Sunday, May 2, 2010

Further exposure to the local history

Part of our settling-down process naturally involves a progressive discovery of Denmark. After a discovery of Aarhus that is still undergoing, we started widening the circle to close-by towns (within 20-40 miles) that we can reach using Q’s mom’s car that we are fortunate to still have with us for a little while longer.

Two Sundays ago, while C was working in the lab to make up for vacation days, a still unemployed Q went to check out the cute and charming town of Ebeltoft. The old part of town is reminiscent of what visitors can already see here in Aarhus when going to Den Gamle By (see post entitled “So, what’s Aarhus really like?”). Although in Ebeltoft, the town is an actual living town, with shops, restaurants, etc, so that gives it a different appeal.

On the way to Ebeltoft, Q also stopped at the ruins of Kalø Slot (slot = castle in Danish), which are still standing on this tiny peninsula overlooking the Aarhus bay. The ruins by themselves don’t have much to offer, as they consist mostly of broken walls and a tower (reminiscent of Panama Viejo, see post entitled:"Wandering among the ruins of Panama Viejo”). However, with the particular backdrop of the bay in the background, they added to the dramatic nature of the scenery. Q was sort of expecting ghosts and headless horse riders in full-body armors to come after him at any minute... I mean, we are in celtic country here, to which stories of Hamlet, of Thot, and of a certain Ring belong...

Off to more historical adventures last Sunday, with a trip to the castle of Gammel Estrup, about 23 miles north of Aarhus. Passing through villages reminded us of how proud the Danes are of their flag, as it was displayed about every 30 feet, on both sides of the road, from one end of the village to the other... And when we thought Americans were sometimes overly patriotic!

The castle of Gammel Estrup was now a Renaissance castle, built and rebuilt between the 14th and 18th centuries. No more spooky spirits and specters, but rather an invitation to romance (I mean, look at lovely C among those daffodils! :-). Q was reminded of that French movie “Peau d’Ane” by Jacques Demy, for those who might know. We both thought that this castle was probably a popular destination for wedding parties... And for the difficult father or mother in law, there is always the option to have him/her sleep in the Green Tower room, which owes its name to the still glowing green from the arsenic-based dye that was used in the coloring of the wallpaper that sticks to its walls after a few centuries. Hmm, isn't it always so wonderful to stick to those things from the past that otherwise we would miss too much...

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