Another weekend getaway. This time, the city of Aarhus.
I just need to start off by saying: if you’re ever in Denmark, please go to Aarhus. I can’t recommend it enough. Copenhagen gets a lot of hype and is undoubtedly amazing, but Aarhus is special. If Copenhagen is the boisterous football star older brother, than Aarhus is his humble, artistic sister. Do you get the idea?
I’m not sure I’ve ever fallen in love with a city so immediately. My friend Molly and I began joking about how something we drank must have been spiked because everything seemed unnaturally beautiful.
One of the best things about Aarhus is how compact it is. It is really hard to get lost here. There’s a couple distinctive landmarks that helped me orient myself in the city: ARoS Museum of Modern Art (more on that later), the harbor and the Aarhus Cathedral, which, fittingly, is dedicated to the patron saint of sailors, St. Clemens.
Aarhus is the definition of cozy. There’s tons of sweet side streets with cafes and little shops. Galleries everywhere. Parks galore. Canals run through the city and on sunny days (which I luckily got to experience), crowds of people lounge waterside. The Latin Quarter was my favorite area– mainly because the plethora of second hand shops and Mexican food restaurants. I satisfied a burrito craving both evenings and was not disappointed by the Danish interpretation of what Mexican food was.
ARoS is hard to miss. On top of the rectangular, brick building, is a circular, rainbow walkway that can be glimpsed from most parts of the city. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s permanent installation, completed in 2011, is called “Your Rainbow Panorama.” Guest are invited to walk through the circle, viewing the city six stories below in each color of the rainbow. It definitely isn’t the only thing I enjoyed about ARoS; I was continually impressed by the work on display at the museum. From Janet Cardiff’s wonderfully terrifying “Carnie” installation (search it on Youtube if you want nightmares), to idyllic Northern-Jutland landscapes by the Danish master Peder Severin Krøyer, there was something for everyone to enjoy. And, of course, you couldn’t miss Rob Mueck’s hyper-real sculpture “Boy” which is nearly 15 feet tall.
The whole time I’ve been in Aarhus (I’m currently enjoying a lovely window seat in my hostel) I’ve been realizing how lucky I am to be able to travel outside of Aalborg and find what else Denmark has to offer. I’m lucky to be only an hour and a half from this city that has resonated with me so deeply. Aarhus might not have the same glamour as Paris, Rome or London, but I’ve found it to be unassumingly beautiful and — dare I say — preferable in its simplicity. If I run away someday, you’ll know where to find me.
I have another big week of travel starting tomorrow. For now, rest and enjoying a quiet evening.