On Aug 25 we jumped on a plane with a backpack full of camera gear and a surf bag filled with surf equipment. This trip was about two things, representing Canada for the ISA's and taking as many travel photographs as I could.
We landed in Copenhagen and headed to Vorupor "Cold Hawaii" for some surfing and adventure. It came as no shock that when we arrived it was raining. There was many things that I expected from our travels but rainless weather was not one of them. That is not to say that we didn't get good weather. In fact we got almost every type of weather minus snow. It rained, was sunny, windy, very windy, very rainy, and eerily calm. What's more, it pretty much did the opposite of what we needed at every turn.
During the competition if we needed waves, its as flat. If we needed sun it was windy, and so on and so forth. So basically, it was your typical sporting event dictated by weather.
Paddleboarding is so interesting because you can do the exact same race ten times over and even if every other variable is the same, you could come up with ten very different times for each athlete. How the race is going to go is part dictated by the weather. On any given day the weather could help or hinder you depending on your strengths.
I made it to the final for the women's technical SUP and Women's Sprints. What is usually a race in waves, the women's tech final, became a flat and windless race. The weather worked in my favour that day but perhaps hindered others. It's a roulette of outcomes and that is what makes the sport so exciting to be a part of. On any given day I could get top 10 or last place. You never know until its over.
In between events and during free time, we travelled around Denmark seeing the many beautiful things it has to offer. In many ways Denmark surprised me. For a country that has rules upon rules and rules for their rules, they also seemed very lax about many things.
For example, one of our team Canada members arrived in Copenhagen, bought a bus pass, and proceeded to the event side. Upon arriving at the event side she was approached by an officer to check that she had a ticket. After checking her ticket, the officer informed her that she had not purchased the right pass and proceeded to write her a ticket. In a panic she began to explain that she had just arrived and didn't understand what pass she was suppose to buy whilst, apologizing profusely. His response, "Welcome to Denmark" and handed her a ticket.
Inversely, in Denmark you can walk around pretty much anywhere drinking alcohol. Down the streets, in public places, buy your morning coffee with baileys, whatever pleases, you just go for it. In Canada and the US we try to deter skateboarders for using steps and ledges for trick sites. In Denmark I saw numerous ones lined with metal. It was almost as if they were like, "meh, why fight it." Really, the only real hostility that I sensed was from the fisherman towards the surfers, and well, surfers are use to that.
Beyond the beautiful ocean and waves, Denmark had a lot to offer. From historical building and amazing canals in Copenhagen, to WWII gun batteries/bunkers, and heritage sites involving Vikings. There was a lot to see. On top of that, we got to meet some amazing locals that I was very sad to say goodbye to.
Personally, my favourite areas were on the west side of the country. Don't get me wrong, Copenhagen was cool (aside from the fact that I have a distaste for big cities), but after four days I was kind of over it. It was definitely amazing to see the icon sites and to see the hundreds of people flying by on their bikes commuting to work. However, my heart has always led me to the country side and the slower, less people, way of life.
That is more of what you will find outside of Copenhagen. We travelled to Vorupor, Klitmoller, Ribe, Hirtshals, and Grenen. We saw beautiful scenic country side, history, and natural wonders.
In Ribe we got to walk through a recreated Viking village complete with actors carrying out an average day. In Grenen we got to see the North Sea and the Kattagat clash as the two seas met. Near Klitmoller and Vorupor we got to see beautiful stretching beaches and sites belonging to the WWII era. There was so much to see and so little time that I felt as if I missed out on some hidden gems.
We finished our trip with an amazing Ferry ride across the sea into the Fjords of Nowary. However, you will have to wait to hear more about that. For now, I have to say that Denmark was amazing! I will never forget the people and places that we met. Topped off with the chance to represent my country and it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Interested in buying some of my travel photography? Email me and we can discuss print options.