The regatta ended in Aalborg, Denmark, an old port city dating from 700 AD. It is a picturesque town with many old buildings and pubs, and just like the small towns in Norway, it was clean and orderly. I can’t say I was unhappy to leave the hammocks, and we settled into a hotel for a few nights. We explored the waterfront area and the many pedestrian only streets and two museums in the old town area, including the Aalborg Historical Museum. Saturday we were left to our own devices with plans to return to the ship at 3 pm on Sunday for the crew parade and award ceremony.
The two highlights of our stay in Aalborg were dinner at Morten’s Kro Saturday night, and a visit to the Lindholm Høje Museet on Sunday prior to the parade.
We celebrated my sister’s birthday at Morten’s Kro with a five course summer dinner menu and wine pairing. It was outstanding food and I also enjoyed the pairings. We had some unusual combinations all artfully prepared. Altogether a stellar night, and a dinner destination I can highly recommend.
On Sunday we took the short bus ride out to Lindholm Høje Museet. It is one of the most notable ancient monuments in Denmark and well worth the trip.
From the Lindholm Hoje brochure:
Since 1889, it has been known that on the southfacing slope of Voerbjerg – as the hill was then called – there lay a burial ground with cremation graves bordered by stones. Between 1952 and 1958, the site was excavated. A newly ploughed field from the Viking era was also uncovered, as well as a large part of the settlement associated with the burial site…The burial site was in use from about AD 400 until shortly before AD 1000 in all about 600 years.
The sign reads:
A warrior’s grave. The oldest graves with non-cremated bodies rarely have stone settings but this is an exception. The grave is accentuated by a circular mound of earth, a circle of large stones and a surface covered by flint blocks.
The dead warrior had a single edged sword called a “long sax.” The sword dates the grave to the 600s. He also took a dog with him to his grave. This was not unusual at Lindholm Hoje. Dogs have been found in 223 men’s and women’s graves. The bodies of the dead were dressed in their everyday clothes and useful and personal gifts such as spindle whorls, knives, and jewelry accompanied them to the grave.
During the cremation, the dead were placed on a large bonfire, and after the cremation, earth was thrown on the remains. In several cases, the families placed vessels of food for their loved ones’ last journey.
The museum houses artifacts from the area, including jewelry and human remains. It is a well designed museum with interactive displays, dioramas, a 3-D film you watch from a rowboat after punching in a secret Rune Stone code, and interesting facts. The largest area of the museum is the burial site hill but the many displays in the interior were very well done.
From the museum we made our way back to Aalborg for the crew parade and final prize ceremony for the regatta.
I think this town deserves another look, and hope to accomplish that some day.