On Wednesday morning, my colleague and I spent a bit of time in the morning exploring the Sonderborg waterfront and the Sonderborg Slot (Palace). It began still pretty foggy out and gradually cleared during the day.
We walked along the waterfront to the marina, watching gulls (potentially silver gulls, according to the information panel for children) crack open common mussels on the promenade. The trees were strong and interestingly shaped and some of them were not identifiable by this North American biologist. We also saw a bigger sea gull dancing on the lawn of one of the marina buildings. He was really just standing in one spot, repeatedly shuffling his feet. We wondered if there was something wrong with him because he didn’t seem to be pecking at anything, just shuffling. Then I suggested he was the marina’s special dancing gull practicing his routine for that night.
Then we walked back to the Sonderborg Slot, or palace. It has been a palace for a long while, and you can tell that it has been rebuilt a few times by the mosaic of different bricks and stones. Some of those were due to damage from warfare, and others seem to be renovations. We walked around and explored a ruined tower that had been excavated. Unfortunately a rather deep puddle existed in the tunnel leading to the open room in the tower so we didn’t enter but there were tower stairs that lead down to a locked gate, where we could look in to see how large the tower had been. Sadly, the museum part of the palace didn’t open until 1pm so we weren’t able to go inside and learn more of the history, since we had to go to our meeting – the whole reason we are in Denmark to begin with! But we did learn about the German bombardment of 1864 when the region came under German control, which ended in 1920 when it reverted back to Denmark.
We walked into a couple of the town’s side streets nearby but then decided to just go to Sandbjerg Gods and to explore the manor grounds there.
The taxi ride didn’t take very long and we dropped our stuff in our rooms and went for a walk on the Nydamstien.
We took a well travelled and marked path through the woods, which were predominantly oak, beech and perhaps an ash (not sure which variety). It was actually very mild here so the trees were still turning colours and had most of their leaves. It was fascinating to see the hallmarks of long human habitation in the area being borne out by some of the patterns of vegetation. We passed many raspberry canes and rose bushes travelling along a field edge, and then came upon a living fence of beech trees.
We turned around after we reached a fork in the road (one less travelled) because we anticipated the arrival of more of our colleagues. Which was fine because we were halfway through the 7.7 km circuit.
And then our meeting began in the afternoon, in a quaint building that had once been the farmer’s house who had tended the land for the manor, I surmise. It was really cute.
More to come – we take the road less travelled in the woods and learn some local history.