253 Day 12: Show me the way to go home / “To travel is to live.”

Or “What I have learnt today.”

1. That if you pay £32 for a room, you should not be surprised if said room is pretty much wall-to-wall bed with paper thin sheets and smells of student.

2. That if you are wandering around an unfamiliar city of an evening – for example Odense – looking for somewhere you can sit and read with a hot drink and a snack, the place NOT to go is a tapas bar where you can’t make head or tail of the menu; hence sneaking out while the waitress has her back turned is the only reasonable option.


3. That all ills, all grumpiness, all homesickness can be utterly cured by a Danish hot chocolate and a cinnamon bun.  That chocolate here is made by having real pieces of the most gorgeous chocolate put onto kebab type sticks and then stirred  into the milk. That combined with a cinnamon bun, it is truly food for the gods.


4. That Danish babies are pushed around in proper prams; that Danish secondary schoolchildren and their teachers do PE outdoors in the park by their school even when it is pouring with rain; that the Danish people will approach you with offers of help if you look even slightly at a loss.  I cite as my evidence for this one of many, many examples: I was queueing to get the correct change for the left luggage locker when the young man in front of me asked if he could help. Having established that he didn’t have the correct change either,  he gave up his place in the queue and explained to the cashier what I needed.


5. That ActorLaddie prefers Danish bacon for breakfast whilst Jellywoman prefers Danish pastries.


6. That the Hans Christian Anderson museum in Odense – his birthplace – must be on of the best museums ever, anywhere.  It is superbly organised with an incredible wealth of artifacts brilliantly presented.  I knew very little about Anderson – what a life he had!


Hans loved having his photo taken.

Born into complete poverty; his gran was imprisoned for having three illegitimate children.  Dad was a shoemaker who loved telling stories but died when Hans was a boy.  Mother tried to support family through working as a washerwoman. Hans didn’t go to school as a boy; took himself off to Copenhagen and hung around the theatre for three years, helping out and submitting plays.


One of the first copies of his fairytales for children, inscribed by Hans for a friend.


Book hand written and illustrated by Hans for the child of a friend; she is main character in story. Recently bought for 3 million Kroner and donated to the museum.

Someone realised he was a bright lad and paid for him to have some schooling; eventually his writing took off due to an absolute conviction in his own abilities and a phenomenal drive.


Hans was brilliant at cuttting paper to make pictures and patterns. This is one of the last he made, as an old man.

He loved travelling – “to travel is to live” he said.  When he died as an old man, he was acclaimed for his work the world over.


Letter from Dickens inviting Hans to stay.

As well as telling Hans’s story, the museum painted a picture of the age into which he was born with a brilliant collection of letters and artifacts.  Here’s just a few of the things we saw:


Order signed by Napolean.



Letter from Karl Marx

7. That it’s now time for me to stop blogging and settle down into our new digs in Copenhagen.  Catch up in a couple of days?


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