Thorsminde HavnJuly 11 in Denmark
Another blustery day sees us a bit further north, overlooking Thorsminde havn (harbour). A dune bank, runs along one side of the water, separating us from the North Sea, if not its fiesty winds. Crab pots are stacked on the wooden jetty and a selection of sturdy fishing boats moored to weathered uprights. The vessels' white sides shine out in the intermittent sunshine and the combination of bright red, powder blue and traditional wood go towards making this scene a very attractive one to gaze at through our windscreen.
Like Hvinde Sande that we passed through recently, Thorsminde is a town located halfway along a sand bar, the sea on one side and a lagoon, Nissum Fjord, on the other. This bar is smaller and both less industrial and less touristy, earning it brownie points from us! Although you can park here for free during the day, it is 100kr (£12) to stay overnight, but with this comes the use of the filling and emptying facilities at the local campsite. A rep will come round to collect the fee between 9pm and 10pm.
Vicky was feeling tired out when we arrived so took it easy in the van while Will went sea fishing off the harbour wall. In the afternoon he donned his wetsuit and went snorkelling. The water was cold and there wasn't much other than sand to see but it was good to get out. Vicky made a start on cutting new material to cover the passenger seat and trying to affix foam to the back of it with diluted pva. She's no idea whether it will work, but it is worth a go.
When the wind was in the right direction (depending on your point of view) we could hear songs from Grease through the air and throughout the afternoon a dance troop of about 20 teenagers rehearsed routines for each of the songs on a nearby car park. Later on we took a barefoot walk along the deserted beach. We could hardly believe nobody else was doing the same, but Denmark has 7314km of coastline and less than half the population density of the UK, so people have plenty of space and choice when they want a day at the seaside.
We really liked Thorsminde so decided to stay two nights. After a relaxed start to the morning, then another fishing session for Will, we had lunch and took a wander up the harbourside. A sign advertised a Marskandiser (junk dealer) within a warehouse so we went in to investigate. The expansive space was set up with rows of tables, but items for sale filled these and spilled over onto the floor, were propped against the walls and hung from the ceiling. There was an eclectic mix of preloved goods; furniture, tea tins, stilts, board games and even an old spinning wheel. We found a cute little lion 'bamse' (teddy bear) for Poppy because she showed some interest in our great niece's toy animals when we were in Orpington. Poppy has never been very interested in toys but we thought it was worth a go to give her some extra interest.
Moving on we passed several outlets selling fish, but we'd read you could often get them straight from the boats. When we saw one that looked as if they might be selling, Will persuaded a nervous Vicky to talk to the fisherman. As we approached, the guy pulled out a handwritten 'Levende Fisk' sign and strapped it to a post on his boat, confirming our inkling. He didn't have any crab but started listing the fish he did have. Vicky's Danish doesn't stretch to naming different kinds of fish, so we shrugged, Will handed him about £4 worth of kroner and he picked out two lovely looking plaice for us. After fetching some spring cabbage, herb and new potatoes from the supermarket, Will prepared it and cooked it up with some parsley sauce - yummy!
As evening drew in, Vicky took Poppy over to the large patch of scrubby grass a little way behind the van. She noticed a bird darting low accross the ground. It was acting in an unusual way and it wasn't long before Vicky recognised it as a Ringed Plover trying to distract her away from its scrape and the eggs undoubtedly laying camouflaged within it. See, all those hours watching Springwatch came in useful after all! We returned without Poppy and while keeping our distance, were able to watch it for some minuted through the binoculars and telephoto lens on the camera, all within 50m of the van!
The following morning we filled with water and drove to the sluice gate regulated channel through which water flowed between the North Sea and Nissum Fjord. We had seen people fishing here the previous day so Will set up his rods and whiled away an hour. After lunch we showed our overnight ticket at the campsite and were able to empty the toilet and waste water. Interestingly camper vans aren't allowed to stay at this site even if they wanted to and signs directed them over to the harbour where we'd spent the last couple of nights. There aren't that many waste water emptying points in Denmark so we were glad to be able to thoroughly flush our tank through.Read more