Central Jutland

Here you’ll find travel reports about Central Jutland. Discover travel destinations in Denmark of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day748

    Oddesundbroen Day 1

    July 14, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    We are within sight of the low, grey, triple arched Oddensund road and rail bridge. It occasionally stops traffic and raises the section closest to us in order to let a cargo ship or more often a tall masted sail boat pass through. The Oddensund is one of a handful of bridges that cross the Limfjord, a shallow body of water that spans the breadth of Denmark, separating mainland Jutland from the large North Jutlandic Island where we are now parked.

    At 14°C the day began a little cooler than we've been used to and the overcast sky even managed the lightest smattering of rain for a few seconds. Nothing near what it will take to refill the ponds that are running dry or rejuvenate the parched trees, some of whose leaves are curling crisply, turning brown and falling foul of the blustery winds who snap their stems and scatter them at the roadside.

    As we crossed the Oddesundbroen and saw the open grassland we were about to pull on to, Vicky recognised it as another place we had stayed during our previous trip to Denmark. It looked a bit rough with some heavy machinery, piles of aggregate and a couple of WWII concrete bunkers. However, it was close to the water, had picnic tables a toilet, walks along the fjord and Poppy could wander off lead to her heart's content.

    After a warming cuppa (we'd actually had the heating on when driving!) Vicky had a browse on Trip Advisor, which showed a grill house with decent reviews less than a kilometre away. We hadn't eaten out in Denmark yet so as it was approaching lunch time we set off on the scenic route, ducking under the bridge and skirting round the coastline on the stoney beach. Coming to a small harbour, various pieces of fishing paraphernalia lay stacked on the ground; nets, floats, concrete anchors and ropes. As well as the fishing industry, the marina catered for tourists, providing free bikes on loan and even a kitchen and room for you to sit and shelter from the wind.

    The Oddesund Bistro had a counter like a takeaway, with a list of dishes and prices on a backlit board above it. Vicky spent some time deciphering the different options as we let people go ahead of us, but in the end ordered a husburger (house burger) for Will and fish for herself. She enjoyed speaking a little Danish but the friendly server took it as a given that they should speak English.

    The conservatory that ran alongside the building provided a view of the Limfjord and a choice of tables covered in pink polka dot plastic tablecloths. For a simple roadside café the food was good, if a little over salted. On the way back we poked our heads inside one of the WWII bunkers near the van. There was movement and stange noises from the dark inside. Upon investigating further we found it was an art installation. In each room of the bunker was a large piece of sculpted iron mesh. To it was attached one or more moving lights and speakers. As the machines shone the light in different directions, the shadows would creep along the concrete walls. Vicky thought it looked like something out of a horror movie whose script went sonething like 'unsuspecting foreign tourists stumple upon the lair of...' Thanks to the internet, we found it was the work of artist Alex Mørch in his exhibition 'Fe' (both the symbol for iron and Danish for fairy). It was part of a series of exhibits to be shown in the Regelbau 411 bunkers. If you are interested, here is the website:

    Later that evening two of the three bunkers were locked up, but Will went to explore the third. With just a few information boards in Danish and German it was the least engaging, but it did have a swallow's nest from which two hungry mouths were protruding, proclaiming insistently that they were hungry!
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  • Day749

    Oddesundbroen Day 2

    July 15, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    For the last 2 years we've had a month by month itinerary and stuck to it. We've been flexible within this, lingering in interesting or beautiful regions and zipping through ones we didn't enjoy. However, we've been expecting an appointment letter for Will's colonoscopy that has not yet arrived. This leaves us unsure of how much time we have to explore this part of the world and it has got Vicky mulling things over. How much should we look forward and think about the places left to go, the sights left to see and how much do we immerse ourselves in the moment? We sometimes feel an urge to get going, to make sure we don't miss out on adventures that await us, but is this necessarily better than enjoying the moment where we are?

