Mediterranean breeze in Scandinavia

by Stanislav Taran (Ukraine)

I didn't expect to find Denmark


How often did you fall in love while traveling? And I mean not the picturesque sunsets in the new city, not the salty smell of the sea and the moist sand between your toes, not the noise of the pouring rain on the roof of cheap apartments on the Airbnb. I mean the person you didn't even know existed yesterday, but today you catch cars on the highway and fly to meet the unknown and so desirable. Not surprisingly, such a daredevil-traveler from Ukraine, as I could not long stay in one of the most peaceful corners of the world - the west coast of Denmark. Although about 10 centuries ago, a completely different atmosphere of the Vikings prevailed there, and since the post-war times the entire coast is covered with concrete German defensive redoubts and only the rust of the armature is reminiscent of the horror of those times. And so, on September 26, 2018, a Ukrainian volunteer traveled to the expanses of the area to catch other local Vikings to get to Copenhagen. After changing about five carriages and listening to the local dialects in 5 hours, I arrived at my temporary apartments. Danish hostels are well-known for being the best hostels in the world and that's truly it! But it did not save me from the fact that one of my affectionate neighbors "borrowed" my towel. A strange choice because my winter shoes looked much more attractive. Probably my 44 shoe size is too big, or the thief has a unique fetish on white towels. The history of this information is silent and it is unlikely that I will get an answer to this mystery. And at about noon, after leaving Lidl, I finally had some cheap buns with a little more expensive cheese and full of dyes and canned ham, I went to the point indicated in Hitchwiki maps by green color. This is not surprising, as it is located on the turn to the bridge to Malmö, which is the only road link between Denmark and Sweden and the cars there are slowing down. In contrast, my stride and my heart rate accelerated significantly when I saw a charming girl with a huge backpack on the spot and a slightly smaller brown eye trying to stop the car with the Norway signboard. I don't know what was going on in my mind at that time and the rest of my body, but among the thousands of first words I could pick, I've chosen the dumbest and most inappropriate. "Where are you going?" I asked in full seriousness. A moment of bewilderment at the stupidity of my words was replaced by a smile of incredible beauty with the clear contours of red weathered lips. She held out a sign where her purpose was written in capital letters. And then there was the loud laughter that easily drowns out the noise of the wagons with big black letters on the MAERSK container. Getting acquainted with the smell of burned gasoline and the crunch of rusks from a nearby supermarket with a nice warm midway, whether from discounted food or something else. I didn’t know exactly at that point. But the Scandinavian gloom has been replaced by a Mediterranean Italian warm atmosphere and a variety of bright colors. That day, Tati and I were overcoming over 500 kilometers of crazy hitchhiking across Sweden to reach Oslo. And another 6 hours by bus from Oslo to the town of Odda the next day. And even the 6-hour banging of a small child by feet behind my seat could not distract me from the ecstasy I felt on that trip. Just imagine, on one side, the flamboyant fjords and waterfalls in the window, and next to a wonderful Italian stranger who does not even know what genuine confessions she will hear standing near the famous Troll Tongue, which was my final destination in this journey. I imagined my entire trip differently. Didn't that happen to you? Have you ever expect to find love all your life while traveling? I frankly state - I didn't expect to find.