Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Wednesday 9 August - Silkeborg

Where's Bertie? He's in a parking/picnic area (P5) NW of Himmelbjerg (exact location: 56.10981, 9.66652).

In a late change of plan, Bertie didn't spend last night at the location I stated yesterday. Early in the evening a car full of yoofs arrived toting lots of alcohol. They went off to the picnic area and were no bother to us. Later in the evening, some girls arrived and girly squeals started carrying on the wind. Then, at twenty to ten, another two arrived, carrying cases of beer, the rain that had been falling for the last hour apparently not putting any of them off. Suddenly our peaceful location was looking a lot less so. In the dark, we moved to the next car park along the lake - a mere 2.5km away - and spent a perfectly quiet night there instead (exact location: 56.39078, 9.34145).

No ice for you sore achilles? Go stand in a lake instead!

After a short walk along the lakeshore to the remains of Jøren Friis fort this morning, and various items of admin/planning/faffing/tea drinking, it was to the town of Silkeborg that we headed. There I hoped to pick up some information about the Danish Lake District (more about that tomorrow) and to visit the town's museum.

It turns out that Silkeborg doesn't have a Tourist Office as such. They have a man standing on a street corner with a bicycle like ice cream vendors use to ply their trade at seaside resorts, except that instead of being full of ice cream, this one was full of leaflets. The chap was exceptionally helpful and I came away with everything I wanted.

The problem we had, however, was that the town doesn't cater for larger vehicles. My visit to the tourist info man was made whilst Mick sat in Bertie in a roadside slot that was both too short and too narrow (which is unusual as Bertie is small enough to squeeze into most car spaces, even if he does extend to all of the boundaries). Armed now with a town map, we did a tour of more car parks and found a suitable space in one with a 2-hour limit, a substantial chunk of which time was used up by having lunch.

What then to do? It was now 1445. The museum closes at 1700 and the unrestricted car park that Mick had been and found on foot was a 15-minute walk from the museum. Should we stay overnight and do the museum tomorrow? Should we write off the museum completely? Or should we take our chances and leave Bertie where he was for a couple more hours? We opted for the latter.

We think the parking restrictions work on a parking disk system (we have one somewhere ... at home), so drawing a clock face on a piece of paper, we added hands pointing at the appropriate numbers and off we sped on foot.

The museum entrance was 65DKK each (it's around 8DKK to the pound at the moment) and the first set of rooms we visited, covering bits of town history, fell into the category of 'very mildly diverting if you're stuck for something to do for half an hour on a really wet afternoon'. Fortunately, the rooms in the second building made up for it.

The main theme of the second building (which is only 3 rooms) is the iron age with the main exhibit (and the prime reason most people visit the museum at all) being Tollund Man:

Of the three rooms in this part of the museum, Tollund Man is the only exhibit in one of them

Tollund Man was discovered in a peat bog in the early 1950s, in a remarkably preserved state (you can even see the stubble on his chin). As you can see in the snap above, he was found naked save for a sheepskin hat, was curled up, and had a leather braided noose still around his neck, evidencing that he had been hanged. He was believed to be around 2300 years old, but that was narrowed down, as recently as June this year, to a 21 year window between 405 and 384BC. He really was quite incredible to see.

The rest of the iron age exhibit, whilst not large, was informative and well presented and the final room contained a temporary exhibition on the subject 'Faces', inspired by the detail that has survived on Tollund Man's visage. That was interesting too and we just managed to get through it all before our parking time was up and we had to rush back off to move Bertie.

I did make time to try on some chain mail. Gosh, it's heavy stuff!

The area where we are now sitting (only a 15km drive from Silkeborg) is not short on car parks, so I chose a road with three shown on the map, all of which would be suitable start points for the walk I want to do tomorrow. The third was by far the nicest (and conveniently also the only level one), so that is where we are now sitting, along with a dozen or so cars, as it seems that it is running club night. Eighteen chaps and two women set out in three groups at twenty past eight (and one extra chap at a fast pace two minutes later). It's now ten past nine, so they'll likely be back soon. Thus far there is no hint of yoofs with an abundance of alcohol!

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