Our first non-driving day
9th July 2018
Where are we? Broager, Denmark
Five days of driving in six different countries and we had been feeling the heat with blue sky all the way so waking up to a blustery Danish morning was slightly disappointing. But on the plus side we could wake up and lazily laze around without having to pack up and keep moving so we all took advantage of this. Of course a day of no driving just means we have an opportunity to have our first bike ride so the lazing can’t last forever. A couple of coffees got me moving eventually, I had 6 bikes to prepare, howling wind be damned. Thirty five minutes and one black eye later (smacked into a bike fork, honest) they were ready and all that we needed was for the children to be ready. Forty five minutes later they just about were and we didn’t want to wait any longer so we were off. It was not an auspicious beginning. Right outside the campsite there was a short sharp hill and we were heading straight into the wind as well so we were off the bikes almost straight away walking them up the hill. A few false starts but we eventually got into our rhythm even though we were battling a headwind for all of our ride into town. We had to find a shop to purchase a few bits and pieces for our lunch so this was our first mission for the day. One of the great things about travelling by campervan is that you don’t just have to visit the main cities in the countries you visit, you can get to anywhere and for us part of the fun of being in a new country is not visiting the tourist hotspots but visiting Anytown and having a bit of a wander around. So we walked through Broager, a town with 2 pizza restaurants, 2 supermarkets, a library, a church and not much else. The church was impressive, gleaming white with two huge spires and one of the neatest and most lovingly tended cemeteries I have seen so we strolled around looking at the graves of the Andersens, Jorgensens, Nielsens and Christensens and the memorial to their war dead before heading to the supermarket to pick up things for lunch. The plastic free challenge is tough because we are usually limited in what we can get from shops and here was no exception. But, while we are limited and we may have to do without one or two things we have not starved yet and we managed to get enough to whip ourselves up some sandwiches which we did while sitting in the bandstand in the park in the centre of town. The village has nothing of appeal ad there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to go there but I just love to wander about with my family, hang out with them and see whatever it is that there is to see. After our lunch we took a different route back to our campsite and at one point we came to a crossroads and were a little unsure of which direction to take when a guardian angel of Broagerland appeared literally from nowhere to guide us. They have mobile tourist information officers riding around on electric bikes with a large box on the front which opens to reveal a plethora of tourist brochures and information on the wider area. This woman just seemed to appear from behind a field of wheat asking if we needed any help then we spent some time chatting with her as she displayed her impressive grasp of English and French. She managed to drop a few suggestions in to the mix for us and provide a short history and geology lesson before silently zooming off on her electric bike leaving us to wonder if she had actually been there at all. With the wind at our backs the rest of the ride back was easy and it was good to get the first one under our belt. We were all refreshed after our driving break and looking forward to heading off to Copenhagen.
What have we learned? I don’t think it is a generalisation to say that Scandinavians have an excellent skill at languages; English, German, French, as well as their own and that’s just for starters.
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