Woot! If you missed Day 1 in the middle of the Kingdom of Denmark, click here.
Life in the Danish countryside stands for the expression: “The early bird catches the early worm”. Pretty much like in the Philippines. In Norway, people in the countryside, particularly where I spent a week this summer, live a pleasant and care-free life in the bosom of Mother Nature. Our Norwegian hosts did not wake up so early to work, unlike Grandma E who’s used to working very early in the garden/farm.
After a very nice typical Danish breakfast of ‘smørrebrød’ and hot black coffee, Grandma E drove me and tiny travel buddy to Svendborg for some sight-seeing. Svendborg is Funen’s second largest city and the birthplace to A.P. Møller-Mærsk, the largest container ship company in the world. History has it that the etymology of the city’s name came from ‘Svin’ (pig) and ‘borg’ (fortification).
Upon reaching Svendborg city proper, you’ll be amused by the colorful houses facing the harbor.
The photos above shows Svendborg Bycenter, a little shopping mall adjacent to a pedestrian or shopping street. We parked somewhere there, and then, we started walking towards our first stop. On our way, we passed by a very interesting fountain in the Centrum Pladsen. It wasn’t functioning, but the four little fat men pulling bronze ropes connected to a huge rock and separated by steel plates still caught my eye. The ‘Vandkunsten’ (Water Art) was donated to the city by DGI and Marksman associations in 1994. (see photo below)
So. First stop: the city center. There you will find the oldest residential building in Svendborg — the Anne Hvides Gaard (c. 1560). The house is of Renaissance style, with the red roof built at a 60 degree angle. It was passed on from one owner to another for a long time, and in 1900, the Svendborg Municipality bought the property. Since the acquisition by the kommune, the house was restored and converted into a museum.
A few steps from Anne Hvide’s House is the Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady) built ca. 1250. It is very noticeable because it lies in a high point or hill in the city center.
On Saturdays, the city square is alive with bazaars and concerts by students and amateur bands.
Next stop: a famous castle in Svendborg, the Valdemars Slot. The palace was commissioned by Christian IV and was built in the 1600s. Hans van Stenwinkel designed it and after being the residence of several noble families, the castle was opened to public by the current owner, Baron luel-Brockdorff.
There were many visitors at Valdemar’s Castle when we were there, so decided to just drove off to our next and final stop: the Bregninge Kirke. It is one of Denmark’s highest buildings, located 74 meters above sea level.
For a small fee of 5 kr for adults and 2 kr for children, you can climb up the church tower and get a fantastic view of the Danish countryside!
The church visit and tower climb was a wonderful experience! Thanks to Grandma E, I felt like I appreciated Denmark more for hosting me for 28 months.
Grandma also showed me the Catholic Church in Svendborg:
After half a day of sightseeing, we came home to a typical Danish ‘frokost’ or lunch:
So there! Danish hospitality at its finest! All thanks to Grandma E! 😉 I have had my share of not-so-good experiences in Denmark, but the visit to Svendborg absolutely do not count! Next time, I’ll show and tell more of Brillegård, where Grandma E lives and where I slept for 2 nights. Cheers to more road trips! Enjoy Svendborg 😉