... at last
07/07/2010 - 20/07/2010
Have now been in Denmark for the last 2 weeks and have taken time to settle in to our first exchange home, become familiar with our local area and the Århus town centre, practice driving on the wrong, or should I say ‘right’ side of the road (Chas is doing very well), and just enjoy being here with Aaron and Rikke.
We are enjoying a lovely, relaxed environment in our exchange home. Our hosts have been extremely giving in making their home available for us. We even have fresh strawberries for our smoothies, raspberries, tomatoes, and herbs growing in the garden for our use. The flower garden is magnificent and we have enjoyed eating dinner outside in the mellow evening surrounded by the beautiful sights and smells around us. As it is light up to approx. 10.30pm we have also had fun sneaking around the garden in the late evening trying to catch the resident hedgehog family rustling in the garden for their evening meal ... no luck yet but we will keep trying to get a pic!!
We have had the most wonderful Danish weather since we arrived – beautiful sunny, warm days, a few showers only and lovely long, pleasant evenings. We are constantly being told “This is most unusual. Enjoy it while it is here because it won’t last!!”. As this is the Danish summer most families are on holiday. Consequently they are taking every opportunity to get their dose of summer sun. Which means picnics at the beach or the back garden, and family get-togethers. On our first weekend Rikke’s mum and dad (Anna and Erling) sailed their boat from Kolding to Århus to be with us. It was great to see them again and we enjoyed a lovely picnic at the Mosegård Beach a little north of Århus. Beautiful calm water with just a slight roll of wave as it reached the land (water temp a cool 21degC but this does not stop the Danes from enjoying a swim) sailing boats, and beech forest to the water. A beautiful natural environment. Going to the beach has a very different feel to the Aussie equivalent. As there is only a short period of the year to enjoy being outdoors (and even in summer good weather is not assured) the beaches have not been commercialised and remain pretty much in their natural state. Mosegard was packed with locals finding their patch of sand or grass to enjoy a picnic, a swim and their day in the sun - relaxed, yummy food, and family. It was a different experience from the commercialism, rush, hustle, parking problems and stress which can be part of a day at the beach in Auz.
We are only 10 mins from Aaron and Rikke and it has been wonderful to be with them, and to prepare dinner for them in our home after their day at work. Very hyggelig (cosy). We also renewed our friendship with Rikke’s family at her nephew’s (Carl Emil) birthday celebration, and it was lovely to meet his dad’s family also. It was fun also to listen to the conversations and test our limited Danish, with the inevitable ‘faux pas’ which caused much laughter and joking with us. Our Danish is coming along slowly..... We had a lovely day - lots of fun, laughter, good food, and football in the back yard with family and friends.
We have had a wonderful time wandering through the town centre and enjoying the relaxed Danish holiday atmosphere. The Jazz Festival was happening in our first week and there was a party atmosphere in town. We were also able to attend a concert to listen to great jazz. We have visited The Women's Museum (Kvindemuseet), one of the world's few women's history museums which gives an account of the life and work of Danish women over the years. Very interesting, and surprisingly there are many similarities. Also The Occupation Museum (Besættelmuseet) which portrays the dramatic events in Århus during the German occupation from 1940 to 1945 with the liberation of Denmark in the evening of 4 May 1945. Very thought-provoking. And the beauty of Århus Cathedral (Domkirke), the centrepoint of the town, with frescoes from the 15th century and much more.
Now that we have settled in we have many adventures planned. If the beautiful weather stays with us we hope to head north to west Jutland on the weekend, an area I have wanted to explore. It is away from the usual tourist attractions, sparsely populated but very beautiful. Then on to beautiful Skagen for a few days and the obligatory trip to Grenen to stand on the northernmost point of Denmark where the Baltic meets the North Sea.
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