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July 2nd 2008
Published: July 3rd 2008
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Moses Hansen & KevMoses Hansen & KevMoses Hansen & Kev

at Holsted railyway station. Moses (our son-in-law Thomas's father) meets us off the train.
After four changes of trains we finally arrived in Holsted to be greeted at the railway station by Moses Hansen - our son-in-law Thomas's dad. At 'Pottemagerens Hus' into which they have recently moved we finally met Joy - Thomas's mum. As Joy couldn't make it to Katherine and Thomas's wedding in October 2006 it was a great pleasure for us to finally meet face to face. No sooner had Joy and Moses showed us around some of the house and garden when the Neilson family arrived - Maria, Lars and the kids Patrick, Amie & Jeanett. Six months ago the Neilsons left Australia to return to Denmark after living, in Baulkham Hills for around 18 months - good to see them once more. It will come as no surprise to Sean who was 'amused and facinated by the sub plot built around food/eating' and its importantance in our lives that a grand meeting based around a delectable repast, wine and catching up on each others news followed!! Lars commented that it seemed strange to think that we were entertaining them at our place in Australia not that long ago and now they are entertaining us in Denmark. What a small world it seems when you look at it like that and how lucky we are to be able to renew friendships from one hemisphere to the other. Went for a walk after dinner. That was yesterday though.
"Climbed more stairs at another church" was Kev's comment when I asked him what his thoughts were on what we'd done today. My slant on it is slightly more detailed. Our first port of call was the little island of Mandø, which can be reached only at low tide from Vester Vedsted in a bus drawn by a tractor. Open to visitors every day in summer, the island breed terns, sandpipers, waders and ducks. Only 40 people live there, ten of whom are children so doubtless everyone knows what everyone else is doing! Not a place I'd fancy living but a fascinating place to visit! The North Sea had completely covered the road our tractor took on the way back - a different one to the 'road' we drove along to the island - by then well and truly immersed and far too deep for us to drive through.
Next stop Ribe, Denmark's oldest town. Once a bustling sea port over 500 ago, the Vikings once called Ribe home. But apparently the river silted and a new port was built up the coast. Ribe has been virtually untouched since then so is a magnet for tourists like us. We had lunch in the Weis Stue restaurant, at the back of a very old and charming pub!! Wandered around doing our best not to be temped to spend money while all the quant little shops beckoned - awash with goodies that were itching to be bought!! The visit to Ribe was topped off with a look at the Cathedral, scaling the 248 steps to the tower, which started out as a spiral stone staircase, becoming wooden stairs encircling the tower bells. After taking in the view from the top we headed back for our last meal together.
As I finish writing this it's around 10pm, still light and the birds are twittering outside the conservotory where I'm writing. Maria, Lars and Patrick have just left and the girls. Amie & Jeanett, are staying here with their grandparents for the night which means we have the pleasure of their company for a little while longer. Kev is in the other room watching a video with them as I sit tapping away. The garden to my right looks resplendent, beautiful flowers, and, although I cannot see it from here just beyond the flowering shrubs is a cornfield. Looking out directing through the windows in front of me are gorgeous pink and red roses in bloom - what more could you ask for?! Suffice to say we've had a wonderful time with your parent Thomas, are really delighted to have finally met your mum and look forward to renewing the friendship - in the not too distant future we hope!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 24


Patrick makes me look even shorterPatrick makes me look even shorter
Patrick makes me look even shorter

- he's grown so much since we last saw him!!
The Neilson family The Neilson family
The Neilson family

pose with us in Joy & Moses's back garden.
On a walk after dinnerOn a walk after dinner
On a walk after dinner

Maria & I stop for a rest and a chat.

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