Weekend walk: Nationalpark Mols Bjerge, Djursland, Denmark.

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

Early weekend morning Djursland, Denmark. Off-season. Cool, moist, misty. In the car and a 20 minute drive by car to Nationalpark Mols Bjerge. Park. Walk.  

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Walking through the park on narrow paths. The landscape reveals its heritage: Ice age made. Nationalpark Mols Bjerge. Although Bjerge (Mountains) is an overstatement.

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Big, bleak, black trees and fog as backdrop (you can’t help thinking of The Fog by Steven King (or Play Misty for Me, a thriller with the song Misty).

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Meet the locals. Sheep. With horn. Curious, but shy. They turn their backs on us and move away.

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In the Nationalpark there are 40 habitat areas, places with certain characteristics, which make it possible for certain species, who do not thrive elsewhere, to live there.

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Local ‘mountain’, Trehøje, second highest peak, 127 m, in Mols Bjerge (Agri Bavnehoej, 137 m, is the highest one).

Three large bronze age burial mounds have given name to this area with 22 burial mounds. From the top of Trehøje you can see far away in all directions. Not today, though.

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Down from Trehøje. We return by another route, a gravel road. I prefer the paths, but variety is fine.

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Local ‘underground’ surfacing. Efter tree felling all the roots are piled up. A strange sight.

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Large stacks of newly cut wood. Photos tell many stories, but live experiences are better (more sensory input): The smell of wood today is very pleasant and quite powerful.

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After our walk a short drive for about 10 minutes to nearby Ebeltoft, a popular summer holiday town.

Ebeltoft Port on a misty day. The sea, ports and ships of all kinds are favourites of mine.

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Museum Fregatten Jylland (Frigate Jutland). Not very photogenic today due to scaffolding.

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Museum entry. Can cannons be cute, when they are pink? No, I think not (not ever) …

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Karens Brasserie beside the Frigate museum. Off-season only open during weekends.
Here we have enjoyed quite a few weekend brunches with a view and a cannon salute.

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Small, but delicious. A pancake. A favourite of mine …

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Todays ‘fitness’ calculation (!): Slow 1 hour walk: Output: 100 kcal.
Solid protein- and fat-rich mega brunch: Input: approx. 1000 kcal!

Rigtig god weekend.

Weekend Wellness Walk: Get Up, Get Out, Get Well

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Easter time is holiday time for some. If time and money is tight, a day trip or two to a place near you, preferable one you have not visited before, is an o.k. holiday travel substitute. As always it is good to grab the chance of getting some free exercise; going for a run or brisk (as in heavy breathing) walk. I did.

Weekend weather was wonderful … and springtime was in the air and colours everywhere. The small national park of Mols Bjerge (Bjerge means Mountains, but they are really just small hills), Jutland, Denmark, and surroundings, was waking up after ‘hibernation’ and is, I think, well worth a visit and a walk.
Outdoor fitness at its best behaviour.

Mols Bjerge tree photo Marina Aagaard

Kaloe kroget treeKaloe grene himmel distantKaloe skovbund blomsterdaekkeKaloe traerThorsager skovbundMols kidMarina Aagaard og Kaloe slotsruin photo Henrik ElstrupTrees and water black and white Henrik Elstrup and Marina Aagaard

Kaloe gren artLast three photos by husband Henrik Elstrup going overboard with filters,
lenses and photoshopping. This is quite popular on 500 px, though …

Happy outdoor fitness workout, where ever you are.

Neighbourhood Nature Watch: A Fall Wellness Walk

Marina Aagaard, MFE

In between working and travelling there is time for a little home time. Not home time on the couch, but daily dog walks for fresh air inhalation and basic movement. It is physical fitness activity with a low level of intensity, but a high level of wellness, mindfulness and mental benefits.
Everyone should go out and ‘go green’ … or red, brown, yellow in the fall.

