Monthly Archives: May 2012

We Are Europe

EU flag in the Guinness Book of Records 14.04.2009

What is the European Union’s current crisis? Is it only an economic crisis or is it also a crisis that is about the lack of unity and trust between the member countries? How do we create or recreate confidence between the people and countries of the EU? Can we possibly find a common platform as a basis for discussing the EU’s further development? And what role can Sønderborg play in this context if we become European Capital of Culture in 2017?

Organiser and voluntary employee in 2017-Secretariat Nicolae Balc says:

I would like to put these questions up for discussion in Sønderborg. The title of the event is “We are Europe,” and I have invited international students from SDU to come and participate in the debate.
They come from many different countries in Europe, and are therefore able to hear and debate how the EU is perceived in different countries. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in the debate.

International students and all others interested are invited to discuss these issues today, Thursday, from 4pm to 6pm in the 2017-cafe at Perlegade 58 in Sønderborg.

Photo by European Parliament.

What’s on in June 2012?

In May 2012 we started what we plan to be a monthly series, where we look at the events calendar published by visitsonderborg for the following month and pin point the events that catch our eye.

There are also other events that are over a longer time period, such as the exhibitions related to WWI and the plebiscites and reunification at Sonderborg Slot, the Sonderborg Summer Revue, a well as the start of the tilting-at-the-ring season. Can’t wait for that to arrive in Sonderborg next month!

chamber music at Alsion

PRO MUSICA – Free concerts in Sønderborg

ProMusica will host it’s last concert of the 2011/2012 season at Alsion concert hall this Sunday. We asked Jorunn Solløs for a short introduction of the concept and the concert.

Hi everyone,

My name is Jorunn and I am Norwegian girl, working as a flutist in Sønderjylland Symfony Orchestra. I want to write a little about our own chamber music series that we do just for fun :).

A job in a symphony orchestra is a full time job, but 6 Sundays a year, me and 3 of my colleagues arrange free concerts and all the musicians plays for free :). We get some financial support from Sønderborg kommune to be able to advertise in the newspapers and so on. I would say that it is a win-win situation; The musicians get to play great chamber music together (which we do not do so much as orchestra musicians) and the audience gets to listen to great music for free.

The next Pro musica concert in Alsion is on the 3rd of June (this Sunday). As a special thing this time we have invited Kolding Kammerkor to perform a piece with us. One of my ensembles, Kirin Winds just went on a small tour with Kolding Kammerkor to 5 different churches in Jutland and we really enjoyed to work with them so we invited them to come and perform with us again in Alsion.

So, if you want to get a free cultural experience in Sønderborg on Sunday this week, just come to Alsion at 3.00 pm.

The program for this concert will be:

W. A. Mozart: Quartet for flute, violin, viola and cello
H. Dutilleux: Sarabande et Cortege for bassoon and piano
M. Bojesen: “Kærestefolket i nye klæder” for choir and wind quintet.

Hope to see you there to a great musical experience in our beautiful concert hall 🙂

Best regards from Jorunn

Ann and I have been to a ProMusica concert before and it was really amazing. So find shelter from the rain this Sunday and join us at Alsion

Enjoying the Rum Regatta

The Rum Regatta is a yearly meeting of historic working boats from all over the world that happens every Ascension weekend. It is held in Flensburg Fjord to commemorate the sugar boats docking in Flensburg from the Caribbean in times gone past.


The weekend started on Ascension Thursday when the boats arrived in Sonderborg harbour in the afternoon. It was lovely seeing these big historic boats sailing into the harbour past Sonderborg castle. It really made you want to turn the time back to when such boats regularly sailed in and out of a harbour.


The boats left Sonderborg harbour on Friday morning. The boats were expected to leave the harbour at around 11am, after a captain’s meeting at 10am. However, when we arrived at the harbour at 10:30 with the aim of seeing the exodus start, most of the boats were already out of the harbour, waiting for the Flensburg Fjord Regatta to start at 11:30. Therefore, if you are interested in seeing the boats leave would be wise to be there earlier than 10:30 (maybe 10am?) next year!


The end of the Regatta saw the boats arrive in Flensburg in the afternoon. We went down to Flensburg on Saturday morning once the boats were out participating in the Rum Regatta to soak in the atmosphere and see the boats returning home.



Along the Museumshafen in Flensburg there was a great atmosphere all day long. The Gaffelmarket was on all day with stalls selling shipping-related items, craftsmen working in wood, metal and rope makers working at their craft, and stalls selling food (mainly fish and other sea food), and of course, rum!

