The last 2 days Lars and I have been all over Brussels, celebrating his 60th birthday! I have been taking hundreds of pictures and right now, I am still selecting and editing the best ones. Hence, a bit of silence on this blog.
And then I remembered that earlier this year, Lars and I had spent a beautiful evening in a small place in Denmark called Rantzausminde. It was an idea of his sister and her partner; little did they know that we had already been there in the summer of 2012. Read about it here. This time, we stayed in the harbour, enjoying the views and drinking cold beer.
What is it with us – and me, the photographer, especially – and those Wild Horses of Langeland? Or maybe we should start with the question: what are the Wild Horses?
Langeland, an island located to the south of the central Danish island of Funen, is a place of contrasts. The north consists mainly of pretty coastal towns with a cozy marina and lots of pubs and restaurants. The south, on the other hand, counts less inhabitants and looks rougher with its grasslands. In order to avoid the grass to overgrow, the land needs grazing; hence, the introduction of a group of Exmoor ponies. The horses are ‘wild’, because there is as good as no human interference in their coming and going.
Since Lars and I visit the horses regularly – almost every time we are in Denmark, we know – of course – where to find them. To be honest, it is actually a matter of luck and patience. And some driving around. Sometimes, we don’t even see them at all! So I was happy when last May, I saw three of them.
Maybe, it’s because they can be so elusive, that the Wild Horses fascinate us… Or maybe, it is that rare combination of looking rough and elegant at the same time.
Anyway, we drove to another spot where we sometimes see the horses as well. But, no luck there… When we returned to our original place, a big group had joined the beautiful trio. Most of them went straight to a big puddle, making the whole scene even more picturesque.
The group now consists of 80 horses. And I think we saw most of them that day. You can approach them, but you must keep a distance of 50 meters; you are not allowed to take a pet with you and you may not feed them.
Don’t those ponies look adorable? As a rule of thumb, you better stay away from them. Come a bit too close and you will encounter a very protective mother. And an encounter with the alpha male and female of the group can turn violent as well. Now, I am the first one to admit that I don’t know how to distinguish those horses from the group. But as long as you keep your distance, it is quite safe.
Can you see the Wild Horses with public transport? A local bus can take you to the nearest town of Bagenkop, but then you need to do a lot of hiking to see them. Let’s face it: it is a lot easier when you travel by car.
I can imagine that you don’t associate Denmark with a beach vacation. True, the weather can be unpredictable, or even worse, it can suck… But, believe me when I tell you that there are some really beautiful beaches there! Actually, lots of them, since this country has a coastline of more than 7.ooo kilometers. Actually, for somebody like me, who loves seascapes, Denmark is a paradise.
If you happen to be in Svendborg and you fancy a day at the beach, follow our example and head to Christiansminde. The name refers to the hotel, which has a panoramic restaurant and there is a long stretch of beach as well, which is open for everybody.
As you can see, the beach is quite narrow. This is actually the case for a lot of beaches along the shores of the Baltic Sea. This mass of water contains little salt, allowing lots of vegetation to grow near the beach.
Advantage: when it happens to be hot (and that does happen!), you can look for shadow under the trees…
You cannot rent chairs or umbrellas here. Luckily, this is not a pebbly beach! The sand is white and soft…
At the end of May, the water was still freezing! I only saw about a handful of people going for a swim. But in general, everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Don’t you just love to observe people – and their pets?
Anyway, at the end of the afternoon, Lars and I were hungry. And thirsty. Must have been the sea air. We decided to give the restaurant of Hotel Christiansminde a try; we were too early for dinner, but luckily, we could still have lunch. We ordered sandwiches and a cold beer. To be honest, we were really pleasantly surprised by the size of our sandwiches and the high quality of the ingredients! And all this for a very reasonable price.
The view from the restaurant is simply magnificent. We could clearly sea the beach and the marina; the island in the background is Tåsinge.
What more can I say? Life as a beach bum in Denmark – it does exist!
This is a part of Denmark that Lars and I had visited before by car, but never by boat! So, on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the end of May, we enjoyed a mini-cruise of 2 hours on the MS Helge, a vintage vessel. First, we walked to the harbour of Svendborg, which in itself is a photogenic place.
Lars and I have the tendency to arrive early at appointments, but this time we were there way too early. So, we acquainted ourselves with one of the local inhabitants. He was incredibly handsome and energetic and listened to the name Tarzan.
Finally, our boat arrived! Embarking starts at about 15 minutes before departure. If you have your booked your tickets, you are allowed to board first. But don’t worry: you can buy tickets on the boat itself as well. During weekends, however, it is best to book the tickets, because this boat trip is very popular.
At half past twelve, we left the harbour of Svendborg, a very colourful place indeed…
First stop: Vindebyøre. Vindeby is a small town on the island of Tåsinge. At Vindebyøre a camping place is located. By the way, Tåsinge is connected to Funen by a bridge.
Next stop: Christiansminde. If you are looking for a beach in Svendborg, this is the place to be. We will post more about this in a separate post, because Lars and I actually spent a day there. Let’s put it this way: one of the best days of this year!
I know, this is long overdue… But Lars and I have 2 very good excuses. First of all, I took this picture a short time before we had to leave Denmark. Second, when we were back in Belgium, Lars and I both had a severe attack of bronchitis. Yes, we spent a week coughing our lungs out, sneezing and blowing our noses. I even lost my voice during 2 days… Anyway, we are both feeling better now and from Monday on, we will resume work on the blog. This last picture of our trip to Denmark features the beach of Thurø. No blue skies that day, the weather was changing…