Travels

Vejle, parking, and the size of Wales

In the AA European driver’s handbook, it says nothing about parking in Denmark. It would have been helpful if it did. No, I haven’t got a ticket, I wasn’t prepared to risk it, but there is a system in place across the country, which I first spotted in Aarhus, where drivers have a clock in their windscreen with which they set their arrival time where parking is free for a limited period.

I thought it was like the residents’ parking permit in the UK which you get from the council but, I discovered today, you can buy them at garages and so on. Worth knowing for anyone bringing their own vehicle to Denmark.

The point is, after visiting the local arts museum, which was pleasant and free, I tried to find somewhere to park so I could visit an exhibition of art in the water at the harbour. There was plenty of free parking but none that didn’t require these clocks; and no pay car park. After driving around for half an hour, and Vejle looked like a great modern city, I hit the road out of town.

The gallery

had a display of graphics and drawings, many by Rembrandt, but one we can a salute,

I stopped at a motorway rest area and got absorbed in planning a route through to my return to Zeebrugge, passing a couple of hours looking at ferries, things to see and so on.

There is a much parodied, and largely meaningless, journalistic shorthand to express large areas (deforestation, islands of plastic in the Atlantic) in terms of being x times the size of Wales. As I looked at the distances ahead this comparison popped into my head so I’ve looked a few things up.

The area of Wales is just over 20,000 km2 and has a population just over 3m. Based on actual figures, this works out at 148 people per km2. Sweden is 21 times larger than Wales and has a population density of 22 people, Norway, 19 times bigger with a density of just 13! A lot of space, very few people, towns and roads. Makes planning interesting. The density for the UK as a whole is 262.

So, the Wales comparison may be less meaningless in the future, and there might be a winning pub quiz answer here as well! You’re welcome.

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