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Beaches, boats and bicycles?
I must be in Denmark.
This stunning, windswept coast is apparently home
to the happiest people on earth,
and now we're here to meet them, our North Sea neighbours.
We've crossed the North Sea to embark on a great Danish journey.
I'm travelling down the coast of Jutland
heading for the Isle of Fano in the south,
starting as far north as you can go, Skagen.
'This is the tip of the top of Denmark,
'where two great bodies of water meet.'
Look at this, Denmark is a country that actually comes to a point!
A few steps this way, I'll be in the North Sea, headed towards home.
A few steps this way and I'll be in the Baltic, headed towards Russia.
Now this is my kind of coast-to coast-walk!
'And I'm not the only one.
'Crowds of Danes come here to witness the eternal battle
'between the twin seas.'
It's captivating to watch opposing currents collide
as two waters wrestle for control.
Many Danes make something of a pilgrimage
to this picturesque province of Skagen.
Why does the heart and soul of a nation seem to lie
at its most northerly tip?
'I'm hoping Skagen Museum Director, Lisette Vind Ebbensen can shed some light.'
Oh, yeah. It's so flat, and the sea on either side,
it just feels like the sea could take it.
Yes, take it all, yeah.
British people are fond of saying that they are a sea-going island race.
Do Danes have this connection to the sea?
I think it is. yes, and it probably goes back to the Vikings.
We're still proud of the Vikings, I suppose,
and the coast, and the sea does mean a lot.
And, I mean, in Denmark you're always close to the sea,
and especially here in Skagen where you have two different seas.
I've heard, that the Danish are the happiest people in the world.
Can that be true?
Well, I've heard that as well, and I guess the Danes are very happy.
-There's only like 5.5 million people here
and Danish people are happy people, they're warm,
they have a lot of hygge.
-Hygge is really hard to translate to any language in the world.
It's a very Danish work, and I suppose it means friendly or cosy.
We can have a hyggely time.
A hyggely time? You're making this up.
-Is this just something that Danish people say to foreigners to make them go away?
# Oh, the good life
# Full of fun
# Seems to be the ideal... #
'For my first lesson in this uniquely Danish concept of hygge,
'I've got to get on my bike, like everyone else here.
'Am I having hygge?
'Maybe. Something tells me I need to investigate further.'
Every summer in Skagen they celebrate the longest day
with a giant bonfire and whole lot of hygge down on the beach.
Sankt Hans is all about hygge.
Sankt Hans is all about hygge.
Sankt Hans, St John's eve,
is a festival of light from the earliest times.
The celebration of Sankt Hans is a very old tradition
started by the Vikings or years before Vikings.
You put the witch on the fire,
then you light the fire sending the bad spirits away.
You come dressed as you are,
you don't have to dress up to come and hyggesheim.
You'll go and sit on the beach,
and you have some wine and it will all be hygge.
And people will have a beer and just walk around, and have some small talk with each other.
It's very romantic.
All the students come down here to the bonfire
and they want to throw their notes just before the fire is getting started.
as a sign of "we don't need them any longer".
So it has become a tradition
that they all do that for Sankt Hans evening now.
It's a big bonfire, you can feel it,
we're standing 50 metres away,
suddenly the heat is there and it's an incredible heat.
It was a lovely evening,
we had some good food and a very hyggely evening.
It may be 11 at night, but the sun's yet to set
and there's a lot more hygge to be had before dawn.
My journey continues south along the shore of Jutland.
This is a protected stretch of beach,
and you won't find many houses,
but strangely, you can park right on the sand.
No pay and display here,
but take local advice, tourists regularly get stuck,
and getting caught out by the tide costs more than a parking ticket.
Just behind the dunes, Miranda's seeking some residents
who've happily parked themselves in a very protected spot.
It's just after dawn, and I've come here to find some animals you don't
normally expect to be living by the sea, and that's red deer.
WHISPERING: This is great. I'm at the edge of the forest, using the forest as cover.
The deer are feeding out on this open grassland.
You can just see the dunes, and obviously there's the sea just behind me.
He's just put his head down, but I think that the deer
feeding behind us is probably a young male, just had tiny antlers.
'It's hard to get close to them. These shy creatures are easily spooked.
'But the serenity of the scene isn't quite as it appears.
'These red deer have rather noisy neighbours.'
They share their home with the Danish army.
This is a restricted zone,
off limits to everyone not driving a tank.
Oddly, this unusual relationship between wildlife and warfare seems to work.
'I want to see it from the military perspective.'
Fritz, tell me how long the Danish army has lived side-by-side with the red deer here.
We have actually being living together since 1928-29
approximately, so we know each other quite well, I have to say.
We have a little bit of a strange neighbourship because
when we are outside of our vehicles they are gone,
but when we're inside our vehicles we have no problems,
they can stay just beside the vehicle,
and it means they feel, if we are starting shooting and so on,
they just slowly disappear from the area.
All around the shooting area there is a big forest
so the deer can go into the forest
and stay there for a long period and come out again if we are finished.
-And do you like having them around, is it nice?
-Very nice, yeah.
'Despite the disruptions, the deer love being beside the sea.
'There's tasty heather and shelter in the dunes from the constant wind.
