It was the first week of June and we had just returned home from our first half year abroad in our red VW California Coach ‘Turtle’ from ’92.
More precisely, we had been home in Denmark for 2 weeks and had only just seen the nearest of the family and some few friends.
But now we were already heading towards new adventures, namely ‘everyday adventures in North Jutland’.
Reading time: approx. 9 min.
The idea began because we had been hired by the libraries in North Jutland to visit eight of the municipalities to a public talk, telling about moving into a van to travel around the world, as a part of their project ‘The culture caravan’.
And then Mark from Radio Nordjyske, who had interviewed us in the radio every 3rd-4th week since we left Denmark, asked us, if we should do something funny in the radio during the summer, when we were home in Denmark.
We thought it could be fun – and then the idea of ‘everyday adventures in North Jutland‘ was created.
What is the ‘Everyday adventures in North Jutland’?
The idea is, that we (Morten, Mette and Turtle) during the early summer and autumn 2018 visit all the 11 municipalities in North Jutland for a week and drive around and experience ‘everyday adventures’ where we arrive – that’s what we call adventures you can experience in your own local area, without costing anything/much and without the need for a lot of time or preparation.
And now it had become week 1 in our project.
Buut..we probably had squeezed the whole thing too much together here after our return to Denmark.
Monday morning in this week, we woke up in Flensburg – quite far from North Jutland, where we were supposed to begin our everyday adventures – because we had been to a team meeting there that weekend and were going to make a presentation in Tønder on the Tuesday.
So it took just a few days before we got started with our everyday adventures in North Jutland.
The first thing we did when we arrived at Aalborg Municipality, which we were visiting this week, was actually driving straight to a place, we had been visiting earlier, namely the park in Svenstrup.
We had to make our first presentation for the libraries in Svenstrup on Wednesday evening, and from previous visits to the park we knew that it is a beautiful oasis in the city – the perfect place to sit and enjoy your lunch. So we did.
In fact, we have also found a good friend down there. He is beautiful, white and seems to enjoy life. He is called Svend – at least we call him so. Svend the swan.
This afternoon, we didn’t see him, since we didn’t go down to the water, but stayed a little further out on the edge of the park, as we didn’t have a long time before we were going to make the presentation.
Everyday adventures at turtle time
After such a hectic start of the week – and on our return home to Denmark in general – we actually didn’t need the very big activities in the coming days.
We asked the participants at the ‘Cultural Caravan’, which nearby places they would recommend for an overnight stay and several of them mentioned Poulstrup Lake, which we have both visited earlier and therefore also knew is a great place just nearby.
I guess it’s already pretty obvious: that the municipality of Aalborg is not entirely new to us. In fact, it is very homely for both of us. For Morten even more than to me, as it is here, he has grown up and lived for most of his life, both as a child and an adult. I’ve moved here after I grew up, but have lived in Aalborg for the past 6 years, so it is also home to me now.
We drove down to Poulstrup Lake and parked – on the first row, right down to the water. And let the sliding door open, so it was like sleeping in a shelter. It was so amazing! The only sounds we heard all Thursday and Friday morning while we stayed here were the cuckoo’s cuckoo, frog’s croaking, the coot’s quack, the eager voices of a whole class as they ran past the lake both Thursday and Friday morning and then a few cars driving by on the gravel road. Aaah, what a calm!
We spent the day relaxing after a few hectic weeks: I with a book in my hand and later on a bike ride and Morten with a nap and a walk.
Everyday adventure by the dentist
On Friday I had a deal with the dentist in Aalborg and cycled in there. That‘s another thing that’s pretty good at Poulstrup lake: it’s so quiet and idyllic and beautiful nature – and yet so close to Aalborg city center that you can cycle there.
So I cycled to the center and got here – despite the fact that I was just on a trip to the dentist – my next everyday adventure, namely Aalborg’s most beautiful hall, at Boulevarden 5. Here is a big part of the old Aalborg with Jens Bangs Stenhus, the town hall, the stream etc. painted really extensively and beautifully on the walls of the entrance – a work of art that is definitely worth a visit, if you have a dentist there or not.
