Wednesday, June 27, 2007

DENMARK 26 June 2007

We are in holiday mode at the moment. The repairs on the car, having been
done well in advance of us starting our Tour Europa on Tuesday, has
allowed us to relax and enjoy the countryside.

We headed from Hamburg to the German West Coast and spent one night in
Busum, and the next night in Husum, both seaside resort/port towns and
very pretty. In Busum we borrowed some bikes and spent the morning
peddling around the town. Everyone seems to own a bike, as the countryside
is so flat it is the ideal way to get around.

From there we headed into Denmark and spent a few days with the Toft's in
Hojmark. We first met Jens and Karin Toft in 2000 when Lang was on his
Churchill Scholarship trip, looking at Aviation Museums throughout Europe.
Since then Jen's son Povl has visited us in Brisbane when he was
organising the ferrying a Shorts 360 aircraft back to Denmark. The whole
family are keen pilots and Jens is a collector of all things mechanical.
Lang is in his element here checking out the fabulous collection of cars,
motorbikes, aircraft and weapons.

Jens was a founding member of the Denmark "Flying" Museum at nearby
Stauning which has a newly established building also containing much of
the Danish Airforce Museum collection. It is a very impressive collection
of gliders, vintage aircraft, jet fighters and helicopters dating from
1911 to 2000.

On Saturday night, we went with Jens and Karin and their two
granddaughters Victoria and Claire, to a midsummer celebration. All over
the countryside on the 23rd June they light huge bonfires after the sun
has set and burn the witch. This festivity has pagan origins, and the
bonfire we went to was on the site of a Viking fortress.

On Sunday night we had a very pleasant evening at Povl's home with his
wife Deidre and their two daughters.

After an interview with the local newspaper we left Toft's late on Monday
morning and drove to their cousins farm near Odense. Vgan Rasmussen has a
small private museum with displays of cars, aircraft, motor bikes and
scooters. In 1968, he rode a Vespa motor scooter around the world. It took
him 14 months, 4 of which were spent driving a Mr Whippy van in Australia.

A local TV channel did an interview with us while we were at Jens and
Karin's place. The link to this is

Something I forgot to mention about Poland were the storks nesting on top
of light poles. It seems unique to Poland and the nests are very big and
very symmetrical. Most of the chicks we saw seemed as if they were fairly
mature and not far off flying.

While we were crossing Siberia I was always on the lookout for the
migratory birds that fly from there each year to the river area close to
our house at Dohles Rocks. I am continually amazed by their ability to do
such a trip, I think by comparison it leaves ours looking very tame.

Today we met up with nine Fiat 500's from Denmark, just outside Kolding.
We came in convoy in the pouring rain, to Kiel and we have opted for a
hotel tonight rather than set up a tent in the rain. So much for the tough
Australians! (We have just noticed a couple of the Danish Fiats coming in
to the hotel car park also)