Northern Delights: Berlin to Stockholm - Page 2
|Denmark's Open Road: South Jutland (courtesy, Visit Denmark)|
Day 4: Neustrelitz to Schleswig (230 Miles)
Head for Schleswig on the northern tip of Germany, about four hours away. On your way north, stop by the 13th-century town of Gustrow, which has a beautiful market square flanked by Renaissance houses and a 16th-century Renaissance palace with serene, formal gardens. Next stop: Wismar, a major trading post of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries and a World Heritage-listed historic center. Stroll through one of the largest market plazas in the region and admire the town's signature red-brick Gothic church and gable-roofed homes. Overnight in Schleswig, situated at the end of a long fjord opening into the Baltic Sea. A Viking outpost, this 1,200-year-old town has a pretty downtown area for an evening stretch. Take a look at its crown attraction, the brick, lofty-spired Gothic-Romanesque St. Peter's Cathedral, before finding dinner in the Lollfuss area, which has a gaggle of buzzing bars and restaurants.
Day 5: Schleswig to Horsens (175 Miles)
Before skipping Schleswig, explore the Schlei Fjord with its small villages and serene, green banks, then plow northward to Denmark's South Jutland region. Shimmy up the western coast, visiting quaint maritime towns like Mogeltonder, a charming old village with thatched brick houses and a pretty church, and Ribe, allegedly Denmark's oldest town at about 1,300 years old. While you're there, see the Ribe Cathedral, and then get lost in the crooked cobblestone streets to find marked treasures like the oldest house, built in 1580. Back in the car, stop en route to play like the Danish and fish for sea trout from the points and reefs off the North Sea shore. About 70 miles northwest of Ribe, you'll find the Green Lagoon, surrounded by heaths, beaches, and meadows interspersed with old churches and monasteries. Pedal the paths that meander the edge of the lagoon before retiring for the night in Horsens, a refreshingly modern, bustling town on a fjord.
Day 6: Horsens to Copenhagen (165 Miles)
Next stop: Copenhagen. After about an hour and a half of driving east, take a break in Odense, home of Hans Christian Anderson and two museums dedicated to the Danes' beloved writer. Another two hours at the wheel will put you in Copenhagen, a Nordic Amsterdam with its old canals and liberal flavor, just sans the (working) red light district. Get a feel for the town by touring the waterfront city's canals and harbor by boat. You'll pass by the "Little Mermaid"—a statue of an Anderson character, the queen's winter residence, the opera house that opened last year, and several picturesque residential districts. Then sample some of the city's quirkier options. Tour the Viking Ship Museum (Vindeboder 12; +45.46.30.02.00; www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk), which displays five Viking ships; taste brews at the Carlsberg brewery; or shell out 20 kroner to take one of the city's communal bikes for a spin. Before bed, chill out in Norrebo, a trendy neighborhood with bars, cafes, and boutiques.