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DOES JACKSON LIKE SHRIMP?

HE DOES -- WHOA!

I'M RICK STEVES, BACK WITH MORE OF

"THE BEST OF EUROPE."

THIS TIME, WE'RE DOWN IN THE BEACH,

GOT A GOOD, COLD BEER, AND THE SHRIMP'S ON THE BARBIE.

IT MUST BE "THE BEST OF DENMARK."

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

HE LIKES THAT.

DENMARK IS SMALL, FLAT, AND REALLY WELL-ORGANIZED.

WHILE THE CAPITAL CITY, COPENHAGEN,

IS A THRIVING METROPOLIS AND THE COUNTRY DOES HAVE

A VIGOROUS ECONOMY, GET OUT INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE,

AND WHAT THE TRAVELER FINDS IS CLOSER TO CUTE.

WE'LL IMAGINE SAILING WITH THE VIKINGS,

MARVEL AT THE ULTIMATE LEGO CREATIONS,

VISIT WITH ONE REALLY OLD BOG MAN

AND THEN ONE REALLY BIG BOY,

DROP IN ON A ROYAL PALACE,

PICNIC ON A DANISH BEACH,

AND EXPLORE A REMOTE ISLAND BY BIKE.

AND IT'S ALL LINKED BY AN AWE-INSPIRING NETWORK

OF ROADS AND BRIDGES.

IN THE NORTH OF EUROPE, DENMARK ANCHORS SCANDINAVIA

TO THE CONTINENT.

IT'S MADE MOSTLY OF JUTLAND, WHICH JUTS UP FROM GERMANY,

AND TWO MAJOR ISLANDS.

JUST OUTSIDE OF COPENHAGEN, WE'LL TOUR FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE.

THEN WE'LL VISIT ROSKILDE, ODENSE, ARHUS,

AND THE ISLE OF AERO.

WHILE JUST A SMALL COUNTRY TODAY OF ROUGHLY FIVE MILLION PEOPLE,

IN THE 16th CENTURY, THE DANISH EMPIRE INCLUDED

ALL OF SCANDINAVIA AND EVEN STRETCHED INTO GERMANY.

IT HAD A FEARSOME MILITARY AND DEMANDED RESPECT

FROM ITS NEIGHBORS.

AND, IN A SMALL TOWN NORTH OF COPENHAGEN,

AS IF FLOATING ON A LAKE,

IS A REMINDER OF ALL THAT POWER --

THE STUNNING FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE.

MANY CONSIDER THIS THE GRANDEST CASTLE

IN SCANDINAVIA, THE DANISH VERSAILLES.

BUILT IN THE EARLY 1600s, FREDERIKSBORG IS THE CASTLE

OF DENMARK'S GREATEST KING, CHRISTIAN IV.

THIS WAS ONE OF THE KING'S FAVORITE RESIDENCES,

WITH A SUITABLY REGAL ENTRY

RINGED BY A MOAT DESIGNED MORE FOR SWANS THAN DEFENSE.

THE KING IMPORTED DUTCH RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTS

TO CREATE HIS OWN

CHRISTIAN IV STYLE, WHICH, BY THE WAY,

YOU SEE IN FANCY BUILDINGS ALL OVER COPENHAGEN.

THE ROYAL APARTMENTS EXUDE ROYAL OPULENCE.

FOR OVER A CENTURY, THE PALACE HAS BEEN A MUSEUM

OFFERING A STROLL THROUGH THE STORY OF DENMARK

FROM 1500 UNTIL TODAY.

IT SERVES AS DENMARK'S NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY.

IN THE AUDIENCE ROOM, THE KING WOULD RECEIVE

IMPORTANT VISITORS.

PAINTINGS OF DENMARK'S MILITARY VICTORIES

OVER NEIGHBORING SWEDEN LINE THE WALLS,

REMINDING VISITING VIPs OF DENMARK'S POWER.

AND THE GREAT HALL WAS KNOWN AS

THE DANCING HALL IN CHRISTIAN IV's DAY.

WITH THE ORCHESTRA PLAYING FROM THEIR PERCH ABOVE,

THIS IS WHERE HE'D THROW HIS LAVISH PARTIES.

