day trip to Odense.

A couple of weeks ago, my professor canceled class on Friday (my only class of the day), so I thought it would be a wonderful idea to explore another part of Denmark and take a spontaneous (solo) day trip! So, I logged onto the DSB app and bought a round trip train ticket to Odense, Hans Christian Andersen’s birthplace. I also bought myself a ticket for the newly constructed H.C. Andersen museum (which also includes access to Møntergården – Museum about Odense and Funen Møntergården, a walking tour of Odense in Andersen’s footsteps, and entrance into Andersen’s childhood home). 

I started my Friday off leisurely, taking the train from Espergærde at 9:30am, so that I could catch the 10:00 train to Odense and arrive around 11:30. Because Odense is actually on the island of Funen, I got to see the ocean we crossed outside of my window! Walking out of the train station, I first headed to Møntergården where I learned a bit about Funen’s history, through the Viking age, middle ages, the Renaissance, and modern day. It is super easy to get around Odense just by walking. This museum is designed well; it is interactive and has elements both indoors and outdoors. I would recommend even going into the children’s section of this museum for the hands-on features! You can literally immerse yourself in the history of Odense.

My view from the train.
The streets of the museum.
The inside of a house from Møntergården.

Following my visit to Møntergården, I headed to the H.C. Andersen museum for my entrance time (13:00). I had packed a lunch for the day, so I sat in the garden before I headed over to eat it. Once I got to the museum, I was handed a headset and phone which corresponded with each exhibit in the museum (in English). The staff were extremely friendly and the museum experience was unlike anything I have done before. It feels magical, almost like Disneyland, where almost all of your senses are affected by the experience, technology, and artwork that went into the design of the museum. Like Møntergården, you become immersed in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales and life. You take a journey into magical gardens, interactive mirrors, and much more. 

A special photography exhibit at Møntergården.
Murals at the H.C. Andersen Museum.
H.C. Andersen’s love life room in the H.C. Andersen museum.

To finish off my day in Odense, I took a walk in the footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen, which stopped at 13 beautiful locations. If you download the app USEEUM, you can find a detailed description of the route. At each location, the app gave a history and description of the place. Some of my favorite places the tour took me were Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthplace and Childhood home, as well as a washing site, a cathedral, and a castle. 

From Hans Christian Andersen’s childhood home.
The church H.C. Andersen attended as a child.
One of H.C Andersen’s fairytales.

Before my train journey back home, I stopped at a store to grab a cup of coffee and an Easter card! (An Easter card in Danish is called a Gækkebrev, which is “a teaser poem that roughly translates as “snowdrop letter.” Creating and sending gækkebreve is a unique Danish tradition. In the weeks before Easter, children cut out elaborate shapes on paper, then write a “teaser poem.” The letter is anonymous but signed with a number of dots corresponding to the number of letters in the sender’s name. If the recipient can guess who it’s from, the sender owes him an egg. If he can’t, he owes the sender an egg.”) 

I got back to Espergærde around 6:30pm. It was a lovely day and a great place to experience my first solo trip!

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