American Independence Day – in Denmark – July 3rd and 4th

So, to continue our Independence Day adventures – I woke up in our hotel (the Comwell Rebild Bakker, sorry I got the name wrong in the last post) at 4am to a bright but overcast sky. It seemed that the sky never actually turned black; there was always some light. Reminds me of the term “Land of the Midnight Sun.”

Today was the fancy-dress gala, where we would have an elegant dinner followed by fireworks at 11:30pm. At 6pm we boarded a bus which took us to our venue – a very modernistic building with an incredible view of a fjord.

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Brenna was able to wear her prom dress, which made her very happy.

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One of the women at our table was named Helle, and she struck up quite a lively conversation with Brenna, discussing Dr. Who, the Hobbits, Harry Potter, higher education and reading in general. They exchanged information and I am sure will continue to stay in touch in the future.

It was a very elegant affair and throughout our travels Brenna was exposed to different types of food, plus food that she has eaten in the States, but told me that in Europe it tasted different – much fresher than she is used to. She loved everything, especially the salmon, which she ate every chance she had. One thing they served us in Denmark was pickled herring. Since she loves fish, she dove right in. I didn’t know until later that she hated the herring, but I am proud to say the expression on her face never changed. I never would have know that she didn’t like it if she hadn’t told me.

As the time for the fireworks was approaching, we headed out to the balcony. While Europe was experiencing an unusual heatwave, it was chilly on the water and I was glad I had brought a heavy shawl.  We looked out over the dock which had interesting lights:

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and were treated to a spectacular fireworks display:

a very small sample of the fireworks

and as you can see, even at 11:30 at night it was still quite bright out.  We then said our good-byes and headed back to the bus to get some sleep in our hotel before the next set of events which were actually held on the 4th.

The following day was the tent luncheon where we had hamburgers, hot dogs, soda and, of course, Akvavit was being served.  When I was growing up, hot dogs were served with mustard and sauerkraut. From my step-daughters I discovered that some people eat them with ketchup. In Denmark they were served with crispy cooked onions and what I believe to be cucumbers.

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At the luncheon there was a ceremony which involved a ceremonial key to the town returned from the man who had been selected a day or two ago to be “mayor for the day.”  It was a very interesting ceremony with costumed officials and one man holding an instrument which I had never seen before.

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After this, there was the celebration in the hills. Because of the heat wave, it was brutally hot outside, Brenna had cramps and on top of that, they were charging 150 Danish Krone (about $25 USD) per person to sit in the hills on the ground with no shade. If we had been feeling better, or if there had been some shade or it had been cooler we might have gone there, but we thought better of it.

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stage in the hills where the performance was to take place

Before going down the path to the hills, vendors were selling their wares, so we each bought a tee shirt. There was also many antique cars being shown.

Before very long, we decided that it would be wise to retire to our room to rest before the after-party to be held in the same tent as the luncheon.  After we were adequately rested, I changed into my new tee shirt and we went to the tent for the after-party. There was a band, more hot dogs and hamburgers and, of course, plenty of Akvavit.

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And so we continued our wonderful conversations with our new-found friends until it was time to say good=bye.  And, now that I think about it, I had been staying in touch with old friends via social media during this time. My friend Maggan from Sweden and Victor, who had studied in Aalborg began telling me of places that I should see while in Denmark, including a place north of Aalborg “where two seas meet.” I had to tell them that if I had known about these places ahead of time, I could have planned for it, but tickets were already bought for transportation, hotels were already booked, and so further sightseeing would have to wait for another time.

And so we gave Helle a hug and said our good=byes then went back to pack. And it was off to Cardiff, Wales on the 5th….

 

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