Randers Fjord ferry | ScanAdventures | Denmark HolidaysRanders Fjord ferry | ScanAdventures | Denmark Holidays

10 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT RANDERS

It's on the right hand side of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula at the head of an eponymously named fjord and perfect for a short break either on its own or together with somewhere else. It's also quick & easy to get to. I flew with BA on their new service to nearby Billund which took not much more time it took for me to get across the Randersfjord on the high tech ferry shown here. 

It's perfect for a short break: a Town and Country picture postcard sort of place. The town bit being all winding cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, crow stepped gables, clay roof tiles and statues of imperious looking long forgotten Vikings. The Country bit all rolling meadow land peppered with beech forests. Alongside the Randersfjord you can get up close and personal with eerily encanting reed banks; take a dinghy out and watch the day go by, fish for herring, whitefish and cod: or literally just wade into the water.

The place to stay is the newly and nearly refurbished Hotel Randers although when I say refurbished I really mean re-built, the place having gone up in smoke last year much helped by the 150 year old wattle and daub walls being like tinder. It oozes history with murals in the public areas and an eclectic mix of fabrics and furnishings. (Victor Borge* played the piano there before WW2 and 'his' piano is still there). My stay was truly surreal because of the meticulous way in which the workmen disappeared with their tools at the end of the day and reappeared in the morning: literally like going to bed in a hotel and waking up in a building site!! http://hotelranders.dk/en/

Aound and about there are several places where you can eat food to die for and which give Noma a run for its money. In Laurbjerg half way between Aarhus and Randers is Fru Larsen where husband and wife chef team Tommy Friis and Birgitte Pedersen knock out superb grub. Fladbro Kro sits either side of a road in the sort of position where in this country you'd find a Little Chef but that's where the similarity ends: I had lunch there but can't remember a thing I ate other than it was all epic. On my first night I had dinner at the Randers Hotel's Cafe Mathisen courtesy of Hotel Manager Sven Eskildsen which was similarly epic. 

Idiosyncratically one of the area's growing attractions is a replica of Elvis' Gracelands Mansion. It's stuffed full of Presley memorabilia and surrounded by Bose speakers filling the air with the sound of Blue Suede Shoes & Heartbreak Hotel. In any other country one suspects the owner Henrik Knudsen would be sectioned but Denmark just seems to let people do their own thing!!

Similarly idiosyncratic but without any foriegn appropriation is former schoolmaster Jens Skovgaard's Cold Hand Winery. Jens developed a thing about apples, apple trees and orchards and has morphed himself into a vintner. A brilliant raconteur he tells his own story: how he stumbled on a technique for freezing concentrate by accident; how he linked up with a man on Funen who was the apple king of the island and why he refuses to call his products cider!! He's shortly to open a restaurant which has to be as good as his wine. www.coldhandwinery.dk/en/

Not at all idiosyncratic is Clausholm Slot, a baroque moated castle surrounded by a couple of thousand acres of farmland. You can Wiki all the detail of its restoration and so on but the story of Frederick IV's abduction of his young Queen Anna Sophie and some Henry the 8th like sex and rock n'roll is better than Poldark. Whilst there I ran into current owner Berit Førland Berner who, whilst perfectly charming, gave off an aristocratic sense of looking at me as though I was a trespasser. www.clausholm.dk/ 

There's tons to do for culture vultures and next year nearby Aarhus will be a European Capital of Culture so whatever time you go there'll be something going on. I went to the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum floating above the roof of which is a circular walkway called Your Rainbow Panorama by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson who is apparently world famous (I don't know about these things). At the other end of the building i.e. the basement, there are several rooms devoted to video art and installations and then in between top and bottom a concuopia of art from 18th century stuff through to pieces of incomprehensible modernism!! www.aarhus2017.dk/en/programme/

Lastly but not really leastly there's Den Gamle By in Aarhus a 'Back to the Future' open air museum where you can wander from decade to decade amongst streets and buildings painstakingly restored to replicate their era. It sounds a bit hokey but really isn't. www.dengamleby.dk

And for the 10th thing watch this space for special things to do and ways to do them. www.scanadventures.co.uk/holidays-in-denmark

Odinsson2

*If you're under a hundred you might not have heard of Victor Borg but you can check him out on You Tube. He's one of the funniest men ever to have been.
**Odinsson 2 travelled to Randers courtesy of the Danish Tourist Board. In the manner of an Oscar acceptance speech there are many who made the trip fun and informative but a special thanks  to Ninna for putting up with him. 
*** Odinsson 2 is the pseudonym of Ian Woolgar the ScanAdventures 1st Team Coach. Opinions are his own and not neccessarliy endorsed by our Travel Designers.

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