Rosenholm Slot Efterår Photo Henrik Elstrup

From todays walk in the vicinity, the area around Rosenholm Slot (Castle), Jutland Denmark: Recreation ground Iver Kilde (spring) from 1900 with a  deer park long gone, grotto, well, fishpond  and arbor, in the midst of a small wood with paths and bridleways.

 Efteraarsskov og hjulspor    Efteraarsskov Fall Fish pond with reflection at Ivers Kilde Rosenholm Photo Marina Aagaard

Aging fish pond with reflection. Water and sky image with some fall decor.

Granskov smal      Granskov

Fir trees supply a splash of green. Green is a soothing colour. Nature is medicine.

Ivers Kilde Rosenholm Fall wood with lake reflection Photo Marina Aagaard

Mesmerizing mirror images as seen in a forrest lake.

Mos       Træer   Stump with moss in fall wood Photo Marina Aagaard

Moss, moss and more moss. Nature’s own plush carpet.

Hey, you, what are you waiting for?
Your Nature is right outside your door.
Go out, get well, feel better, than before.

Going to Work by Ferry: A Nordic Cruise

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Hi-ho hi-ho it’s off to work I go: Thanks to an invitation from colleagues in Bergen, Hordaland county, last weekend I was sailing from Hirtshals, Denmark, to Bergen via Stavanger, Norway, to present group exercise workshops. A 16-hour ferry trip, from mid-evening to midday next day … with a nice surprise.

In Denmark going on a ferry trip is no big deal; Denmark consists of Jutland, a peninsula ‘on top’ of Germany, and 1,419 islands above 100 square metres; 443 named islands, 73 of which are inhabited (Zealand and Funen are the largest). So most Danes have spent (a lot of) time on ferries – also on trips to our neighbours Norway and Sweden.

Scandinavian ferries are okay, fine, functional and ‘mature’. This time, however, the ferry was a bit different. The ferry carrying me to Norway was MS Stavangerfjord (fanfare):

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MS Stavangerfjord (photo: Esben Gees for Fjordline) is the world’s first and largest cruise-ferry powered fully by environmentally-friendly Liquified Natural Gas, “a giant leap towards cleaner shipping” – and a giant leap towards travelling with a clean(er) conscience!

MS Stavangerfjord powered by LNG funnels

At 170 m, 557 foot, in length, 25.000 tonnes, with room for 1500 passengers and 600 cars, MS Stavangerfjord is not your everyday ferry, it is big, brand new and with a touch of true cruise luxury.
Travelling to work suddenly became a Nordic mini-cruise.

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Brass, wood and lush carpets; the ‘smell’ of ships and cruising.

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A sneak peek into the gourmet restaurant … on the way to the buffet restaurant.

Norge MS SF buffet restaurant

Buffet restaurant and …

Lobster cracker and lobster fork

… buffet cutlery a little less ordinary:
Lobster cracker and lobster fork!

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Lounge is ready to party, but the night – and guests – is still young.

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The truth about Nordic cruises; often grey and foggy (cool!) …

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… and rainy too (not a problem, when you like rain, though).

Being at sea is a bliss. This is wellness, come rain or come shine.

P.s.: It is quite possible, though, to get (very) seasick on a Nordic cruise,
as the going often gets tough in the North Sea, but this time the waves were friendly. 

Time Out Aarhus: World’s Largest Ship Visit

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Some would say sad, some would say super: Taking a day trip just to go to ones own hometown to see a ship.

Maybe it is the way it has to be, when you live by/in the second-largest city of one of the smaller countries of the world; Aarhus (population ~320,000), Denmark.
You have to make every little (odd) thing into an event or destination.
Fitness-wise it is a smart move, though, to move about at every chance!

Yesterday, the world’s biggest container ship, Maersk McKinney Moller, 400 metres long, 55,000 tonnes and a cost of 185 mio. USD, visited the port of Aarhus for the first time.

All day there were a ‘beach bar’ (event restaurant), boat tours around the massive ship and container displays at the city centre next to the port.

