Rewind a 1000 years and we would be having breakfast with Viking King Gorm and his son Harald Bluetooth. It is so hard to imagine that this sleepy village was at the heart of Viking activity and birth place of Danish Monarchy. Whilst the Kings castle has never been found, they did discover their 2 burial mounds, 2 ruin stones and then finally a massive grave marker…a 1.4km ship on the site. (Click on the pictures to increase the size)
Today, the palisade around the village of Jelling is marked by concrete pillars. You can walk around the pillars but the best view, to appreciate its size, is from the top of the northern mound. As you descend from the mound you see the two ruin stones. The large ruin stone (son) makes reference to the Danes being Christian and the small ruin stone (father) is the first time the name Denmark is written. The large stone is nicknamed ‘Denmark’s birth certificate’.
Next to the ruin stones a small church and cemetery where they built the first stone church. Inside, simple but elegantly decorated with 12 century fresco’s and a silver marker on the floor where King Grom is buried.
The site is also home to an interactive museum which is full of pictures, models, artefacts and information about Vikings and the findings in and around the village of Jellings. The museum was most enjoyable and informative. Thankfully, the museum answered our most burning question…the strange surname of Bluetooth! Yes, bluetooth as we know it today is named after Harald Bluetooth and if you take H B initials in runes symbols and join together, its the bluetooth symbol!
With a morning of historic fulfilment and a light lunch, we were ready for a long drive. We figured we had better get our skates on if we want to tick all the items on this years hit list. The problem (and its a nice problem) is we just love everywhere we go and we cant help stopping and having a toot.
Most people are unaware of the richness and beauty of Denmark’s interior. It is as green as England and as stunningly scenic as Wales, but with very little tourists. Within 10 minutes of leaving the coast you find yourself driving into lush farmland, fields, lakes and woodlands. With huge farmhouse and snug villages. A corner of Europe almost unspoilt and untouched. In the fields the tractors are busy ploughing the land with the farm workers close by sowing the seeds by hand. The Danes love their horses and almost every farm has a selection of fine horses as well as little ponies.
On route, we stopped at a Lidl before Craig’s withdrawal symptoms got any worse and then filled up with some diesel. We were surprised to see such a gap between petrol (£1)and diesel (79p) prices just thankful Vin’s a diesel drinker. For our last leg of the journey, we hit the motorway. The two lanes road was toll free and very quiet. Shame our motorways are not like this but then again, a lot of the Danes share cars to work or ride their bike. Cars are not such a big deal here and with such lovely surrounding why would you want to travel miles? Around 5pm the motorway got a tad busier and it was really quite funny. Craig was in such a chilled state he was just bumbling along at 75 kmph without a care in the world and failed to notice a pile of traffic behind him. The polite Danes never said a thing and instead joined our little conga.
After several hours we finally decided to call it quits for the day and pulled over at a small campsite in Flauenskjold. A massive lawned area with basic facilities and an honesty box for your payment. We pulled up alongside a French camper, placed our Danish Krone in an envelope and posted our fee for tonight before cracking open the open air cooker. Ribeye steak, Danish sausage, wedges and fresh asparagus, yummy. Plus no smells in Vin tonight!
Our sleep spot tonight, a simple but lovely campsite in Flauenskjold and only £5 per night. Great views over the newly mowed lawn and plenty space for Mac n Tosh to run wild.
GPS position N057.247607 E010.282693
Route: Jellings to Flauenskjold