Shtandart arriving in Flensburg after regatta

Once the boats starting arriving in the harbour at around 3pm it was another great scene as they approached on the horizon. Spotting Sebbe Als, which we helped launch a few weeks ago, keeping its own with the other boats made it that much more special.


The boats were scheduled to leave Flensburg harbour on Sunday morning, seeing the end of the Rum Regatta for this year. A great experience that is surely worth your while to travel to see, either in Sonderborg or in Flensburg. When the boats are in the harbour you can also get the opportunity to look around some of the boats, and some of them also allow the public to join them for a trip out on the water. If historic boats is of interest, you will definitely find something for you at the Rum Regatta!

Mozart Mass with Motet choir

On Sunday we attended a concert at Sct Marie Kirke by the church’s own motetchoir with two of our friends. We didn’t know what a motetchoir is (in case you are wondering, a motet refers to choral musical compositions), but we thought it would be a good way of ending a long weekend.

Motet concert in sct. Maria church

The concert started with Egil Hovland‘s Jubilate followed by John Rutter‘s The peace of God, both of which were sung in the church’s nave. At this point the choir moved to either side of the aisles, singing Heinrich Schutz‘s Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt as a double choir (half on each side of the aisle). The choir then got a rest for an organ sonata by Josef G. Rheinberger, before they got to the main focus of the concert, Mozart‘s Missa Brevis in F major.

I thought the choir was very accomplished, especially considering that they are a church choir rather than a professional one. I particularly appreciated the way they moved around the church, since I felt that the different locations actually did give something special to the songs being sung in them, rather than being just an added frill to the concert. The musicians also nicely accompanied the choir (although I could have done without the organ solo).

All in all a concert I wasn’t expecting much out of and which I left pleasantly surprised. The choir will be repeating this concert on Saturday, so if you are at a loss for what to do I would eagerly recommend it (am trying to obtain further details on location and time and will post them here when I do).


Annie’s Kiosk #18/99

Annie’s Kiosk is a small snack hut on the scenic way from Sonderborg to Flensburg. Small as it might be, it punches above its weight; it even has a long wikipedia entry in German!


The kiosk is famous for its hotdogs (and ice-creams). In typical snack hut style, you walk up to the window, order your hotdog – different choices of sausages, mustard, ketchup, remoulade, fried onions, raw onions and pickles – pay, and then get to enjoy it on the open-air benches and tables to the side. There you can get a good view of Flensburg Fjord and Store Okseø.

The kiosk is a favourite stopping point for motorcylists and drivers in the area. It served as a perfect stopping point for us after visiting Cathrinesminde Teglværk in Broager in the morning and before continuing onwards to Frøslev Prison Camp in Padborg, while allowing us to enjoy the scenic views down to the kiosk.

Free music festival in Nøffleskoven

In a tiny forest close to Nybøl on Als a dedicated group of volunteers have been organising a festival for the past three years. All the bands are local and cover a range of genres. There is rock, blues, heavy and Irish folk music.

The festival is on Saturday May 26 from 2pm to 9pm with bands playing. The venue is at Møllevej 4 in Nybøl. Here is what the programme looks like.

14.00 – 14.10 Opening speech by MP Benny Engelbrecht
14.10 – 15.00 Haferflochen
15.00 – 15.30 Downtown Dynt
15.00 – 15.45 Klovnen Charling
15.30 – 16.30 Sixpack Bluesband
16.30 – 17.00 Downtown Dynt
17.00 – 18.00 Dania Mania
18.00 – 18.30 Six Feet High
18.30 – 19.30 rÅck 4 dummies
19.30 – 20.00 Six Feet High
20.00 – 21.00 CONVICTED

During the festival the local scouts will sell sausages and beverages.

Froslev Prison Camp #17/99

At the start of WWII Denmark more or less stood back and let Nazi-Germany occupy the country. Denmark adopted a policy of collaboration with the oppressors in order to spare the country and people from actions of war. This lasted until August 1943, when the underground resistance movement had started their activities and the Danish government could no longer collaborate with the Nazis.

As a result of the government ending the collaboration most Danish police officers and border patrolmen were arrested and jailed. Simultaneously, the Nazis started to apprehend people from the resistance, communists and others and deporting them to concentration camps. Although people in Denmark did not know of the atrocities in the concentration camps in Germany they were horrified by the deportations of these political prisoners. To prevent this the Danish authorities offered to build Frøslev Prison Camp close to the German border where the Nazis could detain Danish prisoners.