GAZING OUT THE WINDOWS, GUESTS WOULD MARVEL

AT THE KING'S BAROQUE GARDEN.

SCULPTED ROYAL GARDENS, LIKE THE PALACES,

WERE USED AS PROPAGANDA -- THE KING RULES EVERYTHING

IN HIS REALM, EVEN NATURE.

CHRISTIAN IV WANTED THE GRANDEST ROYAL CHAPEL IN EUROPE.

WHILE IT'S ALWAYS BEEN A LUTHERAN CHURCH,

HERE, THE UNCHARACTERISTICALLY ORNATE DECOR

CELEBRATES THE POWER OF THE EARTHLY KING.

THE SYMBOLISM PREACHES A ROYAL THEOLOGY --

GOD BLESSED THE DANES WITH A GREAT KING

WHO THEY SHOULD OBEY.

THIS FINE INLAID WOODWORK DATES FROM 1620.

TWO CENTURIES OF DANISH ROYALTY WERE CROWNED IN THIS CHURCH.

EMBLEMS CELEBRATE SUBJUGATED REALMS OF THE DANISH KING.

THIS ONE REPRESENTS NORWAY, WHICH WAS LONG A PART OF

THE DANISH EMPIRE.

IN KING CHRISTIAN'S DAY, EUROPE WAS EXTREMELY FRAGMENTED.

TODAY, EUROPE'S EVOLVING INTO A SINGLE FREE TRADE ZONE

OF OVER 400 MILLION PEOPLE, AND, LIKE THE UNITED STATES

INVESTED IN ITS INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM

TO GREASE COMMERCE, EUROPE'S INVESTING IN

HUGE BRIDGES AND TUNNELS SO ITS CARS, TRUCKS,

AND BULLET TRAINS NO LONGER NEED TO LOAD ONTO FERRIES,

AS WAS THE TIME-CONSUMING NORM UNTIL JUST RECENTLY.

THE ORESUND BRIDGE CONNECTS DENMARK AND SWEDEN.

THIS TEN-MILE-LONG LINK SERVES BOTH TRAINS AND CARS.

IT CONSISTS OF A TUNNEL BENEATH THE SEA,

AN ARTIFICIAL ISLAND, AND A FIVE-MILE-LONG BRIDGE.

A HIGH-TECH CONTROL ROOM OVERSEES

THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC ACROSS A BORDER

TRAVELLERS HARDLY NOTICE.

BY MAKING THE SWEDISH CITY OF MALMO JUST A QUICK COMMUTE

FROM COPENHAGEN, THIS BRIDGE CREATED

EUROPE'S MOST DYNAMIC NEW METROPOLITAN AREA --

THE LARGEST IN ALL OF SCANDINAVIA.

WHILE THE BRIDGE LEADS TO SWEDEN, WE'VE PULLED A U-EY

AND ARE HEADING WEST TO ROSKILDE,

DENMARK'S HISTORIC CAPITAL.

DENMARK'S ROOTS, BOTH VIKING AND ROYAL,

ARE ON DISPLAY IN ROSKILDE.

800 YEARS AGO, THIS WAS THE SEAT

OF DENMARK'S ROYALTY,

ITS CENTER OF POWER.

TODAY, AFTER FIRES AND RECENT DEVELOPMENT,

THE TOWN'S MOSTLY MODERN.

THE PLACE THAT INTRODUCED CHRISTIANITY

TO DENMARK BACK IN 980

IS MOST FAMOUS TODAY FOR HOSTING NORTHERN EUROPE'S

BIGGEST ROCK FESTIVAL EACH JULY.

ROSKILDE'S CENTERPIECE IS ITS IMPOSING

12th-CENTURY CATHEDRAL.

IT'S A STATELY OLD CHURCH WITH FINE WOOD CARVINGS

AND A GREAT 16th CENTURY ORGAN.

SOME PAINTINGS SURVIVE FROM BEFORE THE REFORMATION.

THE CATHEDRAL IS THE RESTING PLACE

OF 39 DANISH KINGS AND QUEENS.

