Dreams Road: a journey across Denmark

Discovering the beauty of the North with Emerson Gattafoni and Valeria Cagnoni.

The crisp colours of a world still to be discovered and the hospitality of a population whose history blends with ancient and heroic legends. Denmark, a land of both folklore and modernity, is rich in unexpected beauty. And it is here that we find Emerson Gattafoni and Valeria Cagnoni, aboard the Multistrada 1260, as they set off on the latest Dreams Road adventure, in discovery of a gem nestled in Northern waters.

Adventuring towards the north

Emerson and Valeria’s trip starts in the south of the country, on the Jutland peninsula. The first stop is Ribe, the nation’s oldest city. A perfect example of a Nordic town, its timber frame houses with pointed roofs and small picturesque brick shops face onto a maze of narrow streets. Dominating the scene is the city’s grandiose cathedral. A small corner of beauty, to discover and admire.

Leaving Ribe behind, the journey continues along the long east coast road in the direction of the far north, the route cutting through a landscape of green and yellow fields. There is time to stop off in Saeby, a fishermen’s village lit by an ethereal light. Then it’s on to Skagen, the highest point of the country and the spot where the North and Baltic seas meet. Just before entering the city, we admire the ancient church that has sunk into the ground, only the suggestive bell tower still visible. But there is much more to see in the city centre. The local museum houses works by the Skagen School, a small but dynamic artists community, which was based in the heart of this very town. The characteristic marina overlooks clear waters, the result of a freezing embrace between the two seas, though these are soon warmed with the red shades of sunset. With its elegant white sand dunes, Grenen beach seals this union of the elements. 

A land of light and art

It’s time to begin the long descent towards the south. The road is set in a rustic landscape, pale in colour and dotted with lush trees that stand out against the clear skies. Hundreds of kilometres later and we reach Ebeltoft, a town home to the surprising Glass Museum. The stars of this unusual museum are the plays on light, colours and reflections of the glass itself, which recreates a world of magic and wonder. From here it’s on to Aarhus, a university city with a young population, rich in art, history and culture. The historic centre is a wonderful open-air museum, home to age-old wooden buildings. Walking the narrow streets, we come across houses, stores and shops that still conserve the charm of a bygone era. The rest of the city combines the beauty of the ancient with the energy of the young. The old San Clemente cathedral, Denmark’s highest church, stands tall in the main square, surrounded by some of the city’s cultural reference points and in the vicinity of popular night spots. Now it’s time to get back on the bike and continue the on-the-road adventure.

The fairytale of the future

Denmark is a magical land, where the colourful houses with their pointed roofs appear inhabited by fairies and sprites, and where the dense woods are truly pulsing with life. It’s not difficult to believe that one of the greatest writers of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, was in fact born here. His childhood home is in Odense, the third largest city in Denmark as well as the next stop on our Dreams Road journey. The next city, Helsingor, is also inextricably linked to the literary world. Its castle - Kronborg – served as inspiration for William Shakespeare when writing Hamlet. The nearby Maritime Museum offers a contrast of eras and atmospheres, characterised by its futuristic architecture.  

We finally reach our last destination on this Danish adventure, or rather Copenaghen, the nation’s capital and the green jewel of the North, so green that in 2014 it was named the greenest capital in Europe thanks to its commitment to environmental sustainability. This splendid city harmoniously combines history and design, street food and haute cuisine, past and future. Here, traditional Nordic folklore elements are balanced unexpectedly with extreme innovation.

Emerson Gattafoni and Valeria Cagnoni’s Danish adventure ends here, but they are always ready to climb back on board for the next Dreams Road journey.  

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