    Well, we've certainly enjoyed our second day here at Oddesund Bridge! 16°C was warm enough for Vicky to take Poppy outside for half an hour of Pilates/Yoga in the picnic area when she first got up. After breakfast, Will took his fishing gear to the bank of the Limfjord, while Vicky set off with the camera on a walk eastwards along the shore. Summer was in full swing and Avocets circled above as Vicky crossed a cow field in which there were a few shallow ponds, where undoubtedly the birds had chosen to nest.

    Although the land was crisp and dry underfoot, nature still flourished. Little butterflies flitted between flowers and there was even a large dragonfly zipping back and forth over pink shrub roses. In the long grass Vicky found a silken caterpillar nest, whose occupants were ready to make their way into the world. Although the route was not very well advertised, along the way there were numerous benches and picnic tables, mostly tucked away in small woodland groves to shelter them from the wind.

    After meeting back at the van for lunch, we both went and had a look at the other WWII bunkers, then passed underneath the bridge to check out the water. We'd been itching to get out in the canoe but the wind had been so consistently ferocious that we'd not yet been able to. It was still blowy today but the section of water on the other side of the bridge was somewhat sheltered by the land and we reckoned it was worth a go. After trundling the canoe down to the waterside on its wheels, it was an easy launch from the shingle beach. Staying close to the shore we got our muscles working to power against the wind and paddle round to the marina we had walked to yesterday, with Vicky calling out every jellyfish she spotted. Soon after we passed the marina, the waves grew and whitecaps could be seen ahead, so we found a good place to turn and headed home, with the wind behind us. It had only been 30 minutes but it felt good to have got out on the water again. The Limfjord had one last treat in store for us; about 10 metres away Vicky spotted two dark, round, glassy eyes watching us from the water and Will turned round quickly enough to see the little seal duck its head back under. We scanned the waves for a while, hoping to catch another glimpse. Although we saw disturbances in the surface the creature knew we'd set eyes on it and was too wary to make contact again. We wonder how long we'd been on its radar?
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  • Day768

    Fillerup Picnic Site

    August 3, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Swathes of sandy coloured stubble fill our windscreen view. The grain and straw have been harvested and this isn't the only thing that triggers thoughts of Autumn. We are parked under the shade of a tall oak tree in a layby picnic area. Despite the lack of breeze we occasionally hear the crisp sound of an acorn falling through the canopy, hitting the dry leaves and branches on the way down. Some even land with a loud bang on Martha's roof, making far more noise than they are entitled to, given their small size. The small Plane trees that provide shelter for the picnic tables have had enough of the hot drought too. They have begun to drop their leaves that lay thick on the grass, crackling in a flurry when the odd car drives by.

    The day has been focussed on getting jobs done. After three days in the forest dell near Vejle the van batteries are drained, as are our portable power packs. The shady spot was great for keeping cool, but not good for solar charging. Running the air con so frequently when driving diverts a lot of charge that would otherwise be directed to our two 110amp leisure batteries, leaving them sadly lacking. Setting off, we stuck as much as we could on charge, eschewed the air con, except for the occasional blast and hoped that just our side lights would suffice for the Danish law requiring you to drive with lights on at all times.

    First port of call was an Aldi that didn't exist and second was a caravan shop that transpired to be just a caravan storage pen. However there was a Rema 1000 supermarket nearby, so all was not lost. We were quite desperate to find a cap for our oven flue after the original came off. The resulting 6cm hole in the roof not only made it difficult to keep the oven alight, but let in what little rain their was. When driving in slow traffic we'd followed a caravan with a 'Vejle Caravans' sticker on it. Vicky had commented that it was local, so we did a search and on finding out it was just 10km away, let Google guide us there. It turned out to be an amazing shop with plastic wine and spirit glasses and even a decanter, all made to look like cut glass. It also had very good plastic imitations of crockery bowls, plates and cups. We were almost disappointed we already had everything set up in the kitchen! We had not dared hope that we'd find a flue cap here, but sure enough, there it was, exactly what we needed! Relief buoyed us up and we made the purchase with wide grins on our faces. Despite having measured it, we still couldn't quite believe our luck, so Vicky climbed on top of the roof and fitted it there and then in the car park. Result! It was perfect!

