Saturday, November 9, 2013

Road Trippin' down Memory Lane: Jacobsen Edition

Swedish sunrise
We woke at the crack of dawn (no, well before the dawn cracked) and hopped into our sweet rental Volvo to drive 3 hours north in time for our 9am ferry to Denmark. Aside from the simply awesome fact that it was Cory's first car ferry (and he got to drive!), the ferry was great, and filled with people in line for coffee the second we left harbor. Oh, wait, they were in line for beer. At 9am. On a car ferry. I waited until 10 to join the crowds (I am on vacation, after all!). 

Three hours later, we arrived in Skagen, a resort town at the very northern tip of Jutland, the main section of Denmark (the part attached to the rest of Europe by land). We stopped in the old harbor area of Skagen for lunch, and enjoyed a Toyota forklift competition/sales demo between dock hands. It was cold and fishy, with happy Danes and waving flags. 

After lunch, we dove north and stopped for some cold, windy (read: local) photos at Rabjerg Mile sand dunes. It was very sandy, but very beautiful!

Polse dinner!
We checked into our hostel, the Danhostel and made preparations to make dinner. We were off season in a resort town, so the restaurants were quite empty but still expensive. Cory made us a wonderful dinner in our hostel kitchen, and we feasted before sleeping off a great first day.

The next morning, we got up bright and early for an experience we had been promising Cory for months (and one I hadn't done in about 20 years): standing with your feet in 2 seas, the North Sea and the Kattegat Sea. Good thing we woke up to a cold, rainy, blustery day to put our feet in freezing cold water. But we didn't come all this way to keep our feet warm and dry! Best start with a trip to the bakery to bolster our spirits :)

We got to the beach and bundled into all the rain gear we had for a little walk out to the end of the country. We got over the sand dunes of the parking lot and realized we were looking at an almost mile long walk in the thank-god-at-least-its-not-raining weather to the end. There is a tractor pulling a bus (called "the worm") to take more fragile people out to the end, but we have legs (and it was parked at the other end already) so we got going. We got to the end and took off our socks and shoes as onlookers in galoshes and winter coats seriously questioned our sanity. And it was awesome. Welcome to the family, Cory :)

Standing with our feet in 2 seas!

Time to head the mile back to the car. Oh goody, now it's raining! Hard! On a beach with no shelter! So basically a day at the beach in Denmark :)

We drove south for time with relatives just outside of Aarhus. Mama reconnected with long lost relatives last year and it was time for me to get to meet them. Winnie and Lars welcomed us in and we ate wienerbrod (because in Denmark, one always brings wienerbrod to visit with...I don't know how Danes are not all fatter!) and drank coffee. 

Winnie, Mama B and Lars

Over the next couple of days, Winnie and Lars expertly wined and dined us, and we got to know our relatives! We also learned some more Danish, our favorites being the word, "knive" and "knibe" the first meaning "knife" and the second meaning "pinch." So now we could ask for a knife to cut off a slice of wienerbrod, and then pinch our growing muffin tops. We also practiced the place names "Malmo" (properly said by us sounds like a sad manatee mourning his lost love) and Landskrona (said grandly with arms flapping, Mama says we're a little over dramatic on this one). Essentially, we could move to Denmark tomorrow and get by easily (mainly because all Danes speak such great English...).

Lars took us out the next day for a trip to see the local sights, first the Castle of Kalo ruins, built in 1313, out on a beautiful (if windy) peninsula in the Kattegat Sea. Then we drove a little further south to the Fregatten Jylland, a ship (and now museum) where you can see life on a war ship from the late 1800's, then into the town to meander the windy, cobblestone streets. 

Castle of Kalo ruins
The next day it was time for us to head home to Aunt Kirsten. We packed up the car, bid adieu to Winnie and Lars and drove south east, back to Sweden through Copenhagen. On the way, we stopped in Roskilde to see the Viking Ship Museum and visit my Mormor and Morfar in the church yard. It's not ideal to introduce your husband to your grandparents this way, but I wanted them to meet, and life is not always ideal. Plus, they're buried next to a very beautiful country church.


We crossed over the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden, and marveled at its almost $60 price tag (take that, Golden Gate!), and we were home and ready to...celebrate my birthday (albeit early)!! As many of you know, this is my absolute favorite holiday and celebrating Danish style was excellent. The Danes absolutely love their flag, so it comes out in force on all special occasions (birthdays included).


The next morning, we hopped back onto the train for our week in Prague. Overall, we had a wonderful time in Scandanavia, and felt so well nurtured by Mama Birgit and Aunt Kirsten. Thank you!!

Our lovely hosts with a bottle of special mermaid brew :)

For more photos of our awesome road trip:


Road Trip Through Denmark, a set on Flickr.

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