SIDE CHAPELS ARE FILLED WITH ORNATE ROYAL TOMBS.

AFTER THE REFORMATION GUTTED THE CHURCH OF

ITS SAINTS AND MARYS, MORE SPACE AROUND THE HIGH ALTAR

WAS FREED UP FOR MORE ROYAL TOMBS.

THESE DATE FROM THE 16th CENTURY.

THE OLDEST TOMB, FROM 1397, IS QUEEN MARGRETHE I.

THROUGH STRONG LEADERSHIP AND CLEVER NEGOTIATING,

SHE UNITED THE THREE NORDIC KINGDOMS.

FOR 500 YEARS, ST. GEORGE HAS MARKED THE HOUR

BY KILLING THE DRAGON,

REMINDING THE PEOPLE HOW THE CHURCH

IS THEIR BASTION AGAINST THE EVIL OF THE WORLD.

[ BELL RINGS ]

A SHORT WALK TAKES US TO ROSKILDE'S WATERFRONT.

THE WORD VIK MEANS "SHALLOW INLET,"

SO VIKINGS ARE THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED ALONG THOSE INLETS.

ROSKILDE, STRATEGICALLY LOCATED ALONG ONE SUCH INLET,

IS HOME TO DENMARK'S VIKING SHIP MUSEUM.

THIS MUSEUM IS A HANDS-ON CENTER FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT

TO EXPERIENCE DENMARK'S SEAFARING HERITAGE.

TRADITIONAL BOAT-BUILDING TECHNIQUES ARE DEMONSTRATED

AND THE MUSEUM'S ARCHEOLOGICAL WORKSHOP

EMPLOYS THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY IN CONSERVING

AND BETTER UNDERSTANDING REMNANTS THAT SURVIVED

FROM THOSE FABLED 10th-CENTURY MASTERS OF THE SEA.

THE MAIN HALL DISPLAYS FIVE DIFFERENT VIKING SHIPS.

THESE SHIPS WERE DELIBERATELY SUNK

1,000 YEARS AGO TO BLOCK THE HARBOR ENTRANCE

TO THE STRATEGIC AND RICH CITY OF ROSKILDE.

IN 1962, THEY WERE RAISED FROM THEIR SALTY GRAVE.

THIS WAS A 10th-CENTURY OCEAN-GOING FREIGHTER.

A SHIP LIKE THIS LIKELY CARRIED VIKING IMMIGRANTS

WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND THE ENTIRE FARM

TO ICELAND, AND, LATER ON, TO THE NEW WORLD.

LEIF ERIKSON MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO AMERICA

1,000 YEARS AGO IN A LITTLE SHIP LIKE THIS.

WARSHIPS WERE SKINNIER AND FASTER.

THIS ONE WAS POWERED BY 26 OARSMEN.

FEARSOME BOATS LIKE THIS TERRORIZED MUCH OF EUROPE

BACK WHEN PEOPLE DREADED THOSE RAMPAGING NORSEMEN.

AND, LIKE SO MANY SITES IN DENMARK,

THERE'S FUN FOR THE KIDS.

THIS HANDS-ON CORNER BRINGS OUT THE VIKING

IN YOUNG DANES.

HEADING FURTHER WEST,

WE CROSS ANOTHER SPECTACULAR BRIDGE,

BENEFITING, AGAIN, FROM DENMARK'S INVESTMENT

IN A SERIES OF BRIDGES AND HIGHWAYS

THAT LACES THIS NATIONS'S ISLANDS TOGETHER.

SOMEHOW, DENMARK, WITH LIMITED NATURAL RESOURCES

AND A SMALL POPULATION BASE,

HAS ARRANGED ITS PRIORITIES AND FOUND THE FUNDS

TO BUILD ITS IMPRESSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE.

ODENSE, DENMARK'S THIRD-LARGEST CITY

WITH NEARLY 200,000 PEOPLE, IS BIG AND INDUSTRIAL.

THE CITY, LIKE ALMOST EVERY TOWN IN DENMARK,

HAS A TRAFFIC-FREE SHOPPING STREET

THAT GIVES IT A STROLLING CHARM.

