The blog for inspired travel with children

Friday, May 25, 2012

Arhus, Denmark

We spent just a few days in Arhus, but we came to really like it – it has a cozy feel, is very charming, and is easy to get around.  We were in town for the SPOT Festival, which features mostly Scandinavian bands.  We saw some great music at night, and during the day, while my husband was working, my son and I explored on foot.  First we wandered over to admire the sturdy brick Cathedral, which has a play fountain in the plaza out front.

We caught a bus in the center of town that took us to the beach just outside of town.  Since I don’t read Danish and was totally confused by the posted schedule, I just crossed my fingers and hoped I picked the right bus – and I did! The beach was low-key and very peaceful, although there was a bit of drama when a dense bank of fog suddenly rolled in, as jet-skis tried to race ahead of it and swimmers fled the water en masse. 

The beach, just south of downtown

One day we visited the large and curvaceous greenhouse in the Botanical Garden.  We wandered from one increasingly humid room to the next, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the incredible flora growing all around us.  The greenhouse backs up to Den Gamle By (The Old Town, a sort of mini historical faux-village representing a variety of time periods), which we skipped although it looked cute (my son wasn’t interested).  Next time!

 Inside the Greenhouse

Instead, we walked up the hill to the Steno Museum, a fascinating museum dedicated to the history of medicine and astronomy.  The museum had an entire room devoted to reproduction, with a giant soft sculpture womb (we climbed in and took a mini-nap), pregnancy costumes for trying on, and all kinds of startling items on display.  This was the type of place that could never-in-a-million-years happen in Texas, and it was great to see the subject explored so straightforwardly, even humorously. 

The Steno Museum also had all sorts of displays featuring historical medicines, prosthetics, equipment, you name it. These were fascinating - and occasionally horrifying.  While the astronomy part of the museum was a little advanced for my son, there were some hands-on exhibits that he was able to enjoy and even learn a little something from.

Arhus is one of those places that I would never have thought to visit (until the invitation to the SPOT Festival came along), but which turned out to be very charming.  We were pleased to meet you, Arhus!

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