Lost in ancient foot prints

Farum Gård from the south side of Farum Sø. Photo: Mick. 2014.

Farum Gård from the south side of Farum Sø. Photo: Mick. 2014.

With bright sunshine and 5 degrees, we set out for a morning walk down to the lake, Farum Sø.

Farum lies on the northern shore of Farum Sø. In old Norse ‘far’ means place of passage and ‘rum’ means place or home. So a place to cross the bog without getting wet. These shores have been inhabited for 6000 years and the passages have been important connector roads across northern Sjælland and perhaps even between Europe and Sweden. West of the lake, Kong Volmers Vej refers to King Valdemar 4. Atterdag (1340-1375) but the road was flooded when 14th century progress saw water mills built that required dams to function. The passage was then moved to the east of the lake, where Fiskebækken runs between Farum Sø and the much larger Furesø.

A milestone on the King's road. Photo: Mick. 2014

A milestone on the King’s road. Photo: Mick. 2014

Our route started out following the path of Kong Volmers Vej right into Sortemose (black bog). It was not so much boggy as confusing. Almost immediately, we got lost. I had walked this way before with my sister-in-law, but we must have missed a left turn early on the path. Yet, there were plenty of other walkers and people on bikes on the sticky paths. So we just kept walking.

After three additional turns we were starting to wonder if we were walking in the right direction or completely away from the lake. Then at Præsteskovvej we found one of the stands that usually hold maps from the environment department. It was out of the walking trail maps, but offered up a map for dog owners. It was better than nothing. It confirmed that I had been completely confused by the low sun to the south – rather than to the north as I am accustomed to in the Antipodes. We were not yet lost. So we just kept walking.

And finally we got to the lake. Photo: Mick. 2014.

And finally we got to the lake. Photo: Mick. 2014.

At Sækkevejen we chose to go right instead of left. We were still looking for signs that we were walking round Farum Sø, and this path took us down to the lake and the look out. It was a dead end though, but we had seen a desire path a bit back. Why not? We could still just turn around and go back. So we just kept walking.

This desire path met up with a more defined one, though very boggy and muddy in places. But it was worth walking down toward Sækken this way. The forest offered up sightings of wrens, jays, great tits and even a couple of wood peckers. And cyclists passed us both ways – we could not be too far off the beaten path. So we just kept walking.

Up the hill we ended up at the remains of a stone age settlement. We were unsure if the boulders placed to make a low cover and the ring of big rocks around it were a recent addition. Later we learnt that they are the last remains of a stone age grave, dated between 3950 and 2801 B.C. We were on sacred land so accessible and everyday it was almost impossible to spot it. So we just kept walking.

The remains of a stone age grave, runddysse. Photo: Lone. 2014.

The remains of a stone age grave, runddysse. Photo: Lone. 2014.

We came back out into the open and turned left, both confident this was reasonably right, judging by the dog map and the position of the sun. But down the bottom of the hill was another cross road, with one path going right and one left. I felt tired and tense in my shoulders and felt going right was, well, right. But left was the way we went. Both ways would have got us to the eastern end of the lake, but the left route took us right down to the waters edge again. It was very picturesque, though a gale was blowing. So we just kept walking.

Finally we came out at the very eastern edge of the walk and we were in familiar territory and it was an easy walk through the old part of Farum and Farum Gård’s grounds. We had not really been lost, just a bit unsure about the way. In fact, we had not really set out to circumnavigate the lake; it just turned out that way when we realised how far we had already gone. Sometimes you get so far that you might as well just keep walking.

This map would have been useful along the way. Photo: Mick. 2014.

This map would have been useful along the way. Photo: Mick. 2014.

We walked some 10 to 12 kilometres, and thanks to http://oldtidsstier.dk/farumsoe.html we now know a bit more about the history of Farum.

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