WHILE ODENSE'S RELATIVELY NONDESCRIPT,

THE REASON TOURISTS STOP IN IS TO VISIT

THE HOME OF ITS FAMOUS SON, HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.

TODAY, HIS HUMBLE BIRTH HOUSE STANDS ON A COBBLED LANE.

IT'S LITERALLY THE CORNER OF A MUSEUM

PACKED WITH MEMENTOS FROM THE WRITER'S LIFE.

THE EXHIBIT ENTERTAINS AND INSPIRES

A STEADY STREAM OF CHILDREN AND TOURISTS.

YOU'LL SEE A DISPLAY ON THE AGE IN WHICH ANDERSEN LIVED,

1805 TO 1875,

AND LETTERS FROM HIS LIFE AND TIMES.

A LIBRARY SHOWS ANDERSEN'S BOOKS

FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD.

HIS TALES WERE TRANSLATED INTO NEARLY 150 LANGUAGES.

AND HEADSETS PLAY A SELECTION OF FAIRY TALES.

SKETCHES FROM HIS EXTENSIVE TRAVELS

WERE SOUVENIRS OF EXPERIENCES AND ADVENTURES

THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY HELP INSPIRE

HIS FAMOUS TALES.

CHILDREN LOVED THE WAY HE'D FASHION A PAPER CUTOUT

AS HE TOLD A STORY, REVEALING HIS CREATION

WITH THE FINALE OF HIS TALE.

YOUNG ANDERSEN FANS GATHER DAILY THROUGH THE SUMMER

IN THE MUSEUM GARDEN'S FAIRY TALE THEATER.

WIDE-EYED AND ENTHRALLED, THEY'RE ENTERTAINED BY

OLD H.C. HIMSELF...

[ CHICKENS CLUCKING ]

AND A CAST OF CHARACTERS

RIGHT OUT OF HIS FAVORITE FAIRY TALES.

IT ALL CULMINATES,

HOPEFULLY, IN A HAPPY ENDING.

[ SINGING IN DANISH ]

♪♪

[ APPLAUSE ]

JUTLAND, THAT PART OF DENMARK THAT JUTS UP FROM GERMANY,

IS A GENTLE LAND OF ROLLING HILLS,

THATCHED VILLAGES, AND BUCOLIC FARMS.

THIS IS ALSO THE LAND OF LEGO.

LEGOLAND IS SCANDINAVIA'S TOP KIDS' SITE.

IF YOU HAVE A CHILD OR STILL ARE ONE AT HEART,

IT'S A FUN STOP.

THIS HUGE PARK IS A FANCIFUL WORLD

CREATED WITH THE HELP OF 58 MILLION LEGO BRICKS.

[ WHISTLE BLOWS ]

THEY SAY IF YOU STRETCHED ALL THESE LEGO BLOCKS OUT,

THEY'D REACH FROM HERE ALL THE WAY TO ITALY.

IN THE DYNAMIC MINI WORLD,

CHILDREN GET THEIR FIRST GRAND TOUR,

CHECKING OUT FAMOUS SCANDINAVIAN CITYSCAPES

BEFORE TRAVELING FURTHER AFIELD THROUGH EUROPE

AND ON TO AMERICA.

FOR ME, THE HIGHLIGHT IS SIMPLY TO SEE

DANES AT PLAY IN THEIR RESERVED YET FUN-LOVING WAY.

EACH YEAR, LEGOLAND OPENS UP NEW RIDES AND PLAY ZONES

AND MORE DANISH FAMILIES MAKE THIS

A FUN DAY OUT.

NEARBY IS ARHUS.

DENMARK'S SECOND-LARGEST CITY, WITH A POPULATION OF 400,000,

IS JUTLAND'S CAPITAL AND CULTURAL HUB.

ITS VIKING FOUNDERS SETTLED HERE IN THE LATE 700s

WHERE THE RIVER HITS THE SEA.

TODAY, ARHUS BUSTLES WITH A LIVELY PORT,

AN IMPORTANT UNIVERSITY, BUSY PEDESTRIAN BOULEVARD,

AND AN OLD QUARTER FILLED WITH PEOPLE LIVING VERY WELL.

