A Birthday Celebration in Ebeltoft

The inspiration for this trip (Iceland, Denmark, and Norway) was an invitation to a birthday party in Ebeltoft for our good friend Nana, a neighbor from home (she’s a Dane living in California). Not wanting to pass up an excuse to travel or to party with the Danes, we RSVP’d and started planning.

Our destination today is Ebeltoft which is located on the central east coast of Denmark, however, Copenhagen is on an island, so we needed to cross some water:

We grabbed a taxi outside our hotel in Copenhagen at 7:00AM and headed to the bus terminal about 20 minutes away. Traffic was light, and we made it to the bus on time. After loading our luggage into the belly of the bus (including my newly rented tux), we started our 2-hour ride to the ferry.

We drove through bucolic countrysides and pastures with the quintessential Danish windmills in the distance. More often than not, however, these were modern wind farms.

We arrived at the Ferry at Sjællands Odde (map) – a peninsula on the northern edge of Zealand/Sealand/Sjælland (the largest island in Denmark and home to Copenhagen).

We don’t see too many large vehicle-carrying ferries in the States, so this was an exciting adventure for us.

Not knowing exactly where to buy tickets or how to get on, we followed the crowd. Just as we were scrambling about in the terminal looking for a ticket window, they waived us through, and we rolled onto the ferry (we ended up buying tickets on board).

We enjoyed the snack bar complete with…yes, Danishes, while we were whisked across the open water to Ebeltoft.

When we arrived in Ebeltoft, we disembarked from the ferry…

…and hopped onto another bus–a continuation of the first–that took us two more stops where Nana’s sister kindly picked us up.

We only had three things to do today: Pre-party, party and post-party! But first a bit of shopping at the local market with our cute roll-a-cart:

Our friends rented us a charming cottage up the road from their house. It was cozy with a kitchen/living/dining room, a bedroom, a loft, and a bathroom. It was the perfect place for us! In addition, there was a firepit and an outdoor sleeping platform, which is apparently pretty common in Denmark:

The bumblebees enjoyed the flowers outside the house:

Here are a few of the other quaint Danish houses in the neighborhood. I love the thatched roofs!

And while we waited for the pre-party to start, we wandered down to the water with Brian (husband of the birthday girl) and kids. Down at the water we found a little stand serving up hot dogs and ice cream:

We stopped for a photo with the crew (note Danish flags) before returning to our cottage for a little rest:

In the early afternoon, we rallied for a pre-party filled with roasts and speeches for the birthday girl as well as yummy treats!

We had a short break between parties, so we went back to change for the main event. In the evening, we walked back to the party–this time, all dressed up (this is the tux I rented in Copenhagen):

The party was held at the Molskroen, a 90-year old inn just down the hill from our cottage and near the water. Molskroen means Mols Inn. Mols is the name of area that includes Ebeltolf. You might notice a few apples here and around town. Apple is æble in Danish, so it’s fitting that it’s the icon of Ebeltoft.

As you can see in the photo above, the weather was ever-changing, and the skies started to look a bit threatening. The party was originally planned for outdoors, but was moved inside due to an unpredictable forecast. This turned out to be smart planning as the rain fell while we were inside.

Here is one of the dining areas inside filled with beautiful copper pendant lights:

Against the threat of rain, Brian gave a brief speech outside under the covered patio while the younger party guests monitored the impending rain:

To be a bit more debonair, I decided to swap out my poser clip-on bow tie for an authentic tied bow tie. Unfortunately, after watching several YouTube videos on the topic, I was unsuccessful, so I had Brian help me out.

Now we were dressed and ready to party:

Adelle and Nana, both dressed to the nines and looking amazing:

And the kids holding down their own table:

We had an amazing 5-course dinner, and we were treated to the Danish tradition of speeches followed by “Hurra hurra hurra!” (hooray!). Adelle gave a speech about the Danish culture of Hygge and how Nana brings hygge wherever she goes.

It was a great evening, but little did we know, it was just getting started!

After dinner, we walked back home in near-daylight (it was about 9:45PM) (note the apple below)…

…where the party continued with more drinking and dancing until the last guests left at 4:30AM (we Yanks were no match for the Danes, and slipped back to our cottage around 2:30AM).

The next day, Nana gave us a personal tour of quaint Ebeltoft. It boasts half-timbered houses and structures that can be found all over Europe, some filled with brick and others with plaster.

This is the museum that used to be the townhall. It was built in 1789 over the original townhall that was built in 1576 (!).

I think of Danes as quite tall, but the doors to these houses suggest otherwise:

The sign for this restaurant says it has a hygge atmosphere:

a few more shots down streets:

The Danes know their ice cream–many colors and flavors to pair with waffle cones:

They top the ice cream-filled waffle cone with a pink fluffy topping called Guf. You may even want to top that off with sprinkles!

Here is the waffle cone maker hard at work:

One of the highlights is the tall wooden steam-powered warship, Jylland, that was built in 1860:

We went back to the house and felt very European hanging out in the garden eating fresh strawberries…

…and enjoying the company of good friends and hosts while enjoying the amazing views from the hillside above Ebeltoft.

We even tried some of the homemade pickled herring on the very dense local bread.

We had to head to the airport, so we said our goodbyes to our friends and hosts and their enormous(ly friendly) Norwegian Forest cat:

We flew from Århus (Aarhus) (AAR) back to Copenhagen:

Landing into Copenhagen at 9:30PM – note the wind farm in the bay:

Touch down:

We were greeted by a colorful sunset outside the terminal:

which is pretty fantastic all by itself:

From Copenhagen, we caught a flight onto Oslo and stayed the night at the Radisson Blu adjacent to the terminal via this walkway…

…so that we could get some rest before exploring tomorrow…

Happy RTW Travels!

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