Happy anniversary to us! Two years ago today we were relaxing in Thailand with massages before saying I do in the Buddhist and traditional ways and partying poolside with 30-odd friends and family. Ah, amazing memories.
Having already bought the lovely glass Swedish horse from Stockholm ostensibly as an anniversary present, I was mightily surprised to be given this morning a beautiful solid silver bracelet with coils separating squares of green malachite. Bought without my knowledge from the Hermitage in St Petersburg...stunning! Was most impressed with his foresight and generosity. I had assumed since we are essentially treating ourselves daily with this trip that we would not be exchanging gifts...oops! Luckily had sent an e-card and researched the symbolism of 2 yrs (cotton) so hastily bigged up having done his washing!
The sky was clear and hazy this morning, feeling like it would be warm and sunny. After a relaxed start and a play at the playground, we walked into Kivik to attend the much anticipated apple festival we had so fortuitously stumbled across! Apparently we were very lucky to get into the campsite and had the last space - is a popular weekend! Our walk took us down the hill past apple orchards, then along the beach road into town. Just narrow strips of sand in places with rocks and boulders both on and off shore. The combined haze and silky calmness of the water made the horizon invisible and the whole atmosphere rather ephemeral. Reminded me of that poem about the lady of the lake from Anne of Green Gables. There were loads of motorhomes parked up on the roadside, and people strolling towards the town. It didn't take long to reach the festival, located on the waterfront. There were lots of tents, stalls, people milling about and apples everywhere! J went in search of an ATM while the kids and I eyed off apple cake stalls, checked out the potted trees lining the streets that had ruby red apples attached to branches with wire, and watched as a giant apple costume preceded a marching band playing gaily. After paying the yellow t-shirted 'staff' (the festival must be doing well - it used to be free!) we joined the masses. I was looking forward to seeing the massive apple artwork that is the festivals' centrepiece. Every year a giant picture is constructed entirely of apples, about 4 tons of them, using the different colours to create the picture. This years was, though impressive, a rather dull scene of hills and an apple tree lined road. In one tent they had photographic displays of previous years' efforts which were much more impressive. There were all sorts of 3D apple showpieces as well. We watched the band for a while then wandered the stalls, many of which were the sort of stalls you find at any festival but lots of niche one's as well. Apple donuts, apple juice (freshly pressed of course, of which we would freely partake the samples!), apple brooches, apple magnets, apple decorations, dried apples, candy apples and of course, apples.
We got some apple crisps for felix, managed to find a replacement crocheted hat for Emily, and then bought some scrumptious, still warm, apple and cinnamon donuts on the way out. We stopped at the beach where an old knotted rope hung from a tree, and em swung delightedly over the White sand. It was a real moment, stood on this beautiful beach, watching the kids and listening to their squeals of laughter. An unplanned moment - the best kind.
After packing, we drove through the countryside down to Ystad, near where are some famous stone monoliths in the shape of a Viking ship. They are thousands of years old, perched on a clifftop and visible to sailors at sea who used them as guides. Their placement was designed and calculated so that the sun falls at exact angles on the markers of both winter and summer solstices. Incredible. I couldn't make those kind of calculations now, it's breathtaking how it was all done such an age ago.
Back on the road we said goodbye to Sweden and crossed the impressive bridge/tunnel from Malmo to Copenhagen. Had an all too brief chat to Kath, whom I am missing sorely. Poor georgie is missing the girls a lot, though she is loving school. Is always easier to be the one to leave than be left.
We circled Copenhagen and very quickly made our way up to Helsingor at the top of Zealand. The distances are much more doable in Denmark. I had rung ahead and we stayed at a nice but rundown campsite on the outskirts. It was late so we took a cabin, definitely the most basic and dusty/cobwebby so far. Not even a hob! There is a playground down the back though with a big inflatable jumping mat so the girls went down there while I cooked dinner with felix. Used the communal kitchen so saw some of the other guests - a large tank-top attired middle-aged men population. One from Bornholm suggested we go there, a bit too far I think!