Monthly Archives: May 2014

Walk with the Ladies… in LadyWalk

LadyWalk is a yearly event where women from around Denmark meet at predefined places and walk 7 or 12 km. Sonderborg is one of the towns where this event is held… and as the name implies, it is only for women. This year the event was held on 26th of May.

Ladywalk Sonderborg

The aim of the event is to support charity. Every year 2 associations are chosen for support. This year the 2 selected organisations were the sclerosis and heart associations. This makes it a worthwhile cause, even if you remove the enjoyable part of the event.

Over 4000 women have taken part over the last few years. I had planned to take part 2 years ago but, unfortunately, had to cancel at the last minute. However, this year I managed to join.

Taking part

Arriving in the area may take some planning. My first plan was to drive. However, on getting close, I realised that there was a long queue, so I returned home and grabbed my bike. This is probably a preferable way to get there, although by the time I cycled there the queue had disappeared. Having a bike, however, meant I could get closer.

Arriving in the start area I found quite confusing. It wasn’t clear to me what I should do, and it took me around 10 minutes to figure out where I could collect my t-shirt and bag. Better signage would be greatly appreciated (or maybe I should just improve my Danish? Don’t think that would have helped!). In particular, the signs for the different group meeting places being higher up and visible over the people would have been a significant improvement.

The walk itself, however, was gorgeous. In Sonderborg the walk is organised on Kær, the peninsula to the north of Sønderborg. This means that you get to walk in some really beautiful areas, both along Als Sound, as well as inland. The area is especially pretty on a sunny day as we had this year. This made it a really enjoyable way of spending an evening… walking and talking.


What next?

Well, this year’s event is over. So what’s next is to wait for May 18th 2015. See you next year?

Places to eat in Flensburg area

Being so close to the German border, a trip over to ‘the other side’ is a great way of spending a Saturday. Once there, finding somewhere to eat is probably also a good idea, not least because it is typically cheaper than in Denmark. We always ask people from the area for recommendations of where to eat. This is what we have tried, and liked.

Restaurant Italia, Solitude

This restaurant is not actually in Flensburg. To visit you have to drive a bit further round Flensburg Fjord to an area called Solitude. However, it has been the most consistently mentioned restaurant by all. As the name indicates, it is an Italian restaurant, serving pizza, pasta, meat and fish.

The area it is located in is very picturesque. Do take a walk down to the water before or after your meal, or eat on the terrace if the weather is good. The food arrived quickly and was eaten just as quickly. The Italian friend we took there pronounced the pizza ‘as it should be’. If planning to visit on a weekend, do book. We called around midday for dinner that day and were told they are full after 7pm.


Another regularly mentioned restaurant, this time in the centre of town. We tried this one when I had family over visiting. You have to go down into the ‘cellar’, as the name implies, but the atmosphere is quite charming. The restaurant’s main attraction is its meat. Service was quite slow and not very attentive, but the food made up for it.

Im Alten Speicher

This is one of the latest we were recommended. Located in one of the alleyways off the main street, it is in a very ‘hyggelig’ location. The decor inside continues on this theme.

Besides a mainly meat-based regular menu, they also have a seasonal menu. When we visited this was all asparagus based, and we both opted for something off this one. The food was great, as was the service…and they had English menus. A place to revisit when looking for great atmosphere with good food.

Hellas, Wassersleben

We were taken here by some friends of ours. As you probably can guess, it is a Greek restaurant a bit closer to the border than the town centre. The food was good at decent prices, and you also get an Ouzo with it! What’s not to like? Again, would recommend booking. The place was full when we went there.

Have you visited any of these restaurants? Or have any others you would recommend?

Niso Sushi: Running Sushi Bar

It seems that the restaurant scene in Sonderborg is on its way up, with new options for us to try. After Huset Blom opened earlier this year, the end of March saw the opening Niso Sushi.

Nis Sushi Sønderborg

How it works

Niso Sushi follows a running sushi concept. This means that food is plated onto small dishes and placed on a conveyor belt on which it runs through the restaurant. The tables are then organised around the conveyor belt. So you can sit and grab any plate that takes your fancy from the conveyor belt. (If this is not to your liking, there is also a menu you can order from). Also, unlike most other running sushi bars, where you pay per dish you take, the system here works as an ‘all you can eat’, so you can taste all that catches your eye.