ARHUS UNCOVERED ITS RIVER,

WHICH UNTIL JUST A FEW YEARS AGO HAD BEEN PAVED OVER

AND BUSY WITH CARS.

TODAY, THIS SCENE

IS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF HOW TOWNS ALL OVER EUROPE

ARE RESPECTING BOTH THEIR HERITAGE

AND THEIR PEOPLE'S NEEDS.

THE RIVER'S LINED WITH TRENDY EATERIES,

AND IT'S A HIT WITH LOCALS AND VISITORS BOTH YOUNG AND OLD.

ANOTHER NEW DIMENSION TO THE TOWN IS ITS

STRIKING MODERN ART GALLERY, THE ARoS MUSEUM.

THE BUILDING ITSELF CREATES A STIMULATING ENVIRONMENT.

GALLERIES ARE A WELL-DESCRIBED

DELIGHT TO EXPLORE AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING.

THIS CIRCA-1970 WALL OF JARS CONTAINS A SLAUGHTERED HORSE.

IT'S CALLED "THE SACRIFICE."

WHEN PEOPLE WERE APPALLED AT THE NEEDLESS KILLING,

THE ARTIST ASKED, "BUT WHAT ABOUT VIETNAM?"

AND YOU'LL MEET ONE VERY BIG BOY.

THE AUSTRALIAN ARTIST RON MUECK CREATED THIS TOWERING

SUPER-REALISTIC FIGURE AND CALLED IT, SIMPLY, "BOY."

FOR SOMETHING MORE TRADITIONAL, WE'RE VISITING

THE CITY'S OLD TOWN OPEN-AIR FOLK MUSEUM.

WITH 75 HISTORIC BUILDINGS CAREFULLY MOVED HERE

FROM THROUGHOUT DENMARK,

IT GIVES A LOOK AT DANISH URBAN LIFE

IN CENTURIES PAST.

ON THIS MERCHANT'S MANSION, THE CARVED RELIEF

DATES FROM 1571.

COSTUMED ACTORS WANDER THE COBBLED LANES

AS IF LIVING IN THE 19th CENTURY.

THIS COUPLE'S SELLING EVERYTHING FOR A TRIP TO AMERICA.

THEIR SKILLET HAS TO GO, AS EGGS IN AMERICA

ARE JUST WAY TOO BIG.

THIS IS TOO SMALL.

WHY? WE HAVE HEARD THAT

THEY HAVE BIG EGGS IN AMERICA.

[ LAUGHS ]

YOU CAN APPEASE YOUR SWEET TOOTH

IN AN OLD-FASHIONED WAY.

AND HERE IN THE BAKERY, YOU'LL SEE TASTY

DANISH TREATS ARE NOTHING NEW.

A CITY BUS RUNS THROUGH A FOREST

OUT TO THE TOWN'S PREHISTORY MUSEUM.

THE MUSEUM HAS THREE PARTS --

STONE AGE, IRON AGE, AND THE VIKING AGE.

THE IRON AGE RANGED FROM 500 B.C. TO 800 A.D.

THIS COLLECTION FEATURES A TROVE OF

IRON WEAPONS AND JEWELRY FROM AROUND 200 A.D.

AS PEOPLE THEN BELIEVED THAT GODS LIVED IN THE BOGS,

THAT'S WHERE THEIR SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS WERE TOSSED.

AFTER DEFEATING YOUR ENEMY, LOGICALLY,

YOU'D TOSS THEIR WEAPONS TO THE BOG GODS.

THE MUSEUM'S CLAIM TO FAME IS THE GRAUBALLE MAN,

THE WORLD'S BEST-PRESERVED BOG CORPSE.

LIKE THE WEAPONS, HE WAS SACRIFICED

AND TOSSED INTO THE BOG.

BECAUSE OF THE OXYGEN-FREE ENVIRONMENT,

THIS 2,300-YEAR-OLD BOG MAN

LOOKS LIKE A FELLOW HALF HIS AGE.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS THINK HE LOOKED LIKE THIS

IN HAPPIER TIMES.

