A lesson in hyggelig

The next stop on our tour of Denmark was the town of Viborg, actually a small village outside of Viborg.

Viborg may not be a well known tourist destination, but it is home to our friends Sanne Maj and Kasper whom we met travelling in Jordan back in 2010.

When we first met them, Sanne Maj was pregnant (as you might be able to see below) with their eldest daughter Nora and they’ve since added two more little girls, Merle and Vigga, to the family.

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Ella’s dream home

When we arrived from Billund we were taken by how nice their house was. Katy and I loved the clean, Danish design and abundant natural light. Ella? Well, she was amazed to find that there were rings hanging in the kitchen.

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That was before she found out there was a trampoline in the garden.

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The Universal language of play

As usual, Ella was shy when we first arrived. Sanne Maj and Kasper’s girls were an interesting study in sibling differences. Nora was just as shy as Ella, if not more so. Merle was friendly from the start. Little Vigga, well, she was rather indifferent to the rest of us, as long as she was within 1 meter of a parent.

Over the course of the two days that we were together, the three older girls found a way to play despite not speaking the same language. Ella and Nora in particular seemed to get along very well.

When we went into town to visit the Viborg Cathedral, Ella and Nora both ran around the Cathedral looking for the clues in the ‘treasure hunt’ app on the iPad provided as part of our entrance fees. I won’t lie, it was probably the most fun I’ve had in a church too.

I think Ella was ready to trade us in for Sanne Maj when she took us to the school where she works as a teacher of, among other things, gymnastics. It’s no exaggeration to say that the girls could have spent days playing happily. Instead they had to settle for an hour of glee.

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Cultural exchange

For the grown-ups, Katy and I were quickly reminded why it was that we liked Sanne Maj and Kasper when we first met them and can only hope they felt the same way.

They were gracious in spending lots of time answering our questions and explaining Danish culture, not to mention opening their home to us. After the kids were in bed each night it was great to sit around discussing the nuances of Hygge, the differences in education systems, the latest in Danish Royal gossip that is the talk of the country at the moment, and how badly we were mispronouncing most Danish words. Skagen is said nothing like we guessed. Oh, and yes, we were suckers for tipping while in Copenhagen.

We had the good fortune of experiencing a traditional Danish breakfast, complete with Danish pastries. For the record, the real thing is WAY better than what we get at home.

We also went out for lunch in town and enjoyed a range of Smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwiches) which were delicious. Having Kasper and Sanne Maj guide and translate us through a taste testing was nothing short of a treat.

It was a great pleasure to have a couple of days to catch up with Sanne Maj, Kasper and their girls. We’ll have to lure them over to Canada eventually to return the favour.

Until then, we’ll make do with group shot together, even if it was a slightly rough looking early morning, pre-coffee shot.

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From here we’ll backtrack a bit and head south west to the island of Fanø for a rendez-vous with some seals.

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One thought on “A lesson in hyggelig

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  1. Thank you for visiting us. We enjoyed it so much. And also a big thanks for all the nice words about us! Our home is always open to you or your friends.

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