A Travellerspoint blog

July 2010

Settling in

... at last

sunny

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!!

Garden at 9 am

Garden at 9 am

Garden at 1030 pm

Garden at 1030 pm

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.

Summer in Denmark

Summer in Denmark


Summer in Denmark

Summer in Denmark

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.

Celbration in Kolding

Celbration in Kolding


Celebration in Kolding 3

Celebration in Kolding 3

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.

Have a look at the photo gallery for more pics. Click on the subscribe button to be advised of our next post. We hope you link in again.

Posted by patsaunder 06:49 Archived in Denmark Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Kuala Lumpur

old friends reunited

sunny 30 °C
View European tour 2010 on patsaunder's travel map.

Hi all, sorry for taking so long to write again.
Our holiday commenced with 3 days in Kuala Lumpur (KL). This was not a tourist trip, but an opportunity for Chas to try to contact an old friend, Tommy, his partner on the badminton team for 3 years at York University over 40 years ago. Like trying to find a needle in a haystack you say, and you would be correct.

So, where does one start?? First we asked the hotel staff for the KL white pages .... no luck, they do not have a white pages directory, but they have a yellow pages. This was not helpful for us. We then asked our taxi driver how he would begin to find someone .... his response - no idea. We phoned the Australian Consulate to see if they could help. Again no luck. They advised that Malaysia does not have any database of residents for us to refer to!! Chas suggested to them that his only alternative was to go to the family home address on Tommy's letter (dated 1974) to see if any family members were still there, or if neighbours remembered them and could offer any suggestions. The consultant staff's response - Good luck!!

So that is what we did. We caught a train to Klang, 1 hour from KL. The address turned out to be in a business area on a street very near to the train station (thankfully). The number we were looking for(13) was boarded up, so Chas enquired with the staff at the cafe next door (no. 15) who were unable to help. Chas then enquired with an Indian gentleman at no. 11 (a solicitor's office). He told us that the owner at no. 15 purchased the property from the previous owner. He advised Chas to speak with him, and told us that we were very lucky as he knew the guy was at the cafe at that very moment. So back we went to no. 15 where the staff directed Chas to the back office where he introduced himself to the owner, presenting Tommy's letter as validation of his genuine intent to contact Tommy and be reunited with him after 40 years. Wow, such excitement. The owner, another Indian gentleman said that he had indeed purchased the property from Tommy, knew where he worked, and would personally take us to him as we had come all the way from Australia to contact him.

On meeting us, and after an initial hesitation and a little prompting, Tommy called out "Charles Stabler"!! It was wonderful to listen to them sharing stories and laugh about the contents of Tommy's letter from 40 years ago. Tommy took us to his home to meet his wife and grandchildren (whom they were minding that day) and then took us to an authentic, local Malaysian vegetarian restaurant for lunch.

As we travelled back to KL in the train, we could only reflect on the many little situations that had made the day a success - Chas's determination to find his friend, the chap in no. 11 advising us to go back to no. 15 as he knew the owner was in the office that day, his hospitality in taking time from his day and the effort to personally deliver us to Tommy, and luck again that Tommy was in the office as he is now semi-retired and only goes to the office a couple of times each week. Chas and Tommy now have contact details and we hope to see Tommy and his wife in Aussie when they next visit their daughter, son-in-law and grandchild who are now living in Sydney. What a wonderful day. Have a look in the photo gallery for the obligatory photo.

Chas and Tommy reunited

Chas and Tommy reunited

A toast to old friends.

Posted by patsaunder 07:54 Archived in Malaysia Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]