It doesn’t need to be much, and sometimes even a visit to the dentist can be an entire experience in itself.
After the dental visit, I rode to ‘the horseshoe’ and met Morten. A place we have heard of many times, but unbelievably never visited – even though it is less than 10 km from the center of Aalborg.
That is also a really nice oasis. A piece of beach with bathing bridges, green areas, shelters, campfire and public toilet – with the only drawback: there is a view just over to the North Jutland plant on the other side of the water. Not a super charming view. But on the other hand, it’s also very nice to see that even though it’s so close to industry, it’s still just a super nice place to come and swim and it’s really delicious and very visited.
Disagreements in Turtle
Unfortunately, Morten and I had had a disagreement earlier in the day, so we spent most of the time on the horseshoe separatly (perhaps just another sign that we had had too many things to do after our return home and therefore easier got irritated).
But here the horseshoe was also a good place to stay, because there were many places in the green areas where it was possible to be alone and undisturbed.
The following day we still hadn’t talked about things, which made it a little difficult when I had made a deal with a girl who also lives full-time in her car (Astrid from Astrids Univers) that we should meet up to Fjord Rock in Aalborg – a free concert under the Culturebridge arranged by Lions Club.
Morten just didn’t want to – he would like a day home after our conflict the day before, which was still not completely resolved. It is one of the challenges we have, living in a car: the one’s choice affects one another more than if we lived in an apartment. Because if I would like to take the car to Aalborg, Morten had to accept that his ‘homeday’ would be right next to the stage, since that was where I was going to park the van.
And that’s how we ended up doing: I. the end Morten said okay and we drove to Aalborg. After all, that was what we had always agreed and I had a deal with Astrid that we / I got there with our van. Fortunately, it also ended up being a good day for both of us. It was great to be out and be with some other people, drink beer and listen to good music. Now we have been more or less constantly together in very little space for the last six months, so it is great with some other inputs and stimulants from other people.
We once again stayed at the first parquet – right next to the stage. So of course we continued to the end of the party and then went to bed.
Flight show and tastings
The next morning we drove out of the town – now it would be nice with some peace and quiet again. Well..that wasn’t exactly the case.
Because we drove out near the airport where there was Air Show that day and therefore there were jetflights, passenger airplanes, helicopters and whatever else, flying through the air and making different tricks for more or less 6 hours.
Throughout this scene, Morten sat with his binoculars while I rode on the bike back to Aalborg where I met my sister and we went for a long walk along the harbor promenade while talking like we haven’t seen each other for half a year – which we almost hadn’t.
We ended up at Street Food, where neither of us had been before and sat in a bordeaux Chesterfield sofa where we got a good sister talk. Afterwards we went to the various stalls and tasted some tastings before we went back along the waterfront with a cup of coffee from the Pancake House in our hand.
Adventures right outside the front door
This was our first week of ‘everyday adventures in North Jutland’. It was a bit too hectic in the beginning, but when we reached the middle of the week we could do things quietly and just relax where we were without rushing around from one thing to another.
We had some wonderful, diverse experiences in the municipality of Aalborg, from fantastic natureexperiences to a festive town atmosphere to a concert.
When I look at the map, which places we’ve visited, I can see that we almost only drove around a radius of 20 km from Aalborg and did not even come to the east coast, but that’s probably because we didn’t feel the need to move too much
And it’s also some of what’s great about everyday adventures: you do not have to go far away from your home to experience something. The adventures are waiting just outside the front door.
Tips for coming everyday adve tures in Aalborg Municipality
We also received the following tips, which we didn’t get the time to experience, but which we may return to another time – or maybe you would like to explore them?
– Drastrup gravel grave
– Lake at Dall Møllevej
– Huul Mill (by Vokslev)
– Lille Vildmose (center)
– Mulbjergene at Dokkedal (which we have visited both before and afterwards and which is an amazing place!)