    Next on the jobs list came filling and emptying. Will had found a motorway rest area that provided a service point, but the water was turned off and the toilet emptying backed up. There was enough room for the contents of our cassette, but we still had the problem of clean water; our guage telling us we were at 0%. A 14km drive brought us to the service point on the other side of the motorway but again we found the water had been switched off at the caravan filling point. Looking round, we discovered the unsigned motorhome point, but were dismayed to find the water button had actually been removed. However, water flowed freely from the hose designed to rinse the drain after emptying waste. We've only had one bout of water poisoning in the two years we've been on the road, but it certainly isn't something we want to repeat! We decided to go for it, running the water through first and rinsing the nozzle thoroughly. We hope it will be ok.

    From here we travelled a decent distance, giving the batteries a reasonable charge. Will had planned to stay by the sea but it had been another hot one and the site looked very exposed, so we instead opted for the shade of the acorn tree in this picnic area.
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  • Day771

    The Thor Forest, Aarhus

    August 6, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Unusually for Denmark we are parked on a piece of land raised about 15m from the sea. The car park in Thors Skov or The Thor Forest (we love these Danish names) is located just a few kilometres from the outskirts of Aarhus, Denmark's second city. Sturdy Beech trees tower above us and their branches frame a view out to the powdery grey blue of the Baltic Sea. Although we can't see it from the van, a stream gushes down a crevasse which it has cut in the hillside and the sound of rushing water reaches our ears through the open windows. The stream passes a concrete building set back from the sandy beach and housing the Viking kayak club. Many people trudge up and down the steep concrete steps leading to it and we see a number of sea kayaks being paddled cross shore.

    Will has already taken the rough forest track from the other side of the car park down to the beach and had a refreshing dip in the sea. There are a number of other people doing this and we even see a couple drive up in dressing gowns covering their swimwear. The place is busy, but this isn't surprising considering its proximity to the big city.

    We decide to go for an explore on the tandem and after a short time following a rather tricky forest path we emerged onto the excellent tarmacced cycle track that led into Aarhus. On the way we passed a tall wire mesh fence with a double gate. Behind it were a herd of dear! We watched them for a while through the fence and listened to the strange long squeal made by a couple of them who seemed very interested in us. We were more than a little surprised when a group of tourists opened up the gates and went in to stroke them! Further on was another entrance with signs asking people to respect the wildlife and only feed them fruit and veg. A small caravan had set up shop here selling hot drinks and bags of carrots. We joined the 30 or so adults and children inside the park and both got to stroke the deer, who were a mix of Fallow and Sika deer. They were a little wary, but would approach you if they thought you had food. Wild boars also lived in the forest, but they were kept in a seperate area.

    We cycled onward into the outer limits of the urban area, choosing to turn back when the traffic got busy. On our return we stopped to explore a circular pier we had passed on the way in. The Infinate Bridge was built to bring people together, as the old piers that used to stretch out from the coastline used to do. Judging by the numbers gathered around and on it, it certainly seemed to be achieving its aim. We walked along its curved path, spotting several orange jellyfish with long tentacles floating underneath us.

    The following day we decided to drive the short distance into Aarhus because we wanted to give ourselves as long as possible to explore the city without worrying about Poppy. Unfortunately there was a fayre in town, as well as what we believe was an international sailing regatta, so the car parks were packed. Changing our plans, we returned to the outskirts of the forest where we left the van in the shade of a large oak tree and cycled the 2 miles to the city centre, most of which was on a dedicated cycle track, separated from the road by a kerb. Leaving the tandem chained to one of the many bike stands attached the walls of buildings, we set about sight seeing. We soon crossed over the train station and were drawn to the several hundred metres of pavement that was dedicated to double sided, double decker bike racks with a covered middle section. The provision for cyclists here is in a different ball park from what we've seen (or not) in the UK.