Running Sushi Sønderborg

The food

The food is presented on two conveyor belts running on top of each other. On the bottom cold items while on the top belt run the warmer dishes. It was nice to see that the conveyor belts themselves are covered, rather than open to the air!

As is to be expected, the main items on offer are sushi, that is a rice base which is complemented by other ingredients such as vegetables, fish or meat. These were served on the lower belt. On the top belt other dishes such as miso soup, dumplings, edamame beans and meat on kebabs were served.

The food was a success. If I had to find the least impressive dish that would probably be the soup as I wasn’t that keen on its gelatinous texture. However, I loved the sushi. Especially one of the fried sushi pieces, and one of the rolls with sesame on it. I know, my descriptions are not the best…we are not Asian food experts…but it all tasted good.

General Impressions

On entering the restaurant, I was impressed with how friendly the people were. They greeted you, they smiled, and looked genuinely interested in making the experience a good one. On sitting down at the table, I was also impressed at the cleanliness. This being a conveyor belt, with people taking items off it, I expected to see some dropped food etc. But it was spotless!

It was also good to see that the conveyor belts continuously had food on them, with new food continuously coming. Since we were not sitting at the start of the conveyor belt, there were, of course, empty spots. However, this was insignificant, considering that the conveyor belt was constantly moving. I was a bit sceptical about this aspect of running sushi bars, but it was clear that people were constantly working to replenish the food (and doing a good job of it).

The details

NIso Sushi is open Monday-Thursday 11:00-21:00 and Friday – Sunday 11:00-22:00, with running sushi bar starting every day at 17:00. The running sushi costs 168 DKK Sunday to Thursday and 188 DKK on Fridays and Saturdays (kids: 69 DKK).

A big thumbs up to this new addition in Sonderborg. It also augurs well to see that the restaurant was quite full when we visited on a Sunday night.

The Danish tradition of Polterabend

Michael and I got married a few weeks ago (*yeay* to us). This has meant trying to navigate through a lot of Danish traditions, deciding how to mesh up both of our cultures, traditions and expectations. One of the traditions I have been (happily) initiated into is the ‘Polterabend’, also known as a hen’s night or bachelorette party in other parts of the world. And, surprisingly, it was my (super lovely) colleagues who planned it for me!

The first characteristic of a Danish polterabend appears to be that it should be a complete surprise to the person getting married. This was very easy in my case – I didn’t suspect a single thing (not least because I had no idea this could even happen). There was collusion in the plan by all at work, with my manager calling me in for a (bogus) meeting, and coordination with Michael so I don’t have the car on that day.

Another characteristic is a lot of planned events. We first had cake and coffee. Then some painting. Then a dance class. Then a visit to a shooting range for some target practice. Then on to health and beauty centre, to have fish munch around our feet. And then dinner. But that was not the end! After dinner we had a quiz prepared by one of my colleagues on Danish design. We finally went home when we were kicked out of the restaurant!


In Malta, ‘hen’s nights’ are typically friendly events, if often a tad embarrassing. In Denmark, what you should be aware of, however, seems to be ‘danger’! I am lucky that my colleagues are mature, responsible people. But they did mention a couple of times that we were going to the dentist. Oh! And they brought a swim suit for me, and took me to the Viking bathing club…in March! Luckily for me, no swimming was involved. It was only a ‘threat’. We just got lovely sparkling wine just outside on the bridge.

It was a great day, especially coming from my colleagues. For the non-Danes out there, it is good to mention that people here tend to keep their work and home life very separate, and they find it baffling to be called friends when they are ‘just’ colleagues. So it was extra special that they went through all this effort just for me.


All that was left was then actual wedding. Unfortunately for you guys it won’t be a ‘typical Danish wedding’, but a mish-mash of our two cultures. However, you can read about traditional Danish weddings in a previous blog post.

Getting around Sonderborg with public transport

Busses at the station

If you are staying in Sonderborg for a longer time, you might want to explore more of the region than you can cover on foot.

Public transport in Denmark is in general fairly comprehensive and you will most likely be able to find a way to get from A to B with public transport. However if the two points are not along major traffic arteries the journey might take you a long time.

