Fairy Tales

Sunday And another VERY special day…

James’ birthday.  A relatively leisurely start 🙂 and then an efficient bus 61 into Odense with a pleasant bus driver who counted out the coins we are still not familiar with.  Into a cafe for a bought coffee and J had a panini …. yes we are spending today.  Downloaded a Hans Christian Anderson walk app so we could follow in his footsteps in the town where he was born and lived until 14.  And you do literally follow his footsteps for they are painted on the ground.

Two special men:  James and Hans Christian Anderson

Two special men: James and Hans Christian Anderson

Little else in Odense to see and this is about the right length and the right amount of information.  We started at number 4 as it was nearest and soon found ourselves in the small house he lived in, in one room, with his shoe maker father and washerwoman mother.  The really pleasant lady took our money for both museums (did I mention we were spending today?) and explained a lot about HCA.  K mentioned that it was J’s birthday and on our way out she presented J with a printed sheet with loads of birthday graphics and an envelope with a bookmark.  Little acts of kindness that brighten up one’s day.

selfie outside HCA houseWe did the main HCA museum which is broken down into rooms about the age he lived in, the man, his youth, education etc etc.  Found ourselves in a cafe / bar for a glass and then into a very pleasant restaurant in a very old building.  Had a starter and then a delicious choice ice cream made with Valharona chocolate.  We discovered this chocolate in Tain Hermitage, France some years ago when camping with Maddy and Dayna – top end and the factory had disks of the different types / % chocolate and you could taste as much as you wanted.

birthday lunchwith choc pud

On the way back to the bus, spotted this mega pic n’mix store.  never seen anything like it – much bigger than the pic.

pic n mix

The super efficient bus back to our free camping, a bottle of chilled fizz and cheese for supper.  We have decided that as we no longer have a house that we live in and are trying to simplify, our birthday gifts to each other will be a good meal out.  A truly lovely day.

Monday

A leisure day driving down the coast south of Odense.  We did take advantage again of the motorway services and emptied and filled Chardonnay.  Assen a bit dull.  Faaborg pretty with lots of mediaeval building and we lunched on soup in the car park … not a spending day!

Assens

Assens

Faaborg Belfrey

Faaborg Belfrey

Faaborg:  Immaculaet church

Faaborg: Immaculaet church

Drove onto Svendborg and got the most amazing pitch: on the dock side, right next to the water with the sun setting over the town.  You would pay ££££s for a water front hotel with a view like this.  Arrived early-ish and did our weekly clean.  Including windows all of 30 mins.  🙂  Mum the hoover works fab and dinner has been in the 12 volt slow cook pot all day 🙂

Habourside pitch at night

Habourside pitch at night

Sunset over Svedborg

Sunset over Svedborg

View from the cab in the morning - we woke up to this as we did not shut the front blinds

View from the cab in the morning – we woke up to this as we did not shut the front blinds

Pretty pleasant rolling landscapes.  Immaculate fields:  nice to see the fields being plowed and sown on our way up Scandinavia, and should the crops growing on the way back.  Thatched cottages.  Tables and chairs placed outside for coffee with planters around.  And PIGS – the first we have seen.  Given that pigs are supposed to out number the Danish population,  4:1, we saw our first small sounder (I googled this!) of pigs – free range.  Reckon the much reputed Danish bacon is intensively farmed in big sheds as not seen any evidence of them!

Notes on pleasant and efficient. Sounds a little patronising, but really not meant to be.  Denmark and the people are both.  They speak impeccable English everywhere and are really helpful.  Countryside is rolling and pretty, but not stunning.  Really civilised.   It is a very easy place to be and we will come back in a few years time.

Sonderborg, Nordborg and Sore Bums

Friday

Denmak-Als.png

Drove into Sonderborg and had a wander down the town.  All very neat and somehow Danish!  Decided against wandering around the caste (Slot in Danish) and to drive north in the district of Als to Nordborg.  The very helpful Tourist Information ladies has supplied us with a booklet on the area, a selection of bike ride routes and a car park time; the latter essential to avoid a DKK500 (£50) fine: you set the time as you leave and make sure you do not outstay your welcome depending on the permissible number of hours.

Parked opposite the Nordborg castle, and set of on the 27 kms bike ride, around fjords and lakes.  Gentle rolling hills, pasture and arable land and woods with spring flowers.  Changing scenery with water, creeks and woodlands.  Being April an abundance of wild flowers.

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Stumbled upon a gathering, so we stopped and asked what was going on…. a third lake in the area had been reclaimed from farmland and the mayor or Sonderborg was going to declare it open.  It would have been rude not to stay when invited to, especially as the sun was shining and there were free sausages and beer on offer!  Being a wildlife haven, it was appropriate so many arrived on bike.

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Moved Chardonnay to a truck trailer park (trailer trash???), 2 mins from the castle and wandered up the high street for a local beer.

Saturday and a VERY important birthday

age-4.jpgA very happy birthday to Maddy Munchkin – sweet 17.  Can’t believe she will soon be learning to drive – she has such a young mother!  Thought about her a LOT today … missing her is the biggest bummer of this trip.  Thank goodness for texts, calls and Face Time.

Drove to Odense on Funen Island via Grasten Palace, where the Queen spends 3 weeks every summer:  nice gardens and water features, more like a pleasant country house than a royal palace … sure she has many others!  Impressive blue ceiling church.

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Stopped for lunch in Kolding.  Attractive C15 castle with a square turret.  Lured by a crowd and music, so we went to investigate.  Youngsters doing super dance performances.  We watched for a bit and I said to James, that as we are out and about and have the time, it was another lucky moment, just like the reclaimed lake opening of yesterday.  In the Town Square, we came across another crowd.  Five young men (!) doing an eating competition, as much rubbish such as chips, onion rings, coke etc, in 30 minutes.  Two were already looking green and heaving in air, so we moved on.  Amazing what you stumble upon!

street performancweating competition

We really like Danish efficiency and cleanliness.  Rolling countryside, not spectacular, but very pleasant.  Used the great little app called Parkings to identify which Motorway Service stations have Motorhome services.  We pulled in and immediately saw a bin, chemical toilet, tap and grey waste points – all immaculate with multi language instructions.  Welcome Break, it was not.  The UK has a LOT to emulate.

Across the Little Baelt (James gave a running commentary on the construction) into Funan and to the outskirts of Odense.  Used the Parkings app to identify free space outside a Caravan sales showroom.  Very quiet, even though the Belgians, who have parked up next door, have a TV on …. grrr … about to drown them out with Bach.  No will go British, Elgar!  Pomp and circumstance, no less!!!!

Bus into Odense tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Into Denmark

Thursday

Decided to push for Denmark as we get free (no additional charges) wifi, calls etc here.  Long drive when you stick to around 62 mph and congestion around Hamburg, but 360 miles and 8 hrs with our stops.

In Denmark you cannot wild camp, but you can overnight park, so that is what we are doing.  Found a spot on the coast looking out across towards Germany.  

Thumb P1030012 1024A little windy and few suspicious watchings from a family from their window … but here we are and we even had our first soya mince meal …. left over marengo sauce from the other night, soya mince and a tad more white wine and cooked on the move in the 12 volt cigarette charger.  Really pleased it was not just edible, but tasty … honest!

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