Here’s a trip for the person who likes to combine swimming with mountain fun.
The high Mountain Lake, Akvavit, is a gem of a lake located in the jeweled crown of the Northern Alps. You’ll want to take your swimsuit along on this one, but be prepared for an intoxicating experience.
Akvavit, is an old name, older than the hills. Some sources say that it is derived from the root, “akward viktor” which is a rather clumsy, thick-headed bird found only along the shores of this lake. Others would say that it comes from the ancient Danish number system, with “Ak” meaning 37 and “vavit” meaning ½. No one knows what 37½ means today, but that’s for the historians to fight about, and not us.
The trail to this lake starts on the Western side of the Northern Portion of the Eastern Axis of the Range. Many people find this description confusing and have taken to dropping bread crumbs along the highway, in order to find their way home again.
I would suggest that you start in Aalborg, a quaint city of some 125000 residents, who have gazed upon the Danish Alps in awe, and have worshiped them as their gods. This would explain in part why they have erected statues of Thor, Loke and Odin who are said to protect the city from fire, brimstone and falling space stations. The highway, well marked at the start with these finely honed statues, in pure aluminum, becomes narrower as it climbs up the steep mountain road. Expect to return by the same route, as cross-country roads are hazardous at best, unless of course you possess a Jutland Jeep, which can traverse any and all roads found in the Danish Alps!
The trail begins in a well developed forest of Danish Spruce Trees finely spaced in equal rows, as if they were planted that way. This is where Mother Nature really shows her stuff. As you thread your way through the dense forest, try to think about how the early settlers found this area. Their visions of sand-buried churches and sweeping sand dunes have made their way into the lore of the Country. What an imagination they must have had, while praying to their myriad of Gods, the most famous being: Luthero, Paveo and Jehoveo.
At the fork in the trail you must follow the signs that point to Lake Akvavit, and not Lake Aknavit. It might seem confusing, and added to that, some pranksters have been known to change the letters to resemble each other, which doesn’t make things easier to understand. The best way to choose the best direction lies in your knowledge of reading the moss on the trees. If the moss is lime green, with frilly edges, usually found on the Northwestern side of the local Spruces, then that is the wrong trail to take. If, on the other hand, you choose the brownish, rather smelly moss, resembling last week’s dinner, which you forgot to throw away, then that is the trail to take.
The trail begins to wind down towards the lake, passing numerous campsites with charred fire rings. Camping used to be permitted here until the local population waving pitchforks, shovels and holding fiery torches, demanded that the monstrous motor homes, and electrically charged campers be run out of town, or out of the forest, as it were. It might take some time before it is returned to its pristine state, but be assured, it will happen as sure as there will come German tourists to Denmark in the Summertime!
Finally arriving at the lake, you’ll see why the trip was worth the trouble. Herblike bushes dot the shoreline, sending scents of Danish Girls in the Summertime, of Golden Blue Flag Beaches and clear, cold Snaps served on the veranda. I can tell you, that my first meeting with this lake was an unforgettable one. Well, it was almost unforgettable, as I found myself drinking the lake water more, than I was swimming in it. Intoxicating, Mind-boggling, Hangover city are some of the colorful terms used to describe the feelings that this lake have produced. I found myself singing a silly song, and dreaming about a girl I used to know, before I fell asleep on the sandy shore, with pleasant dreams on the wait.
A word to the wise. I should warn you to take a designated driver with you on this trip as the intoxicating effects of this lake are hazardous at best, when you need to drive back once again. Many a hapless driver has fallen victim to the lake’s intoxicating, almost alcohol-like effect on the central nervous system and might just end up sleeping off its effects in one of Aalborg’s many fine detention centers.
Take someone with you who means the world, and you might just find yourself falling in love again.
Next Blog on the Danish Alps – Traversing the Glaciers, of the North Col.