Our Final Søndag in Viborg

A sunny weekend was appreciated by everyone and it seemed like all citizens were out and about in Viborg today. We wandered towards town, exploring some places not yet visited. The warmer weather had helped some pretty spectacular, fairy tale, fungi to sprout overnight. ‘Fly Poison Amanita’ (amanitamuscaria) was absolutely everywhere.


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We see Asmild Kirke every day as we ride the bus to school. The church was established around 1090 and is truly authentic, in appearance and feel, especially when one sees the priests, dressed in their full regalia. Hans Christian Anderson visited (he seems to have spent a night or three in most places in Denmark) and stayed. It was great to see some students from school preparing to sing in the choir.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 

Scroll down here to see some nice pics of the church in winter.

We walked around the lake and had lunch in the park. Kate is addicted to ristet hotdogs and the girls and I were happy to oblige her habit. We stopped and read. Lucy has started ‘The Hobbit’ and I finished ‘A Dance with Dragons’.


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Who would have guessed that a ‘Lions Club’ would be in Denmark. Not I.


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We bumped into several people we know today, which was nice. Here’s Marianne’s gorgeous dog.


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We came home and I mowed the lawn. It has not rained at all for two days which must be the first time since we arrived in Denmark, or so it feels. Like all Danes, I think I’ve become slightly obsessed with the weather.

Viborg Private Realskole

Lucy og Sarah are happily being educated by the staff in the International Department at the Viborg Private Realskole.

The girls study English, science, PE. art, music, maths, personal and social development and ICT. They are instructed in English but have been learning Danish too. Sarah, or ‘Sara’, as Danes pronounce her name (Lucy is ‘Loosie’) really likes to use her new language skills at home, whenever possible. I am ‘far’ and Kate is ‘mor’ but she has picked up quite a few phrases and certainly counts to 10.

My Danish is not coming along too well at all. Kate is better, she watches shows on tv and can see the Danish translation written on the screen. This means she knows words for food as her TV diet is pretty much dodgy cooking shows. Kate moaned in protest when I read this aloud before posting but failed to nominate the shows she really watched, so I posted it anyway.

The day starts at 8am and finishes at 1.30pm which is quite a deal earlier than the 9.15am start at home. Everyone is up at 6.15am or so for us to catch the bus at 7.30am. Kate really enjoys the early mornings.

The girls are both together in a very small class of 9 students. The school programs using the Cambridge international system. Some afternoons the girls go to SFO, which is like after school care. ‘Sara’ likes the disco room and ‘Loosie’ fancies playing ‘Mario’ and ‘Lets Dance 2′ on the Wii.

Kate teaches conversational English a couple of afternoons a week to students at the girls’ school. She has not been there long enough for her students to start speaking in an Australian accent yet but knows they do not like vegemite as the sandwiches she provided for afternoon tea traumatised a couple of the kids.

The teachers – Gemma, Kristian and Katarina – have been lovely and very welcoming to our family. Lucy and Sarah would happily stay at the school and have no homesickness at all. We all agree that school in Denmark is a much more liberal experience than in Australia. Lucy has the two and half years of infants classes already and feels that school in Denmark is much ‘less strict’.

Sarah, with no experience of primary school at home, may get a little bit of a shock in kindergarten next year back in Kiama.

This weekend…

we decided to wander around Viborg to make sure we didn’t miss some of the cultural places of interest before we depart for London. The weather was overcast and drizzling rain but we didn’t get too wet.

Viborg Domkirke eller Vor Frue Domkirke or, the Viborg Cathedral to us, is an impressive space. We really enjoyed wandering around the interior and exterior.


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I was sitting behind an elderly couple and felt a little bad that I was snapping photos when they were worshipping in their church.


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However, I shouldn’t have worried. As I walked further down the front of the cathedral I noticed the man, with his apparently pious and bowed head, was actually using his iPhone (to send a tweet perhaps).


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The girls really liked the crypt and I was happy with this photo. I am finally getting better with manipulating the ISO setting on my D700.


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Our favourite street is Sct. Mogens Gade and the cobblestone passages around this old part of Viborg. There are all kinds of interesting designs under gables and on walls or doors. It is particularly lovely after rain.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

 cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

The Skovgaard Museet next to Viborg Cathedral, is dedicated, ‘to four generations of the Skovgaard family of artists and their contemporaries’. Joakim Skovgaard and his assistants created the frescoes in the cathedral situated metres away. There were some most unusual installations and art at this gallery (some I worried about posting here, especially the stuffed animals). I note that Danes tend to call an art gallery a ‘museet’.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

Wandering home we passed the markets and some buskers.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

We also have had some unusually big Skype sessions, as the time for us to return to Australia draws closer, with lots of family and friends this weekend. Kate particularly enjoyed a marathon chat with Trish and the girls liked talking with nanny. I had a long chat with Carsten and Pia too. Technology sure keeps us all happily connected and organised.

