In a Danish countryside straight out of a H.C. Andersen fairytale

Welcome to a Danish fairytale!

Welcome to the Danish home of Cinderella!

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.

It is not a Windows desktop background, just a typical countryside scene from a Danish countryside

It is not a Windows desktop background, just a typical scene from a Danish countryside

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.

Days like this makes you fall in love with Denmark all over again

Days like this makes you fall in love with Denmark all over again

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.

Colours of autumn

Colours of autumn

DO01055476Tucked 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?

This path is made up of dreams  <3

This path is made up of dreams. It makes you want to put on your princess gown and run down the path towards your prince charming 

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.

Gisselfeld Kloster

Gisselfeld Kloster – straight out of a fairytale

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Can this scene get any more romantic? Pinch me – this is not a dream.

I see you, pretty ball of joy

I see you, pretty ball of joy

Feel like the Cinderella carriage will roll onto the cobblestones any minute now

It feels like the Cinderella carriage will roll onto the cobblestones any minute now

This window though - can it get any dreamier

This window though – can it get any dreamier

The Ugly Duckling navigating the castle grounds

The Ugly Duckling navigating the castle grounds

Every single piece in this castle is a dream

Every single element in this castle makes you feel like you have stepped right into a fairytale

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Take my hand and walk into the fairytale.

Take my hand and walk into the fairytale <3

Photos © Ani Movsisyan & Andreas Eriksen

Feeling the spring on Bornholm – Part 2

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.

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My favourite shot of the trip. I love the play of colours and nature.

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?

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Sol over Gudhjem – the red city in all its glory

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.

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Beautiful patterns in nature are all over Bornholm!

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Hammershus, Northern Europe’s largest castle ruins.

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.

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The rocks of Bornholm.

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!

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Hammershus standing tall and proud and pretty.

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.

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We found them! The blegblå anemone of Bornholm.

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A carpet of flowers lies in front of us.

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Where the road leads to…

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Sunset walk by Gudhjem :)

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