Wow, so yeah, from Copenhagen I went to AARHUS! (That’s oar-hoose.) And although there are a few more things I’d like to say about Copenhagen (and the hospitality of my friend the catblogger), I want most of all to talk about CAMPING IN AARHUS!
There seem to be two campsites here. One is the one that all the official tourist literature points you, and which seems to come up in all the Google searches. It’s inland, by a motorway. The other is DCU-Camping Blommehaven, which I only found out about because a friend-of-a-friend from Aarhus pointed me that way. And despite sounding like a Pennsylvanian college basketball team, it’s GREAT! It’s by the sea, in a wood with many tall deciduous trees, which also contains a deer-park and a Viking museum. (All good woods should have some.) There’s this little beach, and around it they’ve carved out this semicircle of clear, terraced ground in the wood for camping on. (And there’s a sauna too! I haven’t been there yet, but I’m looking forward to it.)
So on Day 5 I came into Aarhus on the bus, and went to meet an ex-student who co-runs Risskov Bike Hospital. He refuses to take rent for a bike; I try to insist; ‘Actually, we’re at our best when we’re doing things for free’. That philosophy degree he’s doing here must be getting to him! But I’m grateful. Some of the Leeds grads were already in town so I hung out with them, and the two most environmentally friendly ones (they got the bus here from Leeds) pointed me to the campsite (where one of them’s staying for the conference). The saddle on the bike’s a bit high, so getting on board requires a run and a jump or, if you’ve got a big rucksack on your back and another one in the front basket, a slightly embarrassing process of levering your body into the saddle with your thigh. Sigh. We’ve all been there.
And so I pitch my tent on this hillside, facing East out to sea, with the waves lapping on the little beach a minute’s walk from the tent. I go and sit on a rock in the water while I wait for the grads to get back. The sunlight fades from the water, and the moon comes up, nearly full and paving the sea with flickering yellow light. What a brilliant spot.
And I woke up the next day in the tent-heat, and saw that it was hot and sunny, and lurched down to the beach, out along the jetty, and into the sea. Not a bad way to start a Sunday. And I sat on the beach almost ALL DAY, it was a whole real DAY OFF!
In the evening, me and the camping grads walked back into town to register for the conference. It was great to see old friends; and we had this tour of medieval Aarhus. Rather like my famous tour of medieval Leeds, it almost entirely involved buildings which are no longer standing, but also like my famous tour of medieval Leeds, it was really good. I hung out with my friends Pictures Girl and „Shrek“ des isländischen Mittelalters, and then me and Environmentally Freidnly Grad walked back through the woods. Clouds drifted in front of the moon, and sometimes you could only just see the path, but the wood smelt great. Quite though: not a sound. Brilliant walk though.