Silkeborg is the largest city in what is called the Danish lake district. The area is dominated by a series of lakes and the longest Danish river Gudenåen runs through the city.
The presence of water makes the city a nice place to go and explore for a bit – it also do wonders for the realestate prices in the city. If you visit the city it is natural to go and explore the area around the water which seems to be the place where everybody goes anyways.
The river in the city is one of the most important tourist attractions – there is actually one of only two chamber locks in Denmark (the other one is found at Ribe) which were used in the old days to travel along the river – today the lock is no longer in use and there is no commercial river transport in Denmark anymore – all transport has been transferred to roads and rails.
There is actually still some transport along the river today – but it is only done by river boats which are transporting tourist up and down the river for scenic sailing. One of the boats sailing on the river is the old ship Hjejlen which is an old paddle steamer. Hjejlen is actually the oldest paddle steamer in the world which is still operated by the original steam engine. Hjejlen is usually out on a trip a couple of times a day – so it wasn’t surprising to us we didn’t spot it in the harbor since it was somewhere down the river.
Along the river you can actually find some remains of old trees – the trees had to be cut down since they were old and in danger of falling in a storm. Fortunately a couple of the trees were still in decent shape so they could be transformed into a sculpture carved from the old tree. There are four of these statues along the river so you can go and search for them.