After the beautiful bleakness of Jutland it was a noticeable change in landscape on Funen (Fyn), Denmark’s garden island, being the middle of the three Danish regions or the ‘middle child’ of Denmark, best known for Odense and Hans Christian Andersen. Lots of wheat and barley fields, poppies and cornflowers around the edges of the fields it certainly earns it’s garden tag.
We crossed over from Jutland on the bridge at Middlefart (no way we were going there without mentioning it – childish but made us laugh 🙂 ).
We are now in prime holiday season – yet still everyone and everywhere seems very laid back. Holiday crowds don’t seem to exist so far, we hear Copenhagen will be busy but all along the coasts its been very quiet, the odd motorhome here and there, plenty of yachts along the coasts but very few cars – all good then.
Once on Fyn, Faaborg was our town of choice to visit, mainly because it has a marina, which equals a cheap stopover. We hadn’t researched the town so were unsure what to expect, we needn’t have worried a typical Danish town, colourful houses lining paved roads. My favourite was the house with the boot hanging off the wall, no signs of it being a shop but would guess it was a boot makers in years gone by.
Faaborg boot-makers, once upon a time?
Originally a merchant’s town, the western gate at Vestergade was built around 1400 and is the only one, which has survived in Denmark. The town was just a few minutes walk from the marina so we ambled away an afternoon around the shops. Whilst there are very few empty shops there also seems to be very few shoppers around – the Danes like the outdoor life so we are guessing they are out and about on the water or in the countryside rather than in town.
The last 15th century town gate in Denmark
Having visited Plokstine missile base in Lithuania and been on a submarine in Holland I thought all my Christmas’s had come at once (not) when we found out there was a Cold War museum with more missile bases, nuclear bunkers and another submarine on the island of Langelands! As Iain is a sucker for some Cold War history we agreed to divert South and spend a day at Langeland Fort. At least another excuse for another incredible bridge, this time a short one to a mini island called Sio, then the full 771 metres, 26 metres above the sea over to the island.
The fort is right on the Southern tip of the island, built in 1953 it was turned into a museum in 1997 when danger from the cold war was deemed over. The whole experience is one for kids (big and small) to clamber over and on massive naval guns, a decommissioned minesweeper, a submarine, two MIG-23 air-planes and for those wanting the thrill of riding in a armoured personnel carrier the queues were forming to don a protective hat and career across a field for 10 minutes for £10. The submarine was way to hectic, kids were thundering around, that definitely makes you realise how cramped conditions were for people living on them.
The main objective of the fort was to delay an attacking Soviet sea force and give NATO flights time to arrive. After touring the base and all the bunkers and fire power the final analysis showed that the most likely outcome of a Soviet attack was the fort would be rendered inoperative almost immediately – supposedly Soviet attack plans included dropping a tactical nuclear bomb on the fort.
For a few Kroner it was a cracking afternoon out, the museum even offered for us to stay for free overnight in their car-park. Had we done so it would have been probably the only time we had camped outside the Berlin Wall – a large section of the (imported original) wall is used as a boundary.
the Berlin Wall in Denmark
The weather man seems to have got lucky with forecasts, we have had sunshine since Sunday. With this is mind we agreed to find somewhere to park up for a few days and enjoy some sun, the idea of traipsing through cities or tourist attractions seemed like too much hard work in the heat. We happened across Dagelokke, yet again another harbour but this one is a tiddler. A few houses, 20-30 boats, a cafe and all the facilities we need for a few days. Our friendly harbour master has offered us a free night if we stay for a few days, so we may take him up on that.
We treated ourselves to chips for tea from the harbour take-away last night and sat out on the wooden benches watching the world go by – as is often the case the best times are those with a bag of chips in hand!:) .
Just up the road is the amazing Tranekaer Castle, built in the 13th century and seemingly as famous for the fact that one of the counts had over 100 illegitimate children as the castle itself. According to our harbour-master Queen Margrethe II stays at the castle several times a year, we are keeping an eye out just in case. It was too hot today to do much so we cycled to Lohals first thing for a wander around the village and then found the Queen’s bakers, so of course Iain treated himself to some royal cakes as it would have been rude not to! It’s now officially too hot to move and due to get hotter every day til Sunday, here comes summer :).
‘Bakeri’ with warrant to the Danish Queen and Welsh Iain 🙂