Sitting by the harbour in the small Danish town of Havnebyen. Friends from Maui have moved here and we are stopping by to visit them on our way to Portugal.

My stay here in Denmark will be no longer than a long weekend, but I’m pleased that I am here. Not just to see my friends, but to experience Denmark. I was last here in the mid 1990s to listen to a series of lectures given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We visited in the middle of summer, and time was available for us to explore Copenhagen. Many details elude me of that time, but I remember a boat tour, a walk in a beautiful park, and walking around Christiania.

I chose to spend just one night in Copenhagen on this visit, instead spending the time with my mother in England. My wife flew on to Denmark to take advantage of a house swap that we had done with a Danish family, and to fulfill her love of design. For her, Copenhagen’s architectural and design aesthetic are a place to immerse oneself in.

I finish writing this on a very wet morning in a summer house owned by the family which we are visiting, just down the road from Havnebyen. Our friends are in the middle of converting an old building into their new home, and so we were kindly lent the summer house to stay in. It feels snug and cozy, even more so as the rain falls outside.

I’ve enjoyed my short stay here in Denmark. The flora and fauna is so similar to Britain that I am feeling very at home in the rural landscape where we find ourselves. The autumnal changes happening around us, the light, the damp smells all take me back to memories that comfort me.

The Danish people have been friendly and welcoming in our meetings with them, and the built environment feels like one in which I could be very at home.

As we move onto our home in Portugal, I look back on these few days fondly, hope to return soon, not least to see the progress on our friends’ home.