Sunday, 20 May 2018

Our Scandinavian Tour - Day 9 - 12

Thursday 17th and Friday 18th May 2018  🌞🌞🌞 all day on Thursday and 🌞☁☁🌞on Friday
0 miles either day.
Parking Co-ordinates 54.86769, 9.74412

Denmark is a new country for us so some of our time over the last couple of days has been spent settling in and learning a bit about the country, the currency, the culture and the things to do in this area.  Denmark is made up of over 400 islands many of which are tiny, but at the present time we're residing in the Southern part of Jutland on a small peninsula called Broager Land.

The View From The Front of the Campsite

We're situated just over the German border which in this area runs along the Flensburg Fjord, and that is probably why the principle nationality on the campsite is German but with just a few Dutch and Danish scattered in.    Our campsite is right on the sea front and opportunities for walking and cycling are plentiful - so with that and the possibility that we might struggle to find a vacancy on another campsite because of the bank holiday, we've decided to stay here for the next 4 night.

Now for a bit of  Danish trivia - apparently until last year  they were identified as the happiest people in the world - and so far we've not seen anything not to be happy about!!  The sun has shone almost constantly, there are flower filled meadows, spectacular sea views, and shady woodland glades round every corner, there doesn't seem to be any language barrier, and as an extra bonus, none of the insects have bitten us so far!    Another snippet that I've learnt is about the πŸ–πŸ·πŸ–'s here!  Apparently about 5,000 pig farms produce approximately 28 million pigs annually and as the Danish population is only about 5.6 million people the pigs out number the people on a ratio of around 5:2 - that's an awful lot of methane!!

Anyway, now I think I ought to get back to telling you what we've been up to!  Thursday was another ride, walk or maybe it was a rilk or a wade!  I'm not really sure what to call it but we set off peddling  along part of the Gendarmstien Trail that runs for 84 km.  Our hostess had indicated on the map that we should have been able to cycle more or less all of our planned 18 mile route - but maybe she hasn't been along it for a while.  Parts of it were on unmade track, parts through rutted rooty woodland, parts on the beach, and thankfully some on properly made roads.  Therefore, we spent probably about a 40/60 split pushing our bikes or riding, but in the end we were still glad we went because we got to see lots of wonderful vistas or other things of interest that we might not have been able to visit if we hadn't followed this trail.

A Goosander Box 
For about the first 4 miles of our journey we followed the route through woodland where many of the trees had literally fallen off the edge of the eroded embankment into the sea!  And it was also here that we spotted the special bird boxes for the Goosander - a rare goose like bird that is usually only seen in Denmark in the winter - so, as you would expect, nobody was in!  But it did puzzle me as to how they pearch on the boxes with their webbed feet!

From there we progressed, sometimes riding and sometimes on foot to a deserted beach area which was littered with old bricks of many different shapes and colours.  Our info leaflet told us that these came from some of the 76 brickwork's  that once operated around there.  By now we were just outside the town of Bruneians, but as there was a picnic table right on the beach it presented a place just to lovely to pass by so we sat and soaked in some peaceful tranquillity and the only sounds were the buzzing of the insects, the lapping of the waves and the munching of chicken salad cobs!

Eventually, we tore ourselves away and not long after that we were heading towards Cathrinesminde where we were supposed to spot 3 art works hidden in the area.  We only managed to find one 'The Eroded Wall', the artist - Jacques Kaufmann - created it as an expression of his fascination with the 7 generations of people who ran the brickwork's!  Hey Adam and Ben - maybe you could persuade your mate Pat to change his trade from builder to sculpture!!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Next came the Cathrinesminde Brickwork Museum but that wasn't a place we had any intention of visiting, but we had planned to explore Broager Church - a two spired 12th century Gothic Church.  Legend has it that the two spires are memorials to two sisters from a nearby castle - but our plan was flummoxed because of a funeral was being conducted at the time of our visit.  Oh well, never mind, we admired it from the outside along with it's meticulously kept cemetery,  and then we struck out for home so that we could enjoy the rest of the late afternoon sitting in the sunshine.

