Amber coast of Denmark

After many years we are back at Fabian’s childhood holiday destination, Fanø. Two weeks of sleeping and long walks on the beach to get a much needed rest.

Samstag 3.12. With heavy luggage, we make our way to the train station. We have 5 weeks of holidays ahead of us. First stop is Wendezelle. We spend the evening with my parents and borrow their car for our onward journey.

Sunday 4.12. After breakfast we are on the road. Hannover, Hamburg, Kolding fly by. There are few cars on the road. At ca. 14 we reach Esbjerg harbor. We catch the next ferry to Fanø without a wait (300DKK). It’s a calm day and Nordby is clearly visible in the distance.

We pick up our keys at the new Danibo office. As we leave, we realize that we are greeted by two seals on a sandbank in the harbor. On the way to Sønderho, we stop at the Kunstladen. The store has not changed much – feels a bit dated and not inviting. A short while later, we reach our beautiful house Kristian Post at Søndermarken 21.

We make a nice warm fire, cook pizza and watch a movie. Holidays!

Monday 5.12. First holiday, first day of hunting amber. High tide is at 12:30. We need to get out early. We walk the beaches in the morning and explore Nordby in the afternoon.

Tuesday 6.12. Island life. We get up early, walk the beach in search for Amber. In the afternoon, we rest and go out in the dark again.

Wednesday 7.12. Sunrise – Amber – Sunset

Thursday 8.12. It snowed over night and the island is dusted in white. We spend the early morning on the beach. But it’s not the perfect day to search for Amber. Therefore, we decide to use this beautiful day to go to Esbjerg.

Our fist stop in Esbjerg is the Fiskeri og Søfartsmuseet. We watch the seals play in their basin and enjoy the aquarium. The museum has expanded the outdoor area even further and now show a complete harbor and ship making industry.

Our lunch place in the Esbjerg harbor is the absolute hotspot for the in-crowd in the early 80s. We buy some fresh fish across the street and walk to the Esbjerg shopping street. The west end of the Kongensgade is deserted; shops are empty. The east side is underwhelming. We take the 16:00 ferry back to Fanø and walk the beach in the evening. We search with black light and find a plentiful bounty.

Friday 9.12. Snow falls but we still have a great day at the beach. But the highlight awaits us in the evening: Fabian’s birthday present.

We walk through the snowy streets to the last alley behind the dike. Here, at the end of Fanø, is the Sønderho Kro. We are greeted by a cozy atmosphere. No more then three tables will be filled tonight. It truly feels like the “Gute Stube”. Good is fantastic and wine is plentiful.

Saturday 10.12. It was a long evening so it is not easy to get up. Fabian battles a headache (maybe a reason not to buy the Fanø rum?).

We walk along the beach but find little amber. Our attempt to buy warm socks at the Kunstladen is thwarted by their opening hours. However, the sunset puts up quite a show.

In the evening, Fabian finally goes for the first run of the holidays

Sunday 11.12. Fantastic weather awaits us on the beach. And amber is plentiful. There is almost no wind.

There is even time and wind to unpack the new kite and cruise a few meters along the beach

Despite the cold, Michi volunteers to grill the fantastic steaks we bought at the farmer in Sønderho.

Monday 12.12. It is fair to say that the amber fever has a firm grip on us. By now, we know the other people at the beach: the nice Danish guy on his bike who is looking for big stones only, the single German idiot from LAU who drives up and down the Wadden Sea not caring a thing about the environment,…

Anyway, it’s a good day for us. And the weather is fantastic.

Tuesday 13.12. Same procedure… We spend our day walking the southern beaches. We do not always find pleasant things. There are actually a number of seal carcasses washed ashore. But that is just how nature is.

In the afternoon we visit the Sønderho Mill. It’s closed but we can take a look from the outside. At the dagli brugsen we see an old lady with an unlikely pet: a goat.

Wednesday 14.12. The weather is beautiful. We decide to take it slow today. We attempt to turn some of our stones into jewelry, but the amber store in Sønderho is not open. We walk through the town and visit the old harbor. From there, we walk around the south end of the island and back home to a quiet afternoon.

Thursday 15.12. When we wake up we do not yet realize that this day will turn into the possibly biggest amber day, yet. The weather is cloudy but we decide to head out, anyway. We start at the tidal creeks by the Be Free bunker and walk South. “Walking” is exaggerated. We crawl, more than we walk, picking one amber after the next. And the pieces are sizeable.

Our little collection boxes flow over after the first hour or so and we load amber into pockets and tissue wrappers. We close of this fantastic day by climbing the iconic Be Free bunker

After a long clean up, we realize that we have collected as much amber in one day than in the previous weeks combined.

Friday 16.12. We wake up to a beautiful snowy sunrise on Fanø.

On the beach, ice and snow have created ocean art works. The water is just cold enough to freeze when it hits the shore. Hence, we are wading through a thick ice slush. At the snap of a finger a thick blanket of fog falls over the beach. Given yesterday’s plentiful bounty, we decide to give up on amber for the moment and hike the Søren Jessens Sand.

From Fanø Bad, we follow the great ice plane north along the shore and slip and slide back through the heart of the sand.

In the afternoon, we walk that amber grounds again but we mostly find more beautiful ice sculptures.

We end the evening relaxing at home and enjoying te sunset. Despite the cold, Michi decides to grill steaks again. And she does so under a clear sky full of stars.

Saturday 17.12. Last day looking for Amber. We sleep in as low tide is late in the day. Close to our parking spot we are greeted by a small seal. A call to the rescue station reveals that Esbjerg is no longer picking up abandoned seals. Therefore we can only hope for the little guy that the mother will come back with the flood

We find few amber but a few nice ones in the ice.

Today, there is finally enough wind to go kiting. I would have preferred ice skates over the mountain board, but not everything can be perfect. A slightly rough start and of I go. Michi tracks 30km/h in the car. Means I am doing good speed. A river of sheer ice finally stops my ride. Even a mountain board is of no use in a frictionless world.

We warm up a last time in Haven in Nordby with hot chocolate and Belgian waffles. On our way home we do a final bit of Christmas shopping at Lys and start to pack.

Sunday 18.12. We pack and leave early. 8:45 we drop of the keys at Danibo and catch the ferry to Esbjerg. We drive for six hours over snowy highways until we reach Berlin.