Video: Insight into Danish culture: Summerhouses

Summerhouses are a core part of Danish culture. We just love them and they are an essential part of our lives.

There are 220,000 second homes in Denmark: 203,000 summerhouses, 14,000 allotments and 2,300 other types of recreational properties.

44 percent of holiday homes situated in Jutland, 16 percent of Fyn and other islands, while the remaining 40 percent is built on Zealand.

One cottage is an average of 3.5 rooms, a living area of 67 square meters and a land value of 700,000 crowns (2004).

Over half of the country’s homes were built between 1960 and 1979. It was built as many houses in 1973, where also the building of houses boomed.

Summerhouses can be divided into three groups: Over half of higher quality houses are built of wood, a quarter of the second homes are older homes in poor quality, often lacking bath and appropriate heating, while the last group consists of large and expensive homes.

6.8 percent of households in Denmark own a summerhouse. The majority of summerhouses are owned by 50+- generation – especially older couples without children.

Two out of three homes are located more than 50 kilometres from the year-round dwelling, and every third house is more than 100 kilometres away.

84 percent of second homes have a bath, 80 percent of owners can easily heat the house in the winter, almost all (93 percent) have a television, two out of three have a washing machine and /or dishwasher, and one in four have Internet in the summerhouse.

78 percent of owners have a summerhouse to get away from everyday life and relax. Therefore they prefer the house to be in nature or close to the sea.

The video above shows you my mum’s summerhouse in Ebeltoft. It is really lovely and I spend quite a lot of time there…I love being close to the sea and the house is 5 minutes walk from the beach 🙂

Source: Center for Housing and Welfare: ‘Holiday in Denmark. Who has them and how are they used?

Frederiksberg Have (garden) in Copenhagen

Frederiksberg Gardens are laid out as a garden in the romantic style with lots of different paths to walk. It is located in Frederiksberg, which is inside Copenhagen and about 10 minutes from my house.

Coming from the city it is amazing to walk into a huge garden (park) with lawns full of crocuses and daffodils. At the lake is Svendsen’s boating and spectacular views up the hill with Frederiksberg Palace on top. It was from this lake that the popular Frederik VI let himself drive around the canals, while reverent subjects greeted.

Other surprises in the garden is the China Pavilion of 1799, Apis Temple from 1802, Source Grotto, Wish Hill, and the Swiss House from 1801. The buildings, which will give substance to the imagination and thoughts, are hidden in exotic locations. There is also a heron colony and a rose garden.

Frederiksberg garden is an adventure worth experiencing all year around, but right now (spring) and in the summer you will see lots of couples lying around in the sun or walking around the garden on what surely looks like a first date 🙂

Frederiksberg Castle Garden is state owned and maintained by the Palaces and Properties Agency.

Photos of the Basque Country…

Over Semana Santa (Easter Week) I went on a trip to one of my favourite places in Spain – San Sebastian in The Basque Country (País Vasco in Spanish). During the trip I visited Bilbao, Biarritz and Bayonne in France, and several smaller villages along the Basque coast. There will be a podcast on its way soon, but in the mean time, here are a few photos I took along the way…

Time is irreplacable and priceless

When we look at life it can sometimes be difficult to see the red thread…the one thing that has always been there, that has always mattered to us. We have different jobs, different places we live, different holidays, maybe different friends, different boyfriends…where is the red thread?

When I think about all the different places I have lived, all the different people I have met, my different jobs, different boyfriends – one thing has always been important to me is: TIME.

Time is the one thing we cannot replace. No matter how much we pay – we can never retrieve lost time. And for that reason I have always been an impatient person: I don’t like waiting for people who are late for instance because they are wasting my time. It is the reason why I don’t have a TV – because I know that spending time watching TV will be something I look back at as a waste. It is the reason why I have never postponed any dreams like travelling because I don’t believe there is time…I never take time for granted. It is a precious gift that I can never replace or replenish.

