Aalborg, Denmark

I’ve been looking back at the photos of our Baltic cruise last year and I realised that I hadn’t blogged about our visit to Aalborg which is apparently Denmark’s fourth largest city. It didn’t feel like a city really but it did have plenty of people bustling around and has lots of shops. I liked the building below, so quaint despite being large.

Aalborg Building, Denmark

It’s very clean, I liked the restrained decoration of the building below, it’s a pity that part of it’s inhabited by those golden arches that seem to get everywhere.

Aalborg Building, Denmark

The building below reminds me of an old pipe organ at the top.

Aalborg Building, Denmark

And this one seems Germanic, but they share a border so that’s not surprising.
I love fountains so was happy to sit by this one for a while, and get a bit wet.
Aalborg Building, Denmark

while admiring the house below.
Aalborg Building, Denmark

The pansies looked good, but they always do.
Aalborg Planter, Denmark

Below is a small street which wasn’t far from the city centre but was so peaceful. I think this place would be nice to live in, close to a park and the town.

Courtyard, Aalborg buildings, Baltic cruise

The public loos in a wee park sported some grafitti, but also a thatched roof which helped with the quaintness.
Aalborg Thatched Building, Baltic cruise,

I think that Denmark is called the land of fairy tales, which probably prompted this park of ‘singing’ trees. It’s a good idea, each tree has been planted by a famous singer and generally they are thrilled to come along and plant ‘their’ tree, it’s all good publicity I suppose. There’s a wooden block in front of each tree and you press a button to hear the famous singer’s best hit. Unfortunately none of them worked! I think they were having trouble with the electrics. I believe that Cliff Richard was the first person to be honoured in this way but loads of famous people had followed him.

Singing Trees, Aalborg, Baltic cruise

Singing Trees, Aalborg, Baltic cruise

So that was Aalborg, a pleasant place to spend an afternoon and stretch your legs when you’ve been on a ship for days. According to the European Commission the inhabitants of this place are the most satisfied people in Europe with their city. I must admit that I would never go on another cruise, it was bad enough when all you had to worry about was norovirus from people who don’t wash and sanitise their hands as they should, it doesn’t bare thinking about with Covid-19 rampaging. Obviously not everyone feels that way though as I have friends who have bookedup for 2021, expecting that there will be a vaccine by then. Hmmm – I have my doubts.

Copenhagen, Denmark

I’ve been busy with visitors over the past few days – hence no blogging, and I have such a backlog of things to blog about that I’m cheating a bit and directing anyone who is interested in seeing photos of our recent trip to Copenhagen to Jack’s blog. You can see his Copenhagen blogposts here. He tells me a few more posts are still to come.

I hope to be back to whatever is my normal soon!

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

The Little Book of Hygge cover

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking was all the rage last year. The concept of Hygge was everywhere with shop owners using it to promote anything remotely ‘hygge’ ish that was for sale. Hygge seems to be pronounced hooga and it is of course a Danish word meaning a sense of cosiness/the absence of annoyance and taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. The Danes have apparently been proclaimed to be one of the happiest nations in the world and the author believes that hygge has a lot to do with it.

But surely hygge is just what everybody strives for. It consists of everything that would make you feel contented – warm woollen socks, coffee, tea, good chocolate, books, good design, atmospheric lighting, log fires, scarves, cosy jumpers (pullovers), lovely food, cushions, blankets, candles, mobile phones switched off and whatever else takes your fancy. I suspect that that list would be more than acceptable to most people. It’s human nature to want to be comfy, nothing particularly Danish or unusual about that.

What does make all the difference I’m sure is that Denmark is a high tax society, however as health/welfare care, and education is free and housing is affordable it means that the really important things in life aren’t a worry for Danes. This is a sensible way to run a society as in the long run, despite paying high taxes they end up being better off than they would be if they had to pay out to get health insurance in a private marketplace or if they were engulfed by massive student debts for most of their lives as happens in some other countries. There’s wide support for the welfare state in Denmark as the people realise that it contributes to their well-being. The only people who are against socialism are surely the people who are rich on the backs of poorer people! It seems so to me anyway.

The country is very flat and cycling is very popular as is getting out into the countryside or to summer lodges. There are lots of references to the bad weather, and as we always say – There’s no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes. The author says I love summer in Denmark. It’s my favourite day of the year. In that respect it seems very Scottish as do the other Scandinavian countries I think.

This is a lovely wee book, nicely illustrated with pretty photographs, some good looking recipes and is entertaining, but I read it in about an hour despite there being 285 pages so I’m glad that I just borrowed it from the library.

It turns out that hygge is actually a Norwegian word, something which I don’t think the author was too happy about confessing. Denmark and Norway were one country until 1814. I think there’s a sort of England/Scotland rivalry going on there.