Helsinge in Gribskov
A quaint hamlet in Grieg’s day, Helsinge is now a small village in the north of Zealand. During the summer of 1865, Grieg travelled to northern Zealand for ten days with his friends Benjamin Feddersen and Christian Horneman. Crossing the little Danish village by carriage or on foot, Edvard admired the exquisite landscape and described the difficult journey in detail in his diary. On 1 August 1865, he wrote: ‘We set off at 10.30 by stagecoach for Helsinge. A wonderful journey through Grib Forest [Gribskov], which displayed the most magnificent spruce and larch in Denmark. Wind and rain. Shivering on our arrival in Helsinge’. Just three weeks before his death, in 1907, he recalled that unforgettable expedition to the Danish forests in the following words: ‘The poetry of the Danish forests is unique. And the first strong impressions from my youth remain vivid. Just as I felt it then, so I feel it now. Just as strongly, yes, perhaps even more strongly’. The beauty of the Danish countryside made a colossal impression on him, certainly contributing later to his discovery of the Norwegian landscape and awakening within him a love of mountain trips.