Monday, December 19, 2011

Randers District and Lysnet Bakke, a hill more than 45 million years old.

A Taste of Denmark

During the winter season we usually drive a short tour closer to where we live. It's too cold to stay out for a long time like we do in summer. I'll often combine the tour with some church or manor photos, and this time we took the road north of Århus, first stop Spørring church. We were  lucky that day. The sun was shining after a dark week and the air was fresh. Good for the brain to get some sunlight they say -  and my brain felt better!

In the horizon were some low dark blue clouds looking like peninsulas in a sea. I don't know if you can see it?  And here were the silhouettes of trees upon a blue sky. Such lovely trees. There was no parking place by the church, so we had to park opposite by a little supermarket. Outside stood the most miserable Santa Claus I ever saw. He was so thin - his clothes were like put on a hanger, and his curly - and extremely shining - Santa-beard was placed upon his own beard, which was brown. He looked like the manager of the bank who had taken the role of Santa Claus. He was easily recognized, and I'm not sure the children were very impressed!



A nice church in Spørring with some good details. There was a strange stone in the church yard. Not like a usual hollow stone. I don't know if it was one of the ancient ones, those rock carvings from late Stone Age or from Bronze Age with carved or polished hollows. Since there are no written sources from that time, the experts have not agreed the meaning of these stones. They might be symbols of fertility, or used in sacrifice, or cult-tables in rituals etc. There are many ways to interprete these skålsten.
The sun was behaving well - look at sunshine on the church tower!  The church door was locked, like they usually are on a Saturday, but I can tell you who like unicorns that there is a frescoe with two unicorns at the tree of life inside the church! Outside are two chessboards on the wall - and those carved patterns are a mystery like the hollowed stones. No one knows how to make a certain interpretation of them. I believe they are the Devil's game board. When he played on this gameboard outside the church, he would not go into the church and disturb the service. But I might be wrong! No one knows. That's why it is so exciting to examine such things. Like a detective story.
chessboard, Spørring.

We went on and outside Spørring the landscape was covered in a light haze and the clouds began to gather. What now? You'll never know on a December afternoon. We came to Hadsten, just passing through. I have never been interested in the church in Hadsten which you can see on the photo I took from the car. I don't like the architecture, in my opinion it is boring. It's built in 1871-72. And the dull grey colour. No, I love the old Romanesque churches. Hadsten is a large village - almost a town - what we call a stationsby = railway town, between Århus and Randers. It has the shortest pedestrian zone in Denmark, 35 meter, with no name. In return Hadsten has got one of the largest model railways in Europe - called Model Railway Europe. But we must continue, for we did not stay in Hadsten. A few minutes later we heard screams and crying and I didn't know what it was. It was a tree with black flowers. Lots of rooks. What a racket. And close to a house! I'm glad I don't live there.
The next little stop was by the church in Lerbjerg, and here I couldn't find what was supposedly upon the wall, until I came home and looked in my book! Why didn't I look properly before we went out!
outside Lerbjerg church
But it was lovely outside the church dike and later we took a little stop by a small water stream, Lilleåen ( the Little river). There is much water in the streams now. That's good. Fresh, cool water for the fish and the water plants.  Lilleåen is the most important inlet of the big river, Gudenåen, more than half of the sea trouts go up the Lilleå. It's a good fishing place.

There was some cattle grazing close to a farm. Maybe they had to go inside soon. It was cold. Well, I think they can go out all day and night if it's Hereford. There was a little fat calf. It looked so funny. It was almost shaped like a square.

Near the Lilleå was a fishing lake, but I don't think the lake has any inlet of the river. They put out trouts in the fishing lake for people to catch, so you're always certain to bring fish with you home for suppper. You don't have to go buy fish from the fishmonger. It's a nice place and people bring their lunch and the children are fishing together with their dad.

Then we came to Bidstrup where we have been  several times. There is a fantastic beautiful landscape around Bidstrup. The present building is from the 1600s. 

Although I've got a better photo of the building itself I thought you should see the newly cut trees. The red building is a corner of a farm building. The estate might have roots in a fortification from the Viking period. The name Bidstrup is from the 1300s and means the place of the bishop. 

