Scandinavian Palette Collecting
KLINT STRAND AT SPRING EQUINOX | NykøBING SJÆLLAND, DK
We have just returned from a lovely weekend at the Danish coast with friends and our families. It had all the trappings of some true Danish hygge. Laughter. Good food. Fresh fish from the local smokehouse. Skål (cheers) with snaps. Fab tunes. Fun games. Dips in the frigid sea. Warming up. Soaking up sunshine. Walks on the beach. Toasted marshmallows over the fire under a sky full of stars.
It was beautiful. And needed. A perfect start to spring. We stayed near the far northwest corner of Sjælland, the island where Copenhagen sits. Our summer house rental was almost to Sjællands Odde where you catch the ferry for Aarhus in Jutland. This area is called Odsherred. It’s little over an hour from Copenhagen. And it is definitely not odd. It is decidedly the opposite. It is truly lovely. And I was taken with the tones. The colors of the beach. A Danish beach. This is Scandinavia.
The beach here is sandy, but striated with rows of rocks and shells. The stones have been part of this place since the beginning of time, it seems. Truly, this granite has been rolling around this land for 1-2 billion years. That’s a long time people. The red sandstone that pokes out against the sand in warm reds, pinks and peaches was formed over 600 million years ago when Denmark sat south of the equator.¹ Dark black basalt and charcoal flint balances the light colored lime and sand stone that litter the shore.
What used to house snails and mollusks and mussels lay empty and waiting to be discovered. Look carefully for bits of amber and fossils. Find some of these coveted bits and they’re yours to keep. Sprays of seaweed sprawl gracefully along the sand in complimentary colors and states of decay. There is a sense of permanency and transformation, at the same time. Everyday. The beach you find is different. But the colors remain.
At the Danish beaches, you are allow to collect rocks and stone, sand and other things as long as you are able to carry it with you, without having to use assistance. If you collect rocks and/or sand on private property, it is a good idea to check with the owner first.”
With my daughter and her friend, we scanned and we scoured this beachy flotsam and jetsam. We chose and we curated. The best bits. The perfect examples. In the widest array. We pulled a pile of all the beach colors. These are my favorite. Of the colors that we culled. Here is my Scandinavian beach palette for this spring. And a few ways to bring it into your home.
Danish Beach Colors
Something about the Danish seaside at this time of year is like a tonic for the soul. The beach, the sea, the sky and the landscape all resonate with a palette of peace. And calm. Breath in. Salt air. Breath out. Listen. Rain gently rolls off the roof onto the mossy yard – plod, plod, plod, plod. Open the window. Sleep well.
DON’T MISS WHEN IN ODSHERRED | DK
Vestre Havnevej 39A, 4583 Sjællands Odde | DK
Right off the harbor, sits this fiskerøgeriet. Racks of house smoked fish sit just inside the door beckoning you to enter. But don’t linger too long or lose your place in the line. This place is popular with the locals. Fresh fish from Danish waters and just beyond. In warm weather, there are tables outside for sampling the wares with a cold beer or snaps. Taste the smoked mackerel or the frisk fiskefrikadeller – try saying that five times fast. Better yet – just taste them!
Oddenvej 165, 4583 Sjællands Odde | DK
Stop by for organic vegetables and biodynamic meats available Friday-Sunday. Your source for local beers, honeys and jams. Pick up some kartofler (potatoes) to serve with fresh fish for dinner.
VIKING PASSAGE GRAVES | JÆTTESTUERNE
Birkehøj Passage Grave | Oddenvej 22, 4500 Nykøbing Sjælland | DK
Dotted around the landscape in Odsherred are Viking burial mounds. The largest is Birkehøj and sits just off the road for you to explore. These hillocks of history are remnants of the stone age. Crawl in and sense the space of time.