    First on the itinerary was the rainbow panorama at the Åros gallery. At the top of its premises the art museum has a huge circular walkway, whose sides are made up from large rectangular panes of glass, the colours of which change through a rainbow spectrum as you walk around it, giving you tinted views of the surroundings. We admired it from the ground and went in to the building with the intention of buying an entrance ticket, but at 140kr (£17) each we felt the fee was too steep for what would need to be a quick up, round and down tour.

    Den Gamle By (the old town) was next. We had visions of characterful, photogenic streets and followed the regular signs that pointed in its direction, only to be disappointed with what appeared to be an amusement park. A closed one. Oh well, never mind.

    By now it was was getting on for lunch time so we trudged our way towards Aarhus Street Food. A former garage, the industrial looking building houses a dozen or so eateries, selling an eclectic variety of consumables. We wound through the pallet benches and rainbow mix of parasols making up the outdoor seating and took a look inside. Traditional Danish dishes, hot dogs, pizzas, fish and chips, indian curries, icecream lollies and creme brulee donuts were among the offerings, along with milkshakes, fresh juices and a good selection of beers. Long wooden tables and benches filled shared eating areas, decorated with things such as lanterns and upside down umbrella frames strung with coloured ball lights. Food and drink prices were over inflated because it seemed to be marketing itself as 'the place to be'. We were pretty hungry by now, so despite this we chose 'Nord' because it offered Danish style food that was 90-100% organic. Our shared platter contained such things as toasted rye bread sticks, potato salad, salmon coleslaw and marinated beef slices. Will enjoyed it but Vicky wasn't so keen. She felt the whole place was trying a bit too hard with its hipster image, without paying enough attention to the content.

    After lunch it was time to return to the tandem and cycle back to Poppy and the van. We were glad to have looked round Aarhus, but certainly didn't like it as much as Aalborg that we visited a few weeks back. It was more spread out, pricier and didn't seem to contain that cosy character exuded by the more northern city.

    Back at the van, we noticed a couple of does and their fawns behind the wire mesh fence of the deer park. There were no gates nearby but taking a carrot from the fridge, Vicky fed one of the mothers through the fence.

    It was a hot day and we were parked close to the Infinite Bridge, so we got our swimming gear on and made our way down to the water. Will took the plunge first and was soon warned by a group of people standing on the pier that there were jellyfish in the water. Vicky recieved the same warning from a someone coming out of the sea with a child. They were the same jellyfish we'd seen the previous day, with long 'don't mess with me' tentacles. Will had the bright idea that he could stand on the walkway and act as a spotter for Vicky, who was thus able to swim a circuit of the pier without encountering any of the dreaded creatures. Will then dived in and swam to the shore where we both got out, choosing not to push our luck any further. A search of the internet later led us to believe they were most likely Lion's Mane Jellyfish; a species which does indeed have a painful sting.
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  • Day778

    Ebeltoft and Stubbe Sø

    August 13, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Tonight's overnight spot near Stubbe Sø is quiet and calm. We are alone in the small car park, looking out onto a meadow of nettles, surrounded by cherries, oaks, berry laden elder and a border of brambles. Light rain has been falling on and off all day so the temperature is comfortably cool.

    This afternoon was taken up with a trip to Ebeltoft, one of the prettiest towns in Denmark. We parked up on the outskirts at a Kvickly supermarket that had a sign giving permission for 3 vans to stay overnight. From here it was a short walk to the old town and the cobbled mainstreet of Adelgade. It reminded us very much of Ribe, the historic town we visited earlier on our tour of Denmark. The characterful thoroughfare was lined with an enchanting mix of frontages that could have come straight out of a fairytale. Many of the one and two story buildings were timber framed, rendered and painted white, rich yellow, red or blue. Like at Ribe they lent at odd angles and bent round with the line of the street. Wooden doors had carved detail and where also painted; green being a favoured colour.

