North Jutland

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September 9th 2016
Published: September 10th 2016
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Sunset over Nissum FjordSunset over Nissum FjordSunset over Nissum Fjord

From Dianne's cousin's tower
Ribe Domkirke

The cathedral in Ribe, like many other cathedrals, was started in the 1100s, and had been modified many times over the years. The biggest difference seems to be that they are proud of the recovery they made after the 1283 collapse of one of the two Church towers that killed many people. They rebuilt the tower in the 1300s as a joint Church/state project. The Church used the lower half and the state, the upper. The view from the top of the tower was great. We were just leaving the top when the bells rang. Luckily, it was the quarter hour so it wasn’t too long a chime.

Up the coast road

Heading up the northwest coast we discovered just how much of the Jutland peninsula of Denmark was water. We passed between the Ringkobing Fjord and the North Sea on a narrow strip of land that has the only link between the two. Boats enter the fjord and pass through the middle of the Jutland peninsula but certainly not in a straight line.

On the ocean side of the road there are huge sand dunes. Every once in a while there is a place
Volkswagen up!Volkswagen up!Volkswagen up!

A great little car for what we needed. What Dianne wondered was, how did they know we were from BC? (ha, ha)
to climb over them to see the water. The view is tremendous. The sand beaches seem to go on forever. The wind sweeps across the North Sea and the result is huge waves that crash onto the shore. And this was still August. One can only imagine what the winter storms are like.

I always pictured a fjord as a long skinny channel with high mountains on both side. This fjord is more like a huge lake surrounded by sand dunes. We later saw paintings in a museum where there were many windjammers lined up in the Ringkobing harbour in the fjord. It is big. We thought of trying our hand at kayaking but based on the size of the waves in the fjord I think we may wait until we get back to Canada to go kayaking again.

Family visit #1

Our first family visit was with Else and her husband, Mads. Else’s grandmother and Dianne’s grandmother were sisters which makes Else and Dianne second cousins (we looked it up on google so it MUST be right). Because they live so far away we have always thought of them as distant relatives. They live on a
Ribe DomkirkeRibe DomkirkeRibe Domkirke

Amazing how these churches have lasted as long as they have. This one shows one reason: they were restored at various times sometimes with different styles, sometimes different materials.
“farm” on the shores of another fjord although they are now retired from farming. Except for Else, who is still an active painter and poet. After our visit, she headed off to do a show of her works on the Faeroe Islands. She travels extensively to these shows. Neat stuff.

Their property is on the shore of one of the many fjords in the area and the views are spectacular, especially sundown over the water. They built a tower on the end of Else’s gallery where you can stand for hours, watching the scenery change.

Else took us on a couple of tours of the areas where Dianne’s grandparents had grown up and to the church where they were married. Hard to think this all happened over 100 years ago.

Bovbjerg fyr

One of our stops was at this fyr, or lighthouse. We climbed the tower to get the best view and could see up and down the coast for miles. There is also an art gallery where Else was one of the featured artists. Even better. When discussing the view it came up that we were looking towards the English/Scottish border. Funny to think that
Ribe bellsRibe bellsRibe bells

When you are in the tower you are right beside the bells.
Dianne’s family was living on the west coast of Denmark while mine was living on the east coast of England. All that separated them was a few miles of ocean. Maybe my Dad’s stories about Viking raiders were true.

Car rental

Our car rental as we left Copenhagen turned out to be a great decision. It certainly made getting around easier. But eventually, we had to buy gas. Should be no problem as the pump has a screen that can give instructions in Danish, German or English. I couldn’t get it to change to English but how hard can it be? I guessed at what I should enter and I thought the pump was ready. It was. But when I opened the gas tank door, the gas cap had a lock! Since there was no separate key, I correctly guessed that the ignition key would unlock the cap. It seemed to, but it still took forever to get it off. By this time, the pump had timed out and I had to start again. I just had to hope that it cancelled the first transaction. Needless to say, the Danish relatives were amused.

Summer house

View from the topView from the topView from the top

It's pretty hard to take a picture from a church tower and not include another church somewhere nearby. Its bad enough in Denmark, just wait till we get to Italy.
has another second cousin, Helle, who lives in the area. The grandmothers of all three “girls” were sisters. We moved to the location where Helle and her husband, Knud, had arranged for us to stay in a “summer house” next door to them. We were able to use this as a base to travel over a lot of North Jutland. One thing that really made an impression on us was how windy it was. Knud explained that in a week, only 5 days were windy; the other two had storms. Looking back on our time here, he was right!


