It is a crisp, autumn day. One of those when the cold cuts the air like a sword, yet the sun dazzles you with its endless charm. The summer ended far too soon this year and even though we have just said goodbye to September only a few days ago, the temperatures have taken a quick drop to single digits. The weather gods behave like they are in a stock exchange playing random games with the seasons.
Oh but the sun, that glorious fireball of joy, it is shining so beautifully today spreading its soft rays in the sky deep blue like the ocean waters. Perfect for a little road trip down south into the charming Danish countryside.
Gisselfeld Kloster says the destination on our GPS. It wasn’t even on the agenda for the day, yet it turned out to be the absolute highlight of the trip. The road leading to it is straight out of a Danish countryside dream – rolling farm fields, wind turbines, deep forests and chirping birds. Now take it all and throw in a splash of autumn colours accentuated in the sunset glow and you have got yourself a beautiful postcard.
Tucked away in the south of Sjælland, an hour drive away from København, Gisselfeld castle is fortunately not on the major tourist radar at least not for now. Reaching there as the sun was about to set, we got the entire castle grounds to ourselves. I read somewhere that H.C. Andersen got his inspiration for the Ugly Duckling fairytale while a guest in the castle grounds. Who can blame him?
A small unassuming wooden gate guards the treasure that lies inside. Carefully opening the tiny gate you walk straight into a fairytale. Deserted castle grounds, surrounded by immaculate gardens, moats clear as mirrors, sun touching the surfaces softly, casting a golden glow on everything it touches, swans gliding gracefully on the tranquil waters, and not a single soul in sight, but one lonely fisherman navigating the lake in his small boat.
Photos © Ani Movsisyan & Andreas Eriksen
Having a ladybug land on my hand, meeting white deer first time ever!, walking towards a double rainbow under a pouring rain and smiling sun. All in one day. Copenhagen – my beautiful home, you are full of prettiness 💕
After quite an intensely busy week, I desperately needed some unwinding time that didn’t involve sitting in front of a computer and working on items from long to do lists. Instead it needed to be full of long walks in a good company and my trusty Leica to capture beautiful moments on the lens. It seemed that the weather gods joined the cause to cheer me up by clearing the thick grey skies over Copenhagen, whooshing away the howling winds and sending some beautiful autumn sun.
After some impromptu planning with an Indian colleague of mine, Rashika, we decided to start our Saturday bright and early with a lovely breakfast at a Vesterbro favourite – Mad og Kaffe. To get to enjoy a delicious breakfast at this place without having to wait in long, winding queues, you practically have to appear there when the doors open at 08:30 sharp. That is exactly what we did.
Tummies full and smiling, we headed towards Klampenborg for a day in the nature and beautiful autumn walks in Dyrehaven deer park.
First things first though. Pre-walk coffee and dessert to sweeten up the walk. Rashika got her first taste of traditional Danish pastry – hindbærsnitter (rasperry slices) at Cranks & Coffee. If you are a bike lover, you will appreciate this hyggelig hangout place by Klampenborg station.
Breakfast check, coffee check, hindbærsnitter check. Let the walk begin.
Photos © Ani Movsisyan
Photos © Ani Movsisyan
Photos © Ani Movsisyan
September has not been an easy month – emotionally draining actually. I am not a diary person, never been and now is not the time either to pour my heart out. It would be nice to just escape it all… emotions, people, work, problems… I do believe in the magic of Christmas though, and Christmas is right around the corner. Maybe Santa with the help of red-nosed reindeers will spread some snow powder, stop the time from making crazy turns and make things happy again.
Until then I will hang on to that magic thought and seek refuge in one thing that never fails to put a smile on my face – strolling around with a camera in my hand and taking pictures of the beautiful that surrounds us in the place we call home yet goes so easily unnoticed as we rush through life.
