Tollund Man and the Danish Lake District
23.10.2014 - 23.10.2014 13 °C
Seeing the 'Tollund Man' had been high up on my bucket list from early on when I first started thinking of visiting Denmark, little did I appreciate just how far away the peat bog he was buried in was from Copenhagen!
And so it was I ended up booking a day return from Copenhagen to Silveborg in the 'Sohojlandet' ('Lake Highland' in English) , a three hour train journey away on the mainland of Jutland. Having got to know the excelent barrier-less Copenhagen Underground Metro and 'S-Tog' (suburban trains) I was now introduced to the intercity DSB. Again very clean, modern and efficient and I was impressed by the much wider seats and the branded plastic bags hanging under each table for rubbish - very neat! It took me a while to ask what 'Kan Very Reserveret' meant above a seat, apparently its the default and means while a seat is not reserved it might be later on in the day.
Although comfortable, it was a long keenly busy journey as we passed through the Storebaelt Rail Tunnel (the secod longest in Europe under water after the Channel Tunnel) and then over its accompanying bridge before passing through Odense (Denmark's third city and birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen) and onto Jutland. I changed onto a local train at Skanderborg for final stage of the journey through the Lakelands; you were aware the pace of life had slowed down, all the station announcements were 2 stops late, very confusing for a foreign visitor!
The Lake District between Skanderborg and Silkeborg is the highest part of Denmark although it's point Mollrhoj is only 561 feet. Its best described as bumpy covered in forests and meadows dotted with lakes. Silkeborg itself was nothing to write home about and the only thing of note at the museum was 'Tollund Man' (about 40 years old at time of death) and the accompanying 'Essling Woman' (about 30 years old at time of death). They were both pre-historic winter sacrifices by hanging to the gods from about 350 BC remarkably well preserved by the peat bog in which they were buried, especially eerily so in the case of Tollund Man.
Having achieved my goal I took the opportunity to go for walk into the surrounding woods and passed a couple of lakes, very like the Autumn walks through the woods I often do while at home. It was then time for the equally long trip back to Copenhagen arriving just in time for everyone making their way home from work.
I then strolled up the 'Stroget', a sequence of streets pedestrianised back in the early 1960s and the busy retail heart of Copenhagen. I took the opportunity to stop and try a 'Smorrebrod' (a dark unleavened rye bread) open sandwich washed down with a beer. It was OK but something I wouldn't queue up for.