One of the things I miss most about Liverpool is the sound of seagulls. It’s a strange thing to miss, really. The squawking, screeching, incessant cackling chorus of dog-sized birds who wake up at the crack of dawn and have no qualms interrupting your waterfront picnic to rob a crisp.
While seagulls wasn’t on my list of criteria when choosing where to live in Denmark, I happen to have ended up at their favourite hangout – Vejle. It’s on the right hand side of Jutland’s peninsula, half way up the map.
While claiming to be Denmark’s largest city, anybody who has been to the likes of London, Paris or Hong Kong, would think of Vejle as more of a village. It’s quaint and quintessentially Danish with spotlessly clean cobbled streets and red and white flag bunting that watches over them. Smells of fresh pastries and coffee fill the air in the morning and in the evenings, as the street lights begin to glow, the city gets itself ready for bed.
Vejle has shops, bars and restaurants – enough of a social scene to remind me my monk days are over and a gang of expat strangers I’ll soon be calling friends. Just a twenty minute walk away there’s a fjord for kayaking, a pine forest full of deer and a beach with white sands and clear, shallow waters.
I’ve found myself my absolute dream apartment, too. Smack back in the centre of the city with double doors that lead onto a balcony overlooking the town hall square. It’s on the top floor, right above a lovely little cafe ran by a guy called Henning that serves up delicious matcha lattes. It has a slanted roof with dark oak beams and a huge terrace that catches the morning sun.
And that’s where I’ll soon be sitting with a smile on my face, listening to the seagulls, the squealing skies of home.