Ebeltoft and Stubbe SøAugust 13 in Denmark
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!Read more