Traveling through North Zealand part of Denmark felt like discovering one of the biggest secrets of Instagram. So this is how people get to take these perfectly moody blue/gray photos! Of course, before Instagram this was called the painters’ light, as my Danish friend Sussi reminded me when we pulled up to a particularly stunning vista.
Our day started in Hundested, a small, coastal town northwest of Copenhagen. Then, onto Torup, and heading towards the sea, I encountered my first Danish fairytale village. It was 10 in the morning, as we meandered through the village’s country lanes, only greeted by a lone dog walker. No cars, no crowds, the only commotion caused by chickens running through the veggie patches.
The coast was getting steeper and wilder as we headed towards Tisvildeleje strand. It was a windy day in May, but you could imagine the summer folk flocking to the area’s as far as the eye can see beaches, framed by sand dunes.
Soon, it was time for a bakery stop. A sourdough, a pumpernickel, and a meringue later, we were ready to find a lunch spot. I could not help noticing that even the store facades sport the blue -gray paint, as if to match the sky.
Our break came in Hornbaek, where we found a retro cafe inside a second hand shop Albi’s Kaffebar. The owner graciously allowed me to roam the floor and photograph while we waited for coffee and homemade cookies. We took them outside to the garden, and joined a laid back gathering of other guests.
Inevitably, there were castles in our way. First, Fredensborg Castle, Queen’s summer residence with a splendid location atop of a hill. The afternoon was sleepy and buzzing with almost summer heat, we looked at a long walk through the perfectly tree-lined alley, and talked ourselves out of it. After all, there was another castle in our path. On cue, came along Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerod. Exuberantly baroque, with its own moat, a lake, and a formal garden, the castle now houses a museum. I was mesmerized by the courtyard fountains and took to photographing them. I first learned the technique last year in Trastevere, Rome from Signe Bay. Here, finally there was a fountain worth the challenge! The light, the sparkle of the water, the sheer size of them. And then, just me and my 50mm lens, not so easy.
Just like all roads lead to Rome for some, all roads lead to backyards for me, it seems. Sussi and I set out to prepare a morning breakfast scene the next day to style and photograph some of her upcoming block printed linen collection. We held off as long as we could, before finally diving into our lovely morning scene of coffee and some of the local bread. The website for the linen is coming soon, I will be sure to update this post! Stay tuned.