Saturday, October 9, 2010

Geographical Overview of Denmark

Getting around:

Denmark consists of some 500 islands, plus one jutting peninsula aptly named Jutland, attaching it to Germany and with a border varying with military campaigns.  The two main islands are Zealand and Jutland.  The Kattegut is the name of the stretch of Baltic Sea between Jutland and Zealand, where Copenhagen is located.  The islands used to be connected by boat. The boat trip in the 19th Century from Zealand over to Aarhus, Jutland (not landing in Funen, the island in between) took 20 hours.  Steam boats came along in 1830, helping somewhat.

The Danish "hyggelig" or "snugness", feeling cozy, even specifically winter snugness, seem natural when travel is so difficult among the regions. 

The German "gemutlicht" is similar - see Hans Christian Andersen, the Life of a Storyteller, Knopf 2001 by Jackie Wullschlager at page 190, and the role of calm and security in his own life. And the seeking of it.

 The country is generally flat, so roads are not made additionally impassible by slope. Still, there is a sense of snuggling down in the appearance of the low cottages, many with thatch roofs still, and some having sunk with windows now below road level.

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