This week…

has been another interesting, varied one in Denmark. The only downsides, Kate has been ill and the constant, drizzling rain. This made Friday’s sunshine especially glorious and mowing the lawn a strange pleasure.

Danes voted this week. The elections resulting in a change of national leadership. Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the first female prime minister in Danish history and it will be interesting to see how she manages to hold her diverse coalition together in the coming 4 years. The students at the school have been impressively and actively engaged in the political process and we have much to learn from the Danish model of civic engagement.

Professionally, it has been interesting to teach and learn with a range of classes about ‘Australia, technology, digital citizenship and the #LondonRiots’. The students have produced some excellent responses to our investigations into why the ‘London Riots’ occurred. The video mashups, songs and poetry were particularly impressive, as was the varied, different kinds of formats for their presentations.

Another professional highlight for me was a trip to Skive to visit Pia’s work. Jens Kolstrup, the director of the Social- og Sundhedsskolen, is an impressive educationalist with great ideas about how people learn and shared his enthusiasms generously. I particularly like his positive visions for the development of future learning spaces. Pia’s colleagues obviously miss her ‘smiling face’ greatly and look forward to her return.

The local newspaper ran an article in their ‘People’ section on yours truly and our Danish exchange. Part of the article is here and you could use Google Translate to read it, if you have a few spare minutes.

We always enjoy Lars, Sol, Julie and Anders’ company so it was a great way to end the working week with dinner at their place and a stroll (without rain) to look at the ponies and horses.


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cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 

Sarah has been taking some good photos and was particularly pleased with her vision with this one. It was all her idea, the flame and the framing. I think it is pretty cool too.


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It seems strange and a little sad that in two weeks from today we will be back in London and on our homeward leg of this ‘European Trip’. We are thinking about seeing Tim, Bailey, Sonny and Eden, visiting Oxford and then 10 days in Hong Kong, so there’s plenty too look forward too in the coming month.

Before we go, I really need to blog about Lucy and Sarah’s ‘skole’. Also, I have much to say about Viborg Katedralskole.

Next week perhaps!

Houlkær IF


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Peter organised for Lucy to play football. She has been to a couple of training sessions and Dorte, the manager, has been particularly nice to her new recruit. Lucy played her first proper matches with Houlkær IF this evening. The team played well drawing 1-1 and winning the next game 1-0. Lucy was particularly happy when she was the goalkeeper.


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Legoland



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Legoland is just excellent. Completely age appropriate (for 42 year olds) and our kids. Kate knew the day was going to be grand when one of the first delights we saw was the Millennium Falcon. Sarah was a little concerned about the height regulations but need not have worried, she went on everything.

Lars and Sol kindly looked after us all again today with good company, excellent food and jests. The kids really had fun together and I even managed a few more pics of the elusive Anders during the day.

Lucy and Julie, Lars and I had some unexpected adventures on the Xtreme Racer Rollercoaster which broke down as we were right at the top, about to descend. I had been tweeting that my enthusiasm for the ride was none to great, so it was kind of amusing on a number of levels.

Anyway, we had to be ‘rescued’ and walk with staff to safety. They let me take a couple of iPhone pics (which I am sure Park Management loved going on twitter with the #Legoland hashtag in about 10 seconds). 😉

Kate and Sarah were watching from below while all this was happening. Kate thought the ride had probably been stopped as I had taken out my camera for some shots. I really wished I’d had my camera, the view was magnificent. I couldn’t even get my iPhone out of my pocket, without standing up. I thought this may make the staff anxious. On a serious note, a person was killed in 2007 on this very ride fetching a wallet that had been dropped.

Moving on, unlike the Xtreme Racer, we went on many rides and enjoyed the park until late in the afternoon when it started to rain. I was enjoying photographing the oldest part of the Legoland, opened in 1968, and the more gentle light from overcast skies when we decided to leave. No one appeared to notice this billboard below as we departed but I felt sure Lucy was snickering (in joke).


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My favourite photo of the day was the penultimate shot for the afternoon. This lovely terrier below would have made a great subject if we had more time and his owner wasn’t fleeing the rain too.


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Checked out the history of LEGO and Legoland on the way home. I must admit to not even knowing that this iconic toy was a Danish creation. The fact that a piece of lego made as early 1958 would still link with those made today really impresses me. The same continuity as Nikon with lenses, in a way, as my D700 will work with any made from 1959 onwards.


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Thanks Solveig and Lars, vi er heldige kartoffel! 😉