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Funen and Jutland, Denmark

by Debra C. Argen
Funen Village, Funen, Denmark
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Funen, Denmak - Egeskov CastleThe islands of Funen and Jutland, Denmark are more than just the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen; they are also home to castles, museums, and gastronomic restaurants.


Edward F. Nesta and I decided it was time to explore more of Scandinavia, so in May 2006 we flew SAS Scandinavian Airlines where Scandinavian hospitality begins at the airport in the lounge. We relaxed in the comfortable Scandinavian design lounge before boarding a non-stop plane to Copenhagen International Airport. Excellent service continued on-board the plane, and seven and a half hours later, we arrived in Copenhagen. After passing through customs, we boarded a DSB train at the airport enroute to Odense, Denmark. Odense is the third largest town in Denmark, and is located on the island of Funen, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. Like many children, I had grown up enjoying the fairy tales of the Little Mermaid, The Flying Suitcase, The Snow Queen, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, and so many more of Hans Christian Andersen’s enchanting stories.

First stop in Odense was to the open-air museum, The Funen Village, which is a replica of a village dating to the time of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875). The buildings date from the 17th – 19th centuries and were moved to the island of Funen from the surrounding areas to create the village. It is a charming place to stroll through the gardens and see life, as Hans Christian Andersen would have known it. The museum is open from 10:00am – 5:00 pm, although hours vary throughout the year. Check their website for actual times and admission fees.

The Funen Village (Den Fynske Landsby)
Sejerskovvej 20
DK-5260 Odense S
Telephone:      +45 65 51 46 01

Sortebro Kro, Funen, DenmakAfter our tour of The Funen Village, we had a gastronomic lunch at Sortebro Kro, located within The Funen Village. Chef John Kofod and his wife Melina own the attractive restaurant, where John produces inspired cuisine and Melina welcomes guests with Danish hospitality. Chef Kofod took advantage of the asparagus and rhubarb season to create some very special recipes. (Read about Sortebro Kro in the Restaurants section.)

Sortebro Kro
Sejerskovvej 20
DK-5260 Odense S
Telephone:      +66 13 28 26
Fax:                 +66 12 75 14

Hans Christian Andersen House, Funen, DenmarkAfter lunch, we visited the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, where we learned that Hans Christian Andersen’s books are the most translated books in the world and have been translated into 144 languages. There is only one book more translated, and that is the bible. Hans Christian Andersen was a very interesting man; he not only wrote fairy tales, he was also a poet, a playwright, a novelist, and he wrote opera lyrics. The museum is open from August to June: Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and June to August: Monday – Sunday from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. There is an admission fee.

Hans Christian Andersen Walk Sign Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at Hans Christian Andersen’s Home it was closed, but we did see the outside of the house, and toured this quaint area, where the stop signs have a Hans Christian Andersen figure in place of the "walk" sign.

Hans Christian Andersen Museum
Bangs Boder 29
DK-5000 Odense C
Telephone:      +45 65 51 46 01

Restaurant Oluf Bagers Gard, Funen, Denmark After browsing through the shops on the pedestrian street, we had a lovely dinner at Restaurant Oluf Bagers Gård, which opened in May 2005, where Chef Anna H. Aagesen and Chef Annemette Nielsen preside over the kitchen. For our first course, we sampled Lobster soup with whipped cream, paprika and herbs and Fried duck liver with curry sautéed apples and apricot syrup. We continued with Grilled eggplant and pepper timbale with Madagascar pepper sauce, and lamb back with lemon chutney and thyme sauce. Spicing things up a bit, the Chefs sent us a refreshing lime and Sichuan pepper sorbet as a palate cleanser.

Restaurant Oluf Bagers Gård
Nørregard 29
DK-5000 Odense C
Telephone:      +45 63 40 66 00

The next day we picked up our Peugeot rental car from Europcar to drive and experience the countryside.

Vestre Stationsvej 13-15
Telephone:      + 45 66 14 15 44

1858 Dryehave Molen WindmillWe drove from Odense to Nyborg where our first visit was to see the 1858 Dryehave Mølen Windmill. We climbed to the top to see the view of the town, and then made a brief stop to admire Holckenhavn Slot, a castle dating to 1634, located on idyllic grounds with a moat in front of the castle.

