We did a little exploring today. A lot of us are starting to get a bit stir-crazy. Over the last few weeks we made friends with the cafeteria chef, Winston, and since he is kind of a history buff we asked him to show us a cool place in Denmark. He was glad to take some time out of his busy weekend and let us chase him around in rental cars. So a dozen of us packed into three tiny rental cars and tried to follow Winston heading to parts unknown, going West. You may have gathered Winston drives fast. He had to stop four times so we wouldn’t get lost. Our first stop was the Rønland Windpark.
It was really cool to see eight wind turbines in a row, and apparently most wind farms are on private property, so we were fortunate to have the opportunity to walk right up to the base of the towers. We took the opportunity for a group photo. So here are the cool kids, the movers and shakers, the lead technicians that will make the pilot turbine factory in America a success, and one Community college instructor.
Then we continued up the coast to a little fishing village called Thyborøn. It was there that we got a little perspective, and some history. But first we had to climb a rock face…
Then on to the beach, and this is where things got interesting. One of the first things we noticed were these old worn out concrete structures.
Winston explained what they were, even though I suspected already what they were, WWII German anti aircraft bunkers. They were spaced along the beach at about 500 meter intervals. Winston was telling us that the Germans, who invaded in late 1940, had put these bunkers along the entire coastline to fight off bombers that flew across the North Sea from England. One of the German anti aircraft gunners managed to hit an American B17 that crash landed about four kilometers from where we stood. The Danes rescued the plane crew, and after nursing them back to health managed to smuggle them back to England. From what Winston told us, all the American B17 crewmembers survived the crash and that most are still alive to this day. A documentary was recently filmed of their reunion to the crash site, the plane is still there to this day, and while exploring the site with metal detectors, the pilot found his dog tags. Incredible history indeed. From what Winston said the Germans thought of this place as heaven on earth, and thought themselves quite fortunate to be stationed there. The beach is now a renowned topless beach, too bad it was empty due to the season, wind, and cold, otherwise we would have stayed longer.
After a while it started to get cold enough that I feared that my ears would simply snap off and fall to the sand. We went back to the cars and headed to the next stop, the marina for lunch. But first we had to stop and see the shell house.
We noticed that the sign said that the shop was closed for the season; someone asked what they sell there. Shells, it turns out. Who would have thought?
We had lunch on the marina in a little cantina that usually caters to fisherman and tourists. They probably don’t see a dozen visitors in a day during the winter months, let alone a dozen American Tourists. It was the first good American style cheese burger and fries I have had since I left Colorado. At 56 kroner, the price wasn’t bad if you compare it to a meal at a Restaurant rather than fast food. ($11.25) Still it filled me up and gave me a chance to warm my ears.
Yes, the restaurant is made from a ship turned up side down. I bet their roof doesn’t leak!
Our trip back was uneventful; we arrived back in Viborg at the same time as the rain. And after about a half mile walk back to my hotel I was tired, cold and wet. But the experience was well worth it.
So I want to give a big thanks to Winston, our South African chef and tour guide. Well done Winston. Thanks for the tour and the history.