Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Telling the tale...part two

So, Wednesday found me in a new country and a whole new set of experiences to come. Per had met me at the station. As my journal tells me, it was something like this:

"Stepped from the train in Thisted and saw a concerned older man looking at the faces of people getting off at the station. I knew it was Per when I saw him look more closely at a man with facial hair. By then, I had walked around the bike racks with the ever present mob of bicycles and was able to call his name. A quick smile confirmed that it was indeed my host, Per."

We had the lovely dinner I mentioned last post and drove north to Bulbjerg. It's a hill on the coast that had a German bunker built on it during the war. The bunker is still there and it's a bit freaky to go inside it and feel the ghosts of the war there with you. There's only a long horizontal slit to look out of, but the view is pretty amazing.

Gulls of some North Atlantic variety nest on the cliffs below and we wandered down there to see them guarding their own little pieces of the white cliffs.

Then, we returned to Per's farmhouse. It's beautiful - low and white and sporting a thatched roof. It's very Scandinavian. He showed me my 'room,' which was really more an attached guest cottage than a room. It was originally a sheep barn, but now feels like a bed and breakfast.Very nice indeed.

We had some wine and conversation that night which was just the beginning of some interesting tales. Per is an interesting fellow who once did business across Europe, including the former East Germany. As a youngster, he met Karen Blixen who had a home nearby. He said he was always a little frightened of her because she always wore black and stayed mostly covered up. She was pale and sick at the time too - adding to her frightening look.

Thursday - "Today was a full day, but also not so full at all. It was simple and basic, but full of life."

Awoke at about 8 a.m. and fell back asleep until 9:30. Late for breakfast - the story of my life. Ate a nice European breakfast with bread, honey, jam, cheese, and coffee.

Rode the bike to Lild - the small fishing village by the water. Walked the rocky beach and found a piece of amber.

Came back and joined visiting family at lunch. They were all very nice and made me feel welcome.

Conversation, good food and some wine rounded out the day and I again went to bed content.

Friday - Did some sightseeing and then made our way down to Sonder Nissum - the small village where my Mother's brother is buried. He was shot down during the war. He was a pilot officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force and flew in a Lancaster bomber. He was only 21 when he died just months before the war ended in Europe.

Found the cemetery and the grave. There were several other Allied soldiers buried there as well - all next to each other in one part of the cemetery.

The Danish people do a beautiful job of maintaining and caring for their graves and they take great care of the soldiers' graves as well.

Came back by a different way and stopped at a shipwreck museum in Thorsminde - on the coast. Had another great meal at the restaurant there - St. George (it's named after a big British ship that wrecked there. Had a traditional Danish dinner of two pieces of fish - one boiled and one fried or baked and served on a piece of bread with a nice sauce and some asparagus hearts. Had some great Danish beer too. It was very good in the way only very fresh fish can taste.

Took the ferry on the way back. The air was brisk and the water was nice. The water here is still very cold - so the wind was chilly.

Went for a short bike ride when we returned - almost to the shore, but the ground was still too wet to make it all the way.

Came back and had dinner and then we all walked to see the sunset. Stood on a hill where you could just see the sea between the big dunes.

The day birds slowly went quiet as the sun sank into the water behind the hills, leaving the evening to the night creatures.

"There was mist rising from the small ponds and I learned there is a Danish expression for it that means 'the old woman is brewing beer.' It was a nice thought."

<more to come>


tshsmom said...

"Today was a full day, but also not so full at all. It was simple and basic, but full of life."

I LOVE that thought! That's the way a vacation should be.

Shawn said...

Exactly...and life should be like that every day.

dbackdad said...

Good stuff. I'm very jealous. We want to go to Europe within a year or two. I'll pick your brain before doing so to get recommendations.

Shawn said...

I have tips...many tips...

The Zombieslayer said...

That's a pretty grave. Cool they maintain it that well.

As for the bunkers, it's kind of scary to think some of those folks were killed with grenades or artillery.

I'm glad you seem to be having fun and learning a lot, really soaking it up there.