Fall is in full swing here in Denmark even if it doesn’t officially start on the calendar until tomorrow.
The leaves are falling off the trees, apples are being picked, temperatures are staying below 70°F and the days are getting shorter…much shorter.
With that sad thought and my vitamin D in hand, how about I tell you about our family trip on what was likely the last summer-like day we had here in Denmark for the year. (Hint: we went to the beach!)
The forecast was for temperatures to be in the 80s and sunny skies. I had come across a Facebook ad for a sand sculpture festival in northwest Denmark. The theme this year was robots and since my oldest loves robots and the ocean, we figured it was a good bet to go check it out.
First, we made a stop in Varde to break up the ride and grab lunch. Google advertised a mini town (miniby) there and some thrift shops that needed checking out.
Fun Fact: There are at least 10 mini towns throughout Denmark. Most are built by volunteers and funded through donations and/or fees to enter the park.
We figured the girls would love to look at some tiny buildings.
While they thought the buildings were cute, they really loved the scavenger hunt offered to them. A sheet of paper listed pictures of certain landmarks within the miniby. Each landmark then had a letter next to it; find the letter and fill out the missing word.
It was really fun for ALL of us! The girls found a couple but it wasn’t easy for them. I had to assist them and it took us quite awhile to locate all of the letters. Since the missing word was in Danish, that also presented it’s own challenge. A few of the landmarks were also very small and hard to locate, like a window with red trim or a blue door when there were multiple blue doors through the town. After at least 45 minutes, we figured out the word (I’m not going to tell you in case you visit it).
I was really impressed by all the tiny details and care put into the property. My favorite buildings were the church that chimed every 15 minutes (or so) and the little mill.
After a picnic lunch next to some gorgeous cone flowers:
we made our way to the beach!
By the time we got there, it was early afternoon. It was warm and Søndervig was busy. It appeared most Danes had the same thought we had, get out and enjoy the warm weather by the ocean!
We parked quickly, got the girls changed into swimsuits and walked to the sand sculptures.
I’m not sure what I was expecting. It was smaller than I expected but oh my goodness! The talent of these artists!!!
I would look at a sculpture and have to remind myself that it was sand! I can hardly make a decent one level sandcastle. These artists were building massive works of art!
Like I mentioned above, the theme was robots and it varied from many different themes within that; from the dangers of robots, to sci fi, to robots in medicine, etc. Each sculpture had a picture of the artist(s) and the story behind their work. Simply amazing!
The girls did get bored quickly. Avery just wanted to play in the sand. Claire was not interested in the story and looked at all of them once and was done. But not to worry! They had a big sandpit for children equipped with sand shovels and pails. We dropped them off there and looked at the rest of the sculptures.
After looking at all the sculptures and feeling untalented ourselves, we made our way to the beach.
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this in other posts but I’m just going to say it again. I LOVE the beach. The sound of the waves, the cool breeze, the sand between your toes and the warm sun. It’s like a refueling station. Now if Denmark weather could work with me a little more and give me more days like the one we had, I’d be set!
Claire adventured farther out into the waves. And Avery played, some more, in the sand.
After several hours, we were hungry and thoroughly charged. We headed home happy with all we had seen and done in one day.
The next day, we decided to venture around Gram. We made it a short trip as we were running errands and we noticed a paleontology museum near by that was open. First, we stopped and walked around Gram Slot (castle) and it’s beautiful gardens. It was almost like a maze leading to a beautiful view of the castle and a fountain.
We were melting at this point so we made a quick trip to grab some ice cream (is in Danish which both girls say perfectly).
The museum was pretty small but the history there is so neat. Extinct whales had been discovered in its clay pits and we were able to go dig in this pit. A archaeologist/helper explained to us that we could keep any of the small fossils we found but to show any big ones to her. Claire, of course, saw this as a challenge. She was frantically digging trying to find a huge fossil. Unfortunately for her, she only found small shells and a few fossil imprints. We explained to her that her finds were millions of years old so that did improve her mood a bit.
But it was HOT! The clay pit was out in the open with no shade. The clay was also very hard and dry. On a typical Danish day, we probably would have had a little bit more mud and rain to soften the clay. After about 30 minutes, we called it a day and made our way home with some new fossils and shells in our pockets wondering how millions of years old they truly were.