2013 Mærsk Containere

A ‘dusky’ yesteryear-smartphone photo of the theatre and cathedral square ‘contained’.

In the evening hundreds (thousands?) of people gathered all over the port and surrounding areas to watch the giant sail on … with drinks, snacks, ice creams and cameras at hand. This is how we party, have a good Time Out in Aarhus (read; events and sights are everywhere)!

2013 Mærsk McKinney Møller sejler ud 26 08 2013

Exit: A ship sailing out. Enter: Dreams of travelling to far corners of the world.

Are we, inhabitants of the tiny country of Denmark, home of Moeller-Maersk the World’s Largest Container Ship Company, just in desperate need of sights to see?
Or do you also enjoy watching/going to/being at ports, ships and the sea?

maersk-mckinney-ship-aug-2013MV Maersk McKinney Moller (International Business Times, August 16)

Cruise Visit Home Country: Baltic Cruise Stop Copenhagen

By Marina Aagaard

Baltic Cruise Day 2: Excursion Day Copenhagen (København)

First cruise stop is Copenhagen, Denmark. I could choose to stay on board – as a Dane, though from another part of the country, I have visited the capital on numerous occasions for business and pleasure – or go to shore.
I chose the latter; to spend the day as a tourist in my own country.
Have you visited the capital of your country? It is highly recommended.

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In the cruise ship DAILY program Copenhagen is presented as ‘the premier capital of Northern Europe and the centre of the most dynamic region in Europe, the Øresund Region [certainly a lot of novel and very interesting architecture there] and one of Europe’s oldest capitals with a royal touch with the Danish monarchy the oldest in the world’. (Below: Opera House donated to Denmark by Mærsk-McKinney Møller, container ship tycoon, price approx. 1 bio. DKK).

Baltic Cruise Kbh Operahus side

Copenhagen, dating back to the year 800, is the capital of Denmark with a population of approx. 1,200,000 (total population of Denmark is approx. 6 mio.).
Recently rated # 1 on Monocles list of ‘Most liveable cities in the world’ and a very interesting place to visit for everyone interested in art and architecture.

Baltic Cruise Kbh Havn hus med krone

Major Danish companies are A.P. Møller-Mærsk (container ships), Carlsberg (beer) and Novo Nordisk (insulin). Newcomer ‘company’ is Noma, voted Worlds Best Restaurant for three consecutive years 2010-2012 (this photo below shows their premises, brick building in centre, in Copenhagen). 

Baltic Cruise Kbh Havn Noma

Arrival: 8:00
All on board 17:30. Departure 18:00.

First things first:
A visit to the brand new Metro of Copenhagen, travelling to the end of one line: Kastrup, home of CPH, Copenhagen Airport.

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Airport art: Wormholes by Jonas Pihl.

Secondly: Visit the brand new aquarium, also in Kastrup, the very exciting Den Blå Planet, The Blue Planet, to admire the building and the fish.

All while I am saving up for going to see the fish in their natural habitats, I love visiting aquariums and can’t help taking photos of the fish, lots of photos …

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After this some sightseeing in central Copenhagen. A canal cruise is a great way to see many of the most interesting areas of historical Copenhagen (below Nyhavn, meaning new port, in the city centre, on bottom photo a couple of ‘lazy’ Danes).

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Summary: A nice surprise, after a slow start, the august weather was at its very best, bright sunshine, approximately 30 º F Celsius, 86 º F and not a cloud or rainstorm in sight. And a day full of wonderful views of Wonderful Copenhagen.
Then it is time to get back on board for dinner.

If one wishes to dine at the restaurant and follow the program today the Suggested dress tonight is: Informal, which is less formal than gala, but more formal than casual.

Program of the day apart from various sports, games and entertainment activities (including karaoke events): Stretching, Rock’n’roll, Rumba, Jive and Twist Dance Lessons and Flower Glory Disco Night at the Disco.

Dance on!