Well hello everyone!

After a not-insignificant hiatus from updating the blog, I’ve got a couple of posts to write – well, more than a hundred, really – but I’m going to commit to writing just two for the time being.

And while I have plenty of excuses for not keeping up with this blog, for brevity purposes (hahahahahahahahahahaha for those who know me well – brevity and me might be a wee bit of an oxymoron) I’ll just share two:

Excuse #1

  • The Danish winter: long, dark, wet (but not that cold), and zero sunshine for weeks and weeks and weeks and WEEKS. As a result, I’m pretty sure I developed a touch of SAD that was wholly unfazed by lots of Vitamin D supplements and anti-depressants (also red wine and candles)
    • Most of my days were filled with lighting candles, getting uselessly angry at the weather and rain, praying for sun, thinking about all the brilliant and hilarious blog posts I was going to start writing *tomorrow,* grocery shopping, and cooking [fairly delicious, according to the fam], dinners…

Excuse #2

  • The Danish summer:*** glorious, long days, endless sunshine (not even joking, sun sets around 9:40pm, it’s light until about 1am, and the sun starts shining again about 3:30am), crisp and clean water to swim in, beautiful beaches, low humidity, mild temperatures. I could go on and on and on. The point is, it’s magnificent here. I feel guilty if I’m not outside in the sunshine every waking moment (and am not alone in this) and all I have the discipline to do is be outside: swimming, cycling (without fear of getting killed by a car), jogging, walking (without fear of getting killed by a car), exploring parks and gardens and lakes, and, starting in April…

…finding the rest of the Forgotten Giants with the youngest (without fear of being killed by a car)… The oldest has a dizzying social calendar and with the amazing [AND SAFE] biking and pedestrian infrastructure, extensive public transportation, a Rejsekort card I add money to every once in a while, the eldest heads out in the late AM, after many hours of beauty rest, and we don’t see her until about 8pm or 9pm or 10pm…When she texts and begs and pleads in a very sweet [texting] voice for an extended curfew, which we 9 times out of 10, grant. That 1 time out of 10 denial is when it’s her turn to do the dishes…

***Denmark has basically 2 seasons, winter and summer. Maaaaybe summer can be divided into *cool* summer (~60F) and *less cool* summer (70F – 85F)

Our friends Christine and Dave introduced us to the Forgotten Giants August 2019 when we met up with them in a town a little south of Copenhagen. It was an all around wonderful day and lo and behold, we found “Oscar Under the Bridge.”

I wrote about our day in Greve Strand here.

But, in case you’ve only got enough patience and/or time for one of my blog posts today, here are photos of our trip to find Oscar August 2019:

First, Oscar’s hand:

Then his face, covered with children:

The youngest, obliging with a smile and a random child on Oscar’s nose.


The scenery at all the trolls/Forgotten Giants is magnificent.

View from Oscar’s bridge.
Arken Modern Art Museum in the distance.
The view from the other side of Oscar’s Bridge…

Then, when our friends Svanhildur, Thor, Embla, and Freyja came to visit in early November 2019, and on one day, we took a stroll through Freetown Christiania.

And lo and behold rounded a corner and there was Green George! Although the photo on Thomas Dambo’s site is faaaarrr better than mine, here’s proof I was actually there:

Why oh why didn’t we take a photo with all 4 of us? Myself, Svanhildur, Thor, and Freyja – The big girls had bailed on us and gone home…Apparently strolling through the renowned-for-drug sales Freetown Christiania just wasn’t their thing…

So, two giants found, 5 more to go.

I have to admit here, that I’m not entirely sure if Green George is considered part of the Forgotten Giants or simply another brilliant and creative troll sculpture by Thomas Dambo (all from recycled materials! (except the screws!) in a lovely, intentional, nature setting.

In any case, we have found two trolls and at this point, I am intrigued and impressed, and hoping to find ALL of them!

SO, in May 2020, the youngest and I started going to find the other Forgotten Giants- doing so on her 2 hour lunch break from remote learning (also on the weekends).

We’d bike out and take the train back in or take the train out and bike home – depending on the wind direction. The headwinds in Denmark are fierce…

A friend informed me that in Denmark “every direction is a headwind” and it is 150% the truth.

The first one we set out to find was Teddy Friendly.