For that reason I also view having a long extra-marital/relationship affair as unforgivable. Not because the adulterous have sex with someone else, but because they waste their partner’s time. This to me is the worst thing you can do. To deliberately waste someone’s time.

We are responsible for our own use of time – but when it comes to other people’s time – let us at least do our best (be aware) not to waste their most irreplaceable commodity.

"Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t
own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep
it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it
you can never get it back."

Times change: From laptop to notebook :-)

Times change: Laptop to notebook
Times change: Laptop to notebook

I finally did it! I got myself a computer that actually fits my lifestyle…a computer that you can actually carry with you – not drag after you. As it is evident from the website, I love to travel and have spent many years living and travelling abroad. One concern has always been: to bring my laptop or not to bring it (because of the size)?

My old lab top – an Acer Aspire 1362 weighs 3.5 kilos (without the wires, mouse, computer bag etc.). This makes it drag-able at best. I bought it eight years ago for 1.100$. It has a 516 MB memory and a storage of 40 GB. Two things have always bothered me about it: 1. Fan noise, 2. Weight – which did not suit my lifestyle at all. But still I can’t complain because it is still running after 8 years, which I think is pretty good.

So I have now finally bought myself a computer that fits my lifestyle. A notebook: Acer Aspire 1410. There is no fan noise, it has a memory of 2GB and a storage of 250 GB HDD, it merely weighs 1.4 kg and it cost me 550$.

So times change – from laptop to notebook: it suits my lifestyle and I am very happy 🙂

It’s snowing in Copenhagen and it’s April!!!!

Snowing in April in Copenhagen
Snowing in April in Copenhagen

Dear diary…While writing this to you, I hope I am still asleep and just having a nightmare. I look outside and it is freezing cold and snowing. This could not possibly be happening in April could it????

Unfortunately I am pretty sure that I am awake and not just having a nightmare. It is actually snowing outside. The picture was taken from my window (a few minutes ago)…huge snowflakes coming down.

Now I don’t know what happened with the global warming. From where I stand it feels like global freezing. I really need some sun and heat 🙂

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust: Stop moaning and start driving!

It has now been four days since all flight traffic over the northern Europe was cancelled due to the volcanic ashes from the explosion on Iceland. The airspace is still closed over: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK. It is partly closed over: Italy (northern airspace closed until Monday) and the flights are operating in: Greece, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Spain.

In the meantime the news broadcasts hundreds of articles and TV programs about people being stuck who are going to- or leaving from cities in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

Obviously a lot of the stories focus on sensation – like four French business men who were stuck somewhere in Denmark and "had to" hire a taxi to get home to Paris for 15.000 crowns (2700 USD). But really my question is: What happened to people’s logic? Did it disappear with the availability of cheap flight tickets?

Before the days when we were all able to pollute the atmosphere with CO2 (from flights) on a regular basis, we used to travel on buses and trains: OVERLAND TRAVEL. Doesn’t anyone remember that?

There are still regular buses and trains connecting all the capital cities in Europe!!! I understand that you can be "stuck" if you are travelling to or from Asia and South America. But to say that people, who are "merely" travelling from Paris to Copenhagen, are "stuck" is ridiculous.

Google "bus Europe" or "train Europe" and you will get thousands of entries. I went to the following website: http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml This website combines all train travel all over Europe – from the very South of Barcelona to the north of Norway.

I decided to figure out how long it takes to go from Copenhagen to Paris. Well I can leave tomorrow morning at 07.45 from Copenhagen and will get to Paris tomorrow evening at 20:53. The trip takes 13 hours and 8 minutes. That’s 10 hours more than flying. But honestly – we are NOT "stuck" in Europe. It’s such a small area that being stuck is for the most part more a question about comfort.

Thomas and I travelled for 9 months in South America. We did all our travel overland. This often meant 20 hour bus journeys and as you can imagine travelling from Guatemala to Bariloche in Argentina overland takes many hundreds of hours in buses. I never thought about flying.

I do sympathise with people who have engagements to attend to etc. But why not use this opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and get back down to the ground – take the train or the bus in Europe 🙂