College Kids, Wild Vikings in Ribe & Water Aerobics: Esbjerg, Denmark

Our first full day in Denmark begins with Bjorn and Annika going off to a college lecture with their big sister, Ashlee. They are eager ┬ástudents, taking notes in class. I don’t suppose they might have such an opportunity in the U.S. They are just 12 years old, after all.

Kristoff and I spent this time running to five different stores trying to find a SIM card for my iPad so that we can have data service… that we might have access to google maps… that we might be able to find our way around. AT&T is our carrier at home, and their overseas data service is ridiculously expensive. For $14 USD we get 10 gigs of data on the SIM card.

After the first lecture hour I pick the babes up just before the disturbing lecture on human trafficking begins. We head off to a town called Ribe, which is thought to be the oldest Viking town in Denmark. Before that we stop in at the Vikings Center, which is a town with reenactment of the Viking lifestyle that is run completely by volunteers. While we are there they are shooting a movie about Vikings. Incidentally, I might mention here that my father’s bloodline apparently traces back to Viking roots, which might explain a few things about me.

They have some cool old buildings here. It is hard to get good pictures inside because the lighting is poor, so I don’t get very many shots.

They have some livestock as well. I suppose the volunteers take care of the animals. These two big guys are peaceful enough.

The kids then approach this cow. This one is positioned on the end of a rope, and had eaten most of the grass around itself. Annika decides to pick the long grass and feed the cow, which it seems eager enough to eat. Annika then turns her back to the animal as she picks up more grass, and it suddenly lunges forward and bumps her in the rear end with it’s gigantic snout, which sends her flying forward a foot or two. Ouch! Unfortunately I miss the photo op…..luckily she is not hurt…..a little surprised, no doubt.

We then head over to the actual Ribe town. Ashlee will be coming by train after her lecture on human trafficking is finished. In the meantime we grab some really big ice cream cones…..a rare treat that I would splurge on such frivolity…..

Ashlee arrives shortly, and we are soon on our way to explore this darling town. I think it would be pretty cool to live in a place like this. As you might suspect we find our way to the Ribe cathedral, which is the oldest Christian church in Denmark. You might notice that the altar paintings (1980’s) are very unusual indeed.

No church visit is ever complete without a run up to the bell tower. The views are incredible. The fields to the west there is a large UNESCO world heritage preservation site.

At 5 pm we meet up with a guide who provides us with a free walking tour of this incredibly lovely historic town.

The next day brings Annika to school with Ashlee for most of the day. I drop them off in the morning and make a grocery store run. I dunno, what do you think? I get this much groceries for about $50 USD. I must admit that it is hard to know what the prices are, and how to shop for sales as compared to home. So if I just walked into a random grocery store at home, I am thinking that maybe for the same amount of stuff I might be out pretty close to the same amount of money?

The interesting thing is that the cashier is handing out little packages to the customers after the sale. Come to find out that they are handing out little seed packets to each customer, instead of McDonald’s Monopoly tickets….or whatever…..Maybe the seeds could be a lot more helpful to American families…..

While Ashlee and Annika are at the university lectures, I make some apple cake. The apartment has no butter or oil available, so after a quick Google search I find a recipe for fat free apple cake. Incidentally it turns out to be very delicious, indeed!

We are waiting for our friends from Berlin to fly in this afternoon, but apparently their flight got cancelled. They are renting a car and driving here instead so we have some time to kill before they arrive. We decide to head over to the local swimming hall. We all join in for a water aerobics session, which has the instructor happily teaching the class in English.

Then we are off to play….

Our friends show up at about 10 pm. We catch up for a bit and get ready for tomorrow, which will be a big day! We are going to the original Legoland in Billund, which is just a short drive from our lovely Esbjerg town. The kids are so excited….what about me? I think I will be nauseated tomorrow and have a headache……