    Today will have been many Danish childrens' first day back at school and this combined with the rain meant that at points, we found ourselves alone in a deserted street. Many shops away from the core were closed but we enjoyed a bit of window shopping. The harbour too was quiet, the water still and clear. A large tall ship floated in dock, its masts and sheets reaching up towards the overcast grey sky.

    Back in the town centre we wandered through the main conmercial area, past cultured clothing boutiques, classy homeware shops, glass and ceramic galleries. There were a couple of sports shops and Vicky managed to find a swimming costume to replace her old one that had fallen apart. It was more money than we'd normally pay but we haven't been spending much on fuel or accommodation and reckoned that buying items on a highstreet was a good way of contributing to the country's economy. With this in mind we settled ourselves into Jack's Burger with a veggie and a classic burger meal. These came with drinks and interestingly enough, there was a range of beverages on offer that were produced in Ribe; the town that this one reminded us of so much!

    As a last treat to ourselves we visited the ParadIS icecream parlour, that sold a mouthwatering array of dairy and vegan icecreams. We each had two scoops which lasted us all the way back to the van, where Poppy took great pleasure in waiting for and finishing off the end of Vicky's cone.

    Grateful for the parking place, we paid our dues by shopping at Kvickly supermarket then continued on to our quiet overnight spot near Stubbe Lake. It was great for Poppy to be able to roam freely without the worry of passing traffic or disapproving locals. Will took the tandem past the free camping area to the lake and climbed the bird observation tower. Stubbe Sø is within Mols Bjerge National Park, so the area was oriented around wildlife habitats and there was no access to the water for swimming or fishing. On the path leading back to the van Will noticed a whole load of damsons and plums. Many of the latter had split while still on the tree; starved of moisture then deluged with downpours, it was a natural reaction. With only a salad to make for tea, he went out and picked several kilos, spending the evening stoning the fruit and putting it into our big pressure cooker with some sugar to make jam.

    Just as dusk was beginning to fall, Vicky noticed two long pointy ears poke into view through the driver's window. Two large, round, golden eyes peeked in at her for a second as if to say 'what are you doing here?' The hare crouched down within Will's line of sight and Vicky hit the record button on her camera phone, just in time to see the creature stick its head up at the front of the van, then hop round us and off into the undergrowth. What a treat!

    Before leaving the following morning, we both took a walk to the bird tower. On the way we heard a cacophonous honking and looking behind us, saw hundreds of geese flying in a V formation high over Martha Motorhome. When we got to the lake they had all settled themselves down on the water at a respectable distance from the swans that partolled the near shore. At this point we were able to tell they were a mixture of Canadian and Greylag Geese.

    Enjoying the sounds of the wind rustling the reeds, along with the high pitched 'pip, pip' of a Coot, we scanned the scene with binoculars and the camera's telephoto lens. Cormorants occupied a fallen trunk laying in the water and their presence extended upwards into the living tree above, where they roosted almost all the way to the top branches. Will spotted a bird of prey that turned out to be a Marsh Harrier. Although it was far away it was a real joy watch it hovering and swooping, especially when its mate appeared too!
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  • Day780

    Hampen Sø and Himmelbergjet

    August 15, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Regular readers of this blog may by now be getting bored of descriptions containing the words 'woodland' and 'lake'. Sorry to disappoint, but we are once again settled in a woodland car park on the edge of a lake with a picnic area and access for swimming. We are making the most of these Danish facilities while the sun shines!

    We started the day off by driving to an Aldi and getting the shopping in, then filling our tank with water and emptying waste at motorway services. Vicky has been using gallons to hand wash the laundry and we actually ran out of water this morning!