Strolling around, taking pictures and listening to heart-warming melodies is exactly what I did in the weekend – walking around my neighbourhood in pretty København and trying to capture little bit of its beauty…
Photos © Ani Movsisyan
It has been a while… quite a while since I took to the typewriter to share stories from my travels around the world… 2 years to be exact. Not that there was any lack of exciting stories that could fill a whole book. Quite the opposite, the globetrotter that I am, I took every opportunity to escape into new and familiar lands… It’s just when life gets really busy at times, you forget to prioritise things that once made you very happy. It so happened that as I started a new job my workaholic self quite adamantly took control and dominated over my writing self.
Here I am 2 years later, trying to break that spell and find my writing muse again. Never too late, right? It all started by gentle nudges I kept getting over time by a couple of very special persons that made me reconsider that maybe it was time to restart my blog. Well cheers to that! If you, aka the special persons, are reading this, know that I am truly grateful
As I look back on thousands of travel pictures and the map of places I have traversed in the past 2 years, they bring back many happy smiles and beautiful memories. However memories also have this funny quality to them, they are like floating clouds, gently fading away through time and depriving you of the small nuances that come across your path when travelling.
Instead of dwelling on the past and regretting not transferring travel memoirs to ink just in time, I will instead focus on the present and the future. And the present currently is very much focused on oh so bella Italia!
Stay tuned for stories from the eternal city of Roma that just celebrated its 2771st anniversary.
Photos © Ani Movsisyan
The place where the reality is more beautiful than imagination… We were in the car driving through a small forest road covered with a beautiful carpet of white and yellow anemone flowers, when I heard Hongyi very quietly, as if talking to herself, give voice to her inner thoughts. The reality is more beautiful than imagination! I heard the sentence come alive, I pondered it over in my mind and I asked her to repeat it again. I thought it was such a profound observation that it deserved to be articulated again.
Days later I remembered it again, and I asked Hongyi if I could quote it. It might as well become the new catch phrase for the island that knows how to enchant.
We were on our way to Gudhjem, which translated means God’s home. It is not hard to imagine why when you enter Gudhjem. A charming city of red roofs, picturesque views, sol over Gudhjem smoked herring dish and the world’s biggest ice cream. What else could you ask for?
Reaching Gudhjem I took Hongyi to my favourite viewpoint, a small park behind the churchyard. It has become kind of a tradition to take people to that place. There is a wooden bench perched on the viewing hill, and I have grown so fond of sitting there and gazing out.
Recharging in Gudhjem with pretty views and savouring an obligatory soft ice, we continued our Tour-de-Bornholm to Sandvig, a town north of Gudhjem for a little hiking action.
There are many hiking trails criss-crossing the island. I love this one, Sandvig – Hammer Odde Fyr – Solomons Kapel – Sandvig, in particular. Water, rocks, blooming bushes and views to Hammershus castle ruins make for a very pleasant hike.
The hike goes by surprisingly quickly. One moment we are at Sandvig on the eastern coast of Bornholm, the other we find ourselves at the western shores having crossed the island horizontally. It must have been the sun and the postcard views turning us into little Asterix-es and giving us wings.
We reached the Hammerhavn late in the afternoon, just when the last of the captains was getting ready to head out to the sea on his small fishermen boat for a sail tour. We hopped on one with a very witty and sweet captain and cruised the waters of the Baltic Sea looking at the northernmost tip of Bornholm and Hammershus ruins from the sea. A beautiful perspective!
As we progressed through the day going from a city life to nature to sea, we left one final item on our agenda – the forests of Bornholm. We had a special quest – locate the bornholmer anemone, called blegblå anemone. And we did! Well largely thanks to Hanne’s sharp eye. Scouring the forest we found the cute tiny flowers that covered the entire patch of ground.
Time flies when you are having fun. Having accomplished our last mission of the day we started slowly making our way back to Snogebæk. But it was too early to call it a day. The sun was just setting over Gudhjem. The beautiful, soft light was just irresistible. It resulted in a silent admiration of the nature and a fun little impromptu photoshoot.
Photos © Andreas Eriksen & Ani Movsisyan