Day two of our expedition began – well, painfully.
My folly on the first day was clearly going to exact a heavy price. Even in the comfortable bed Steen had given me, every movement was painful, and nothing in my existing armoury of medication seemed to be doing the job.
That said, we were in Denmark, we were with family (at last), and I had no intention of wasting our limited time. And I was well aware that both Steen himself and his older brother Jens had lost life partners to cancer – and knew precisely what I was dealing with.
The arrangement was that we would move in for the next few days with Agnes, the youngest of my Danish cousins, and her husband Freddy. There was some concern – both for me and for Rosemary – that the stairs up to their guest bedroom would be too steep for us, but as it turned out we could both manage them (though I’ll confess that thanks to my muscle strain it was a tad uncomfortable).
That afternoon Agnes very kindly drove us to the nearby town of Ribe, one of my favourite places in Denmark. We paid a visit to the Viking Museum there, where I was intrigued to find that recent discoveries have radically changed ideas about the town’s early history. It’s clear that it was both bigger and more important, as a trading centre, than previously thought. We enjoyed the many new displays (especially in the Viking section) but there came a point where I had to call time. I was just too tired to do anything more. A quick drive around the cathedral square gave us the chance to see some of the exciting (and controversial) changes there before we returned to base.
The next day I took the chance to rest up before the major family gathering at Steen’s house in the afternoon, where we were joined by Jens and his partner Lise. Over a generous spread we had a joyous and wide-ranging conversation before I once again had to excuse myself to rest. But that was what I had come for, and it was a real pleasure to see everyone again and catch up with their news.
We had a few more days in Esbjerg before we were due in Copenhagen. And they were not wasted…