The Two Spired Church and it's Surrounding Cemetery
On Friday we had an easy day!  We needed to move pitch because ours had already been pre booked for the bank holiday, but as we were only going a couple of hundred yards that didn't take long!  But then of course we had to sit and have another cup of coffee, so by the time our picnic was packed and we were heading out it was nearly mid-day already!  But that really didn't matter because all we intended to do was meander back along the Gendarme Path for a couple of miles so that we could sit by the water's edge while we ate our lunch.  Then it was back to T4rdis2 to spend a bit of time planning our on going journey.

Our Campsite from a Distance

Saturday 19th May 2018  ⛅⛅☁🌞🌞
0 miles today.

Today was definitely a walk - about 10 miles there and back and once again along part of the Gendarmstien Path to just past the settlement of Kragesand.  Early on in our trek we passed through the Skelde Kobbel Forest which is a huge mainly beech wood but with quite a few mighty oaks and maple trees thrown in.  And then not long after we were plodding along the edge of the Flensburg Fjord with far reaching views of Germany on the opposite bank.  Additionally, we had the pleasure of numerous wild flowers along our way and these included massive swaths of lilac which shared it's perfume and rock roses, and we also passed through the Liebestunnel.  Here the trees on the slope form a tunnel and apparently the translation for it is literally 'the tunnel of love'.

Once again we paused for lunch at the side of the Fjord and then we continued on our way to Kragesand which lies on the southernmost tip of the peninsula of Broagerland and it was just after this that we met the Bull with his harem of nosey cows!  Between us and them there was just a small wire fence but luckily Mr Bull was more interested in his lunch of luscious grass than he was in us!

Later we paused for a final break on the beach and then wended our weary way home for a little more sun bathing in the by now very hot late afternoon rays.

πŸ˜‚Caught him munching!!πŸ˜‚

And Oh Dear!!  We missed the wedding but even over here it's easy to find pics and news that allowed us to spend all of 5 mins catching up!

Sunday 20th May 2018 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞 from wall to wall!
0 miles today

We really have been very lucky with the weather since we've been in Denmark cos there's hardly been a cloud in the sky - and this was supported by a snippet that John found on one of the news pages.  It said that in Denmark a summer's day is only counted if the temperature rises above 25 degrees - and already this year there have been 9 occasions when this has happened, so when that is compared to the 14 that they had over the whole of Summer 2017 it seems we've definitely picked a good year to visit.  Furthermore, this May is on target to be the warmest in 129 years and has topped the record that was set in 1889!! And if the weather predictions are to be believed our good fortune seems set to continue for a while yet 😊😊😊, and we're both already becoming quite πŸ§‘πŸΎπŸ§‘πŸΎ!

Today we decided to cycle to Sonderborg which lies about 10 coastal miles away from us and it's a place we can spy right from our campsite.
To get there we had to pass through the Dybbol which was very significant in the 1864 defeat of Denmark by the Prussian Armies.

The Windmill at Dybbol
This defeat resulted in Southern Jutland being taken over by Prussia and later Germany, and thus when World War One broke out in 1914 more than 35,000 Danish soldiers whose allegiance lay with Denmark had to fight on the German side.

However, in 1920 the situation changed again when Reunification took place following a 'Yes' vote for rejoining Denmark in a referendum.  The Dybbol Museum tells this story in much more detail, and it's layout, which ranges over the battlefields reminded us very much of The Culloden Fields (which are owned by the National Trust)  which we visited up in Scotland.

From there we continued onto Sonderborg but to get into the town we had to cross a bridge that links the mainland to the island of Als, and once over we found a lovely waterfront where numerous yachts were milling around or moored up.  And as we paused for a break we realised why - the bridge opens every hour on the hour to allow the tall masted boats  to either enter or leave the Als Sund.  After our rest we continued on past several impressive buildings and then traversed along a cycle path towards a huge marina which became the furthest point of today's outing, and then all that was left for us to do was to retrace our tyre tracks home for more topping up of our tans.

Tomorrow we're going to move further on and our target is the middle of the three main islands - Funen.  However,  once we get there our plans have changed completely thanks to a very friendly Danish Lady who is one of our near neighbours.  I got chatting to her this morning (perfect English) and she told me about the most beautiful parts of the island so Faaborg in the south is our next target.

But our time there will be another story, so from us,  it's cheerio for now  πŸ˜—πŸ˜—

To see our Danish camping spots click here