A few minutes after Bidstrup we saw two dilapidated houses. I don't know if they belong to the Bidstrup estate, but if they do then it's not worthwhile to restore them! They are probably private - and I guess they 'll soon be broken down, leaving place for something new.  


And then uphill to a special place called Lysnet Bakke. Lysnet Bakke (hill) lies in a landscape which rises markedly from a plateau-landscape. The transition is especially marked by a long 30-50 m high  slope. The inside of the hill is clay, which in one word can be described as plastic clay. The Lysnet Bakke is now a clay pit, from where was earlier extracted the plastic clay. The clay pit gives opportunities to watch the many various clay types, which are from a period 45-55 million years ago. The red clay, which you can see in some places,  is what 's called the Røsnæs clay. It's found in a few places in Denmark. The clay was deposited in an ocean, which covered large parts of the present North Sea-area, like Holland, Beligum, North Germany and all Denmark. South of the highest point is a clay pit, where was earlier extracted clay for a production of clinkers. The pit is marked by slippage today. The calcareous underground with slippage in the plastic clay gives possibilities for a rich flora, and some listed orchids grow here.From the hill is a fine view down to the landscape with the river in the middle. Stone Age people lived down there after the ocean had disappeared and the hills were their hunting place.This hill we stand on has been here forever and ever.


view from the hill down to the plateau-landscape, which lies in a haze

Then we continued our day-tour from the hill, first along the gravel road, and then it went downhill  through a lovely landscape. A pretty red house lies in shelter in the middle of the hilly area.  




Next little stop was Vissing church,  placed  halfway downhill. Some churches in this area are very marked by frost and weather. The granite ashlars have got cracks on the northern and western side of the building. I guess it's the weather, for it's rare to see such cracked stones in the old ashlar churches, although they have been here for a thousand years. suddenly saw a glimpse of a white cat on the church yard, but then it was just a little sculpture on a grave. There must be a sweet story about the cat's connection to this grave.

But the afternoon was icy cold. The wind had changed and I'm a sissy - sometimes. I wanted to go home to a warm house and have some good hot soup!

See you soon.


Source: Danmarks Naturfredningsforening.

photo 17. December 2011: grethe bachmann


Teresa Evangeline said...

There are some beautiful phrases here: "the sun was behaving well," and "a tree with black flowers." The rooks, like crows, can raise a ruckus, can't they? And to "stand on a hill that has been here forever and ever." What a wonderful feeling, and this whole post is so very descriptive. I love traveling with you!

Your photos of roads are always so intriguing. I want to travel them, too.

Michael and Hanne said...

Thank you Thyra!

Out on the prairie said...

What a great day and wonderful finds. The clay slopes are similar to where I live.

Thyra said...

Thank you Teresa! Maybe we want see what's on the road next? It's our never-ending curiosity you know! Always wondering what's on top of the hill! I like your post about going by train. All the little old railways have disappeared in DK now.

Hej Michael og Hanne. Selv mange tak! Jeg håber at I har det godt.
I fejrer måske en halv dansk jul derovre i det store land!

Thank you, Steve. It seems that you live in a place similar to Denmark. Maybe I can see it on streetview I wonder. I'll try to find it. I hope you'll have a Good Christmas with your family - and your sweet little dog.

Carolyn, I've got a little message for you. If you see this. I have tried to comment your post about John Lennon, but I cannot use the verification. I don't know why - and there is nothing you can do about it yourself. It will probably disappear by itself. I'll try again later.

Cheers to all of you
Grethe ´)

Marilyn said...

I am another who would love to travel your roads, maybe one day hopefully. You show such a lovely part of our world and the history is amazing. I was saddened to see the old houses fading away but loved all the bright sunshine filled scenes.
Have a wonderful Christmas Grethe.

Thyra said...

Thank you Marilyn! The two houses is a rare sight in this part of the country. There must be something special going on.
We always long for the sun, don't we? Imagine living in the northernest part of fx Norway now. It is dark both day and night with only a stripe from the sun in the horizon. And in summer it is light day and night, and they need to have black rollers in their houses to get some sleep!

Have a wonderful Christmas too -
and a very Happy New Year.