Dancing in Roskilde


The following is one of several reports we filed with friends while we lived in northwest Denmark. Roskilde is on the same island as Copenhagen.


Cold, gray, windy. That’s the weather that has settled over the country and from the talk that’s what we can expect for our last few days in Denmark.

We just returned from a trip to Zealand and Fyn. It was only 2-1/2 days by train but it seems much longer. We met four different sets of colleagues and even got in a little folk dancing along the way.

The trip began with a 5:30 am bike ride in the darkness to Ydby station. Fortunately the wind was with us. After my presentation at Risø’s Test Station for Wind Turbines one of the station’s old timers took me to his photo collection. All I can say is now we have to come back so I can comb through his collection. I was like a kid in a candy store. “Would you like a copy of this one,” he would say. He was a man I needed to get to know better so we invited him to dinner.

While at dinner with him he said, “If you don’t mind maybe we can step across the street to visit the Kultur Hus. I used to dance a lot and every Wednesday there’s a live band and dancing.” It was a cold night and I didn’t want to spend a half hour walking the streets of Roskilde but when he said across the street he meant across the alley separating the restaurant and the city’s cultural center. We had hardly got up the stairs when he began greeting people and a woman started speaking to us in perfect American. (She was from Hawaii.) Then the music started. It was a small room, one-quarter of which was filled with 18 musicians, 12 of whom were playing violins. When we heard the first strains of the tune that seems to start all Danish “folkedans” evenings, there was no choice but to follow in line. As we whirled around the floor we literally brushed by the musicians. The music enveloped the room. You could feel it. A couple of dances were enough to convince us that we have to find a way to spend another Wednesday night in Roskilde.

We got back yesterday afternoon and had to fight a stiff headwind to reach the Folkecenter. Sunday we leave for Aalborg and then Arhus.

Paul og Nancy