Friday, May 31, 2013

Kongens Kær close to Vejle city.

Kongens Kær
English: the King's Fens/ the King's Meadows

Kongens Kær was named by the citizens of Vejle. It lies in eastern part of Vejle River valley and forms a wedge into the western part of Vejle city. It is a unique nature area which together with the lake Knapperup Sø creates a wet area of over 100 ha.

Vejle city and a bird island in front

A view from the platform to  three Vejle towers

the start of one of the nature paths.....

Kongens Kær was through many years kept relatively dry by help of pumps which dewatered the area, and it was possible to use it for farming. In connection to the weat area- project the pumps were switched off. To secure the neighbours against flood an earthen embankment was built around the area.

the bridge out to the small view platform...
...and a bird watcher on the small platform
The seagulls nest in every place they can find.

The living conditions of the bird life and the rare birch mouse (Sicista betulina)  are improved by establishing bird islands and earth banks. The low water level creates ideal conditions for a varied and species-rich plant society.

The birds are quick to acknowledge the improved living conditions. Here are many waders and waterfowls, and birds of prey like the marsh harrier, the red kite and occassionally the osprey. Even the white-tailed eagle has visited the area. The white-tailed eagle is a top-predator and in top of the food chain, and it tells us that Kongens Kær has a good, versatile and rich nature.

 -the platform reaches out in the air like the bridge of a ship

Kongens Kær has become an attractive destination for the citizens of Vejle and other interested, also the schools. From the large platform at the country road you can watch across the pretty landscape of Vejle River valley and the bird life in the wet meadows. The big platform has also access for wheel chairs. Downside by the path is a bridge out to a small platform in the edge of the wet area.

a seagull in a tree.................

Kongens Kær belongs to Skov- og Naturstyrelsen.

photo 2012/ 2013: grethe bachmann

Thursday, May 02, 2013

A Visit to a quiet Peninsula............

There is a pretty hilly landscape on a little, broad peninsula east of the town Skive. It has no name expect the old district-name; Fjends herred - and now Ørum parish. The first place for our visit one of the last days in the windy and cold April was the old manor Staarup Hovedgård, which is now a center of antique furniture and artifacts from the 1700s-1900s. I had visited the main building before, this time it was the gatehouse-wing with antique Chinese furniture. I didn't buy anything, they were rather expensive. No wonder! They have been laquered and laquered "a thousand times". I saw a little red (low)  cupboard. I loved it. I would like this in my home.
In the summer period there is much more life here with a well-visited cafeteria and restaurant and many concert arrangements etc.

The peninsula is surrounded by the waters of Skive fjord and Hjarbæk fjord, both are parts and corners of Limfjorden. The landscape is hilly and pretty and marked by being a socalled herregårdslandskab, a manor-landscape, which only makes it better. You are driving through small villages and passing fine churches and you are close to a fine view from the old winding country roads everywhere. 


Here is also an old kloster, Ørslevkloster, where I had to do a stop for I wanted to get a photo of a chessboard ashlar on the church wall. I was told they had found one. I didn't find it, but there was no access to the south side of the church, and I later discovered that the chessboard was there of course.
Since the last time we was here there is now public access to the kloster garden with an old lime avenue leading down to a fine little water stream.
bikes outside the refugium
The garden is now being renovated and here will be a perfect place for people to visit.

The kloster itself is now a  refugium for students and artists, authors etc. who wish peace and quiet.
In my blog Church and Manor is an article about Ørslevkloster. 

yellow farm


Two Good Friends 

Again a drive through a pretty landscape. I love it. It is such a rest for the eye and a joy for the mind. The next place was also a manor, called Strandet. Two horses walked next to each other in the field downside the manor, a big heavy horse and a very little cute one; they followed each other step by step.  I don't think a horse likes to be alone in a field. They are social like everyone else.
The whitewashed manor Strandet lies upon a hill close to Jordbro Å-river, a fine fishing river with sea trout, trout and rainbow trout. Strandet is from the 1400s, but was rebuilt after a fire. Opposite upon a hill in the meadow lies the Romanesque church Nr. Ørum. Close nearby was a harbour in the Middle Ages.

Am I boring you? Then stop reading and start something else, for the next place to visit is also a manor. Tårupgård, situated close to Hjarbæk fjord. Access to the fjord via a nature path. History about this manor is also in my blog Church and Manor. Both Staarupgård and Tårupgård were during the Middle Ages owned by the family Kaas, a family who owned a big part of North Jutland. The church lies close to the manor with steps from the yard up to the entrance - everyone had to go to service, it was  really a duty at that time. No excuses I suppose. The little son probably tried  "I have a stomach ache, daddy!". -  "WHAT? Off you go".  -  And off he went and up all the steps on his small legs to listen to the thunder sermon of the priest.

But we'll leave Tårupgård and continue along the beautiful scenery to the fishing village in the corner of Hjarbæk fjord.


Hjarbæk port was once the sea port of the town Viborg, when the church was rich and powerful the bishops of Viborg guarded zealously the fishing and sailing in Hjarbæk fjord. The Viborg bishop's ship lay at Hjarbæk harbour,  but also the rich aristocracy used the port at Hjarbæk in the Middle Ages.
There was furthermore a constant sailing with salt-barges to and from the island of Læsø. (you can still buy the Læsø salt in shops). The salt extraction was a very good business and the clerics in Viborg controlled both the production and the transport. 648 barrels salt were sailed to Hjarbæk each year in the late 1400s.

Today Hjarbæk is a cosy little fishing village with a lively tourist life in summer. Each year is held a VM in sailing with boats, called "slægts", the boats similar to the fishing boats from the old days.
Hjarbæk Fjord is an International Nature Protection Area, under Natura2000 Project, and it is both a Bird's Protection Area and EU-Habitat Area. 

And in the afternoon we were leaving Hjarbæk fjord and the little peninsula after a good day.

Some pretty clouds for you

A beautiful horse was running up and downhill in a very frisky manner with  some very elegant moves. And just try to look at this fine head and neck.  It's a noble horse.

photo April 2013: grethe bachmann

Læsø Sydesalt


 Here's a picture of the salt from Læsø(for sale in shops and supermarkets.