    Today is our 9th wedding anniversary and we'd planned to visit Himmelbergjet. 'Himmel' means 'sky' and 'berg' translates as 'mountain', but the name Sky Mountain regularly has fun poked at it by the Danes themselves, because it only reaches 147m towards the sky. Parking was provided just 300m away from the summit and cost 10kr an hour. The Danish school holidays are at an end so the place wasn't busy but it was very touristy by Denmark's standards. There was a hotel, icecream stands and souvenir huts. We followed the wooden signs and wide gravel track, choosing the steeper of the two options that told us it wasn't suitable for wheelchairs. A slight incline and 300m later, we arrived at the peak; a gravel topped mound surrounded by wooden post and rail fencing and supporting a brick built tower with a square based pyramid roof which charged a further 10kr for entry. The tower didn't hold our attention for long and we wandered past it to the edge of the fenced off area. The downward sloping foreground had been deforested to open up the view and was covered with a mix of purple heather and low bilberry bushes, their glossy green leaves gradually turning to orange and red. Beyond this were far reaching views over forested valley sides in which sat the long Julsø lake; one of a network of waterways that make up this country's Lake District. We watched various boats come and go before we saw one puffing out a plume of black smoke. We realised this must be Hjejlen, the oldest operating coal fired paddle steamer in the world.

    After staying on the mountain top to take some anniversary photos, we mulled over our impression of Himmelbergjet. We liked the views over the lake and valley but had been put off by the fencing and tower. For us, much of the joy of being at the top of a mountain is having pushed ourselves to climb it; the 300m gentle slope didn't exactly challenge us. We also love the wide open feeling of being at the top of the world, in somewhere wild and wonderful. The fence and brick built tower both conspired against this feeling, so although we were very glad to have visited, we left with mixed feelings about Sky Mountain.

    A short drive later we arrived at Hampen Sø. It was just off a main road so there was traffic noise and usually one or more people parked up around the clearing but it had a lovely view of the lake and we could open our door straight into the forest for Poppy. We celebrated our anniversary with roast chicken, courtesy of Will, a bottle of bubbly and the 'finest selection' of dark chocolates, courtesy of Aldi.

    In the morning, Poppy enjoyed a paddle in the shallows and the two of us indulged in a spot of wild swimming. The bed was sandy and the water clear enough to see a shoal of perch swimming lazily in front of us as we waded out. We stopped and watched as they came to investigate these strange new additions to their environment, coming within a few centimetres of our toes!
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  • Day774

    Hald Sø

    August 9, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Hald Sø is another lovely lakeside parking place, albeit a little less busy than De Små Fisk in the heart of the Lake District, where we stayed the previous two nights. We've parked under the broad reaching oak trees to shade us from the sun, although cooler temperatures are forecast for tomorrow. The solar charger is propped up over the other side of the grass and gravel car park and converting those hot UV rays into bars on our lithium ion power pack.

    It is the final week of the Danish school holidays and parents bring their kids for a picnic and last dip in the lake before another academic year begins. Runners, cyclists, dog walkers and canoeists also make use of this wonderfully kept access point. Will takes our canoe onto the lake while Vicky rests. He enjoys a refreshing swim and returns with a grin from ear to ear.

    As the day progresses, the wind picks up, the skies darken and eventually they open to a torrent of rain that leaves pock marks in the sandy ground. The tree branches sway back and forth and several smaller ones break off. The oaks' deep roots have tapped into the lake's groundwater and their acorns have grown large but not yet ripe. Some fall on our roof, their bangs accompanying the irregular tattoo of fat droplets falling from the leaves.

    The storm continues all night and leaves the air fresh the following morning. The dry land has needed this and we hope it is the start of a pattern. There are far fewer people today as the rain comes on and off. We make use of a dry spell to take a walk along the lakeside, then up a small canal footpath. The Pond Skaters are out in force, hundreds, if not thousands of them zipping across the surface, their feet dimpling the meniscus but not quite breaking it. We snack on blackberries and get back just a minute before the rain comes once again. We savour the cool and enjoy putting the kettle on for a cuppa more than we have in months!
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  • Day745

    Thorsminde Havn

    July 11, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    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.
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  • Day772

    De Små Fisk Park, Brassø

    August 7, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    We've found a spot for the night at the busy De Små Fisk park in the heart of Denmark's Lake District. Vehicles come and go from the large gravel car park, bordered by a pine woodland. Between us and Brassø (Bras Lake) is an area of grassland with picnic benches and some metal open canoes (free for anyone to use). Families share food, play games and cool off in the lake. Adjacent to this is a toilet block with outdoor sink and standpipe, providing drinking water for those staying at the free campground, either in tents or in one of the raised wooden sleeping huts.

