Sunday, September 21, 2008

The White Cliffs of ….. Mons Klint?

On one of our daily excursions while on Sjealand we headed to the most south-eastern part you could get to on this main island of Denmark. In fact you have to cross a bridge to get to the island of Mon, which is just a kilometre off shore.

This area has spectacular white chalk cliffs that are just overpowering in beauty as you walk about along the shore.

The image below demonstrates one of the classic photographic adages that is, you should always check behind you. More a joke here as it’s hard not to gaze around while walking along the beach.

This is one of my favourite images for several reasons, at least from those attributes I find intriguing. For most of us, there is always this special fondness for ocean scenes and if you can include that surreal luminous tropical turquoise, well what’s not to like.

This might get you the initial “wow” appeal but only momentary. It’s the subtle detail of all the black cormorants on the posts and that there is this almost ghost-like sailing ship that looks like a duplicate of the central sailing ship.

The sign at the beautiful treed landscape up top says, 1.2km and 580 steps to the bottom. On the way down it doesn’t seem such an onerous task even though when you watch the people coming up you can’t help but be concerned about their overall health, as it sure doesn’t look good for some. Thankfully about every 50 feet there are these small 8x8 extension on the wooden stairs where there are benches to sit and rest. These are also great spots to take in some of the landscape.

Sometimes it is good to have a good sized pixel camera as you can make large prints with fine detail, as shown above, with the close up of the people along the shore,

Once you start the descent, there are no detours until you get to the pebbly shoreline at the bottom. There are so many steps that even going down took a while.

The cliffs are made out of very soft and easily dissolved white chalk that rise almost straight up. Threading through this white surface are curved black lines of solid mostly black rocks, which is left to form the beach..

On a sunny day, the powerful brightness of the white cliffs is hard to capture on film as with all these white cliffs around, you are constantly being bathed with the luminous glow of heavenly light. With the power of this radiant wall of light, it feels like you are in a studio with all those light (reflectors) shining on you.

These cliffs are about 425 ft high. The group thought that they would take the shorter stair set of 480 steps that was about a kilometre and a half along the beach. What we didn’t realize was the up and down hilliness of the forest on the way back. Even this set of stairs proved to be a long journey with many scenic opportunities to sit and gaze.

The image above shows the net-fishing poles from a higher perspective than that shown in the first image. I have darkened the poles to make them stand out better in the small image.

These cliff faces are pure white with the odd bit of other rocks strewn amongst the layers. I thought I would, through the use of a B&W image, capture a bit of the brightness and still retain the interesting texture in the cliff face.

The ocean side can also provide good photo opportunities with the four colours of white, turquoise, purple and blue.

After an exhilarating day of hiking around, we decided to stop in the old village of Stege on the way home to find a restaurant. One of the storefronts didn’t appear to be a restaurant but a meat and deli store, as you can see from the image below. But upon entering, there was a huge room on the other side with dining tables.

It turns out that the restaurant offers an all you can eat buffet of salads, cheeses, hot items and other assorted prepared platters. You would order from the counter the meat, fish, poultry or other specialty items, at a price per kilo and they would cook it for you.

It was a special pleasure to eat in a building that was more than many hundreds of years old, with its high ceilings and the outdoor treed courtyard. The warm summer breeze helped to a complete a perfectly visual day.

Niels Henriksen


bob wong said...

One of the things I always wanted to know about a bike centric city is....

Do people use expensive bikes and if so are they worried about theft?

nielsp said...

Almost all of the bicycles tend to generic 3 speed internal hub, black, with fenders and wire baskets. There are everywhere you go. In some places especially near the main train station. Lately there has been more theft especially with people now coming from eastern Europe countries with vans. These bikes are only locked to themselves so it is easy to just pick up a bike and throw into a truck.

There are few racing type bikes or true mountain bikes around. There is the occasional bike that looks more like a luxury vehicle with beautiful metal work that integrates the fenders, lights and shocks into art form object.



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