Broholm Castle Flint MusuemWe visited Broholm Castle, owned by Anne and Frederik Lütken. We met with Frederik, and toured the castle, which dates to 1326, and has been in Anne’s family for 12 generations. We also visited the Flint Museum with a collection of 70,000 pieces. It is said that, "Here, Denmark was born," when the largest gold treasure was found in Broholm. In addition to flint, jewelry, and coins, the museum also houses a moose skeleton, found in 1883, which dates between 7-11,000 years old. The moose apparently fell into the moat and died of natural causes. Although we did not have the opportunity to stay at castle, it is open as an inn.

Broholm Castle
Broholmsvej 32
DK-5884 Godme
Telephone:      +45 62 25 10 55
Fax:                 +45 62 25 30 55

Egeskov Castle - Funen, Denmark Our next castle visit was to the fairytale Egeskov Castle completed in 1554, the 36-acre park grounds, maze, and museums. The Bille family bought the Renaissance castle complete with a moat in 1784. In 1960, the family opened the grounds to the public, and in 1986, Count Claus Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille opened the castle for public visits. Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille has resided at the castle since 1994.

We strolled through the gardens where the tulips were in bloom in a glorious array of colors, we visited the Renaissance Garden, and we also walked in the maze. We had a light lunch at Café Jomfru Rigborg, before continuing to explore the castle, The Dolls House, and The Motorcycle Museum, whose vast collection included a 1913 Henderson, 1922 Neracar, 1929 Indian Scout, 1929 Harley Davidson, and 1936 Nimbus with sidecar and cover. We also visited The Veteran Car Museum, The Museum of Horse-drawn Carriages, and Dracula’s Crypt. Egeskov Castle has something to captivate everyone.

Funen, Denmark - Egeskov Castle Hunt Room - Edward F. Nesta relaxingEgeskov Castle is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm with extended hours in June, July, and August. Check their website for actual times and admission fees. Allow yourself several hours at Egeskov to visit the castle, tour the gardens and the maze, visit the museums, and enjoy lunch at Café Jomfru Rigborg.

Egeskov Castle

Egeskov Gade 18
DK-5572 Kværndrup
Telephone:      +45 62 27 10 16

Steensgaard Herregaardspension - Funen, DenmarkAfter a day touring the castles, it was time to retire to Steensgaard Herregårdspension in Millinge, a manor dating to the 14th century. Steensgaard Herregårdspension is located in a bucolic park-like setting with a lake graced with swans and pretty gardens for the guests to take a stroll. The beautiful manor house is filled with antiques, and of course, the requisite armor for a knight, made me feel very much like a princess. We arrived in the late afternoon, just before the dairy was closing for the evening. In addition to having an excellent restaurant and inn, Steensgaard Herregårdspension has its own dairy where they make butter and cheese. An avowed animal lover, I hurried off to the barn to see the adorable cows and their calves the minute that our luggage was in the room. In the evening, we had a delicious four-course dinner in their restaurant. (Read about Steensgaard Herregårdspension in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, and Chefs’ Recipes sections.)

Steensgaard Herregårdspension
DK-5642 Millinge
Telephone:      +45 62 61 94 90
Fax:                 +45 63 61 78 61

Jutland, Denmark - Villa ProvenceAfter breakfast, we drove to Odense to return our rental car to Europcar. Talk about service, Europcar even drove us to the Odense Grand Central train station, where we caught a DSB train to our next stop, Aarhus, on the island of Jutland. We arrived in Aarhus 1½-hours later, checked in at Hotel Villa Provence, a charming little 39-room and suite designer hotel that feels like the South of France, and then went off to explore Aarhus, the second largest town in Denmark.

Hotel Villa Provence
Fredens Torv 12
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Telephone:      +45 86 18 24 00
Fax:                 +45 86 18 24 03

Aarhus, Denmark - Marianne Bab, Lisette Vind Ebbessen and Boy by Ron Mueck at AroS Aarhus KunstmuseumWe had an excellent lunch at the ART Restaurant at the AroS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, where the food was every bit as delightful as the enticing city views from the top level of the museum. The museum, designed by the same architect as the Black Diamond in Copenhagen, opened in 2004. This gorgeous contemporary building houses an outstanding collection from the Golden Age (1770) to Modernism (1930) to Contemporary art and video art installations. One of my favorite pieces at the museum was the almost 5-meter sculpture "Boy" by the artist, Ron Mueck, dated 1999. This realistic sculpture shows Boy, wearing shorts that the artist’s wife sewed onto the sculpture at the museum, in a sitting position with his hands clasped by his head. As I moved around the sculpture, Boy’s emotions seemed to change.

The museum is closed on Monday, and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, except on Wednesday when they have extended hours until 10:00 pm. Admission is charged.

