On a whim (as always seems to be the case with me these days), I decided to go somewhere different during the Easter holidays. I wanted to see more of Denmark, specifically, Jutland. Jutland (Jylland in Danish) is the peninsular part of Denmark that is attached to the European continent. Zealand (Sjaelland in Danish) is the island part of Denmark, separated from the peninsula. Copenhagen is on Sjaelland. It is connected to Malmo, Sweden by the famous Øresund bridge. The impression I’ve gotten from quite a few of the Danes I’ve talked to is that there is a bit of a competition between Jutland and Sjaelland over which is the “real” Denmark. 🙂
Anyway, I was eager to visit Jutland, so I decided on a whim to visit the Danish city of Århus (pronounced OR-hoos). It’s the second largest city in Denmark. I originally planned to go Friday the 10th, but when I arrived at the train station bright and early, there were no more tickets available until later in the afternoon. That wouldn’t give me enough time to have a satisfactory day trip. So I bought a ticket for Saturday the 11th instead.
The train ride was about 3 hours long. Got to see some of the beautiful Danish countryside and to travel over some nice bridges. I sat and thought about what I had planned to do that day — visit the Aros Art Museum and also, time permitting, Den Gamle By. And of course I wanted to stroll around.
Arriving in Århus, I got instructions from a nice lady at the train ticket booth on how to walk to the museum. It wasn’t far from the central station. The Aros was amazing. There were a lot of modern art exhibits, digital art, multimedia art, traditional art, the big little boy sculpture and, my favorite, interactive art. For example, one of the interactive art exhibits required you to run on a treadmill in front of a movie screen. Your speed controlled the movie on the screen. Another interactive exhibit consisted of hundreds of light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The light bulbs blinked on and off in sync with the pulse of whoever was grabbing a hand-grip built in to the exhibit. My favorite was the sonic bed…if you lie down in it, you can feel the sound waves emitted by the bed deep inside the core of your body! I wish I’d come up with the idea of going to the museum earlier so that some of my classmates could have come as well. I think some of them would have enjoyed it.
There was also an exhibit called the “9 spaces”, which is still under construction. It’s 9 separate rooms which give the visitor an audiovisual experience. 2 highlights include the mirror room (pictured above) and a room that compressed 24 hours from sunrise and sunset into just 5 minutes. All in all, the museum visit was worth the 3-hour train ride alone and I would have been satisfied if that had been the only thing I did in Århus.
But I had plenty of time left before I had to catch the train back to Copenhagen, so I set off on a quest to find Den Gamle By (the old town). I had to ask a few people for directions, but I eventually found it. Den Gamle By is an outdoor museum consisting of historic buildings from an old Danish market town. There was the printer’s house, the chemist’s house, the clockmaker’s home, a working class home, a wealthy family’s home, pony rides and more. There were stores selling (overpriced) old fashioned toys and sweets. I strolled along, peering into the buildings and trying to imagine little people living in those houses (because the ceilings were all very low).
The funniest thing that happened in Den Gamle By? I ran into a girl who lives across the hall from me at Grønjordskollegiet! How random is that? Neither of us had any idea the other was coming, and we run into each other 3 hours away from Copenhagen. What a heck of a coincidence. LOL.
After I’d had enough of the Old Town, I walked to the nearby Århus University campus. It was very green and spacious. I was beginning to think maybe I should have come to Århus instead of Copenhagen. LOL. I mean, I love Copenhagen, but Århus a beautiful city with a lot more green. It’s also got more hills.
Well, after getting lost in the university botanical gardens, I found my way back to civilization. I walked past this popular park (already forgot the name, lol) and down this canal with lots of stores, including Magasin. Then doubled back and arrived at the central station in time to catch the train back to Copenhagen. All in all, a nice little day trip.
In closing, I just want to say that the Danish railroad system is SO organized. It’s amazing to me that you can just go to the train station and get a ticket to take a train to the other side of the country and back in just one day.
Here’s a slideshow of more Århus pics!
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