Posted: 2/7/2007


   At the end of the line on the express train from Copenhagen, which runs every hour, you arrive at Frederikshavn, a delightful port in Northern Jutland, or you can come from the north, either overnight by Stena Line or Color Line from Oslo, Norway, or in 2 hours from Gothenburg, Sweden on a fast  catamaran.

   About 30,000 locals live and work in shipbuilding and repair, explosives, fishing, tourism etc and one week each summer it hosts the DANA CUP No 1, hosted by FFI the local club that has many soccer teams plus handball, badminton and other sports. Lots of Swedes and Danes come over for cheap food and drinks. You can see Swedes drive onto the ferries with vans full of beer crates and groceries.  The main street DENMARKSGADE is full of all sorts of bargains. FFI has the City Stadium half a mile from the port with a half dozen pitches next door, and a kilometer away their club house and a dozen more pitches at FOTBOLVEJ (Football Street). During the tournament the club house and cafe is augmented by a giant DANA CUP tent offering local specialities of grilled and smoked flat fish RODSPATTA (PLAICE), and baby pig on a spit, plus polsars - hot dogs, and Danish beer, and that disgusting salty liquorice. Go into a local home for breakfast and they might offer you the wickedly potent and bitter Gamel Dansk, and raw herring. My advice if you are riding your bike-ask for a coffee !!!

   For a small town there is a big range of restaurants offering Italian, Greek, Chinese, Scandinavian, German, and Tex Mex. Jerry's Hamburger Cafe, run for many years by an American, is very popular. Picnic supplies are available to take to the nearby beaches. One is Palm Beach, which is planted with Mediterranean palm trees and is pretty exotic for Northern Denmark.  Just north of town and an hour on a narrow gauge railway or by road is Skagen, a busy fishing port where you can eat shrimp, clams, lobster, and crabs as they come off the fishing boats on the dockside cafes.  The Kattergat meets the Scagaratt at the northern point.

    Frederikshavn families have been incredibly hospitable to visiting teams and referees at Dana Cup No.1 and the families volunteer for jobs at the fields, in the schools and in the kitchens to serve the 300 or so teams that take part. Forget Hans Christian Andersen, Peter Schmeichel, Viggo Mortensen, Morten Andersen and Michael Laudrup: The Thomsens, The Hansens, the Jorgensens, and many more volunteers -THESE families are the GREAT DANES. Sven Ivarsson who started the Gothia Cup is responsible for marketing the tournament world wide while Pauli Jorgenssen who is also the city tourist chief and Martin Hogh and a dedicated team make sure all is smooth for a week. This summer during the Cup,  Huddersfield Town of England will play an exhibition match vs a big Danish club. at the stadium. The TOP OF DANMARK has lots of small beach towns with cottages and rooms for rent and its easy to get around on a bike, Nowhere in Danmark is more than about 300 feet above the sea level.

   One of the hotels in town has a 'Wave Pool' and they have recently finished ARENA NORD next to the stadium where they have Danish league badminton, team handball, basketball, floorball,concerts, and even a recent Gorbochov/ Al Gore debate for those who have absolutely nothing else to do!!