So…it’s been awhile huh? We haven’t really traveled too much due to COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy. This post will fill you in on what’s been going on in our Danish lives.
First, the girls started school!
They are so happy to be back in school. They missed their friends and all the activities they get to do at school. I missed hearing their school stories.
As for my news, I’ve started language school.
I was already taking lessons but I wanted a bigger challenge. So I decided to dive head first into the language.
The teacher speaks 70% Danish the whole lesson so it’s been a tough. I find the listening and pronunciation of Danish very difficult.
For example, the above word “hyggelig” is pronounced ‘who-ga-ly’ (sort of). There are soft ds (pronounced as ls), ds you simply ignore completely and words that make no sense. “Nogle” is pronounced ‘noon’.
Yeah. It’s been frustrating and taking up a lot of my time.
I have homework and have been studying for my first test.
I’m happy to say I passed it but it was HARD. The written part was easy for me but the interview was difficult. I felt slow trying to translate the question in my head then repeat the answer back in Danish. I also didn’t use complete sentences and accidently answered in English a couple times. Oopss!
But hey; I still passed!
Due to my Danish lessons, I’ve been getting to know the Danish countryside more. I’ve been going on hikes/walks to pass the time while waiting for the girls to get out of school.
Below are just a few pictures I’ve taken on said hikes.
The stone columns in one of the pictures is from a German petrol pipeline that ran 8.5 km (around 5 miles) during WWII. Only these three columns remain.
We’ve also been busy harvesting the fruits around our place. It was one of the coldest July’s on record so my poor vegetable garden did not do well. I have a few tomatoes but everything else has suffered greatly.
But the fruit has been amazing.
We picked Aronia berries and I made some syrup from them. We used the syrup for ice cream and cocktails. My husband was a big fan of a whiskey sour I made with it.
We also picked our apple trees. The first thing I made was apple pie. I’ve also made several apple crisps. I made 11.5 pints of applesauce from 20 lbs of apples. We also spent some time with some Danish acquaintances and made 8 quarts of apple cider. Luckily, I had such enthusiastic helpers.
As for travel, we’ve stuck mostly to Denmark.
Now that the crowds have dwindled, we spent a day at Legoland. Claire was very excited to get back on a roller coaster and Avery wanted to go on all the rides all by herself. I had to beg to go on a few with her. She is Miss Independent (or stubborn).
We also made an escape to the west coast of Denmark.
We looked around at the WWII bunkers scattered across the beach. They are old concrete bunkers that were built by the Germans. One we looked at had housed a radar to find Allied planes coming from the west. Now they sit graffiti-ed and dilapidated on the beach.
We also took a short trip as a family to Tirslundstenen (the Tirslund Rock).
It’s a BIG rock! From what we translated (and I looked up online), it is the 7th biggest rock in Denmark. It is estimated to have been dropped off in Denmark during the last Ice Age. Legend has it that Harald Blåtand wanted the rock to use as a memorial for his mother and father. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the rock due to enemies and war. The legend continues that the iron sled that was to be used to haul it north is buried underground along with treasure. (Side note: Blåtand translates to Bluetooth. Bluetooth technology was named after Harald because he was known has a great communicator who helped unify the kingdom of Denmark.)
In 1792, a local priest tried to blow it up. He failed miserably. He only managed to blow a small piece off the top.
A lot of history from one big rock!
And speaking of rocks, we took a trip to Jelling to visit the most famous rocks of Denmark; the Jelling Stones.
Why are these rocks so famous? One rock, Gorm’s stone, mentions the name Denmark for the first time in history. It was believed to have been placed there around 950 AD by Gorm the Old in memory of his wife, Queen Thyra.
The second, Harald’s Stone, states that Harald Blåtand is king of all the land and that Christianity is the official religion of the Danes. It is also known as Denmark’s birth certificate and was carved around 965 AD.
And it’s not just some important runes, the museum has free entrance and is amazing! The first floor offers interactive graphics with artifacts and lot of history (and English as well). The stories are told with what looks like chalk art being drawn on a blackboard in real time. It’s really quite amazing. There’s also some interactive parts for kids to keep them interested too. Claire especially loved a part that illustrates your journey to Valhalla.
The second floor has more history and the history of the museum and archeological sight. You are also able to walk to the roof of the museum and look out to the area that was likely the center of the Viking burial ground (where a church is now located). It was shaped like a ship and known as the ship of death to carry the souls to Valhalla. There are actually several of these noted throughout Denmark in other Viking settlements. The one in Jelling is marked out by some white steel beams to indicate how it may have looked back in King Blåtand’s day.
Under the church, lies what could be the bones of Gorm the Old. They were discovered in 1978. Now a small silver strip in the floor marks the spot where these bones now lie.
We all had a great time and I HIGHLY recommend visiting the Jelling stones and museum if you are in the area!
That about sums up our trips around Denmark before fall break.
We are currently ending fall break here and we actually made a trip to Germany (since it is one of the 5 countries that are open to travel for Danes).
Hopefully that blog post will be written before the end of this month…