The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday 10 August 2017

Completion of the Danish 'Marilyns'

Denmark is a very flat country. It does, however, have a Lake District, which, although low lying and gently undulating, is as hilly as the country gets. It is also home to a few lakes.

We woke up in the Lake District today (a good thing, as that's where we went to sleep), conveniently positioned with immediate access to a number of walking routes. I picked a selection to take us on a circuit including the top of Himmelbjerget which was, until the mid 1800s, believed to be the highest point in Denmark. It stands a dizzying 147m above sea level.

Starting off along the shore of Julsø...

...the path was well marked. From there it became ridiculously so, even though it was an unmissable motorway of a path:

In case the 'turn right' marker (1) combined with the sign showing the name of the hill with a distance (3), and the 'you are in the right track' dot of a waymarker (4) weren't enough, the tour boat company caters for people who can't piece together these clues and has thus places an A frame at each junction too (2).

The Stoodley Pike of Denmark?

We didn't go up the tower as we arrived too early (and we had no cash on us for the entry fee even if we had waited). Instead we just spent a few minutes looking at the views before heading down to the main car park, just a couple of hundred of metres or so away.

The good waymarking continued for at least three quarters of our outing, which aside from the summit interlude, was through pleasant mixed woodland. Then we must have missed a marker, and took to the dirt roads instead, thinking we would pick the path up again further along. So we did, but much further along than expected and after a bit of thrashing around trying to work out where we were. The fact that Denmark makes large scale walking maps so easily available (with dispensers in car parks) was a blessing, and was put to good use in combination with a compass.

The route we walked came in at exactly 5 miles. I've drawn around the edge of it on the photo below of the map we were using. It was around Knøsgården, on the left side of the photo that we found ourselves in a maze of minor paths and mountain bike tracks with a dearth of waymarkers.

We might have been happy with visiting the once-believed-to-be-the-high-point, but it was only 19km out of our way to visit the spot that subsequently took the crown (Ejer Bavnehøj) and, 200m away from that, the spot that now holds that accolade (Møllehøj), at just shy of 171m above sea level.

I failed to take a snap of the tower atop Ejer Bavnehøj. This photo is per Wikipedia. We did go up this one.

The sun was shining and the day becoming really quite warm by the time we ambled the thirty metres from the car park to the tower, then on the extra couple of hundred metres, onto the adjacent farm*. At the highest point in Denmark (Møllehøj) there used to stand a windmill, but when it burnt down early in the 20th century, it wasn't rebuilt. Today a millstone marks the spot:

On the basis that it seems unlikely to me that the high point in the area we were in this morning (157m - a spot to the SW of Himmelbjerget) has 150m of prominence, I think I may have a valid claim that in visiting Møllehøj I have completed all of Denmark's hills that would qualify as Marilyns.

I'll finish with a couple of bonus snaps about mountaineering in Denmark:

(*apparently when told that his farm contained the highest point in the whole of Denmark, the farmer was entirely unsurprised. Being an amenable chap, and knowing that people would want to visit it, he was happy for access to be given and for paths and information signs to be installed.)


  1. Great walking country is Denmark. Nice folk too.

  2. Congratulations!
    Were you trying to call me? A voicemail message is lurking expensively somewhere. Better to communicate by email. Enjoy the rest of your trip. M

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