The Danes With their Warm Hospitality and Huge Hearts
24.08.2007 19 °C
We have had the most incredible experience in Denmark - a big heartfelt thanks to dear Jorgen and Kirsten Clausen (who lived in Howick in 1994) who entertained us for a week and who introduced us to all their friends and family. We were delighted to be invited to Kirsten's 50th birthday party, and we were overwhelmed with the welcome we received from them all (30 guests). Kirsten and Jorgen had politely requested before our arrival to Denmark that their guests speak English to us for the evening, and everyone obliged, and although it seemed easy for them to converse with us that night, we are aware that it was very exhausting for them at times. We still think our pronounciation of "Dybbol By-gade" sounds better than in Danish - so there! The men were so handsome in their suits, the women in their Sunday best, and well, er Noel was out of place in his sports shoes and despite that, we both managed to stay up til 4am with the Danes! We enjoyed hearing their singing, recital of poetry, stories, speeches, jokes, laughter, and dancing. Rock on "the Handyman"!
There was much to be excited about, Kirsten had decorated her "party room" adorning the 4 tables with the finest of linen, candles, flowers, glassware and china. Thanks to Kirsten number 2 for folding the serviettes ever so fancy for the tables, and to Regina for dragging Noel up onto the dance floor and giving us a little bit of "Icelandic cheek" and to dear Grandmother for her delicious home made baking, wow .....her fabulous Kransebage (marzipan ring cake), American chocolate chippy cookies (with the HUGE) chocolate bits in just for Noel, her jam "swiss roll" sponge cake (yum) and her spicy cinammon loaf, Grandmother was simply lovely and we shall always remember her generosity.
We were educated in the art of eating and enjoying Danish lunches, we were each given a wooden bread board and a plate, and we experienced eating herring, rugbrod (rye bread) and karysalat (curry sauce) and red onion followed by Danish cheese, and always saluting with a glass of schnapps! Scholl! There is always a sense of order and tradition in eating the meal, no one ever left the table at any meal time without the last person finishing, and the plate of food was handed round to each person, no one was left to stand and hold the plate out, it was always passed from person to person.
We just loved every part of the holiday, we loved seeing Rune and Thomas all grown up now, and to Kim and Lis, Tina and Benda, lovely Christian who was terrified of dancing with Elsie and almost ran from the room as she approached him to dance - we joked about that the next day, it was all great fun and the memories will be for us forever. Sorry for missing others out from this blog, you are not forgotten and will always be remembered - we truly loved meeting and talking with you all.
We hope to see our lovely friends again, they will always be welcome here and in New Zealand - Denmark is a country surrounded by water, and is very flat and green with dairy and pig farms everywhere. The fertile land and farming industry is evident everywhere, corn crops, rye, windmills generating power, recyling plants, fresh and invigorating sea breezes, and blue skies, and long straight roads that always seem to lead to the sea. We visited the West coast past Esbjerg and there was a sense of familiarity there as it so reminded us of the east coast beaches of home.
We had a fun night on the ferry from Harwich-Esbjerg and home again, its a first class hotel on the water, it boasted a twin cabin with tv and ensuite, we took on board our own picnic (cheap skates) but great to have our own bottle of red with a vegemite and cheese roll! Ahhhhh, we are such the travellers now. A great experience and one we wish to do again.
We now have Paul and Rae Ewing from Howick with us and are heading off to Coventry for a 3 night stay on a canal boat, so no doubt there will be more adventures in store for us Houghtons.
Thanks for the emails, we are thankful of our many friends and family who are keeping in touch with us all the way through our travels, and we just love to hear from you with your goings on, a little goes a long way! Take care, til next week, Noel and Elsie