Day Four and Five: How to Successfully Escape Denmark and Survive to Tell About It

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Day Four and Five: Wednesday 12th August to Tuesday 13th August
Journey: Hirtshals, Denmark to Middle-of-the-ocean (en route to Iceland via the Faroe Island)

The deserted streets of Hirtshals early Tuesday morning.

The deserted streets of Hirtshals early Tuesday morning.

The last twenty minutes of the Danish streak of our journey turned out to be much more enjoyable than the six preceding hours, notably due to the lack of insanely loud announcements performed in a heart-shattering Danish dialect, and the presence of rather magnificent landscapes surrounding us the whole way.

Hirtshals was a charming, albeit windy, seaside town.

Hirtshals was a charming, albeit windy, seaside town.

The first time I saw anything of Denmark, back in 2009, I wasn’t much impressed: too flat, too unmanned and too repetitive for my taste thought I. But I have to admit that the view of the noble fields of North Jylland made me reconsider the question. Indeed, while the Jyllandic landscape is just as flat as anywhere in Denmark, it still manages to carry with itself the feeling that you’re reaching some far isolated shore where nature has kept a much preeminent place.

Plus the fact that we saw three wild hares, jumping in a line in a middle of a field in the early morning light. 🙂

Anyway, we soon reached Hirtshals, an almost suspiciously idyllic town on the shore of the North Sea. After struggling to find a place to shelter ourselves from the strong prevailing wind we took to the streets and wandered around town. While it was way too early to take advantage of Hirtshals’ numerous discount shops, we still managed to gaze at some interesting buildings.

The signs warning for quicksand made the tedious treck to the ship more exciting.

The signs warning for quicksand made the tedious treck to the ship more exciting.

Soon though, our sleepless night kicked in and turned the valiant voyagers we were up till then into a rather pathetic-looking party, succumbing under the weight of our disproportionally heavy backpacks.  After taking five (or a bit more than that to be honest), we decided to try to reach the ship’s harbor and leave the marvelous half-ghost town behind us.

Finally boarding the Smyril Line (Smyril means Merlin in Icelandic) ship!

Finally boarding the Smyril Line (Smyril means Merlin in Icelandic) ship!

This very last streak proved to be the most painful one we’d experience so far. For almost an hour, and under the constant threat of hordes of Faroese cars, quicksand and gale force winds, we crawled towards the ship, which was of course the most remote one of all. Besides us, no one else except one courageous American had made the effort to cover the distance between Hirtshals and the ship by foot. Some people even had the audacity to take the ship’s shuttle bus, oblivious it seemed, only to us.

After one long hour of painful struggle, we finally reached the ship. Looking forward, despite the fact that it was only ten AM, to finally spending the night in an actual bed.

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