'It's early autumn and the rutting season has begun.
'Ole Daugaard-Petersen is head of the deer reserve.'
There's interesting activity going on in the group down there.
There's a large number of hinds and there's that big stag
that's constantly patrolling, looking after that group of females.
Just now the mature stags are rounding up the hinds and
the point is he wants to mate with all of them.
He wants to keep his competitors away,
and you will see the young stags
circling around the herd,
hoping to get the chance to get a go with the hinds,
and the mature stag, he will keep them away.
So he can keep going for two, three weeks rutting, no eat, no nothing,
and then you will see the stag,
suddenly he will be lying sleeping for a few minutes,
up again and so he carries on for three weeks,
and then it's done and he leaves his hinds.
He might have lost 30-40 kilos during those three weeks,
so he's really busy, you know?
'Three weeks of rutting with barely a break,
'these majestic stags have got some serious stamina.'
We've reached Denmark's most westerly point, Blavandshuk.
A top spot for a great view.
Just three miles or so off the coast here is the most notorious reef
in the whole of the North Sea.
In the days of sail it was known to the skippers as Duyvels Horn. The Devil's Horn.
'Once the graveyard of countless ships,
'today, Horns Reef is helping to save the planet.
'It's home to one of the world's largest off-shore wind farms.'
This is a site that's set to be increasingly familiar off our shores,
but what you don't often see is how these big beasts get built.
At the port of Esbjerg, engineer and green enthusiast, Dick Strawbridge,
is about to discover how the pieces fit together.
They assemble what bits they can on the quayside before shipping them out to sea.
Bolting the blades on is job number one.
The bloke in charge is Siemens's technical wizard, Jesper Moeller.
-This is a 45-metre blade made out fibreglass.
It's just literally fibreglass?
Yes, it's fibreglass, fibreglass and balsa wood, and it's cast in one piece.
Hold on, say, "It's cast in one piece" again.
There's an echo, it's long enough to give you an echo.
The shape is developed over many years
and it's actually consisting of different aircraft blade shapes.
This is the tip, but you look at that, that's sharp.
It's not quite straight.
It has a slight curve, because when it's pointing up towards the wind
-it has a slight bend towards the wind...
It flexes, then when the wind pushes on it, it straightens out.
Everything looks shiny and new right now, but out in the North Sea,
these turbines are going to face a right battering.
So why go to all the trouble of sticking them nearly ten miles offshore?
Well, offshore has a lot of advantages.
It has a very stable flow of wind.
Lots of constant wind?
Yes, and also higher wind compared to onshore locations.
It's time for this landlubber to brave the North Sea and take a look.
The installation vessel is already on its way, and I'm hot on its heels.
Another good reason to build out here, no complaints from the neighbours.
'But some people DO have to live near the turbines,
'and the maintenance team need a house.'
We're about 40 kilometres off the Danish coast.
This is the accommodation platform, and we're in the middle of nowhere.
'The engineers share the platform with an electrical sub-station.'
There's lots of technology here,
and that's not surprising as all the electricity from the wind turbines
is sucked in here before being sent ashore,
and when the wind blows, there's enough electricity to power 20 million light bulbs.
This is a paradise for engineers.
It may look like the turbines are in nice neat rows, but it's more complicated than that.
The turbines aren't in a block, they're in a fan shape,
which means when the wind blows from the west,
any turbulence doesn't reduce the efficiency of the other turbines,
so all the energy from the wind can be captured by the wind turbines and turned into electricity,
and there's absolutely masses of it.
The installation vessel is now in position,
and they've started to erect turbine number 70.
I'm on my way.
Denmark's the land of Lego. This is the ultimate big piece of kit to put together.
Seapower with its crane is going to assemble it all, good job.
So, how do they do it?
It's a really simple system.
They drive a mono-pile into the sea bed about 20 metres, then put the yellow section on -
actually the transition piece - and they make sure that's perfectly vertical.
Then they've already added on one piece of tower,
we're about to see a second piece of tower go on,
then they'll shove the turbine on the top, then the blades and it's done.
The engineers are battling to complete the job before the autumn storms hit.
In calm weather,
they can put up three turbines in 24 hours of non-stop effort.
This thing is massive!
I've got to get myself one of these.
This beauty is over 1.5 times taller then Nelson's Column,
but the technology doesn't stand still.
The ones planned for our seas will be even bigger than these guys.
Look out for them coming to a coast near you.
'I'm on the final leg of my journey.'
In my quest for happiness Danish-style,
I'm off to visit a very contented community on the island of Fano.
'My destination, the Isle of Fano, Denmark's oldest holiday resort.
'Life here's laid-back, the legacy of a privileged past.'
In 1741, this canny community clubbed together
and bought their island from the king,
and soon the good times started to roll with a whole lot of happiness ever since.
'Originally, the island's wealth was built on shipbuilding.
'The money was put into bricks, mortar and thatch.
'My quest to experience hygge in Denmark
'has come to a cosy conclusion.'
# It's the good life
# To be free and explore the unknown... #
For me, this place embodies what I understand of the Danish concept of hygge.
If it's about finding contentment in comforting, cosy places,
then there's definitely hygge here.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd