It was about an hour on the bus to get there, and we immediately started on a walking (maybe running!) tour of the harbour and the city. I had looked at the weather beforehand, but didn't take into account that it always feels colder by the water than the actual temperature is, and hadn't brought along warm enough clothes for any of us. We'd walked from the bus to the sidewalk by the fjord, and already Anders was shivering and I was cold, and Svea was crying. Whew, I thought, this was going to be an incredibly long day! We weren't scheduled to get back on the bus again for about 5 hours! We started walking, though, and as we got into town it didn't feel quite as cold, plus, we were moving quickly through the streets so that helped warm us up.
Our first stop was the large Danish library, and we all went inside -most to use the bathroom. Outside the library the streets were narrow and crowded, and there were shoes hanging from the wires overhead. The story goes, apparently long ago the shoes were hung on the old cable car lines to indicate that these were the locations of stores for questionable substances that the people coming in off the boats could find. It looks fun, though, seeing all the wires of running shoes crossing over the streets above you.
We walked through the walking street fairly quickly -it seems Mads as a tour guide is always walking at a near-run - but saw several places that we wanted to remember so we could come back later when the students were in their meetings.
Up behind that building is a large cemetery with very old stones, several hundred years old, and also this giant statue that's pretty significant in Denmark's history from when this part of the country belonged to them.
By 10:45 we'd all made it up to the high school, and stopped to eat our lunches in the dining room area there. It was early, but everyone was hungry so we all ate. Then it was our free time while the students had their meetings. We left the school, thinking we were taking the way back down the hill to the walking street where the shops were -afterall, if you're on top of a hill, and the streets are heading down, you're going in the right direction. We saw quite a bit of graffiti on the walls of the streets as we walked, and not many people around. It just didn't feel quite right. I did see an amazing little house stuck in a corner with a tiny little courtyard out front with a metal bistro table. It was picturesque like what you'd see in a fairytale, or a romantic comedy. I really wanted to take a picture of it, but there was a man -a neighbor I think- outside and he was walking very close behind us. I kept waiting for him to go inside one of the houses, but he didn't. And then we were too far past the house to get a photo. I will have to try to remember it instead. Even if we returned to Flensburg again -as I suspect we might for the Christmas market- I don't think I'd find it again!
We were a bit turned around by the time we reached the bottom of the hill, and it took a while to get oriented again. We were about four blocks farther down the city than we thought we were, but quickly made our way back to the walking streets we intended to go to. The kids didn't quite understand that we were going there just to walk. They kept asking if we were there yet, and where we were going. We saw a "Everything for 1 Euro" store, and decided to go inside. If nothing else, we could warm up for a bit -though for the most part we weren't feeling too cold anymore. It was a fairly large store, and had more things than I'd expected to see there. We ended up buying some skeins of yarn -they were cheaper than at the recycle shop!-, two hot wheels, some chocolate coins the boys had been asking for since they'd seen them weeks ago, and a calendar of postcards of Germany. Ten Euro. It wasn't such a bad deal.
The bustle of the walking streets was kind of fun. There were a lot of people, but it didn't feel overly crowded. And the shops were small and close together -it seemed one building ran into the next, with very few side streets to break them up. It was nice that we didn't really have to look out for cars, though, except for the occasional delivery truck.
Just as I was saying "be careful, that is very slippery when it's wet!" Svea disappeared inside the hole in the stump. If you look closely in this bottom one, where just Anders is standing, you can see her hand and forearm reaching out from the center of it. She didn't get hurt, but she was rather irritated about it. Jeff took the picture as I was walking to pick her up. The hole wasn't that deep, but she's still small. That was the end of climbing on stumps for today.
Anders really liked this waterwheel outside the mall.
This scarf was the only thing -other than our purchases at the "Everything for 1 Euro" store and a few postcards- we bought on our trip. I thought it was very pretty, and it was relatively inexpensive also.