21st April 2017. Hejlsminde, Denmark.

We started our day by heading for the country park that the Tourist Information lady had told us about.  It probably would have been much simpler if we’d gone via the main road but instead we went down the teeny country lanes, spent 5 minutes dithering at a crossroads trying to decide which way to go, drove past a dog walker who gave us the evil eye as she got her dogs out of her van but eventually rejoined the main road for the last minute of the journey.  It added to the excitement of the morning.

The bird hide was quite a long way down the path from the entrance, we’d been told there are lots of geese on the lake and lots of cranes too, apparently they stop on their way to Scandinavia but there is now also a resident flock.  There are also sea eagles there but knowing the luck we normally have seeing wildlife in places where it’s supposedly abundant we thought we’d probably just see a few geese.

We passed lots of pools of water as we walked to the hide, they had little clumps of grass growing here and there and each clump had heads bobbing around in the breeze which looked like little white ‘rabbit tails’, I could have stood there for ages taking photos of them but we were on a mission especially as we had a 4 hour drive ahead of us.

We crossed a little narrow gauge railway line and eventually came to a platform near the hides, the train must bring visitors to the hide in the Summer.


We wandered along to the first hide, there were a few water fowl floating around in the water, we could hear a ‘commotion’ going on over by the large tower hide so we trotted over to see which birds were making so much noise.  we clambered up the stairs and opened the blinds to see a huge expanse of water empty except for some little islands!  We could still hear the birds but they were well hidden.  We remained patient and suddenly a crane flew up from one of the islands and at the same time two noisy cranes started circling near the trees on the bank.  It was exciting to see them but I was a little disappointed that we’d turned up at the wrong time to see a whole flock of them.  We stayed for a while longer, I saw a crested grebe fly in, two geese on an island and a crow, still at least we’d seen seven birds, that’s got to be better than nothing. We cut our loses and made our way back down the steps, stopping to measure our ‘wing span’ against those of local birds of prey.

We passed a man on our way back along the path, he smiled and greeted us.  A few moments later I noticed some birds of prey started circling over head, and further along the path I heard the cry from a bird of prey and saw a large bird being hounded by a gang of large black birds (rooks?) he eventually headed away from them.

We enjoyed our visit to the country park but all good things come to an end so we set off for the long journey to Denmark.

We took the fastest route which was along the motorway, I say fastest but it was reminiscent of Luxembourg when we got to Hamburg, it was being dug up.  I’m glad I wasn’t driving, Darren had to negotiate narrow lanes while contending with drivers in front of him suddenly deciding that they needed to cut across in front of him as they realised they were about to miss their exit!  Scary stuff!

Our journey to Denmark was unremarkable, the sky was grey, it was raining and very cold which always makes everything look miserable, we were beginning to think we’d made a mistake racing up from the South of France but we were still very excited to have managed to fit in a visit to Denmark, we had been very disappointed to miss it when we visited Sweden and Norway at the beginning of our tour.  We were a bit confused as we drove up to the border to see people being pulled over at customs, we had expected it to be like the other borders we had crossed where you barely noticed you were entering another country, we had visions of having to root around to get our passports out but happily they weren’t interested in us.

We had a short stop to stretch our legs at a rest area and as we pulled in parked next to us  were three lorries with very long trailers their loads were brilliant, each had a blade for a wind generator, I had no idea they were so long.

Darren had programmed in a stop at a bank as we had no Danish Krone but when we got to the outskirts of the town there was a 3.5 tonne limit on the road in so we carried on to our stopover point.

We’d found a free stop on Park4Night in a car park for the beach.  Luckily for us it was protected from the wind which was whistling across the water so the van wasn’t buffeted as it has been on other occasions AND we had a glimpse of the sea from the windscreen.  Unsurprisingly there weren’t too many visitors to the beach although of the few who did come it was mostly when the sun popped out an hour after we arrived.

We noticed that the people who did appear all followed a similar pattern, they’d drive up to the notice board, get out of the car, stand reading the board for an age before rushing down the path to the beach and rushing back again.  Most of them spent far longer reading the board than actually going for a walk.

It was a lovely quiet place to stay.

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