Photo Friday: Møns Klint, Denmark

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When SVV and I were but students at Danmarks Journalisthojskolen (try saying that five times fast) in early 2006, we traveled more often than not. (Most students at European universities would likely tell you the same.) But as opposed to Holland where we were often off frolicking in Spain or Morocco, Hungary or Romania, we kept most of our travel within the country. So when we were given a nice long break for weeks upon end, we found a few spots around Denmark that looked really appealing, packed up our bags, rented a car and left. Which is how we wound up on Møn after seeing a picture that looked something like this. Who wouldn’t want to go there—am I right? So on the last leg of our circumnavigation of Denmark, we detoured from Zealand to the island known for its famed cliffs, Møns Klint. What we found looked more like this:

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

But let’s rewind. The Danish countryside isn’t the easiest place to locate a selection of lodging. We had managed to find the only semi-budget accommodation on the island and booked it, which was a hostel-like version of the hotel in The Shining. I think there might have been two other guests staying in the entire sprawling manor, and we never saw the staff again after checking in the first night and receiving our key. Creepy, no? I remember our room was snug—in most parts of Denmark, hostel accommodation is private “suites,” not dorm rooms—and that we cooked macaroni and cheese with ham in the communal kitchen, a gourmet meal for budget travelers as ourselves. We stayed in this particular place for the steal of 35 euro a night a person (or the equivalent in kroner), which is the cheapest rate you’ll find in such an expensive country, and were told the cliffs were “a short stroll” away. Danes are an athletic, energetic bunch, and a “short stroll” for them turned into a “solid hike” for us.

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

An hour, some steep wooded passes and a few gushing streams later, we found ourselves down on the beach. Only the weather was crappy—it was cold and drizzly—and the scene was less than idyllic. The cliffs are made of limestone, and the run-off makes the murky ocean water look like spoiled milk. We took a short walk on the sand until I began to sink with each step. Deeper and deeper I sunk the further we strolled, until at once I dropped calf-deep into the seemingly bottomless mud—almost never to be seen again! OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic but I did almost lose my shoe. Close call!

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

But you don’t get lucky twice, because a bit further down the beach, one of my Merrell mocassins disappeared entirely—this time truly never to be seen again!

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

But the most challenging part of this scenario was yet to come. By this point we had walked pretty far, through “fields” of quicksand, me wearing only one shoe, and couldn’t find another route up the cliffs—did I mention the hotel was located high above the sea?—until we encountered this:

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

Sane people would just turn around and brave the wide expanses of quicksand again, following their footsteps back to the beginning, right? All signs would indicate that we are not those sane people. No, INsane people decide this dilapidated, decrepit stairwell worthy of an attempt. And so, we climbed. Me, in one shoe.

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

(Sane people also don’t think it appropriate to bust out the camera during such times of peril and document their plights.)

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

Then, we encountered this scenario. Some might call it a fork in the road; others might view it as an obstacle. But the INsane travelers? They We saw it as an opportunity to exercise our acrobatic skills.

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

There was some jumping and dangling and a point where my life flashed before my eyes, but eventually we made it to the top, back through the treacherous woods, which were only made worse by my lack of footwear, and into the nearest town where I hobbled from store to store—barefoot, caked in mud—until I found a set of replacement shoes. Just one of many afternoons in Denmark I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

mons klint, denmark, travel, photography, europe

*Back then we traveled with crappy Nikon Coolpix I could never, would never recommend (as evidenced by our grainy, blurry photos). Now, we use a Canon G11 as our pocket cam and a Canon T1i for the majority of our shooting (with a 17-85mm lens).

**For more Photo Friday fun, visit Delicious Baby.

COMMENTS
  • December 10, 2010

    thanks for the story, the laughs, and for letting us see that part of Denmark. glad you survived! I’ve done a few of those sort hikes myself, though not yet in that country.

  • December 10, 2010

    Not only did you survive that short stroll, you also came away with pictorial evidence. Totally sane!
    Quick sand vs. rotting steps…I wonder which one I’d have chosen…Hmmm….

  • December 10, 2010

    You two are crazy! Lovely, but crazy! :0) No way you would have got me up those rickety steps, even with 2 shoes on, but I’m glad you did it and survived to tell us the tale!