Google maps will only get you so far with these Giants – it’s part of the fun.
And they are also very intentionally built in lovely nature settings.
Here’s one path we were on, looking for Teddy.
A bit dejected,
“Will we ever find Teddy?”






All smiles.
Walking all the way around.
Teddy’s setting is particularly beautiful and peaceful.
I think he’s one of my favorites.
A quiet little pond without any big roads near by.
(Disclaimer: I’ve completely forgotten what puzzled her)
All smiles with Teddy Friendly…
Mom, can you wait until I straighten my hair a bit?
Oops! Sorry sweetie!
Ok, fine Mom, one more selfie…

So after hanging out with Teddy for a few minutes, taking the many obligatory photos, it was time to head to the train station.

And actually, what we did was take an 11.59 mile bike ride north (winds were from the south).

And here’s our bike route to the train station (Not the closest train station, for those of you wondering)

A few photos of the route.

Brilliant blue skies, sunshine, endless fields of rapeseed flowers, bike lanes separated from the roads (reduced risk of death from cars – Yes, USA, I’m talking to you. I know you are a total and wholly avoidable and unmitigated disaster right now with your COVID19 management/response, but please add “do better by bicyclists” to your list)

Not all country roads have separate bike lanes – but they have very few cars, and drivers are really really good at steering clear of cyclists.
Turns out, in Denmark, drivers are automatically liable when they hit cyclists, unless they can prove otherwise.
It is just one of the many many many things Denmark does to keep cyclists safe.
She was a very good sport about this, but about 8 miles in, she was a bit tired and a whole lot annoyed.
Google maps doesn’t distinguish between paved bike routes and non-paved.
Here was a gravel road through some fields…
Isn’t it beautiful?
Now she’s very very VERY annoyed.
I’m quite happy, but fully admit that the more I look through these photos, the more annoyed I get by that wayward bike helmet strap…
A very narrow (mostly walking) path behind a row of houses.
Google maps has a very loose definition of “bike path”
On our S-tog (Orange line direction Klampenborg) back to Copenhagen.

So at this point you may be thinking “ok, cool, you and the youngest have started seeking out the Forgotten Giants, you’ve done 1 blog post in 6 months,

Are the oldest and MBH anywhere to be found?


What’s the 2nd blog post gonna be?

And I feel obliged to inform you that this will likely be 1 of AT LEAST 4 blog posts (two more about our search for all the Forgotten Giants)

But wait,

say those of you doing math in your head

“Your math is adding up to only 3 blog posts… Didn’t you say you’ve committed to a couple posts?

“A couple” meaning ‘two?'”

“And now you’re talking about 4 blog posts? ”

“But you’ve only got 3 planned?”

“WTH? “


I did!!!


I am thrilled to inform you that AT LEAST the 4th blog post will be about the time that I actually helped build troll #3 of the Trolde Folke Fest project.

I have taken well over 300 photos, met some awesome folks from around the world, and learned that:

  • A “jigsaw” is not just a puzzle!!! it’s a power tool too!!!
  • A screw gun is not the same thing as a drill…whathe…
  • A raft will float away if not thoroughly secured (the most hilarious day of the whole week)
  • Wooden pallets are the best source of recycled wood [in the world]
  • Thomas Dambo may just be the most resourceful artist [in the entire universe].

And this first post after a many-months hiatus is just to give a bit of context to why it I’m finding it so cool and fun and an incredible privilege to help build a troll (and also wishing we were staying until September so I could help out with the whole project).

Also, when I say “Guess what!?!?! I volunteered to help build a troll!!!!!!” It is *not* a euphemism (as one dear friend thought), but is in fact, the legit truth.

Stay Tuned!

PS – I promise, with future posts, to include photos of MBH and the oldest.

I cannot promise, however, that the oldest will not be glaring.

Because she most definitely will be. She gets SO annoyed with her mother (me) always taking surreptitious photos…

Whatevs, she’ll be grateful for them in at least 20 years, maybe sooner. And it’s totally ok by me if she never admits it out loud…

PPPPPPPPPS: If you’re curious to see where Thomas Dambo’s trolls are located around the world, here is the map (just keep clicking)…

Join the Conversation


  1. Great blog Neely and the giants are really something special.
    Thx for the photos of you and Martha. Nothing like a little
    mother – daughter bonding bike trip.

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