At 8am I walked downstairs and found the round table where Renate, Hans and I sat the night before. It was empty. There’s no way that I’m early, I thought. Where is everyone?
Then I heard a slight crumple of paper–a turning page. I followed the noise passed the the round table and into a (gasp) glass room. There was Hans, crossing his legs and reading a newspaper in the middle of this glass room.
I ran back upstairs as Hans yelled, “Guten Morgen!” to me. Camera! Get the camera!
I was back in a flash, but Hans had already changed positions.
“Take a picture of me with the newspaper,” Hans said. “With Obama on the front.”
I laughed as he posed with the newspaper. The headline said, “Der Ahnungslose President.” The clueless president. (About the NSA)
I could sit in this room all day and look at the giant yard with pine trees and the cacti sitting next to the windows. Ugh! Beautiful, beautiful.
carrot juice and turkish milk (sour, but addicting).
black tea and herbal tea.
fluffy brown bread.
mettwurst (my favorite),
nutella, honey, butter.
People, when I get home, Spencer and I will have a plate of fruit each morning and will pick at it with our forks, just like Renate and Hans did. I ate like a queen and sat in a glass palace. This will be my future, people. This is it, right here.
After breakfast, our adventures began.
Founded in 710, Ribe is the oldest city in Denmark. I took picture after picture of the decorated doors on the houses, each with its own personality. There were so many small things about this city that I loved. Near the water where a few boats lay, there was a pole with numbers on it. Each number was a date, and where the number was placed showed how high the water came up that year. One date was at the very top of the pole. 1634. In 1634 there was a huge flood “The Barchidard Flood” in Ribe and the other cities near the North Sea and thousands of people drowned. The city has so much history, so many stories.
I felt like I was in a fairy tale in Ribe.
Here is the pole that shows when the floods hit. See the highest number up there? 1634.
All of the old Danish houses looked like this. Blue and white tiles, dark wood.
This thing has a mirror on both sides. You look at it from the window and can see who is coming up the streets. Creepy, huh? Renate says once in a while you’ll see an old woman sitting at it. I guess it’s like people watching, but creepier.
Rømø. Rømø is a Danish island in the North Sea. It was raining so hard when we got there that unfortunately I didn’t take pictures. We drove right up to the sand on the beach where teenagers practiced their stick shift skills near the water, and families attempted to have a rainy picnic. I had never before seen cars driving right onto the sand, right up to the water (some IN the water). It looked like a mad house, and I sort of wanted to drive in. But what if someone was lying in the sand? Would someone in a car see them? I was blown away.
In Rømø we ate a very fishy lunch—check this plate out. Yum yum yum.
After Rømø we went to Tønder, a quaint city in Denmark known for its Christmas attributes, such as the 42-room store with Christmas decorations year long. My Christmas decorations are very much lacking, since my husband and I are poor students living in a shabby apartment on campus. Plus I really hated having to help my mom take down everything after Christmas. Who wants Christmas to end? But as I was here, I thought perhaps I could get into the Christmas decorating stuff. Just maybe.
The old apotheke, the old pharamacy, has 42 rooms. This is where all the Christmas decorations are.
The doors were meant for short people, haha. I had to duck to get into every room.
Mr. Cat checking out the cheese.
Emil Nolde Museum, Seebüll.
This may have been the most exciting thing about the day, which is crazy because after seeing three new cities in Denmark, I didn’t think the day could get any better. I already mentioned him in a blog earlier, but Emil Nolde was an expressionist painter during the 20th century. During the Nazi regime, he was no longer able to paint because the Nazis believed his paintings, among other expressionist art, was “degenerate,” meaning it was art that reverted Germans to a simple, less functional, organized people.
I loved it because I had done a presentation on it before and it was just so fun to see it in Germany and not online in Utah.
The awesome thing is that this is his house.
Me, dying of excitement (but keeping it cool).
At the museum store, Renate came up to me and said, “I’m buying a box of postcards with Nolde’s art on it for my friend. Which one do you think is the best?”
I looked through them and picked the one with Nolde’s paintings of the sky and sea.
“Good. I’ll buy that one then.”
At home she handed me the postcards. “For you,” she said.
I laughed and thanked her. It’s the best souvenir yet. I will go home and frame these 5×7 paintings.
One of my favorites.
I love Renate and her love for the skies in Nordfriesland. She looks at Emil Nolde’s paintings and says, “The skies really do look like that here. They really do.”
Sylt is an island in Germany on the North Sea, just South of Rømø. It’s pretty much where all of the rich people have their summer houses, so in the winter time, the island is dead. The Friesians lived in Sylt and all of the architecture comes from them. Sylt is the farthest north you can go in Germany. Is that something I can brag about? Hey guys, I’ve been to the northern most tip of Germany. Yeah okay, not braggable, but Sylt is pretty amazing!
Renate and me chilling after a long day.
When you come out of the Bahnhof in Sylt, this is what you see. Giant green statues with hair blowing from the wind. And the kids for some reason have their faces upside down.
Like this girl. I guess the wind just blows so hard that it does things to you.
Die Badende. The bathing one.
The old Apotheke (pharmacy).
“Flut” – high tide. “Ebbe” – low tide. The arrows shows you if it’s high or low tide. Me likey.
And of course, the beautiful beach.
Hans and Renate. I can’t tell you how much I adore these people. I felt completely at home when I was with them. Really, the most loving (and funny!) people.
View from the small apartment Renate inherited from her mom. What a bummer for her.
I look a picture of the tiny bedroom because I love that sunset picture and I love how they
matched the room to it.
Don’t these houses look like they came right from a fairy tale story? That little statue thing came from a ship. Like in TV, you see all the ships with the naked mermaid at the front. Is there a word for it? I’m sure there is. (Too lazy to look it up right now)
The wind was blowing hard.
Hans, my eyes are watering!
This is now my wallpaper photo on my computer. Love this.
Bosch is a well-known restaurant in Germany. This is what it looks like in the inside.
Hans and me looking cool at a strandkorb table.
Very expensive houses in Sylt.
Look at those bushes. Renate said it looks like they used fingernail clippers to clip them.
For dinner I ate muscles. Yummy yummy yummy!
Renate and Hans’ son went on a foreign exchange to Farmington, Utah twenty years ago. Since then, the host family and Renate and Hans have kept in contact and have visited one another in Germany and Utah. They call them their “American family.”
I came back to Kiel completely at peace. I felt so warm and comfortable with Renate and Hans. They are people who love and love. I don’t get that feeling often. I can be very comfortable yet still have a trickle of anxiety. But I felt nothing but relaxed and safe and calm.
And I learned so much. What an awesome mix of work and play.