On every adventure, there are little surprises, twists and turns and plenty of embarrassing moments along the way. Today I set out on a quest for the renowned sheer, white, chalk cliffs of Møns Klint on the island of Møn. As an aside, Denmark is comprised of about 400 islands- most very tiny and only about 70 are populated- as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Who knew? So island-hopping is a must when exploring Denmark. And from what I can tell thus far, the islands are full of beautiful coastline, gently rolling hills and farmland speckled with houses or small villages, and even an occasional fjord.
The journey to the island of Møn began with a train ride that included probably my most embarrassing moment to date on this trip. I hunkered down in the abnormally crowded train on a nothing-else-available folding seat in the corner until the train conductor asked to see my ticket. With an inquisitive glance, he asked why I was sitting there. As I apologetically explained that the folding seat with the luggage was the only seat I could find, he interrupted and pointed to my ticket. "No, no", he said. "You have a seat in first class." Confident that he was pulling a fast one on the American, I peered at the ticket. There it was. Class: 1 as plain as day. What?! I've been sitting in second class with the riff-riff like an animal?! Apparently first class is automatic with the type of Eurail pass I have. But to downplay my good fortune to the mass of passengers who were now shooting daggers from their eyes, I stated I would just stay put for now. "There are free drinks!" he exclaimed. "There is cheese!" The magic words. I let the stares from the lynch mob die down then skulked through the train to the first class car. Plenty of available seats with cushiony headrests! The quiet sound of the rails except for a few dishes clanking from the bistro on board! Free drinks for the entire journey! It was reminiscent of that Seinfeld episode when Jerry gets upgraded to the flight's first class and Elaine is subjected to coach. Embarrassing moment slash surprise #1.
Surprise #2 came as I was loitering along the bank of an inlet waiting for my first bus connection. Admiring the calm, mirror-like water surrounding the island of Møn, I happened to look down at what I thought was a wrapper floating by. It wasn't a wrapper. It was a roughly 6-8 inch jellyfish. And at closer inspection, there were thousands of them. They apparently make an appearance at certain times of year and my timing was spot on. I could have watched them gently gliding by in their own world all day.
Twist and turn came in the form of a straight-as-an-arrow road. Praying once again that the travel guides were not exaggerating, I skipped the bus to go by foot on the last leg to Møns Klint. I found myself staring down yet another remote, barely-traveled road surrounded by miles of desolate farmland with not a tree or structure in sight to provide shade from the hot afternoon sun. With every step feeling more desperate for the destination, my anxiety and angst was increasing. But then the perspective creeped in... I'm safe. I'm healthily curious. And I'm exploring an obscure road in the middle-of-nowhere Denmark. This route might not have been expected, but it was a beneficial twist.
I finally did make it to Møns Klint (after one last exhausting hike up a set of stairs to get to the top viewing points). It was an interesting day's journey. And the white chalk cliffs were beautiful.
The stunning white chalk cliffs of Møns Klint
Thousands of little jellyfish gently gliding through the inlet in Stege on the island of Møns. Look hard, they're there!