Møns Klint

Nature and I saw more of each other while I was growing up in California. My father used to wake me up at 5:30am on Saturday mornings to go hiking and I protested every single time. A dose of cartoons with a little brother was obviously more important than exploring nature when you're 11 years old but each week, my dad won the argument and I would sleep walk through a forest/canyon chosen for that particular day.

As an adult, all I want to do is be surrounded by nature. Being part of a field that deals with digital technology, I crave the outdoors to a point where I question whether or not city-life is the right choice for me. 

White chalk cliffs in the Møns Klint region.

Møns Klint is a region in South Zealand that is about 2 hours from Copenhagen's city center and to say that it is breathtaking is an understatement. My friend and I decided that this place was a must for us while planning our adventuring in Denmark so we rented a car, packed up our tent, and brought our hiking treats.

We camped at a spot that is well known for their facilities - The Møns Klint Resort. If you've been to as many camping grounds as I have, you know when something is special and The Møns Klint Resort is really special. The people are friendly, the facilities are incredibly clean, and you can tell everyone there wants to be there.

Upon arriving we were given an array of pamphlets, one of which was the most helpful. This particular pamphlet gave us insights into the special species of animals, plants, and insects that you could discover only in the Møns Klint region.

One of the most magical insects that can be found in this region is the Black-Spotted Blue Butterfly and it's story is beautiful. 

This butterfly is extremely fastidious about its choice of habitat, and is therefore extinct in the rest of Denmark. The female deposits its eggs on herbs; either thyme or marjoram. The eggs hatch and the caterpillar feeds off the plant’s small buds for the first few weeks. The caterpillar subsequently falls to the ground. Here it lies in wait for a red ant to find it. The caterpillar releases a scent to lure the ants to take it to the anthill. Here the caterpillar is left alone because it releases a sugary juice from the hind part of its body. It sucks up the ants in the same way as it does with green-flies. The caterpillar will live in the anthill through the remainder of the summer, autumn, winter and spring, getting fat on the ants and the ants’ own caterpillars. In the end, it will pass into the chrysalis stage and crawl out of the anthill in July as an adult butterfly. It now has just a very short time to swarm, mate, deposit its eggs and die before life goes on to the next generation.
- Excerpt from the pamphlet (link provided above)

The cliffs shown above are just a short hike away from the camping grounds but it is easy to navigate and the journey there is gorgeous. 

To get to the cliffs, there are a trail of stairs you have to walk through but it is all worth it in the end. Walking up the stairs gives you good exercise but just be prepared for it because it is VERY long. Your calves may suffer but your eyes will tell them it's nothing compared to the reward.

Sometimes life can seem like a movie.

When I was almost at the end of one set of stairs, I was exhausted and kind of jaded. It's amazing how easy we as humans are able to complain about things even when surrounded by all kinds of beauty and loveliness. I was humbled when I came upon a father and daughter sitting at the bottom of the stairs who were sharing a special moment. With a trumpet in hand, he was giving his daughter the gift of music as she listened with a curious spirit. 

UX notes: When users have a long journey that they must embark on, having surprise rewards will refuel the internal energy to keep going.

If you're into animals, you will love this story. 

I was coming back from a hike and I heard a "Bahhh." I turned to see where this sound was coming from and not too far away was the blackest sheep I had ever seen who was beckoning to be heard. I stopped and said hello and he came right up to me. I took in the moment and kept saying hello and also noticed the rest of the herd in the distance who were timid and did not approach me. I pet him, fed him, had a little chat with him, and then we bid adieu. 

This moment will stay with me for the rest of my life. I believe that nature romances us at times when we most need it and I really needed this. When walking away, I thought, "Maybe it was because I was wearing all black too. Or, maybe some kind of energy whirled around us in that moment." I didn't need an answer because this was one of the most magical moments I had experienced during this trip. 

Nature rules.

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