HANNA'S WALK

Denmark celebrates Midsummer Night every year on 23rd of June.
People gather around bonfires to sing and celebrate Midsummer.
Though something was different this year.
The drought conditions lead to a burn ban and the conditions haven’t change, on the contrary.
There are no signs of rain for the time being.

But that day on 23rd of June we went to Roskilde to celebrate Midsummer and it was a thrill to see the Sea Stallion from Glendalough in its right element, the fjord. You can read about the full arrangement for the ship at the Viking Ship Museum site.

We visited the old part of the town and had a great walk at Sct. J√łrgensbjerg. The locals calls it The Mountain.
The view is magnificent!

Find Danish Emergency Management Agency
The Danish Authorities

A walk in the shade

Winter came late this year and with a few days of Spring, Summer came with a sustained heat never experienced before.
Walking in the shade along a lake is wonderful.
We went for a great walk along Fures√łen in late May with a cooling breeze from the lake.

A few days later we did a walk along the lake one morning.
Greetings of good morning came from everywhere.
A very pleasant walk among happy people.
Sunshine does remarkable things for people’s mood ūüôā

Do not underestimate – finding your way home

A little boy walks towards the lifeguard tower. He is flanked by two girls, who eagerly contact the lifeguard.
The boy can not find his parents, break the girls.
We found him down at the water’s edge they say pointing to the left towards the crowded beach and the sea.
The lifeguard bends down against the boy.
What’s your name? he asks.
The little and slightly puzzled boy, looks up at the man and then at the girls.
They smile soothingly to the little boy who hasn’t learned his name yet.
Where is your mom and dad, asks the lifeguard.
The face lights up when he hears the word Dad.
Daddy has a big stomach!

We had to go with a bizarre search announcement, added the lifeguard with a smile:
Little boy wearing batman swimsuit misses his big belly dad.

Finding our way home might go wrong even for grown ups:
I read a sparkling blog post about a woman who was lost in the mountains.
She couldn’t find her way back to the hut she came from after a little stroll but without a map.
Several hikers were now trying to help her. She couldn’t speak English or German and she couldn’t remember the name of the hut either.
But! She had a telephone number to her husband who was staying back at the hut.
The hikers talked with the husband on the phone explaining where the wife was.
They agreed to meet halfway escorting the lost woman to a meeting point where the husband could pick her up.

Conclusion ‚̧ ūüôā :
Always keep a watchful eye on your children when they are near water.
Furthermore, some mountain advises from the The Norwegian Trekking Association:
THE NORWEGIAN MOUNTAIN CODE

The Spirit of Poetry
There is a quiet spirit in these woods,
That¬†dwells¬†where’er¬†the¬†gentle¬†south-wind¬†blows;
Where, underneath the white-thorn, in the glade,


The wild flowers bloom, or, kissing the soft air,
The leaves above their sunny palms outspread.
With what a tender and impassioned voice
It fills the nice and delicate ear of thought,


When the fast ushering star of morning comes
O’er-riding¬†the¬†gray¬†hills¬†with¬†golden¬†scarf;
Or when the cowled and dusky-sandalled Eve,
In mourning weeds, from out the western gate,
Departs with silent pace!  That spirit moves

In the green valley, where the silver brook,
From its full laver, pours the white cascade;
And, babbling low amid the tangled woods,
Slips down through moss-grown stones with endless laughter.
And frequent, on the everlasting hills,
Its feet go forth, when it doth wrap itself
In all the dark embroidery of the storm,
And shouts the stern, strong wind.  And here, amid


The silent majesty of these deep woods,
lts presence shall uplift thy thoughts from earth,
As to the sunshine and the pure, bright air
Their tops the green trees lift.  Hence gifted bards
Have ever loved the calm and quiet shades.

For them there was an eloquent voice in all
The sylvan pomp of woods, the golden sun,
The¬†flowers,¬†the¬†leaves,¬†the¬†river¬†on¬†its¬†way…

The old Thorn

There is a Thorn,‚ÄĒit looks so old,
In truth, you’d find it hard to say
How it could ever have been young,
It looks so old and gray.
Not higher than a two years child
It stands erect, this aged Thorn;
No leaves it has, no prickly points;
It is a mass of knotted joints,
A wretched thing forlorn.
It stands erect, and like a stone
With lichens is it overgrown.

William Wordsworth, The Thorn

The idyllic mass grave

People are passing by without paying any attention to the hawthorn grove in the forest at the gate of Taarbæk.
I often wonder if they are aware of the story.
Beneath the hawthorns is a mass grave. A grave for the victims of a cholera epidemic in Copenhagen back in 1853.
The many dead were driven on carts along the coast of √ėresund to be buried inside the forest at Taarb√¶k.
There wasn’t enough burial ground left in Copenhagen for all the poor people who died of the epidemic.
I was speechless when I by a coincidence learned about the tragedy and the grave a few years back.

Old superstitions said that people got infected by plague if they sat on a grave and that is why the hawthorns were planted to avoid the epidemic from spreading.
The story also got my imagination working overtime, when I met a strange woman on a little path between the hawthorn a few years ago:

‘I went there on a late afternoon. It had just rained, it was cloudy and there was a sombre atmosphere about the place. Maybe I needed a rest, or maybe it was my meet with the woman who influenced me.
She was suddenly in front of me. Where did she come from? She was white-haired and pale. Eyes were dark and odd tinned at the same time. She looked right through me, and I made way, otherwise she had walked into me on the narrow path.
Some hours earlier, I had read several stories of peasants who constantly prohibit felling the hawthorn. Felling a hawthorn means disaster on animals and humans, and the old superstition is alive and well.
I wondered how far photography was included in the many legends and myths that exist around the trees. I took the chance and found several motifs, after which I gladly left the burial site. I was unusually tired when I got home, and I attributed it to the long day I had.

At night I woke up with severe pain in the stomach.: The Death and The Hawthorn

The place is very idyllic and a mass grave isn’t the first thing that pops up in your mind when looking at the small hawthorn grove.

A few kilometres away is a beautiful hawthorn plain at Springforbi.

It turns out that the two species of common hawthorns and single-seeded hawthorn cross spontaneously.

Hawthorns grow by insect pollination, so it can take place over long distances, also from Taarbæk. And the crossing is fertile: it continues to put seeds. The thorns that were planted on top of the cholera graves in the forest, was a single-seeded hawthorn and the one on the plain was a common hawthorn.

I read that many Hawthorns on the plain at Springforbi developed into a new subspecies and Christen Christiansen Raunkiær, Professor of Botany at the University of Copenhagen and Director of Botanical Gardens 1912-23 named it: Cratægus Eremitagensis.

On the first Saturday in June people visit the unique Hawthorn plain at Springforbi.
Some are dressed in white just like the hawthorns and all are celebrating the arrival of the summer.

But I often wonder if they know of the trees development ūüôā

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

– Sea Fever by John Masefield

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