HE SPRAWLS OUT IN HIS GLASS TOMB

AS IF TO WELCOME VISITORS OLD AND YOUNG

TO MARVEL AT HIS SKIN, NAILS, HAIR,

AND EVEN THE SLIT IN HIS THROAT HE WAS GIVEN BACK IN 300 B.C.

AT HIS SACRIFICIAL BANQUET.

FROM ARHUS, A THREE-HOUR TRAIN RIDE

THROUGH THE PASTORAL COUNTRYSIDE DEAD-ENDS IN THE TOWN

OF SVENDBORG, WHERE OUR FERRY AWAITS,

READY TO SAIL TO THE ISLE OF AERO.

THE FERRY LOADS AND DEPARTS LIKE CLOCKWORK,

TYPICAL OF DANISH EFFICIENCY,

AND THE BOAT CRUISES THROUGH SOME DELIGHTFUL ISLAND SCENERY.

AS WE APPROACH THE ISLAND OF AERO,

THE CHARMING TOWN OF AEROSKOBING COMES INTO VIEW.

THIS IS THE BEST-PRESERVED 18th-CENTURY TOWN

ANYWHERE IN DENMARK.

THE GOVERNMENT, RECOGNIZING ITS VALUE,

PROHIBITS ANY MODERN BUILDING HERE.

THOSE WHO VISIT FIND THEMSELVES DROPPING RIGHT INTO THE 1700s

WHEN AEROSKOBING WAS THE WEALTHY HOME PORT OF 100 WINDJAMMERS,

THOSE MIGHTIEST SAILING VESSELS OF THE PRE-INDUSTRIAL AGE.

THE MANY DANES AND GERMANS WHO COME HERE FOR THE TRANQUILITY

CALL THIS THE FAIRY TALE TOWN.

CHARACTERISTIC HOUSES LEAN ON EACH OTHER

LIKE DRUNK SLEEPING SAILORS.

APPRECIATE THE FINELY CARVED OLD DOORS.

YOU WON'T FIND ANY TWO THE SAME.

HYGGELIG, THAT QUINTESSENTIAL DANISH WORD FOR "COZY,"

DESCRIBES AEROSKOBING WELL.

THE HARBOR'S A HIVE OF RELAXATION.

THE SURVIVING WINDJAMMERS ARE NOW CHARTERED BY VACATIONERS,

AND THE MARINA NOW CATERS TO HOLIDAY YACHTS.

A BIG PART OF THE ISLAND'S TOURISM IS FROM BOATERS.

PENSION VESTERGADE, LOVINGLY RUN BY SUSANNA GREVE,

IS MY HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME IN AEROSKOBING.

THIS SALTY, SAGGING, AND VENERABLE

EIGHT-ROOM PLACE WAS BUILT IN 1748

FOR A SEA CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER.

FROM THE ELEGANT SITTING ROOM

TO THE CREAKY ATTIC,

THE PLACE IS FILLED WITH CHARACTER.

SUSANNA'S GENEROUS BREAKFAST

IS SERVED IN A CHARMING DINING ROOM.

BEDROOMS COME WITH SLANTED FLOORS AND FINE VIEWS.

AEROSKOBING IS SIMPLY A PLEASANT PLACE TO WANDER,

AND SUSANNA'S JOINING ME.

THIS IS A DELIGHTFUL WALK. IF I LIVED HERE,

I THINK I'D WALK HERE EVERY EVENING.

YES, I DO.

I DO AND LOVE IT, AND IT REMINDS ME

HOW MUCH THE ISLAND HAS CHANGED.

THESE HOUSES USED TO BELONG TO POOR FISHERMEN

AND TO POOR SAILORS,

AND THEY USED TO HAVE THEIR BOATS HERE

THAT THEY COULD DRAG UP TO THE HOUSES,

AND NOW THEY ARE VERY EXPENSIVE AND RATHER NICE HOUSES.

YOU STILL HAVE THE CHARACTER. YES.

I LOVE THAT. AND I LOVE THE WAY THE ROOFS ALL LEAN.