AroS Aarhus Kunstmuseum
Aros Allé
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Telephone:      +45 87 30 66 00

Aarhus is a charming city that is easily accessible by bicycle, which are available free of charge with a 20 Kroner deposit returned when you return the bicycle. We toured the pedestrian shopping street and the Latin Quarter, and when it started raining, we serendipitously found Jazzbar Bent J, the oldest jazz bar in Scandinavia. We spent a few happy hours listening to the admission-free Friday afternoon jam session that begins every Friday at 4:00 pm. Aarhus is a university town, and students from the conservatory as well as jazz professionals came in and took their turns playing in 5-piece band format of drums, stand-up bass, piano, horns, and guitar. On Thursday nights, Jazzbar Bent J features an admission-free singers lounge from 8:00 pm, and there is a jazz concert every Monday.  

Jazzbar Bent J
Nørre Allé 66
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Telephone:      +45 86 12 04 92

When the rain let up, we passed Mackie’s Cantina, on the Pedestrian Street, where the aromas of pizza and a lively crowd caught our attention. What a little find that was; the pizza is excellent, rock music pulses, and the restaurant is full of rock and roll photos and memorabilia including one of Sammy Hager’s guitars. While we were at the restaurant we met Mickey Lee, a former rock and roll roadie who settled in Aarhus, bought Mackey’s Cantina, and in his free time has a rock band, aptly called Mickey Lee.  Edward F. Nesta reviews Mickey Lee’s She’s The Girl Marie Marie in the Music Scene.

Mackie’s Cantina
Sct. Clemens Torv 9
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Telephone:      +45 86 12 36 61

Den Gamle By - Aarhus, Denmark - Pastry Shop The next morning after breakfast at the Café at Hotel Villa Provence, we went to Den Gamle By, an open-air museum that opened in 1914. Seventy-five historical houses were moved from all over Denmark to create the village, with the oldest house being the Mayor’s house dating to the 16th century. Each of the houses and shops has their own interesting stories to tell, where the shopkeepers dress in period clothes and sell reproductions to provide visitors with a look to the past. The bakery is a "must stop" where we purchased freshly baked goodies to enjoy while we strolled the village. We had lunch at the restaurant where they served Øl Bryggeriet Refsvindinge, a beer made by Egte Fynsk Overgaeret for Den Gamle By. Although Den Gamle By has a microbrewery on the premises, it does not produce enough beer to supply the restaurant. Hours and Entrance fees vary throughout the year, so please visit their website for hours and entrance fees. There is free admission for children under the age of 18 years.

Den Gamle By
Viborgvej 2
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Telephone:      +45 86 12 31 88
Fax:                 +45 86 76 06 87

We returned to the Hotel Villa Provence, picked up our luggage, and went to the Aarhus train station to take the DSB train to Copenhagen. While we were waiting for the train, we visited many of the 90 gallery shops, and since I was having a problem with my eye, I stopped at Synoptik Denmark A/S. One of the hardest parts of traveling is knowing where to go when you get sick. I was more than pleased with the professionalism shown at Synoptik Denmark A/S, and by the time I reached Copenhagen 3-hours later, I am happy to report that my eye was much better.

Synoptik Denmark A/S
Bruuns Galleri Nr. 437
M.P. Bruunsgade 25
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Telephone:      +45 86 12 64 61

Although most Danish speak English, I have included some basic vocabulary. It is important to note the pronunciation of the following letters: å = aa, d and g are silent in the middle of a word, and h before a v is silent. The word "hej" is pronounced like "hay," and "ny" is pronounced like "new."

Danish Basic Vocabulary




Do you speak English?

Taler de Engelsk?

Excuse me




Good Morning/Good evening           

God morgen/God aften


Vaerså venlig

Thank you






Where is?

Hvor er?












Danish Pastry

























Wine/White wine/Red wine





Do you speak English?

  Taler de Engelsk?











Read our articles on Denmark in Destination: Copenhagen, Denmark, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs’ Recipes, Liquor Cabinet: Olfestival, Music Scene: Saxopaths Saxofonkvartetten, and Music Scene: Mickey Lee – She’s The Girl Marie Marie.  

For additional information on Denmark please contact: VisitDenmark at www.visitdenmark.com, VisitAarhus at www.visitaarhus.com, VisitOdense at www.visitodense.com, Fyntour at www.visitfyn.com, and Wonderful Copenhagen ® at www.visitcopenhagen.com. For SAS Scandinavian Airlines information, please contact them at www.scandinavian.net. For information on DSB rail service, please contact them at www.dsb.dk.

© November 2006. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

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