Danish Field Trip

A few weekends ago, Thomas and I returned to Skanderborg to visit our Danish friends, Martin and Lisbeth, and see Martin’s bookbinding exhibition at the local museum. He does amazing work (click here to see the gallery of his work, a few samples below).

M1 M2

After that, we went back to their house for coffee and a snack. When we were planning our trip, they asked us if we had additional time to go to a place called Klostermølle, and even though we had no idea what this place was, we of course agreed to go! So after coffee, we hopped in the car again. It had been pretty windy and foggy all day, with intermittent threats of rain. After a beautiful drive around one of the largest lakes in Jutland, Mossø, we arrived at Klostermølle, which turned out to be a nature area with a twist. In the Middle Ages, monks had built a monastery in the area, and diverted the small river in the area so they could build a mill. After the monastery was destroyed during the Reformation, the mill was still used, but converted to use as a paper mill. The mill still exists on the site and you can climb to the top where there is a great view of the area.

papermill    S3

S4

There are also some purportedly nice hiking trails in the area, but we decided that would wait until another visit, since it was rainy and too foggy from the hill to see much of anything. Next they drove us to the site of another demolished monastery, which we could only peek at over the fence because it doesn’t open for tours until May. Speaking of the Reformation, our next stop was Sct. Sørens Church, which was where the first Lutheran Danish king was elected. This ticked off a few people and resulted in a two year civil war. You can guess who won. Subsequently, many monasteries were destroyed and the bricks used to build Skanderborg castle.  Unfortunately the church was locked (on a Sunday) and we couldn’t go in, but the church was unique in that the church building was separate from the tower.

rykierke

So, we got back in the car for one more stop. In the area there were several archaeological excavations because the sites of several battles from the Iron Age had been found. I guess at one point there were tours and M&L wanted to take us there to see if you could still see the excavations. It turns out they are not doing any excavations currently, so we got to see a really nice bog, but reading about the site later, it sounds very interesting. Hopefully they will do another excavation soon and we can go on a tour! Here is some more information to those who are archaeologically inclined (in English!): Alken Enge. That was our latest Skanderborg adventure and I’m sure we will be going back sometime soon for another.

In other news, we’ve both been keeping busy going to Danish class, preparing for our module one test in May. Our class has gone from about 30 people down to just about 10, on a good day. The last time there were only five of us. While Thomas is at work, I have been going to events put on by the International Community specifically for spouses. The last event was at Bora Bora dance theater. We got a nice little tour and one of the choreographers explained the process for making a performance (and free coffee!). I’ve also been knitting with my new friend from New Zealand, so that’s been fun! I’ve started doing some online volunteer work doing grant research and writing and am going to be volunteering for Denmark’s Cancer Society in the near future. Lastly, we can’t complain about the weather here, its been pretty mild compared to what our fellow Minnesotans are enduring. Here is a Danish phrase I hope all Minnesotans can be saying soon: Solen skinner (the sun shines)!

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