AND THE GARDENS ARE JUST LOVINGLY TENDED.

YES.

RIGHT ON THE HARBOR FRONT,

THE AEROSKOBING FISH HOUSE SMOKES ITS OWN CATCH.

RACKS OF SMOKED MACKEREL, SALMON, AND OTHER FISH

ARE SOLD OUT DAILY AS LOCALS AND TOURISTS

CLAMOR FOR A TASTY MEAL.

WITH A VIEW OF THE HARBOR, IT'S JUST RIGHT

FOR A BUDGET SEAFOOD LUNCH.

FOR ME, THE BEST WAY TO EXPLORE AERO

IS ON TWO WHEELS.

I'M MEETING FRIEND AND LOCAL GUIDE

JAN PETERSON FOR AN ISLAND BIKE RIDE.

BIKE RENTAL'S EASY -- NO DEPOSITS, NO LOCKS.

THIS IS AERO.

I'VE RECOMMENDED THIS LEISURELY RIDE FOR YEARS

IN MY GUIDEBOOK TO SHOW OFF THE BEST OF

THIS ISLAND'S CHARMS.

THE ISLAND IS 22 MILES LONG, HAS 7,000 RESIDENTS,

SEVEN PASTORS, NO CROSSWALKS, AND THREE POLICEMEN.

HISTORICALLY, AERO HAS DEPENDED ON

SHIPPING AND FARMING, MOSTLY DAIRY AND WHEAT.

U-SHAPED FARMS ARE TYPICAL THROUGHOUT DENMARK.

THE THREE SIDES BLOCK THE WIND

WHILE STORING COWS, HAY, AND PEOPLE.

IT'S THE KIND OF PLACE WHERE LOCAL PRODUCE,

WHATEVER'S IN SEASON, SITS ON THE ROADSIDE

FOR SALE ON THE HONOR SYSTEM.

WE'RE NOW RIDING BELOW SEA LEVEL.

THE SEA'S ABOUT THIS HIGH AND JUST BEHIND THIS DIKE

THAT WAS BUILT AROUND 150 YEARS AGO

TO KEEP THE SEA OUT

TO CLAIM THIS WASTELAND THAT WAS HERE --

ALL THIS WAS RECLAIMED, THEN?

YES, IT IS, AND IS TODAY USED FOR GRAZING FOR COWS.

Steves: MOST OF AERO'S VILLAGES ARE FURTHER INLAND,

NOT VISIBLE FROM THE SEA.

CHURCH SPIRES WERE STUNTED, DESIGNED NOT TO BE

VIEWABLE FROM MARAUDING PIRATE SHIPS.

THIS CHURCH, WITH A WHITEWASHED EXTERIOR,

DATES FROM THE 12th CENTURY.

ITS LONG NAVE LEADS TO THE ALTAR.

WITH GOLD LEAF ON CARVED OAK, IT'S FROM 1528,

JUST BEFORE THE REFORMATION CAME TO DENMARK.

IT'S A REMARKABLE CHURCH.

IT'S A SPECIAL THING, THESE REVERSIBLE PEWS.

YOU HAD THE SERVICE UP HERE,

BUT WHEN THE SERMON WAS GOING, HAD TO FLIP OVER --

OKAY, SO WE WATCHED THE SERVICE,

AND THEN WHEN IT'S TIME FOR THE SERMON,

YOU'D LOOK AT THE PULPIT.

TO THE PULPIT THAT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHURCH.

Steves: IN THE BACK OF THE NAVE,

A LIST OF PASTORS GOES BACK TO 1505,

ALL THEOLOGICALLY RELATED TO MARTIN LUTHER.

HE'S PAINTED WITH HIS HAND ON THE BIBLE

AS IF ON A THEOLOGICAL RUDDER, STEERING THE CHURCH

ON A TRUE COURSE.

THE CURRENT PASTOR,

JANET, IS THE FIRST WOMAN

ON THE LIST IN OVER 500 YEARS.

AERO, LIKE DENMARK IN GENERAL, IS EMBRACING CLEAN ENERGY.

