It was just after three o'clock in the morning last Thursday when Dad shook me vigorously to get me out of bed. It was two minutes after four when we took off in our BMW X5, northbound for our big summer adventure. 1300 kilometres were lying ahead of us this day and the plan was to be in the region of Frankfurt at 9 a.m. All of you who have the experience of "Stau" on the German freeways know what I'm talking about. We already had 30 min delay on our program when passing Frankfurt and it only got worse with repeat accidents and far too many trucks on the road. We passed the German-Danish border close to Flensburg four hours after schedule with the last Stau, loosing more than an hour in front of the Elbe tunnel where only 2 of 4 lanes were open for traffic. And not a single restaurant in the area seemed to have a dinner table for two. Our last hope was the pizzeria-steakhouse in Gørding not far from Esbjerg where Dad had found us a lovely hotel in the middle of nowhere.
It was probably the worst dinner of our lives, including our ferry meal when travelling to Albania last year. We arrived a quarter to nine and ordered our meal. Five minutes later we were each given a doggy bag and told that the guys in the kitchen refused to work any longer so we had our cold dinner in our hotel room, fortunately equipped with a kitchen and a suitable dinner table. Out plan for the next two days was to travel up along the west coast and end up in the Skagen area in the northernmost part of Jutland. We were conditioned by strong winds and violent rain showers, of the kind you experience on west coasts in the northern hemisphere, e.g. they get you soaked in under 30 seconds. Our first goal was Ribe some 20 kilometres to the southwest of Gørding, arriving at the same time as the first of thousands of visitors to the annual medieval festival (unbeknown to us). Since we were early into town, the center dating back to around the year 700 was still empty. We could even mount the many stairs to the top of the clock tower of the big cathedral without stress. Enjoy some intimate photos of this gorgeous little town constructed almost entirely of red brick.
Our next stop was Esbjerg, but only to buy some Danish books in a highly recommended book store along with bathing towels that we had forgotten to bring in preparation for our upcoming swim in the North Atlantic.
The southwesterly wind continued to chase us along with menacing clouds sometimes spilling masses of water in no time so the towels stayed dry in our car while we strolled along the gigantic sandy beaches that stretch all along the Jutland west coast, e.g. for some 400 kilometres.
You can follow what happened next in our upcoming post. Stay tuned!!