I wasn’t sure what to expect in the Nordic country of Denmark, and truthfully, didn’t know much about it. But after a wholehearted invitation from a good friend I met while studying in America, I knew it was a country I needed to explore.
Most travellers visit the capital of Copenhagen and continue their travels on to Sweden or Norway, however I started my adventures flying from Geneva to Billund, the second largest airport in Denmark, which was tiny. Throughout my week’s stay, I didn’t even venture to the capital, but I can definitely say I was not disappointed.
Aarhus is very cheap to fly to from the UK with airlines such as Ryanair, so if you fancy a slice of Denmark, get on Skyscanner and start booking! (Photographer: jenniferjoan; Flickr)
Henrik, my good friend, was on holiday from his university in Aarhus and was relaxing on his parents’ farm near a small town called Tønder in Jutland. The area was far from unattractive but Denmark is definitely one of the flattest countries I’ve been to so far. We drove through little towns and down towards the German border, where Henrik pointed out his old high school and filled me in on his life since we last saw each other way back in May.
His parents’ farm was lovely; they grow a lot of berries and grain and live in an old country house with about four or five outbuildings for housing their pickers in the harvesting season. It’s a really unique, green and quiet area and one of the things I didn’t realise is that although Denmark is a small country, they have two very different dialects; sometimes people from the North and the South (only a few hours’ drive apart) are unable to communicate with each other. Henrik explained that his parents, both born and raised in Jutland (the South) have a hard time communicating with his girlfriend who is from Aarhus further north, and he needs to switch between proper Danish and his family’s dialect to keep up. Adding in the English he needed to speak for me and the German to communicate over the border, I can understand how confusing it must be.
Head to Jutland to hear different dialects, see different countryside and enjoy more of the Danish coast. (Photographer: Eric Gross; Flickr)
In Denmark things are done differently to in Australia; Henrik’s younger sister, who is 16, had just left home for school, which is quite common, whereas in Australia most students stay at home for as long as possible and either travel to university or study by distance, such as myself. It was so interesting to be able to be a part of a different lifestyle rather than just an observer. English is quite a commonly used language in Denmark and, according to Henrik, this is ‘because we realised Danish is a pretty useless language for anywhere outside our country.’