We had two overnight stops from Delft to Ribe. as we don’t like to drive for more than about 4 hours in a day. The journey was pretty much event free and the two places we stayed didn’t have anything remarkable about them as far as we could see.
This is our first ever visit to Denmark, land of the Vikings, hand knitted jumpers, sea, sand and (as it happens) rain. What do we think so far? Well it isn’t as expensive as we were led to believe from what we have read. Food and drink is fairly comparable to the UK and diesel is about £1.14 per litre which is cheaper than back home. Eating out looks more expensive though, for example we saw a sign for an average looking hamburger and chips for around £18. We had a couple of cappuccinos (Wednesday) which cost around £9 which I think is expensive. So swings and roundabouts.
So far everyone speaks English (thank the Lord) as we only know now how to say Hello (Hej pronounced Hi) and Tak (thank you, pronounced as it is spelled).
I’m going to find it very hard NOT to buy a jumper! Of what I’ve seen so far in the shops here in Ribe, they are gorgeous and yes, expensive!
So what about Ribe itself? It is the oldest town in Denmark, established in the early 8th century and by the middle of the century was one of the most important trading cities in Scandinavia. It has a Cathedral which was started to be built in 1150 and is the best preserved Romanesque Church in Denmark. Theoretical for us as the bloody thing was closed when we went to visit 😕
Here is what it looks like from the outside…
The square brick tower you can see is part of the Cathedral. Just before morning mass on Christmas Day 1283, the northwest tower collapsed into the church and onto the streets around the cathedral, killing several people. In its place, the much larger “Commoner’s Tower” was built. I’ve no idea why it’s called the commoners tower……
These are photos of the interior, taken from the Wikipedia entry…..
The harbour was very pretty and had a small market. We bought some local apples and pears, both delicious. We meandered through the town and picked out a few things to photo that looked interesting.
The weather forecast wasn’t great, due to rain from lunchtime on, and we just got back to the campsite as the rain started.
Yesterday (Thursday) weather was forecast for sunny intervals with showers so we decided to visit the Viking Centre just outside the town. It is a living museum so the whole ‘town’ is built with houses that the original inhabitants of Ribe would have lived in when the town was founded around 1300 years ago. The Centre also attracts 1000 seasonal Viking volunteers from around the world to dress as authentic Vikings and carry out the everyday tasks as the Vikings would have done.
Part of the museum is a working farm with horses, pigs, sheep and cattle from breeds that are most closely related to those of the 8th century. The Vikings took horses and cattle to Iceland (the island, not the shop) in their little wooden boats; the farm animals are all descendants of that Icelandic stock.
The buildings in the museum have been built based on archeological findings in Ribe town and reconstructed using traditional methods. We can confidently say the thatched roofs definitely are water tight having sheltered several times in the day from short sharp showers.
The mural depicts the story of the foundation of Ribe using earth pigments bound with chalk as they would have been in Viking times.
Inside some houses were reconstructed workshops, some with people working….
The Church has been built based on evidence of other Viking churches rather than the original one in Ribe, which is probably still buried under the current Cathedral.
Eric took the opportunity to dress up as a warrior….
And we both had a go at some archery, not very expertly!
We also watched a falconry display including an owl, hawk and a falcon. I’ve tried to capture the birds in flight….
We spent nearly 5 hours here and thoroughly enjoyed every minute! There are other things to do and see in Ribe, but we decided to move on. Our next stop is Skagen on the northerly tip of Denmark, where the sky meets the sea. Hope to see you there!