Nyborg, August 14, 2007 - Tuesday

Trip Start Aug 09, 2007
Trip End Aug 17, 2007

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Someone else would in my place, getting off the train in Odense and after an entire day on the move, have probably gone to have a dinner and then off to bed. However, it wasn't enough for me. The weather was still sunny and it would have been a pity not to use it. And so, once back in Odense, I just hopped from one train to another and went on to Nyborg. One of the oldest Danish towns, which first appeared in historical records as early as 1202, was my last stop for today.
The Nyborg railway station, unlike those in other Danish towns I had visited before, not only wasn't in the town centre, but wasn't in the town at all. When I got off the train and left the railway station building, I found myself on a car park behind which on all sides were - meadows. Except where a road cut through them. Only in the northern direction, at least one kilometre away, one could see woods, not too tall, and behind it a steeple. It was my only orientation clue that it was the Nyborg I was looking for.
However, as soon as I crossed the road and stepped on the meadow in the direction of town, I realised that a dirt road, or maybe not even a road but more like a path, led away from the railway station towards the town, flanked on one side by a hedge and a bench to sit on here and there. So I did sit down on one and opened my diary again. And then on that bench, I became aware of the toll the day had taken on me and of how tired I was, so for a moment I just wouldn't get back up again. In my mp3 player Rodney Crowell was singing "Many a Long And Lonesome Highway" and I was just in the mood to keep sitting there and listening to music. But it was not why I was there. Almost by sheer volition, I told myself "don't let your feet slow you down", stood up after all and went to the town.
Soon I was downtown. At that time of the day, almost evening even if the sun was still pretty high up in the sky, Nyborg was almost deserted. Had it not been for a group of ten or so Chinese tourists, I would've hardly seen anyone before Torvet. Of course, it came as no surprise any more to find out that central town square was called Torvet. As I had no town map on me, I can't with certainty claim there is Vestergade in Nyborg, too. But judging by my previous experience, I think I would be prepared to bet on it even if I didn't see it myself. Certainly, on Torvet there was Rådhus, built out of red bricks as befitting in Denmark, then a number of relatively old houses and over there, across the moat, the remnants of the castle, one of the oldest in Denmark, erected as far back as 1172. Its name was simple - Nyborg slot.
Nyborg itself was ravaged by fire in 1797 when a great deal of really old houses was destroyed and many of its inhabitants rendered homeless. Nyborg, as I was now seeing it myself, had been built only after that, with its street intersections angled to ease the passage for firefighters in case of some future fire. Near Nyborg, there is an 18-kilometre long bridge, Europe's longest suspension bridge, which I did not see this evening yet. Its turn was to come tomorrow. But now it was worth mentioning in the sense that it effectively consigned Nyborg ferry harbour and traffic to history in 1998 when it was constructed, linking the island of Funen with the island of Zealand.
I took a walk to the castle, inspected the Bastion and cannons, and then walked back down the cobbled streets towards the port. The port itself was not any more populated than the downtown area. Only a few people were there who could almost be counted on fingers of one hand, then some Italian tourists who for some arcane reason ended up with their two camper vans precisely there this evening, and me.
And out there on the open sea it was almost busier than on land. From where I was, one could easily make out some ten yachts or so which might have taken part in a yacht race. Or which had perhaps just wanted to take advantage of ideal sailing conditions - sunny and windy early evening. Either way, whatever the reason of their going out to the open sea, they were the clearest sign that Nyborg still wasn't entirely asleep. Not yet, at least.
But the dark drew ever closer. So now I really had to go back to Odense.
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