A Fairy Tale Afternoon in Dyrehave ~
Denmark's "Deer Park"
A Danish friend and I have spent the afternoon riding bikes (the best way to get around in Denmark) through the forests of Dyrehave, which lies just north of Copenhagen.
There are about 2100 deer scattered throughout the eleven square kilometer park, but today we have yet to see one along any of the trails we have explored.
But we have seen lakes and swans (who apparently crap even more than geese),
a very old mill,
a trio of picnickers,
and charming traditional Danish houses.
Dyrehave, or "Deer Park" was created by Denmark's King Frederik III,
who in 1669 decided to fence in a forest of beech trees – an area known as Boveskov – and create a royal hunting ground by herding all the wild deer from the surrounding areas into it. Boveskov was originally the property of Valdemar the Victorious, Denmark's William the Conquerer, but that was more than four hundred years before Frederik got his hands on it.
In 1756, Dyrehave was opened to the public.
Not far from the lake, we came across an old warehouse...
and paused to examine the faded yellow bricks making up the exterior wall.
We could see people had inked or scratched their names into the bricks, along with the names of their towns. Some of the signatures dated back as far as 1901. Danish graffiti, we laughed ~ more than one hundred years old!
Curious about the building, we climbed up to peek through one of the windows.
Through the glass, we could make out a heavyset man with disheveled blond hair, dressed in baggy blue jeans and a torn and dirty old fleece jacket. He turned, saw us peering through the window and with a smile, waved his arm in a curled embrace, wordlessly beckoning us to come inside.
Not knowing what to expect, we walked around, searching for a way in.
Behind the building, I saw a Five, my lucky number, in the tossed-aside bits and pieces of sculptor's stone. I took it as a positive sign that it was okay to further investigate this invitation from a stranger.
Eventually, we found a door at the back, across the courtyard from the discarded blocks of stone and my number five.
We made our way past some metal boxes with intriguing phrases stenciled on them,
only to discover that we were suddenly in the studio of sculptors
Stine Ring Hansen and Steffen Lüttge.
Kim & I looked at one another and smiled, feeling like we, too, had suddenly stumbled into a fairy tale.
Kim chatted with Steffen while I wandered around, taking photographs...
An hour passed, and then it started to rain.
We said our goodbyes,
then took shelter at a nearby kro
to wait out the rain over hot coffee and æblekage, fresh Danish apple cake with whipped cream and almonds.
All in all, a fairy tale of an adventure.
© Kristin Fellows 2012