Firstly apologies for the delay since our last adventurous update.
I can only but blame July. The month of summer* and holidays in Denmark. When pretty much everything closes and everyone goes away somewhere. Kind of like the Christmas and New Year’s period in New Zealand except it lasts for a whole month in the middle of the year. So July caught me quite by surprise actually as I was just starting to get into the swing of life in Denmark when everything shut up shop. To me it is a slightly odd experience to start the year then stop everything just a few months in and go in search of sun. I am more used to the pattern in New Zealand of starting the year slowly…enjoying the last of the summer sun, then about February get into work proper, enjoy a couple of long weekends over the next few months, but ultimately hold your breath until you can sniff December in the air and then close shop and have a holiday. And repeat.
Therefore due to the condition known as ‘July’ in Denmark, life hasn’t quite followed it’s normal productive path for the last few weeks. However being keen to fully integrate (as per my Integration Contract with the Danish Immigration Service. Yes I really do have one that I regularly have to update and sign my life away on) the Dane, BBB and I did our best to do ‘July’ and escaped to the summerhouse for a week. Before that we also welcomed several visitors to Copenhagen who stayed, played or babysat for us which has made our time in the big city over the last few weeks also feel just a little bit like a holiday too. It was an exceptionally exciting treat to be able to talk ‘Kiwi’ for a few days.
So to the summerhouse we went. Located in Ebeltoft the quickest way there is a 1hr 20min drive followed by a 1hr ferry ride. BBB has mastered the Ferry and we know to quickly grab one of the few Ikea highchairs.
On our previous trips to Ebeltoft we’ve never really had the time to explore the wider area. Instead we’ve used the breaks to simply enjoy the beauty of living in a house. With no stairs, a lawn, a driveway and a flagpole (of course). A welcome change from apartment living.
However on this trip we had a whole week which gave us just enough time to explore the wider area around Ebeltoft. So here’s our top 6 highlights to do in and around Ebeltoft:
If you were to just drive through Ebeltoft you’d miss one of the main attractions – the windy cobblestone pedestrian (unless there are cars on it) street lined with bars, cafes and all sorts of shops. This is the main shopping street of Ebeltoft called Adelgade. You need to know to hunt this one out as it is a little hidden if you are driving. On Adelgade you can either exercise your credit card and explore all the hidden nooks and crannies or just take picturesque Danish photos of little lanes with brightly painted crooked wooden buildings. A 3.5km cycle from the Summerhouse I love the ease of shopping here. Tip: If you mean business when you shop, then go early (but not too early) to miss the crowds in peak season.
Ebeltoft is the glass making capital of Denmark with many glassmakers either in residence or who have their work available in this area. There is even a modern Glass Museum which has all sorts of modern glass art wonders as well as displays of actual glassblowing. Oh and a nice little café that I think has the best outlook in Ebeltoft over the sea, especially when it is sunny.
3. Cycling Adventures
Just like the rest of Denmark, Ebeltoft is cycle friendly with many cycle lanes either heading to the small town in and around the harbour where you can check out the latest arrivals (& their yachts) who have come into port, or alternatively cycle through the Danish countryside. We took BBB’s cycle chariot and headed out on the bikes a couple of the days exploring new corners of Ebeltoft. The distances are far enough that you feel like you’ve made an effort to see something worthy, but not too far that you get a sore bum.
4. Kalø Slot
Kalø Slot is the remains of a large 14th Century castle (1313 – yes that’s a year) on the coast. It makes for a nice morning walk out and back. Although while it is a flat walk, the large rocks forming the driveway make for quite a bumpy walk. Those with prams will be challenged as will those with walking frames. We saw both. The cows however - happy as Larry.
There is a café/restaurant next to the carpark, however when we visited (early August) it was closed with only the icecream shop open. Tip: Pack your own thermos and grab some rundstykker from a bakery on your drive there.
5. Café Campus
After our morning outing to Kalø Slot we went in search of a coffee in the nearby town of Rønde. This is where we stumbled on Café Campus. It wasn’t so much the food or coffee (although both were fine) that appealed to me about this place, but it was the type of business it was. The main focus of the café is not to earn profit, but to support the local community by employing staff who are on the fringe of the labour market. Those who may struggle to be employed or hold down a job in typical workplace for numerous reasons. It helps to know this when you dine here to better understand the flow of the place. Information signs on each table was when we were made aware of the ethos of the café. From what I could see the cafe is also involved in a whole lot of other community initiatives designed to support, train and employ local people. The absolute bonus of this place is that it is only 20kr for a cup of coffee which you’re allowed to get refilled because the cups are small. We also enjoyed a nice bolle (bun). So that was 40kr (NZ$8) for 4 cups of coffee. Roughly the same price of one cup in Copenhagen! Double bonus points too for the Ikea highchairs available for BBB.
6. Polar Bears!
A 30 min drive from Ebeltoft you can also visit some pretty cool Polar Bears too! At the Scandanavian Wildlife Park (Skandinavisk Dyrepark)
However if all else fails we can also recommend hiding behind a fish and banging a plastic thing against a wall as suitable holiday activities also.
We’ll be back in Ebeltoft regularly - so if you have any suggestions of where else we should explore please let us know. We’re especially keen to hear what and where are the best places to visit over the Christmas period (which I also understand the country closes for). Let us know below in the comments.
*where summer is a subjective term and unlikely to last the whole month/week or sometimes even the whole day.