    When we arrived, Will soon made use of the fenced off bathing area. There were signs warning of blue-green algae, advising you not to swim if you couldn't see your feet when standing knee deep in the water. The algae was present in the lake but not at this high concentration. All the same, Vicky didn't want to risk it and instead spent the afternoon in the van making 'no cook' vegan ferrero rocher bites, that Will had to admit were tasty. People continued arriving even after 10pm but there was no problem with noise.

    We had considered taking a ferry from De Små Fisk to Himmelbjerget (Sky Mountain); one of Denmark's highest spots at a cloud topping 147m above sea level! Ok, so its no Ben Nevis, but we were keen to climb it. Unfortunately the itinerary of the ferry meant that when we got there it would almost be time to come back for Poppy so we gave it a miss, even though one of the ferries, Hjejlen, was the world's oldest operating paddle steamboat.

    The following day was forecast to be a sweltering 30°C. By now we have become adept at keeping the van as cool as possible by parking in shady spots, opening windows and vents, closing blinds, putting out ice packs and warming water on the hob instead of using the less efficient hot water tank, but we were still worried Poppy would overheat.

    When we'd done all we could to prevent the van from getting too hot and doused our grumpy dog in cold water, we popped our canoe on its wheels and trundled it down to the lakeside, where there was a specific canoe launching spot. The moorings at the small wooden pier were already taken with 4 of the metal canoes, but it was easy enough to get our Little Green in from the bank. Brassø was also busy with groups of kayakers and canoes not to mention the Great Crested Grebes diving in search of fish.
    We paddled accross the small lake and up a channel that the sight seeing ferry disappeared into. A while back we'd done a canoeing holiday on the Norfolk Broads and the area reminded us of this, although the Danish Lake Distrct is made up of more lakes and fewer channels than is the case with the Broads.

    The passage we paddled through was lined with pleasure craft, tied securely to a variety of jetties that protruded from long, well kept gardens and sought after holiday homes. Several small boats were out and about, but there was a speed limit of '8 knob' (knots) so they weren't going too fast.

    Emerging into the Borre Sø lake, we paddled around Borre Ø, one of the many tree covered islands that lay waiting to be explored. At this point it began to rain but even though it was quite heavy, the temperature was so warm that it was a pleasant sensation.

    Despite it being busy, we enjoyed our stay at De Små Fisk and are increasingly falling in love with Denmark for providing areas like this, with camping facilities and access to swimming, canoeing and walking.
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  • Day744

    Ulfborg and Hvide Sande

    July 10, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    The sound of wind chimes softly tumbles in the breeze around Ulfborg's gravel Autocamper Stellplätze. We are parked with the door and windows open, early evening sunlight dapples the van through the leaves of mature Beech and Poplar trees. We are feeling very grateful for this free motorhome parking area, having moved on from several overnighters we had planned.

    The first place on the itinerary had been Holmsland Klit, a 35km long sandbar with the North Sea on one side and Ringkøbing Fjord (a vast lagoon) on the other. Although we passed a few small lakes at the start of our journey accross the bar, we didn't really get the sense that it had water on both sides. From looking at the map we'd had expectations of sea views to the left and looking out over the lagoon to the right, but in reality, the bar was broad (over 1km at most points) and the landscape was that of low but established dunes, meaning we couldn't see water on either side.

    It seemed that almost the entire length had been turned into a holiday haven of family oriented campsites, thatch rooved bungalows and wooden cabins, huddled low in dune burrows that protected them somewhat against the wind. It wasn't exactly crowded, but you could always see holiday homes amongst the maram grass and low shrubs, either clustered together in resort villages or hidden away in their own pocket of dune.

