Sunday, May 15, 2016

Denmark, Sorø

On New Year's Day, when we were in Costa Rica, we ran into these two amazing young ladies, Rose and Astrid.  They are from Denmark but were traveling through Central and South America for 7 months.  They were kind enough to invite us to visit them when we came through Denmark.  We saw them again when we were in Panama and followed their adventures on Facebook, they were so welcoming and sincere that I felt they truly were willing to take the time with us that we contacted them, and although they had only been home from their adventure for about a week they gladly welcomed us.  Astrid's mother, Anita, insisted we spend the night with them, and we couldn't have had a better way to experience Denmark.  

Max, "Today we went to a nice family and stayed at their house.  We drove to their house where we were greeted warmly.  We then saw the town, and walked to the bakery to get some stale bread to feed the ducks at the pond.  After we got the bread we went to get lunch.  I got a traditional open face sandwich on rye bread with chicken, bacon, seeds, some vegetable that started with "R", and special french fries.  It was delicious, the first bacon in months!  After that we went out to feed the ducks.  We saw lots of birds and two massive swans that we fed at great length.  We also fed birds in the air.  It was cool.   After that we walked around the church and got pastries from a bakery for after dinner. Later we went to their house and had a drink, rode horses, and did lots of stuff.  For dinner we had meatballs, potatoes, beets, and beans.  Then we had pastries for dessert.  I liked the one that was like a long cinnamon roll."
Inside the church where a king and queen are buried.  The inside was stunning!
I loved the pastel colors, the beautiful wood work, and the arched ceilings.
Outside the church was also beautiful.  Everything in Denmark is so well manicured.  I especially enjoyed the cemetery that was adjacent to the church.  The headstones were just that, large, straight from the earth, stones with simple engravings.  That's what I want for my headstone, no fancy cut granite, just a big rock, please, with flowers planted around.
It was so fun to walk around this beautiful little town.  Many of the buildings were ancient.  You could see some leaning or sagging, after hundreds of years of use, but still completely functional.  Astrid shared with us the rich history of the town which included many famous Danes.  King Christian IV, sent some of his sons to boarding school here.  Years later Hans Christian Andersen, also went school in the same place Astrid's brother, Aske currently attends.  

Siri, Astrid's sister, shared her beautiful horse, Bello,
with us.  She was so kind to give each of the kids a ride
and even Kari too.  
Henrik, Astrid's father, made an incredible Danish dinner for us.  Meatballs, potatoes, and vegetables are traditional.  Making them with beef instead of pork and giving things so much spice and flavor is not, we are grateful for his talents in the kitchen.  

Maggie, "[Astrid's family] were so nice to host us after only one of them had met us for a sum of about 30 minutes.  They had horses and let us ride them.  We had a wonderful dinner of boiled skinned potatoes, homemade meatballs, beets, green beans, and soda!  We got to stay up till like 10.  And we had a dessert of cinnamon roll thingies.  They were very welcoming and kind!  I had so much fun at their house because they were willing to share so much and they had horses!"
Group shot, Kari in front then clockwise, Henrik, 
Rose's Father (in back) Rose, Astrid and Anita.

The next morning Astrid had to race off to a job interview in Copenhagen, (which she nailed :) but her family graciously continued to host us.

Max, "We got up and we were treated to an amazing breakfast of homemade rolls and assorted toppings.  Even jam with licorice.  It was delicious!"

Henrik made sure that we experienced as much of traditional Danish food as we could.  We learned Danes love licorice flavor and cinnamon.  They love cinnamon so much that is was a major contributing factor to Denmark voting to not become full members of the EU.  Funny story, because the EU thinks cinnamon is a carcinogen and wanted to limit Denmark's intake and the Danes wouldn't have it.  They operate much like Great Britain, they are member's, but keep their own currency and take care of a few other things on their own.
It is a rarity to get all the kids loving one breakfast, and the scone/rolls Henrik created were a hit!  I've been gathering recipes along our way and was hoping to add his to my collection, but when he started with some special Swedish flour I knew I was sunk and we will just have to treasure this one in our memories.

Maggie, "Today we went horseback riding!  We had wonderful breakfast of rolls, jam and juices!  It was exceptional!  Then we brushed and harnessed the two ponies.  I enjoyed the black pony for the majority of the time.(meaning she rode it most of the time)  The shetland, pulling a rickshaw, managed to haul Mom, Max, Tessa, Eli and Jonah!  The woods we went through were magnificent!  I wish I could have galloped through there."

Maggie getting her horse fix.

Love these gracious, generous, fabulous people!  

Tessa laying on one of their sheep skins.
For lunch we had herring and rye bread.  Doesn't get any more traditional than that.  It actually was better than I expected.  They it as an open face sandwich, rye bread, herring, and then they moderate it with a half of a soft boiled egg on the top.  They also shared with us some of the sheep sausage they had made from the sheep they raised on their grounds.
Their home sits on a beautiful hill right across from the woods that we rode in.  It has a beautiful view and this awesome thatched roof.  Henrik said it lasts for about 70 years.  The thatch gradually gets thinner until it's only a few inches thick, then it's time to get a new one.
It was such a special experience for us to spend time with this amazing family.  They taught us so much about Denmark, about being open and kind.  For them to welcome our young and sizable family into their home in such a generous way is an example of the kind of person I want to be.  Siri and Aske, willingly gave up their rooms and their time for us.  They were so pleasant to be around, capable, and happy.  I want my kids to be the kind of teenagers they are.  Thank you!  Thank you! Anita, Henrik, Astrid, Aske, Siri, and Rose!

Tessa, "I really liked that they hosted us!"


  1. I want to take a nap on that sheepskin!

  2. What a wonderful experience, you guys are so good at making friends all over this world of ours!