Tomorrow QMII will visit the scenic island of Fanø.
Fanø is located a few minutes by ferry from the town of Esbjerg, which she visited today.
It's a fair-sized island:
Locate at the northern edge of the Wadden Sea, the island is very flat:
It consist basically of two overgrown villages, one in the north and one in the south, with heath in the middle of the island, that is surrounded by sandbanks when the tide is low. But do be careful! When the tide comes in in the Wadden Sea, it comes in deceptively fast! And the water is surprisingly cold. People are much more careful today, and have mobile phones too. But in my childhood the tide claimed a few tourists each year.
It used to be a fishing island. Today it's very much tourism, all year round.
The best way to explore the island is leaving your car in Esbjerg and rent a bike and bring it along on the ferry. You can explore the island in a day and get plenty of exercise at the same time!
Being a tourist island, there are loads of souvenirs, amber and locals dressed up in traditional attire roaming the streets. Many of the houses are also preserved and look very traditional, complete with thatched roofs. But they are no located near the beach, people knew that sometimes the sea came in...
It was a hard life living from fishing. You lived a prosperous life alright, but many drowned at sea. So people took their religion very
serious! It wasn't as black and white as further up north, where people were poorer and the sea even more dangerous, but the religion was stern and no nonsense on Fanø. As such Fanø-girl, easy to recognize on their traditional dresses were known to be virtuous, hardworking and dependable and were sought after by employees when they left home after being confirmed around the age of fourteen.
The ferry, just a few minutes of sailing from Esbjerg:
One of the first things you notice when leaving the ferry is a Fanø-girl:
Let's have look at the two small towns:
The mill is working BTW:
But how does such a house look like inside? (Click "billeder")
There is a nice museum on the island with an art gallery.
This is a Fanø-girl from an affluent family, just about the age of her confirmation:
A closer look at the women's attire.
Fanø is windy and sandy, so the head scarves were not just for decoration but served a very practical function of avoiding getting too much sand in the hair:
While the men went fishing, the women picked up oysters, crabs and what not, when the tide was low - and often amber as well.
As mentioned, the religion was stern and so were the churches:
The island had long since blown away if the shrubbery and heath hadn't kept the sand in place:
The scenery is nothing short of spectacular!
The Wadden Sea is renowned for the many birds there, but there are also seals all over the place:
As long as you didn't drown, fishing was pretty good. here is the home of amaster of a fishing boat, or coaster, sometimes the vessel was both:
The figure on top of the portal, is from a ship. - Perhaps the owner?
Of course the place crawls with tourists. As such, Fanø, while beautiful is not as tranquil as other islands i have described over the years:
You can easily walk a kilometer away from the shore when the tide is low. But do return before the tide turns! You can't outrun the sea. The two people in the far horizon, would soon be cut off, if not careful.
Being so windy, flying kites is popular:
Of course Fanø is not only thatched roofs, modern summer cottages are legio. But they have to adhere to a certain standard, so that they are at least intrusive in regards to the landscape as possible:
Fanø of course has a special selection of spirits, just like the rest of Jutland. here it's rum:
Fanø was also a part of the Atlantic Wall during WWII:
The town of Esbjerg was basically the only decent harbor on the west coast of Jutland and as such the town was heavily protected.
Some opt to sail around the island in a traditional fishing boat. They were common well into the 1920's.
The Wadden Sea is a popular pit-stop for migrating birds, as well as those that live on the sand banks there. As such birdwatchers congregate in droves to the Island:
This is what we call a "Havørn = Sea-Eagle":
Mrs Muhler is a keen birdwatcher and I had huge problems getting her away!
Not least because the phenomenon we call "black sun" is seen often here. When thousands of starlings fly at dusk (Blacking out the sun):