This is what they call the Top End of Denmark, north of the Limfjord that separates Northern Jutland from the rest of Jutland and Denmark. www.visitnordjylland.dk
I have been to the East Coast up near Frederikshavn and to the tip at Skagen on the Kattegat many times, but for the first time I take in the wilder West Coast, and my old friend Martin Jorgensen meets me at Aalborg station on J F Kennedy Square, and takes me straight to the beach near his home in Blokhus, walking distance to the raging sea, where he windsurfs, parasails, wakeboards, waterskis and more. He lives with his girl friend Cila and dog Milo, and played many times for Denmark as a youth soccer player and then at UMBC in Baltimore,MD. He is now working in the cutting edge of the science of balance for older people and for athletes at the local hospital, and close to getting his PhD.
Next stop is the beautiful village of Lokken with its pastel houses, cafes, small hotels and very friendly tourist office. They have 500 white huts along the strand-beach to rent in summer, but we drive to Rubjerg Knude, giant sand dunes and shifting sand that have already totally covered the church, and the lighthouse, opened in 1900 had to be closed in 1968 and is now half buried. Great views from the top of the 200 metre dunes and we slide down in the fine sand and finish off tumbling over and over as the dog barks and pisses with delight. I am covered in fine sand, and in every pocket and in my mouth and ears. On the way back we photograph a couple of the small, sturdy Icelandic ponies that you find in the region.
We go out to dinner in Aalborg, Denmark's party town (motto:Seize the World),with its traffic free streets, its waterfront, and the best restaurant scene in the country, with 30,000 students and lots of visitors. Jomfrei Ane Gade - Mistress Anne's Street) is the centre of life with great prices on beer and spirits,. Aalborg is also well know for the distillation of Akvavit snaps and its most famous recent resident was Jorn Utzan, architect of Sydney Opera House. At a large shopping mall I see Kenneth and Ole at a booth near the entrance. They have a company www.wineatcosts.com. I sample a couple of their wines from The Central Valley of Chile and Cote du Rhone in France. They ship wines inexpensively compared to Normal Danish prices. Big soccer fans too.
After a trip to Germany and a night in Kiel, I return to Aalborg, even though it takes 5 trains, for the U21 match Denmark v Georgia at EnergiNord Stadion, which is home of AaB Aalborg the Danish league club and which holds 22,000. www.aabsport.dk 10 days ago in Georgia, I had promised Levan Ramisishvili of the national teams department in Tbilisi, that I would come and be their lone supporter.Today is a school holiday and entrance is free and photos of the national team and red Danish soccer hats for all. It has become bitterly cold. The match finished 2-1 to the home side, but it is very competitive with skilful football.