I’m starting to understand how Danish weather works and why the locals are constantly complaining about it. Today we had another day of, well, I’m not quite sure what. We had bits of sun, bits of rain, bits of rain while it was sunny, rain showers, clouds, moments where it felt like we were in the clouds. Most of the time it was spitting but not enough that you felt you needed to take out your umbrella, but enough that you did start to get uncomfortably wet. This went on all day long ….and judging from the weather report it looks like tomorrow will bring more of the same thing.
But luckily we didn’t need to worry too much because we rented a car and drove along the old coastal road north from Copenhagen. The drive is quite quick, maybe because the summer traffic has returned to the city. They call this the Danish Riviera but this looks nothing like the French Riviera, or any other region I have been that calls itself a Riviera. It is sleepy and subtle, with lots of charming old houses. Not a lot of views of the water from the road however, which mostly winds inland through towns, fields and forests. The beaches, which we know are there based on the tourist pictures, are hidden from the road and there wasn’t much action out on the water (no luxury yachts that’s for sure).
But it was a really relaxing and easy drive, with views of Sweden in the distance for the first half, and a great view of Kronborg Castle from the road, the setting of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. The drive went quickly, a lot quicker than we expected, and before we knew it we were at our final destination for the day, Gilleleje.
The owner of the little house we stayed at in Gilleleje recommended Mosberg right in the middle of town for a good hot chocolate, so we grabbed our rain jackets and made our way over there. Gilleleje was very quiet today. This whole area is just packed and brimming with energy in the summer, but by September when we visited, things were winding down, school had started and the weather was getting cooler. We found it to be largely abandoned and with a slightly older demographic sitting at the cafes. The central part of town is full of narrow little winding streets lined with small houses painted in yellows, reds and oranges, many with traditional thatched roofs. There is an obvious nautical feel, not surprising because Gilleleje is a fishing port with an impressive array of medium sized fishing boats painted in bright reds and blues (it is one of the largest ports in the region). A walk around the port is really interesting and recommended and to finish it off you can also get as much fresh fish and chips as your belly can handle…and then some.
Mosberg is a beautiful shop filled mostly with an impressive selection of wine. This is the specialty. However the owner also offers Summerbird chocolates, an organic range of Danish chocolates that are delicious (and which all seem to feature marzipan, there seems to be a lot of marzipan in Denmark…). Based on the selection of chocolates, including Summerbird organic hot chocolates for sale in store, and a selection of very nice hot chocolate mixes for sale in the shop, I assumed that they would have the perfect hot chocolate to warm me up on this cold, drizzly day. It was beautifully presented, although difficult to drink because it was in a tall glass. A bit too sweet for my taste but effective at warming me up. When I asked what kind of hot chocolate it was I was told that it was just a store bought mix that all the cafes use. What a missed opportunity – such a shame!
Gilleleje was a nice stop on our adventures around the region. I can imagine this is a very popular spot on a warm sunny day.
Verdict: Mosberg is a gorgeous shop, definitely worth a visit and I loved the terrace but I’d order a glass of wine if I go back again. Will be equally effective at warming me up and a lot less sweet. Mosberg, Vesterbrogade 5, Gilleleje, Denmark