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Aug. 19th, 2014 @ 09:18 pm Next two days
Current Mood: happyhappy

Yesterday, it was less rainy. The forecast had predicted light showers in the morning, but a dry afternoon. We decided to re-try for the north point -- but then drive a bit further up to the end of the road (where there's a parking spot). The last stretch of road was a bit... adventurous, being a gravel road with large puddles and no room for two cars to pass. I love the Prius, but it's a car for a more civilised environment, I think. Still, no real problems, we just drove a bit slowly.

We turned the GPS receiver on and quickly found the first cache of the vacation: near a bench on a hill overlooking the coastline. The coast is really different from what I'm used to: rolling hills (klik compared it to the Shire) and then a steep drop to a pebble beach.
We then went up the biggest hill in the area (through a meadow -- that's apparently not only allowed, but also normal here) to look at an Earthcache. (But we could not find the information asked, so we'll just skip it.) We then walked around the area for a bit and enjoyed the weather and the view.

After that, we drove back to a parking spot a bit further south, and started off with the 'yellow route': a walking route of 5.5 km in the north-west part of the island. Along the route, there were two small caches hidden that gave the coordinates for the final cache. It was lovely: there was no rain and the sun came out. Also, since we followed an established route, we did not have to watch the screen of the GPS too closely and could just enjoy the walk and the scenery.
The only exciting part was when we had to pass a herd of cows. Normally no problem, but this cow had lied down next to the fence (basically right on the path) and she had her calf with her. We could not go around her, because then we would cut between her and the herd -- not a good place to be if cows get nervous. By calling out to them way in advance, we alerted the cows to our presence and could pass by unmolested. (And that was to be our final encounter with cows for the day, which we were glad for.)

By the time we returned to the car, it was way past lunch time. We drove back to Nordby ("North village") and parked the car. We made our way to the 'brewery house', where we had a lovely lunch. Samso is known for it's potatoes, and my dish included a potato salad which was really delicious. And of course, we also snagged a few of the local beers with us to drink in our cottage!
There was also a small geocache hidden close by, so we snatched that one up as well.

Then we had gotten quite tired, so we drove to Traenenberg (the largest village on the island, in the south, and only five minutes by car from our cottage) to do some shopping. We spent the rest of the day/evening relaxing in the cottage, drinking beer and watching a movie.

Today, we got off a late start. We first went to "Danspun", a store with many rolls of fabric and wool. It turned out to be the store of a lady who had lived (amongst others) in Manhattan, who sold hand-knitted sweaters (from knitters all over Denmark). I strongly suspect they are now pensioners, and simply have the store to sell off the remainder of their stocks.
She did not have a lot of wool, but what she did have was of excellent quality. It's suited for the 'icelandic sweaters' (what we in the Netherlands call a 'Norwegian sweater'...), but the wool is lighter. We selected some colours that would go good together and chatted some time with the proprietess. She did not have knitting needles for sale, but she will manage to get some from her own stocks tomorrow so we'll go back tomorrow to buy those.

After that, we went to the world's largest labyrinth. It's a maze in a forest, with trees lining the paths. It's a surprisingly simple affair: you can get an ice cream at the entrance, and that's it. There are (wooden) sculptures set along the paths, but there are also 'destinations', that are screened off from the rest of the forest with pallisades -- so you have to find your way there yourself: there is no peeking!
There is a system, tough: every T-section in the path has a number. You can select a challenge at the entrance, and then get a list of numbered questions. When you come to a T-section, you look up the number of the section and answer the associated question. Depending on your answer, you go either left or right. Really simple, and if you miss a question, you will simply walk longer -- because all the questions point you in the right direction.
We managed to find 'the Temple' without too much trouble, though we were not sure of all our answers. Looking at the track log from the GPSr, we did make a few twists and turns, but then again no route through a labyrinth should be straight.
There is also a virtual geocache in the labyrinth: you have to find out which shape a certain destination is. We passed this point quite close by, so when we found the Temple we doubled back and got to the desired point by backtracking for a bit.
Getting out of the maze is also easy: on the back of the sheet is a list with all points (181 in total) and which way you have to go to get back to the entrance.
It's mighty good fun, and I highly recommend it.

After that, we thought we'd do another walking route (this time the red route, also with a geocache at the end), but when we got to the starting location, we found that we had gotten a bit tired -- too tired to do a walk of 5km through a hilly landscape. We did check out the signal tower there, and found a cache that was hidden near there.
There are rolling hills right up to the coast, with a sharp drop to a pebble beach. We stood at the crest of the hills closest to the sea, and 'blusterous' doesn't even begin to describe it! We went down to the beach as well, and sat down and enjoyed the view for a bit.

On the way back, we also visited the site of a canal that the Vikings dug. It's at the spot where the island is the narrowest. The canal was lined with wooden planks, and was too shallow for 'normal' ships -- but the Viking ships could pass from one side of the island to the other without problems. This is, of course, a huge tactical advantage: while your enemies have to round the north end of the island, you can make your escape!

We're enjoying ourselves a lot, and the island is really beautiful. When the weather is nice, there is so much to see and do. Tomorrow the weather should be good too, so then we want to do the red route!
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nixie