HOME TO COMMUNALLY OWNED,

STATE-SUBSIDIZED WINDMILLS AND ONE OF THE WORLD'S

LARGEST SOLAR POWER PLANTS, IT'S WELL ON THE WAY

TO ITS GOAL OF ENERGY SELF-SUFFICIENCY.

THIS FIELD OF SOLAR PANELS SAVES 1,500 HOMES

A THIRD ON THEIR HEATING COSTS.

A SHORT WALK FROM THE ROAD TAKES US TO

A FASCINATING PREHISTORIC SITE.

6,000 YEARS AGO, THIS WAS AN EARLY

NEOLITHIC BURIAL PLACE.

THOUGH AERO ONCE HAD MORE THAN 200

OF THESE PREHISTORIC TOMBS, ONLY 13 SURVIVE.

THE VIKINGS ALSO APPRECIATED THE HOLINESS OF THIS SITE.

THIS IS SUCH AN EVOCATIVE SPOT.

YEAH, IMAGINE 1,000 YEARS AGO,

THE VIKING CHIEF WOULD GATHER THE COMMUNITY HERE

TO BURY A PERSON HERE.

THEY BUILT A SHIP AND BURNED IT.

THEY HAVE FOUND PIECES OF BURNED WOOD

IN THE UNDERGROUND HERE.

SO THIS IS ACTUALLY THE SHAPE

OF A VIKING SHIP.

THIS IS THE SHAPE OF A VIKING SHIP.

THEY HAD THE STERN UP THERE, AND EVEN LONGER AGO

THEY CAME HERE TO USE THIS AS A HOLY SPOT.

AND THIS STONE BURIAL CHAMBER IS ACTUALLY MUCH OLDER.

IT'S 5,000, 6,000 YEARS OLD.

AS OLD AS THE PHARAOHS. YES.

THE VIKINGS RECOGNIZED THIS AS A HOLY GROUND,

AND, LATER ON, PUT THEIR HOLY SPOT HERE.

SO, GOT A LITTLE HILL HERE.

A LITTLE HILL.

WE'RE GOING TO THE HIGHEST POINT

OF THE ISLAND, CALLED SYNNESHØJ.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

"SEEMS HIGH."

HOW HIGH IS IT?

6,750 CENTIMETERS.

6,700 CENTIMETERS.

THAT'S ABOUT 2,700 INCHES.

YEAH, SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

JAN, WE'VE SUMMITED AERO.

SEEMS HIGH.

YEAH, BUT WORTH THE VIEW.

IT SURE IS.

Steves: JUST A SHORT STROLL FROM AEROSKOBING,

A NARROW SPIT IS LINED WITH COZY BEACH HUTS

AND FAMILIES SAVORING A BALMY JULY EVENING.

DENMARK EMBRACES THE NOTION THAT SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL,

AND HERE, THE CONCEPT OF SUSTAINABILITY

IS NOTHING NEW.

THESE TINY BEACH ESCAPES ARE PRIVATELY OWNED

ON LAND RENTED FROM THE TOWN.

EACH IS DIFFERENT,

BUT ALL ARE WEATHERED BY MERRY MEMORIES

OF LOCALS ENJOYING THEMSELVES, DANISH-STYLE.

TO CAP OUR VISIT, TONIGHT, WE'RE JOINED BY THE MAYOR

AND HIS FRIENDS FOR A PICNIC DINNER ON THE BEACH.

A FORMER MUSIC TEACHER, HE'S LEADING US

IN AN APPROPRIATE SONG FOR AERO --

"THE SHIP WENT DOWN, BUT THE SAILORS SURVIVED,

"MAKING IT BACK

TO THEIR BELOVED HOMES AND FAMILIES."

[ SINGING IN DANISH ]

[ LAUGHTER ]

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

WITH EACH VISIT, I'M IMPRESSED WITH

THE MANY CHARMS OF THIS LOW-KEY YET SELF-ASSURED LAND.

I HOPE YOU'VE ENJOYED OUR LOOK AT "THE BEST OF DENMARK."

I'M RICK STEVES.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP ON TRAVELING.

The Description of Denmark Beyond Copenhagen