Trip Start May 24, 2007
25Trip End Jun 27, 2007
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One of our first field trips was to Nyborg. Hans founded a maritime academy some 30 years ago and he is now chairman of the board and he had to attend a quarterly meeting. He dropped us off at an old castle that we were to explore and then we would explore the town and meet him in about 3 hours. As we were walking around the grounds of the castle we noticed some teenagers who were dressed up in costumes. We asked them if we could take their picture and all of a sudden they all wanted to be in the picture. They all spoke perfect English and told us that this was a day of celebration since school was over for the year. They had completed 9th grade and this was like a class picnic. We took note of how open and joyful and expressive young people are and how they radiated it so that we were uplifted to experiencing the same joyful feeling. Young people are so open and it seems to be so universal and they love acting a little silly
As we walked about the town it reminded me of the French quarter in New Orleans. There were streets that were closed off to cars with lots of shops and outdoor cafés. We meandered about and just had a good ole time. We even found a Mexican food restraurant and the Nyborg version of Planet K stores in San Antonio.
We met Hans and he gave us the tour of the Windjammer that the school uses. It is 125 feet long and a crew of 6 and about 6 to 8 students. Besides managing the sails they learn navigation and I suppose survival skills. It was apparent how much Hans misses the teaching. A few days later we returned to Nyborg and went sailing in a dinghy. It was a beautiful little wood boat with an unusual sail. It reminded me of the rowboats that chased whales. It was a beautiful day and we had great pictures that were lost(corrupted file on our memory card).
There was also a fishing trip to a trout farm about a 20 minute drive from Hans house. It was a guy trip, except for Hans granddaughter, and we had to get up a 4:30 am which was dawn. You sign in and pay an hourly rate for the fishing. We caught 11 trout, but there was real discrimination since I didn't even get a nibble
One last cultural observation. On our last evening there was a big soccer game between arch rivals Denmark and Sweden and some very unusual things occurred. First there was a streaker, (unknown in Denmark) and then in the last minute of the game, with the score tied a penalty was assessed against one of the Danes allowing the Swedes a free kick, which probably would have won the game. At this point a fan runs on the field to attack the referee. He is restrained by the players. The referees have a huddle and then decide to leave the field since it is is too dangerous for them to continue and so the game is over. Later Sweden is declared the winner by default. This was so strange to the Danes since there are no security guards and crowd control personnel that we are used to. You can imagine the headlines in all the Danish newspapers the following day.
And now we are off to Sweden, Estonia, and Russia.