After a day of orientating ourselves (finding where the local shops were etc.) we headed out, south along the coast to Sonderborg. Our drive took us through rolling countryside, by pretty bays or fjords and small villages. We also discovered that the Danish roads were excellent and had very little traffic on them. It was a real pleasure to drive along. After several stops to admire the views we arrived at Sonderborg.
Sonderborg history goes back to 1169 when Valdemar I erected a castle fortress along the waterfront. Over time the castle was extended and in the late 16th century the castle was turned into a royal palace. Today the castle still dominates the town’s waterfront but its baroque appearance after restoration work in 1718 makes the castle look very plain.
The waterfront was very pleasant to walk along. Not only did we find the rather austere castle but a windmill (are we in Holland?). Walking through the town centre we discovered all the shops had stock outside thus making the streets crowded. This was the second Danish town where this had occurred. Was it because it was sale time or was this norm?
After walking the town we headed out to an area called Dybbol. Here not only was there another windmill, they were fantastic views across the Als Sound. This was also an old battleground where in 1864 a battle between German and Danish forces resulted in Germany occupying South Jutland for over 60 years.
Making our way back we stopped at the small town of Grasten. This rather sleepy town has one important attraction the summer residence of the Danish Royal family, Grasten Palace. When the HRH’s are not in residence the royal gardens are open to the public and what beautiful gardens they were. The palace was not bad as well! Daisy was totally fascinated by the automatic lawn mowers cutting the extensive lawns.
A good first day exploring in Denmark.