Friday, September 4, 2009

Ribe, the Oldest Town in Denmark

Before I get to my adventures today, let me update you about yesterday.

It was pretty uneventful, and I loved it! I had a late morning and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast with my host and one of her friends. We didn't finish breakfast until sometime around noon and then she helped me figure out my train ride to Ribe for today. The plan had been to go into town to experience the festival, but it was raining fairly heavily and we just did not feel like venturing out. So, instead, we had a nice day in.

I did a lot of research and contacted several different couch surfing hosts to try and find a host for my time in Munich. I also researched a bit more about the visa application process for my trip to Russia. I read some as well and was able to Skype with my parents, sister, and Eddie. It was a good day! My host and her housemates were wonderful. They made me lunch and dinner yesterday and I was just able to relax and enjoy some downtime.

This morning I got up and left around 9am. I made my way to the train station and purchased my international train ticket from Ribe to Hamburg for tomorrow morning. I then boarded my train for Ribe with a little hesitation because of my last train experience, but confident that as far as I could tell I was on the right train. If there was going to be any problem with my train this time it was not going to be my fault! Fortunately I did arrive in Ribe as planned and all was well. The only unfortunate part was that it has been raining all day, so upon my arrival I was greeted with an assault of wind and rain as I trudged through town to find my hostel.

I had written myself directions to get to the hostel but somehow I got turned around. I found the tourist center and a map and was able to locate the hostel. When I called last week to make my reservation they informed me that there was only one bed left in the entire building so I quickly confirmed that I wanted the room. I have now checked in and settled into my room a bit and I am surprised to see that no one else has arrived. It is a four bed room (although only two of the beds are currently set-up) and there is a private bathroom attached to the room. It is almost 8pm here and I have a feeling that no one else is going to arrive for the night. I may just be fortunate enough to have my own room for the evening.

After I put my things in my room I went out to see the town. I visited a Viking museum (that was not really that exciting to be honest), did a little shopping for souvenirs, and visited the main church in town that has a tower overlooking the city. I climbed the tower and took my panoramic pictures. The rain did stop for a little bit while I was up there but the wind did not. At times I felt like I was going to fly off of the roof!

Ribe has been a fun town to walk around in. It is the oldest town in Denmark (at least according to the literature they gave me when I arrived) and it is fairly well preserved from the middle ages. The church is the largest building around and everything else seems so miniature compared to it. There is a definite sense of what it might have been like "back in the day." Pictures from today are posted on facebook in a new album. So, if you don't have access to facebook, the link is

On my way back to the hostel I decided to stop at a bakery and see what they had. Since it is my last night in Denmark I get to try to use up my Danish currency as much as possible. I had fifty some-odd kroner left (about $10) when I went into the bakery and I discovered that many of the items there are not so unreasonably priced. I saw some sandwiches in the window for 33kr so I bought myself one for dinner and still have about 25kr left. I plan to visit the bakery in the morning when the items are fresh to purchase a few pastries. I should be able to get two or three items with the remainder of my funds. When I arrive in Germany I will need to pull out some Euros from the bank.

Tonight at 10 there is an evening tour led by the city's night watchman. I am considering going to it but I have been informed that it is mostly in Danish with bits and pieces of English intermixed. That mixed with the fact that it's raining - and I’ll feel the need to tip him (even though the tour is free) - is leading me toward the inclination of not going out. Being warm and cozy in my room saving my money for pastries in the morning sounds like a much better plan. I suppose I'll wait and see what the weather is doing closer to 10 though. I'll be sure to let you know tomorrow what I do. :)

Tomorrow morning I am off to Hamburg. I should arrive in the early afternoon. I will probably spend most of tomorrow taking care of things such as getting money from the bank, finding a new sim card for my phone, and figuring out the transportation. I am couch surfing in Hamburg for two nights and the place I am staying is a little bit out of the city, but not too terribly far.

Well, that's it for now. I'm off to enjoy my last Danish evening. The next time you hear from me I'll be in Germany! God nat!

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