We discovered an Adventure Playground nearby and played a couple of rounds of mini-golf. The courses were somewhat like courses we have played in Canada but fewer structures to contend with and longer, undulating “greens”. It was so windy that the balls often were blown off the course. That’s my story, anyway. They had two similar layouts for “football golf” and “handball golf” that seemed to be popular. I had never seen anything like these courses in Canada.

Rest areas

We were impressed with the frequency of rest areas on our driving around the country. When
Sand DunesSand DunesSand Dunes

As you are driving north, you can see the fjords on your right but not the sea on your left because of these huge somewhat grass covered dunes
we mentioned this to Helle, she said she never stops at them unless there is a WC because you never know what people (read men) do at these sites. Sure enough, the next time we pulled into a rest area, there was a fellow standing by the bushes with a very suspicious posture.


We wanted to have a picnic lunch by the fjord but the only table we could find was in the garden of the museum. Of course, as soon as we finished and started our walkabout we found lots. Pretty windy by the water so maybe we were lucky to not find them sooner.


Interesting exhibit at the museum dealing with the Second World War. Denmark was occupied during the war and supposedly was known to the occupiers as the “whipped cream front” as your chance of survival was much better than on the Eastern Front. The Air War often flew over Denmark so there was lots of evidence to be found to put into the museum. There was a very touching video of an English woman whose husband was “missing in action” until fairly recently. The remains of his plane were
The North SeaThe North SeaThe North Sea

When you stop and climb the dunes, you see the sea. These pictures don't really do justice to the cold wind blowing huge waves onto shore.
found and the crew was laid to rest with full honors, albeit over 50 years late.

To Be Continued

When Dianne told me we were booked into the summer house for eight days I thought she had made a mistake. But the time was flying by. To Be Continued.

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 26


Beach visitorsBeach visitors
Beach visitors

There are miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches on the west coast. Unfortunately there is always this wind. Apparently the locals don't know about the wind because they lie on the beach and sunbathe. And a few actually go in swimming.

We learned later that Denmark generates 23% of its power from windmills like this. I asked a local if the people liked them and the short answer was "no".
Bear sculptureBear sculpture
Bear sculpture

Else's father was a sculptor of some note. He left a bunch of items around their property. My first thought was "apparently not just in the woods".

The lead picture on this blog entry was taken from the top of this tower. Not something everyone has on their property.
Church in Garding, DenmarkChurch in Garding, Denmark
Church in Garding, Denmark

This is where Dianne's grandparents were married in 1908 (we think).
Inside Garding churchInside Garding church
Inside Garding church

Where the wedding took place.
Bovbjerg lighthouseBovbjerg lighthouse
Bovbjerg lighthouse

Watching over the approaches to the northwest coast on the North Sea. I discovered that many Danes refer to this as the Western Sea (for good reason).
View from yet another topView from yet another top
View from yet another top

It's not just church towers that you can see churches from.
Harvest timeHarvest time
Harvest time

The harvest was in full swing as we travelled around Jutland. Reminded us of our Alberta and Saskatchewan trips
You are now leaving VembYou are now leaving Vemb
You are now leaving Vemb

Dianne's grandmother grew up in Vemb area. I loved the way they told you you were leaving town.
Puttering aroundPuttering around
Puttering around

Dianne on the course. I have to admit we split the two games. I wanted a rubber match but we had other commitments.
Summer houseSummer house
Summer house

Four bedrooms were a bit of overkill but it was a great location, great price and great neighbors.
Ulfborg kirkeUlfborg kirke
Ulfborg kirke

The church where Dianne's grandfather was baptised. The baptism registry in those days was the official registration of birth.
Inside Ulfborg churchInside Ulfborg church
Inside Ulfborg church

Originally built in 1100, it was added to over the years. It has a very unusual pulpit. Most are off to one side but this one is right in the middle.
Railway crossingRailway crossing
Railway crossing

Dianne's grandfather's father worked for the railway and one of his jobs involved operating this crossing guard.
Bridge to somewhereBridge to somewhere
Bridge to somewhere

Dianne's cousin, Helle, showed us a bridge their great grandfather (grandmother's side) worked on as a supervisor and builder.
Family connectionFamily connection
Family connection

Two of Dianne's grandma's sisters lived here for some time. We think her great grandfather built it.
Great grandparent's graveGreat grandparent's grave
Great grandparent's grave

Even though they aren't my direct family, it was still meaningful to visit this family site.
Ice cream factoryIce cream factory
Ice cream factory

Helle had ordered an ice cream cake for dessert one night. When we went to pick it up they had all kinds of neat quotes on the wall. This was one Dianne liked. I like anything to do with ice cream.

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