  • December 10, 2010

    oh my god! i went to mons klimt this spring and it was SO much better. all 500+ stairs were in proper working order and it was gorgeous. so sorry to hear you lost your shoe in the muck!

  • December 10, 2010

    Just found your blog – love it! I had no idea such dangerous adventures could be found in Denmark!

  • December 10, 2010

    Wow! I’ve only been to Copenhagen in Denmark but this place is definitely in the plan for the next time I’m there! Looks amazing! And yes, you guys are crazy, but in the best way possible! Although I will admit, I’m bummed to hear that’s not how the stairs are supposed to be. I want that same crazy experience!

  • December 10, 2010
    Abi

    That staircase?! Utter madness…

  • December 10, 2010
    Natalie T.

    GORGEOUS. I want to go now! BTW, how is Møn pronounced? (I want to say it in a Jamaican accent).

  • December 10, 2010

    What a wonderful adventure! This story will carry through your family forever.

  • December 10, 2010
    Kristin

    Natalie T.: It’s pronounced “Moohn,” but like something is stuck in your throat when saying it =)

    As SVV and I always said, Danish is “the language of a hot potato,” as they sound like that’s what they have in their mouth when talking!

  • December 10, 2010

    Hahaha–this cracked me up. Sounded like an adventure from a movie! That mangled staircase is unbelievable. I’m glad you didn’t disappear in the quicksand a la “Neverending Story.”

  • December 10, 2010
    Kristin

    Emily: The horse in the quicksand! Saddest scene in the movie! SVV and I actually just re-watched The Neverending Story a month ago.

  • December 10, 2010

    That staircase looks like something out of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. But I love that you both went for it.

  • December 10, 2010

    I’m pretty sure you’re slightly crazy.
    That’s a good thing, right?

  • December 10, 2010
    SVV

    That laughing smile and muddy boots are huge in the evolution of our relationship 🙂

    Also, how small are the Internets? You actually have a reader that went there! Not a typical destination. Rachel, tell us what you were doing in that part of Denmark?

  • December 10, 2010

    These photos are absolutely gorgeous. I didn’t know this area even existed, let alone how beautiful it is. Those stairs look treacherous, what an awesome memory!

  • December 10, 2010

    It’s like an Escher staircase – eerily beautiful. I’m glad you survived to share the tale.

  • December 10, 2010

    These pictures are making me laugh out loud.

    Also, now I’m wondering what happened to MY Merrill’s? Those were some good choos!

  • December 10, 2010

    that is ONE crazy story. OMG!

  • December 11, 2010

    Those are the BEST kinds of adventures 😀

  • December 11, 2010

    great shots with the stairs !

  • December 12, 2010

    You guys are crazy!!! I love those photos…. especially the ones with the mud and the stairs!

  • December 13, 2010

    Love the story and the pictures!
    And as I love the Scandics, I have to venture to Denmark soon I guess, looks beautiful! 🙂
    Viele Gruesse, Kristina

  • December 13, 2010

    Great adventure. This is almost the closest we come to having a national park in Denmark. I only live an hours drive from Møns Klint, and maybe it’s about time to go there with the kids.
    If you go to Denmark again you should visit the island Bornholm. It’s a fairly small island, but still the place with most things to see if you want to see the wild nature of Denmark. Last time we were there we went to see Denmarks biggest waterfall (some 20 meters), and when the kids asked “When are we at the waterfall?” we had to answer “We already passed it. That was where you fell ino the stream and got wet socks.” 🙂 Bornholm has a lot to offer, but everything here is small compared to other countries. Bornholm is a bit remote though, and you have to go through Sweden to get there by boat, or you have to fly from Copenhagen.

  • December 13, 2010

    BEYOND GORGEOUS!!!!!!

  • December 14, 2010
    Sid

    Had no idea Denmark could be so gorgeous.

  • December 16, 2010

    I am obsessed with the third photo from the top – it’s so beautiful! Sometimes crappy cameras still take amazing photos.

  • June 2, 2013

    It’s look like you had cold and fun time. I love the the pictures you have taken!

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