at the Aalborg airport hotel and caught our early morning flight back to Toronto.
For me Denmark was a rare return trip to a previously visited country but one that all three of us would happily do again.