    As we neared the middle of the bar, our surroundings became more built up. Hvide Sande is a small town centred around its port and the deep sea fishing industry. Overnight parking of vans was prohibited on much of the bar, but there was an autocamper stellplätz in the harbour for 100kr (£12). Driving past some large, metal sided fish processing factories, we pulled in to an available spot, face on to a grey cylindrical tank that could have fitted several vans inside it. Although we appreciated the provision, there wasn't easy access to either the lagoon or the sea and neither the views nor the industrial / touristy atmosphere were for us, so we chose to keep going, checking out a few other potential spots along the way that came to nothing.

    It was therefore with much relief that we eventually pulled into Ulfborg's free stellplätz. The distances we are covering each day aren't great but it is disconcerting to find that places you planned to stay, either aren't there or aren't suitable; an occurance that is very much part of life on the road.

    Taking a short walk through Ulfborg, we had a nose in a charity shop and explored the woodland park where there were sheltered picnic tables and fire pit with a stock of chopped wood, as well as a small open air stage build into the terrain, an almost dry pond and some children's play apparatus. What a brilliant resource!

    We ate tea back at the van but returned to the town to visit Gæstgivergaarden, a 'Kru' (Inn) we had clocked earlier. We didn't quite know what to expect as we entered from the brightly lit street, but as our eyes adjusted we saw a wooden topped bar with a scar faced, shaven headed bar tender behind it. In her best Danish, (not a patch on the Dane's English), Vicky ordered two beers, just saying that we wanted Danish beer when he questioned which one. We sat ourselves down with our Tuborgs at a corner table, taking in the feel of the place. Music blasted from speakers while a group of drinkers in the opposite corner competed for who could be loudest. A pool-like table was set up in the middle of the room with a couple of white balls and some wooden pins like miniature skittles. We later found this to be Danish kegle billard or Danish five pin billiards.

    After a little while one of the drinkers, came over to chat to us. We think her name was Connie. She was loud but very friendly and we ended up nattering for about half an hour! She recommended some pubs in nearby towns, focussing on Irish and English pubs and advised that we stear clear of the Danish alcohol free beers that weren't half as good as the German ones. Her stepfather was English and she had visited in the mid 90s, she was shocked to hear that house prices had gone up and many people were now comparatively poorer. She told us that in Denmark you could buy a nice house with a garden and enough room for 2 or 3 kids for the equivalent of £50,000 and that the government really looked after its people. Of course she had complaints about how the country was run, but it was interesting to compare. As with so many people here, she had brilliant English and when Vicky commented that she had a slight Scottish accent, she corrected her, saying that the Scots had a Danish accent from when the Danes invaded!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Region Midtjylland, Central Jutland, محافظة ميديولند, Централна Ютландия, Kreizjutland, Jutlàndia Central, Юккъера Ютланди, Midtjylland, Regiono Meza Jutlando, Jutlandia Central, Kesk-Jüütimaa piirkond, Erdialdeko Jutlandia, استان میدیولند, Keski-Jyllannin alue, Región Miðjútland, Jutland-Central, Regiuun Midtjylland, Midden-Jutlân, Središnji Jylland, Midtjylland régió, Կենտրոնական Յուտլանդիա տարածաշրջան, Jutland centrale, 中央ユラン地域, ცენტრალური იუტლანდიის რეგიონი, Орталық Ютландия, 중앙윌란 지역, Iutia Media, Vidurio Jutlandijos regionas, Vidusjitlandes reģions, Средна Данска, Wilayah Midtjylland, Region Middjüütland, Midden-Jutland, Jutlàndia Centrala, Централон Ютланди, Jutlandia Środkowa, Jutlândia Central, Regiunea Midtjylland, Центральная Ютландия, Central Denmark Region, Gaska-Jyllándda regiuvdna, Stredné Jutsko, Средишња Данска, Mittjylland, Центральна Ютландія, وسطی ڈنمارک علاقہ, Trung Jutland, 中日德兰大区

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