Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Random September Pictures

 Of course the Cat...
 Myra and her school class participated in this city wide sing along with kids her same age from all the other schools in the area.  They had learned a bunch of songs and just got together and sang them with one another. 

 Lexi really likes doing backbends.

 Whoa Myra...
We went to the local park and roasted snobrød, played some football and found a geocache.  Oh, and some goats.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trip to Jylland

September was a busy month for us, with the kids getting into school and both Chad and I busy with our work endeavors.  But, we managed to squeeze in an awesome weekend excursion to the Northern most part of Denmark, on the part of Denmark known as Jylland (or Jutland in English.)  We found a cute little summer cabin to rent and headed off for the weekend.

 It was such a fun trip.  I was most excited to visit this old lighthouse that is slowly being reclaimed by the land.

Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse was built in 1900.  It was used until 1968, then turned into a museum and cafe before being completely closed down due to the eroding coastline.  Almost 5 feet erode every year and it is estimated that in 8 or 9 years, the lighthouse will tumble into the sea.  I've found several old pictures online and it was kind of amazing to see how far away from the side of the cliff the lighthouse use to be.  Mother Nature is amazing.

This dates to the 1920's.  Not even close to the cliff edge.
This is from the 1970's, I believe.  At this time it was a little cafe, but the edge was encroaching.  The outer buildings were eventually torn down for safety reasons and now the edge of the cliff is just right behind the lighthouse. 
 It was a super windy day when we got there and as we approached the lighthouse, we could see the sand shifting around the dunes.

Can you see all that sand blowing around?  What were we thinking?

Noah's worst day ever.

 By the time we finally got to the base of the dunes, we could barely keep our eyes open and the wind was making it hard to breathe.  Noah was screaming his head off, Myra was less than enthusiastic and only Lexi was really game to keep going.  We tried climbing up the dune to the right side of the lighthouse, but really couldn't make it with how strong the wind was.  I headed back down with the kids, while Chad managed to get to the top and with his eyes closed, took a few pictures.

The girls tried a few sand angels and Noah continued to scream.  When Chad came back down, Lexi and I decided to brave the storm and go right up to the lighthouse.  The wind really was miserable, but it was such a cool place to visit.

Yeah, so my camera was already messed up with the dark spot from our Germany trip, but the sand got all over inside of it to where it doesn't open and close when it should.  I guess it's time for a new camera.

Brave little Lexi.

It was kind of nice standing inside, out of the wind.

I took this right next to the lighthouse, you can see how close the cliff edge is now.

  I wish we had taken a picture of ourselves after the sandstorm, we were seriously, completely covered in sand.

Chad put Noah's coat on backwards so the hood would be covering his face, but the moisture from his breathing mixed with the sand to create a paste that was all over his face when the hood was taken done.  Doesn't he look just so happy?
 I think I was still washing sand out of my hair for a week after.  After unsuccessfully shaking off some of the sand, we headed further north to Skagen.

We walked out to the northernmost tip, where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet one another.  It was pretty neat to see the 2 seas ramming into one another.

 The waves were mostly staying farther out, but at one point, one came in and nearly carried Noah off.  There were signs posted all over to not swim in the area and you could tell that it would be a very dangerous area to be in the water.
 The area itself was pretty neat.  During WW2, Denmark was occupied by Germany and the Nazis built and manned bunkers all along the countries western coastline.  We saw several of these bunkers in the area, being slowly encroached upon by sand and water.

Skagen Lighthouse

WW2 bunker that use to be on the land, but the coastline has eroded a lot.

Near this area, we also visited the Tilsandede Kirke or the Buried Church.

The church was built during the mid to later 1300's.  By the 1600's, much of the area had gone through desertification and the sand was encroaching drastically upon the church.  It was so bad that before the church was closed, the parishioners were having to dig themselves out after each service.  So, in the 1700's it was closed down.  The body of the church was demolished and allowed to be filled in by sand and now only the tower remains.  They've not done much excavating of the site, but they say that the altar and baptismal font still remain, buried under all the sand.

The next day, we packed up and started heading back home.  We drove out toward the western side of Jylland and visited Spøttrup Borg.

This cute little castle is one of my favorite type of castles, in the fact that there was hardly anyone there and the entire castle was open to wander and explore.  Very fun!  We really enjoyed wandering the halls and exploring.  We seriously didn't see another person for the first hour we were there, not even any workers.  It was great!

 After leaving there, we finished off our trip with a visit to the Jelling Stones.

These large runestones were carved in the 10th century and are deemed extremely important to Denmark's history.  They are the first time that the name Danmark has been found in written history and they also told of the Danes being converted to Christianity.  Which we thought was a little ironic since they were placed between 2 Pagan Viking burial mounds surrounded by a rock boat on it's way to Valhalla.  It's also an Unesco World Heritage site.  It was a bit underwhelming, but I'm glad we had the opportunity to go there and see such an important part of the world's history.

The 2 burial mounds have the flags on top.  The Jelling Stones and an old church are between them.

Right after leaving Jelling, we came across this little lake with a perfect picture opportunity.

This little mini-vacation was so much fun!  It was so great to see parts of Denmark that we haven't been to before.  We live in such an awesome place!

And to finish it off, the kids got a hold of the camera while we were packing up at the cabin and this is what I found...