We are slowly heading back to Paris to return our leased car on June 9th. Since I last wrote we finished our stay in Rena, Norway, then moved on to Skagen, Denmark for two nights, next was Odense, Denmark, followed by Hamburg, Germany and that takes us to the present in Woerden, Netherlands. And that’s just the last seven days!
Most of our travels at the moment are a repeat as we track back but one new place was Skagen. Skagen is a small tourist town located at the Northern most tip of Denmark. It was an interesting spot.
Close to Skagen is Grenen Beach, a spot where two seas, Skagerrak and Kattegat meet in eternally clashing waves. Kattegat flows into the Baltic Sea, and Skagerrak into the North Sea. Their convergence at Grenen creates unique conditions for wave interaction, currents and sediment transport. Due to this wave action, massive quantities of sand are transported along the western and northern coast toward Grenen. Part of this sediment—approximately one million cubic meters per year—is deposited on the northern coast, gradually forming new dunes from layers of sand and seabed material. Unfortunately it was a relatively calm time when we were there so we didn’t get to witness any wave action. At this spot, where the Skaggerak to the west meets the Kattegat to the east, one can theoretically “put a foot in both seas” at once. I couldn’t resist, I had to go into the water.
Talking about sand sediment, the first thing we noticed when driving along the coast to Skagen were the sand dunes in the area. There is an interesting phenomenon going on here and it is referred to as the “Råbjerg Mile”. This refers to, what geologists call, a migrating coastal dune that travels wherever the wind may take it, which is in a north-easterly direction across Northern Europe. A massive pile, the dune carries 4 million m³ of sand, occupying an area of around 1 km² and a height of 40 meters. It originally started from a strait running between the two seas mentioned in the above paragraph, where it was formed 300 years ago. It has so far moved to an area between Skagen and Frederikshavn, crawling at about 18 meters per year. Much of the shifting sand has been stabilized by planting grasses and trees but the “Råbjerg Mile” was left untouched for future generations to observe this phenomenon.
Another interesting site here is what we discovered on the shore of the sea…. it is virtually littered with the remains of several large heavy imposing concrete WWII German bunkers. The bunkers have been ravaged with time and many are covered in graffiti, but it was fun to poke around and explore these.
Skagen also has a number of museums but we didn’t have the time to visit any of them. After our walk along the shore we spent some time in the shopping strand where we found a grocery store and indulged in some peaches to go with our supper.
We had a great day here.