In Sønderborg there are town busses, local busses, regional busses and intercity trains.

Small town but two stations

Sønderborg is mainly located on the island of Als, but the train only goes to the Jutland side. So if you are arriving by train you are not getting dropped off in the center of town but by Alsion, the main campus area.

The train station is called typically called “Sønderborg St.” and the bus station “Sønderborg Bus Station”. They are 1,1km apart or a 20min walk.

Finding your connection

In order to plan your route from A to B I would suggest you use the website Rejseplanen if you know the address or names of your origin and destination.

Use Google Maps if you are more map oriented and want to see your options.

Google Maps Sonderborg

If you have a smartphone both Rejseplanen and Google Maps have good apps.

Town buses

There are five bus lines that loop within the city limit of Sonderborg. They all depart from the bus station in Sønderborg and make loops.

Town bus routes in Sonderborg

Local and Regional buses

There are about 30 bus routes that cover the municipality of Sonderborg. Most of them are local routes but there are also regional buses in the direction of Aabenraa-Toftlund-Ribe-Esbjerg and Aabenraa-Haderslev-Kolding-Vejle.

For the list of lines check Sydtrafik’s website. In order to find which route will take you to your destination check Rejseplanen or Google maps.

Night Buses

Fridays and Saturdays there are three night bus lines departing from Sonderborg in the direction of East (Nordborg-Kegnæs), West (Broager-Gråsten) and Aabenraa.


Trains arrive and departs on an hourly basis towards Copenhagen. The train stops in Gråsten-Kliplev-Tinglev-Rødekro-Vojens-etc. In order to go south you need to change train in either Tinglev or Rødekro.

Train tickets must be bought before you enter the train. There is no ticket office but a machine at the train station that takes cash and credit cards.

Bus tickets and prices

Prices are based on the number of zones you are travelling. To see what a trip will cost from A to B you can click on the Zones i Sydtrafik in the example below a trip from Sonderborg to Flensburg shows the that there are 7 zones and the price for adults (Voksen) is 70DKK. As of writing each zone costs 10DKK.

Zones in South Denmark

On the buses you can pay cash when you enter.

Another cheaper option for paying is Rejsekort which is a credit card size card you top up with credits and then use on most public transports in all of Denmark.

If you are staying long-term it makes good sense to get a personal Rejsekort once you have CPR number. If you are here on vacation it might not be worth it.

The card tourists can buy costs 80DKK and you need to top it up at least 170DKK. Read more here.

Finding Local Produce: Farm Shops

One of the benefits of living in Sonderborg is that you are close to the countryside. And a benefit of that is that you are close to the source of most of what you eat. However, with most supermarkets being big chains, being close to the food source does not tend to translate into fresher produce. For that you need the farm shops. And, luckily for us, there are plenty of those!


Rønhaveslagteren: New butcher on Kær. Went to visit after tasting their ringriderpølsen – we wanted more! Open Wed-Fri 8:30-17:00; Sat 9:00-13:00

Frydendal Ismejeri: For land produce (mainly vegetables) and local ice-cream – in Dybbol. Best ice-cream I have had in Denmark! Opening times depend on the time of the year.

Hestehave Frugtplantage: Fruit and vegetables on Kær. My favourite is the æblemost (pressed apple juice)…20DKK for a litre, and it goes down like honey. Open Mon-Fri 8:30-17:00; Sat 8:30-12:00.

Østegaard frugt og bær: Fruit and veg in season. Also their own pressed apple juice. As with the other fruit and veg shops, if there is no one in the shop, take what you want and leave the appropriate amount of money in the cash box in the shop. Open every day 9:00-18:00.

Skærtoft Mølle: For locally-produced flour, rye, spelt etc.

Besides shops, while driving around you often also see small stalls set up at the road side with a few vegetables, fruit, eggs etc. If anything catches your eye you can just stop the car, grab what you like, and leave the requisite money in a tin on the stall. If you want to go further and pick your own, there are also a number of options there. We had covered this a while back.

There are also a number of individual producers of specific produce. So far we have come across honey, mead and æblemost.

This is a selection of a few we know about. Do write in with any others we have missed. We like discovering new places!