Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Several months ago, Andrew was on a work trip in San Antonio.  He was done with his work day and was spending time at the River Walk.  He called me and said, "This is so neat and you never get to have adventures like this by yourself.  I think you should go to Denmark and visit Jayne."  What?  Seriously?  Before he had time to change his mind, I worked out some dates with Jayne and booked a ticket.  :)

Jayne is one of my dearest friends and moved to Denmark over a year ago.  I've missed her like crazy.  I was SOOOO excited to spend time with her AND visit a new part of the world.  The trip exceeded all my expectations.

It didn't get off to a good start, however.  As soon as I walked into the airport, I found out that my flights were delayed and would need to be rerouted.  This is commonplace for Andrew and me.  I didn't expect anything different. But that didn't make it any easier to hear.

The upside?
I got to fly into Newark and see the NYC skyline for the first time.

I even got a peek at Lady Liberty...
with my 40x zoom through the girl's window across the plane.  :)

Unfortunately, I was supposed to arrive in Denmark mid-morning on Friday, but instead didn't get in until 5 pm.  Boo.  I was REALLY upset that the airlines had stolen one of my vacation days.  But my pleas to their employees were in vain.  I decided I might as well make the most of my extended layover in the Amsterdam airport.

There are worse places to be stranded.  
They had a cute little museum
 with works of some of the Dutch masters.

They also had lots of cushy couches to take naps, a library,
 and a live foot spa where you can let the fishes eat the dead skin off your feet.
I wasn't brave enough to try it, but thought it looked cool.

In exchange for making me lose half a day of my vacation,
my airline treated me to lunch.
Thank you, KLM.
I ordered a water with my lunch.
Well, apparently they don't give out ice water in Europe.
I got this cool glass bottle instead.

 I made sure to get dessert, too.

After six hours in the airport, I finally got on a flight
and caught my first glimpse of Denmark.
I was so excited!
I love all the red tile roofs.
Can you see the white church on the right hand side?
Very typical Danish.

So, so good to see Jayne!!

The first item on our list:
exploring downtown Aalborg.
They had cute shops with colorful wares.

It was our lucky day because generally all the shops are closed up by 5:30.
But it was a festival night, so the streets were hopping.
Lots of fun people watching.
Including these folks in wooden masks,

this unicycling fire juggler,

and a group of kids dancing.
(B would have fit in well.)

Other sights:
Lots and lots and lots of bikes.

Aalborg is right on the fjord, so we saw some cool boats, too.

 Loved these cobblestone streets.

And they ended in this charming little nook of yellow buildings.

We eventually made our way to a little cafe where we stalked
the other customers until someone finished at their outdoor table
so we could take it as soon as they would done.

Then we went home and I hit the sack.
Six hour time difference.
Enough said.

On Saturday, we took a little road trip up to the coast.
 First stop:  Saeby (pronounced say-boo) to see the church there.
 There it is at the end of the lane.
The oldest parts of this church were built in the 1400's.
Four.teen.hun.dreds.  Whoa.

 Many of the Danish churches have ships hanging from the ceilings.
A shout out to their sailing heritage.

This one also had pretty frescoes on the ceiling.

Next, we visited The Sunken Church, near Skagen (pronounced scane).
 Because of shifting sand dunes, all that's left above
ground is the church tower.

We climbed up a teeny tiny spiral staircase and
caught this view of the coastline.

Then we were off to the northernmost point in continental Europe,
just north of Skagen.
 Love that beautiful sea scape.
We had gorgeous weather.

Perfect for dipping our toes in the water.

This is the place where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea collide.

And, as a HUGE bonus for me,
we got to see a baby seal sunning itself on the beach.
Are. you. kidding. me???
Dream come true.

After enjoying a delicious seafood dinner,
we headed home, driving down the other coast.
 A bit of history that I learned...
During WWII, Germany took over Denmark and built bunkers
(like the one above) all along the coastline to attack their enemies.
The Danes have left these bunkers in place as a reminder of what
they went through during the war.  We stopped at a bunker museum
in Hirtshals.  It was getting dark, so we didn't get to see much.

They also have this beautiful lighthouse at Hirtshals.

And, that was the first half of my amazing whirlwind vacation.  And this post is really long.  So, I'll save the rest for another day. 


  1. Wow! What a wonderful opportunity. I would love to see Denmark. Great photos!

  2. So very cool. And mad props to Andrew for not only letting you go, but being the one to suggest it!

  3. Oh yippy, I've been waiting for this post and can't wait for part 2! That area you were in near Skagen is the general part of Denmark where Andrew's great-great-grandfather Andreas Hansen Andersen was born and reared. He joined the church there (sometime in the mid-late 1800's) and immigrated to the US -- then went back to Denmark on a mission (you probably have a picture of him all suited up serving as a missionary in the Aalborg Conference). I served 2 months of my own mission up near the peninsula (in Frederikshavn) and treasure my time at the tippy top of Denmark. Saeby was in our area and we took the bus several times to work in that pretty little town. A beautiful part of a beautiful country. Loved seeing familiar sights in these photos. Thanks, Andrea!

  4. Wait..what? You went to Denmark? I thought I just didn't see you for a couple of days because it was the opening weekend of college football. Loved the post. So glad the trip was all you were hoping for.

  5. Andrea - Thanks for sharing everything. It's just beautiful and almost hard to believe that you really were there - what a marvelous once-in-a-lifetime experience (or, who knows, maybe you'll be bacK!).
    Mom S

  6. Beautiful pics! I wonder how many you took on this trip :) Glad you had a good time, can't wait to see the second part!

  7. It was a great weekend! And you always do such a great job organizing the photos with narrative. Really, the weather turned cold and rainy the day after you left :)

  8. Looks like an awesome trip, Andrea. So glad you got to do it. Next time, take me with you, will ya?

  9. What a cool trip! This is somewhere I would love to go, some of my ancestors are from Denmark and my aunt served her mission there...then she went back and got married and still lives there.