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Published: September 14th 2016
This one is for the birds
Not sure what was happening as the waves crashed in but the birds seemed to be enjoying themselves.
As our summerhouse visit continues, I would like to give credit (again) to the photographer who travels with me taking all the pictures and editing my work. It would not be as much fun without her. Thanks, Dianne. Dinner with cousins
One of the highlights of the trip was getting the three second cousins and their spouses together for a family dinner. Lots of laughter. Mads’ English was a bit suspect but he managed to regale us with a few stories that I think I actually understood even if they weren’t in English.
We had had no idea that the west coast of Denmark consisted of mile upon mile of sandy beaches. Or the fact that they were littered with the remains of World War II bunkers that had been part of the Atlantic Wall that stretched from Norway to Spain (I am told). The Danish ones never saw combat but they do tell a tale. A movie in the museum tells the story of a bunker tour where the guide asked anyone if they had been to the bunkers before. An older man put up his hand. He had been a young soldier during
Three second cousins
Else, Dianne and Helle. Their three grandmothers were sisters.
the war and this bunker had been his. He pointed out many artifacts that he and his buddies had actually used. Apparently the bunker had become embedded in the sand just as it had been left at the war’s end and it had just been uncovered. Quite a story. Sondervig
We wandered around this town which is basically there to serve the needs of the summer houses that litter the west coast. There were more bunkers here among the sand dunes. Legoland
One can’t go to Denmark without visiting Legoland. Well, you could, but we drove the hour or so through some gently rolling country to find the huge amusement park. I thought the price was a bit steep just to get in but then all the rides and amusements were free. And, being as it wasn’t the peak of summer or a weekend, it wasn’t that crowded and there were no line-ups to get on rides! The Danish kids were back in school but the German kids weren’t back yet so there were lots of families enjoying the last of the summer holidays.
The exhibits were astounding. One had over 2 million Lego pieces
Mads, Peter and Knud
in it. One said it would have taken one worker twenty five years to make the exhibit. Lego may be kids’ stuff but this stuff wasn’t. I really liked the harbour scenes with Lego boats actually moving through working locks. A very pleasant way to spend a day. Ringkobing
We finally managed a day just walking around Ringkobing. I had seen an ad for the Victoria Café so naturally we had to try their cappuccinos. We had seen paragliding off the cliff at the lighthouse but on the fjord they were kite surfing. I can’t believe the speed some of these guys (it was mostly young guys out there) travel. They appear to turn on a dime (kronor?) so I don’t know how they avoid collisions. Road Trip to North Jutland
We dreamed of driving to the very tip of North Jutland but we had not allowed ourselves enough time. So we drove up the north west coast where there was, to quote Knud, “plenty of nothing”. There is a huge National park up there designed to prevent the whole area from being turned into summer houses. One of the fjords is open to the sea
Kids are kids
On our bunker beach walk we encountered what we assumed was a kindergarten class enjoying the beach. There must have been 30 of them all in their green jackets. Having fun in spite of the wind.
so we had to take a ferry across to the other side. Made us feel right at home. Sea War Museum
We were a bit surprised to discover this museum as its main focus was the Battle of Jutland from the First World War which didn’t involve Denmark. There was a lot that didn’t involve the Battle of Jutland which was disappointing but it was still very interesting. I knew a bit about the history of the battle but hadn’t realized this year was the 100th
anniversary. The rest of the day trip
Much to our surprise (not), the rest of the trip involved scenery, sandy beaches, bunkers, churches and lighthouses. The only thing the day didn’t have was cappuccinos! This was our first day without one. Sigh.
The day ended with dinner of traditional open faced Danish sandwiches, "home boughten" by Helle (pre-ordered and picked up just before dinner). Nothing like any open face sandwiches I had seen before. Very elaborate and delicious.
Our last day at the summer house involved packing, cleaning and shopping in preparation for a dinner we were serving Helle and Knud. Helle had a bad cold so we
These cement shells are in various states of disrepair. Grim reminders.
weren't sure if she would feel up to coming. Knud said "Of course she will come. It's a free meal". We were serving my famous Chicken Florentine with a lot of help from Dianne as there were many adjustments required for the differences in ingredients, equipment and stoves. It worked well with her help. Made lots and it was all gone. Knud either liked my cooking or was even more polite than I thought.
Knud even enjoyed hearing my latest gas purchase story. I got to the station and remembered to open the gas cap before using the machine. But I still couldn't get the lock off. The station doesn't have attendants so I asked the customer beside me for help. He just smiled, did what was required and said "magic hands" before getting back in his car. I still don't know for sure what he did. Aarhus
We headed off to our next destination: Aarhus. But on the way, we stopped for lunch in Silkeborg to visit the museum and Tollund Man and Elling Woman. They were ancient people whose bodies were discovered buried in bogs, both appearing to be sacrificial victims. The bogs in this
View from inside
Hard to imagine what it was like waiting for an invasion.
area are apparently great places for keeping things, especially people, from decomposing. The museum was very interesting and the canal system, set in a bit of a valley, was very pleasant. After the flat lands at the coast, this was a nice change.
Aarhus is a port city on the east coast of Jutland. It is a university town and the 40,000 student really lower the average age of the population. As usual, we ignored public transportation and walked everywhere. This almost backfired at the outset. We got to our apartment early so we went for a walk. Turning right three times should bring you somewhere near where you started. Not this time. So we turned around and retraced our steps. We arrived at the apartment just as our host lady arrived. She showed us around, gave us some tips and was generally a great representative for her city.
Our one full day there consisted of walking about, visiting the Domkirke, the City Hall, and the Botanical Gardens. The City Hall was highlighted in our guide book but it must not have been for its beauty because it was the ugliest building I have ever seen. The best
Some interesting remains.
part was the park behind it where we ate our picnic lunch.
Our last evening in Jutland was spent sitting outside our place sipping wine. A great end to our Jutland adventure. Back to Copenhagen
The drive back to Copenhagen was uneventful except that we did successfully buy gas without help. Dianne had cleverly planned our last night in Denmark to be at a “very basic” hotel one stop from the airport. We checked in, dropped our bags and headed to the airport to drop off our car. The extra gas I had bought was just enough as we were supposed to bring it back empty. We also turned in the GPS which had been invaluable on our travels. A Volkswagen Up! was a great vehicle for this kind of trip.
Back on the train to our hotel and we crashed early as we had an early flight. Our Danish adventure was over but our Italian adventure was To Be Continued.
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