En tur til syd øst

Last Friday was Store Bededag, or Great Prayer Day, where many minor holy days have been crammed into one efficient public holiday. Yes, yet another holiday. And before you say anything, it is only the first of THREE holidays in the next four weeks. Don’t be too jealous though – the Danes just really like to front load their public holidays. Once this magical run finishes there is nothing ahead of us but the hard slog of 33-hour working weeks until Christmas. I know, I’m not sure how we will cope with the strain – please send care packages etc.

We didn’t find out about the spring holiday bonanza until quite late, at which point flight prices made the ‘seeing more of Denmark’ option seem very appealing. No regrets – we headed to Møn, an island to the south east of Sjælland, and it was fremragende.

Our preparation for departure involved eating the traditional food of Store Bededag: varme hveder. These are cardamom flavoured white bread rolls that taste less boring than they look, but aren’t a patch on the mighty Fastelavnsboller. Their main feature is that they can be baked the night before and not taste too stale in the morning… I assume bakers like this holiday and its traditions more than the general populace does.

You can get to Møn in just over an hour, unless you belong to the ‘crinkly edge’ school of road tripping and decide to go entirely via back roads, slots and lookouts – in that case it takes the best part of a day. We finally saw some Danish beaches, and tried to get our head around the fact that ocean-going swans exist.

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This would have been inviting were I not in a parka…
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A dignified entry point. Also the tiny white spots in the distance are oceanic swans, as I like to call them.

Our first touristic destination was Vallø Slot, which according to our tactful guidebook has since 1737 ‘provided a home for unmarried daughters of noble birth during their later years’.

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Note the excellent wisp-thin Dannebrog
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Bust riddled

I like to think the independent ladies who have resided in the slot are the same ones captured in the busts on the walls (‘busts’ being an appropriate word…).

I have no idea how this blog has ended up being a repository of sculptural boobs and historical nip-slips, but there you go. To bring back an air of respectability to proceedings, here are some sedate pictures of the gardens.

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More adorable goose families making me feel bad about enjoying goose thighs so much in Hungary
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Painfully picturesque
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I want any future memorials dedicated to me to be this dramatic

From the busty slot we headed to Stevns Klint. These cliffs are not as famous as those at Møns Klint but they ended up having an unexpected goat surprise, which made the detour very much worthwhile. Goats are grazed on the cliff every April, but they are not pets so you are not to befriend them. Of course, Ant heeded this warning not at all.

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This church is slowly falling into the sea – it is God’s will
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A very small taste of the violent medieval lunacy to come
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What’s that down at the bottom of the cliff!?
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Ant makes a new friend, while somewhere in Windsor Frannie is feeling jealous
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I was intimidated by this guy…
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Until I saw this guy
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The path ends here now
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Despite my strong urge to detour to Faxe, where the excellent Danish ‘sports drink’ Faxe Kondi is brewed in all its eighties glory, we instead left Sjælland behind and crossed into Møn… buuuut I haven’t mustered the strength to sort through the 300 identical photos of the cliffs that I took yet, so this is as far as the posts go for now. In hindsight, Ant really should have staged a cliff-photo intervention.

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