Tuesday, October 3, 2017
From Marsha's Diary:
Thankfully we arrived here yeaterday after a delightful 4 hour journey from Copenhagen by train from the Central Station to Nyborg then a bus from Nyborg to Svenborg then ferry to Ærø. The Danes certainly have their act together regarding public transportation. They are efficient, on-time -- although ours was 10 minutes late due to security surrounding Obama's visit for the IOC meeting. It is delightful to sit back and enjoy the passing scene.
As soon as we arrived at our B&B, the Toldbodbus, we headed out to enjoy the bright sunny day as we were expecting rain and wind today (Saturday). Ærø is a 17th century seafaring town with block after block of half timbered houses that are slowly sinking down into the cobble stoned streets. Painted in vivid hues. A delight.
Each one of us separately wandered the streets for the next three hours, soaking it all in. Dinner last night at the Restaurant Mumm. The fish soup was just as pretty as it was delicious. My halibut entree smooth -- almost silky. By meal's end we were engaged in a live conversation about the awarding of the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio rather than Chicago with everybody in the Restaurant. All in good fun.
Today's weather is as promised -- overcast, sometimes raining, always blustery. Perfectly fitting the image of the place.
After an enormous breakfast of fresh squeezed orange juice, coddled eggs, rolls, Ærø sausage and cheese, we headed off to the two local museums.
In the Flaske Peter's Museum (Bottle Peter) there are ships in bottles, model ships constructed by the man known as Flaske Peter, with the added attraction of the Aero Hospital Museum. This added gem displays various medical instruments and operating rooms that look more like torture devices and rooms, then tools and places of healing.
The Ærø Museum overflows with objects relating to the town, maritime pursuits and island culture. These are interspersed with rather funky modern day objects d'art available for purchase - along with a lovely garden that included an original outhouse.
We purchased pastries from the bakery and cheese and crackers from the local store and ate and read in our room. All the rooms in the B&B are individually decorated to reflect the places the Innkeepers have lived. We are int he Amsterdam Room and Pat and David are in the London Room. There are also the Hong Kong and the Copenhagen Rooms. John Steenberg, the innkeeper was in Finance. He and his wife Karen did 4 year sojourns in all these wonderful places before retiring to be innkeeps in Ærø.
There is a walk along the outskirts of the harbor where flocks of swans (do swans flock?) feed in the shallows. Walking there as the sun slowly sets is magical. Actually, all of Ærø is magical, including the letters used to spell the name.
I'm currently seated at an antique secretary desk nestled into a dormer window as the rain and wind howl outside. The room is a cozy as advertised. Our bed is an antique four poster with canopy from the Virgin Islands.
Musings: One reason why there are so many bicycles and so few cars in Denmark is that there is a 180% sales tax on automobiles. The highest marginal income tax rate is 65% -- something that would not go over bit in the USA -- but for this the Danes get healthcare, schooling, terrific transportation and retirement benefits covered. As a result, they are happy, humorous, and extremely respectful of the environment.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017