The camp was put into use on August 13 1944 and in the nine months it was in operation under the Nazis 12,000 prisoners were held there. Against the agreement 1,600 of the prisoners were deported to concentration camps in Germany, where about 220 perished.

Guard tower Faarehus camp Frøslevlejren

The museum is, like the Resistance Museum in Copenhagen, run by the National Museum and is free to visit. Unlike several museums in this region almost all displays are in English. The artifacts and the stories of the items and buildings are very well presented and make it an interesting visit. The museum about the camp is in the guard tower and one of the barracks.

The guard tower at Froslev Prison Camp

Unlike the concentration camps, living conditions in Frøslev were bearable and there was sufficient food. The museum is less stark and gruesome than the other camps in Europe where the sheer scale of torture and atrocities can leave you numb.

Apart from the museum telling the story of the prison camp there is also museums from the Home Guard, UN and Amnesty, each of which had a barrack that we quickly covered.

Frøslev Prison Barracks Frøslevlejren

If you are a history buff expect to spend 2 hours in the museums here. For more information check the website.

Als Ferry

Ferry Fynshav-Bojden #16/99

A pain of living on an island is the ease with which you can get to other places. Believe me! I know! I lived in a country the size of Als for the first 21 years of my life with no bridges to anywhere! It is true that Als is connected to mainland Jutland by two bridges. However, the traditional way of connecting islands is with the use of ferries, and Als is not lacking here either.

Als Ferry

One of the ferries connects Fynshav on Als to Bojden on Fyn. The trip takes around 50mins. This means that rather than spending around 1.5hrs on a motorway you can get to Fyn within 10mins driving on country roads and 50mins relaxing on a ferry (+ time to drive to you destination on the other side).

You can easily make reservations online or by calling the company. Learning from our mistakes we would strongly suggest you do that! If you don’t have a reservation you will only make it onto the ferry after all the people who have reserved have. We managed to get on the ferry in both directions without a reservation. However, it was tight both times, and a 2hr wait for the next ferry is probably not your idea of a good time.


This ferry provides a useful connection between the south of Jutland and the south of Fyn, facilitating the ease by which you can go from Als to the two main Danish islands (Fyn, and Zealand further on). It is also a pleasant way of getting to Egeskov Slot from Sonderborg as we did. Way more relaxing than being cooped up in a car for the time required!

Egeskov Slot

Denmark is one of the oldest monarchies in the world. This long legacy of royalty and nobility has resulted in many fine castles and manor houses dotted around the country, often in the most scenic of places.

Amongst the best preserved of the castles is Egeskov Slot. Egeskov slot as we know it today was completed by Frands Brickenhuus in 1554. As a defence system the castle was built on a foundation of oak pilings in the middle of a lake. Today, the castle is owend by the Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille family, who have opened up the park to the public for several generations.

Today, the castle is a family-friendly attraction on the island of Fyn. On the site you can, of course, visit the castle. However, you can also spend time at a number of museums dotted around the lands, gardens showcasing different periods or plants, as well as a lot of space and activity spaces for kids (and the not so young) to use up their energy.


I would say that visiting the castle is a must if you haven’t been there before. It costs 30-45DKK more to have access to the castle, but it is worth it if you have the time (plan at least 4hrs if you would like to see everything). A special gem there is Titania’s palace, an exquisite doll’s house built for the daughter of Sir Nevile Wilkinson by a team of outstanding craftsmen.


If you are into cars and motor vehicles most of the museums would probably be of interest. Not being that much into this (a car is a car right?), I was really enjoyed the Grocer’s Museum. This museum showcases a visual representation of grocer’s shops from the 1930s to the 1950s. Even though there were another 40 years or so till I was born, a lot of the items looked very familiar!


If the day is nice as it was when we visited, it is a shame to waste the good weather by staying indoors. Luckily, the vast park gives you ample space to roam around in. Being big kids ourselves we also enjoyed the playgrounds, particularly the Great-Grandfathers playground (where you can try walking on stilts), the tree-top walk, and the mazes. Unfortunately we were there a bit too early for all the flowers to be in bloom (early May), but from the little we saw the gardens must be magnificent later on in the year.


The wide variety of activities also ensures that pretyt much everyone would find something they are interested in. We found the park and gardens a really enjoyable way of spending a day. It is an attraction for both young and old that is worth the time and money. No wonder it is ranked #1 of 54 attractions on Fyn on TripAdvisor!