My first experience of Als was Danfoss Universe on a trip to Denmark around two and a half years ago. It was a great first taste of what the area has to offer, and in fact was the first ‘thing‘ to make it onto our 99 things to do in Sonderborg list.
Danfoss Universe is closed during the winter months, so we haven’t been able to visit since moving here in November. However, this can soon change as the park will open again on the 1st of April.
To entice you into visiting on this first day a full-day programme has been put on, consisting of events ranging from a treasure hunt in the morning (be there by 9:50 if you want to participate), a free workshop to build the day’s fastest car, and a Science show battle between Aalborg and Aarhus universities.
If you have already been to the park, besides the day’s activities, there is also a new attraction at the park this year: a 5D simulator that will let you experience the human body – from the veins to the immune system.
If that isn’t enough of an incentive, if you arrive between 9:00 and 9:50 you will also get free entry into the park for the day! Free tickets for the day are also being given out at a number of events around town, including during the weekend’s motorway activities ;).
At a Newcomers Network meeting recently we met an Icelandic/Guatemalan couple that told us about the local indoor shooting range. They used to go there regularly but had not been for a while. So we all agreed that all four of us should try to go together.
The local sports shooting club has an outdoor range that is used during summer but in winter they get their kicks in the basement of Humlehøj-hallen.
We met up outside Humlehøj-Hallen and entered deep into the ‘vaults’ in search of the shooting range. (Really you just need to follow the signs but there were quite a number of doors in the basement, so you might not get it right the first time).
Once inside the shooting range we were met by a couple of gentlemen who gave us the equipment we needed (two air guns, 4 targets each and bullets) and showed us into the range. Birkir is an experienced shooter so he showed us how the mechanics worked and how to load and aim the guns and we were ready to shoot.
We shot one trial and three regular rounds of ten shots and by then our arms were getting tired.
The cost per person was a meager 8DKK and we were entertained for about an hour which makes this one of the cheapest activities around.
To try it out just show up on Mondays or Wednesdays in summer or Tuesdays or Thursdays in winter. More detail on the website of Sønderborg Skyttekreds.
Back in 1953 when blues and jazz were all the rave every town in Denmark had a jazz club. Sonderborg was no exception and a group of friends started what would later become Sonderborg jazzclub. As one of the few in our region the club still exists. It is one of the oldest in Denmark and organises at least one concert a month.
The jazz club aims to focus on the growth layer in the Danish jazz scene and tomorrow’s stars. While they do have traditional 50s swing jazz they more often present something more edgy and contemporary.
It was my first time at Sønderborghus when Magnus Thuelund Melody Project Quintet played on a very clear, cold Sunday. There were only about twenty people in the theater hall which made it feel quite empty. However, there was a nice atmosphere, the jazz club people were very friendly and once the band started playing it was really enjoyable.
The jazz concerts are usually held at Sønderborghus on Sundays at 15 and tickets are 100DKK or 80DKK for club members. Membership of the jazz club is 200DKK per term which comes with free entrance to one concert for you and a friend.
The next concert is on Sunday the 26th of February where Clara Bryld and August Rosenbaum is playing at Sønderborghus. See the website for more concerts.
Sønderborghus just released an English version of their website. Even the description of bands are now available in English. To see this click the UK flag in the top right corner of their website.
My 9 year old nephew had a week off for Winter Holiday and came to visit us for a couple of days in Sønderborg. It was the perfect excuse for me to go and visit the History Centre at Dybbøl Banke and the winter special they were doing during the children’s winter holiday.
My nephew and I made our way up the hill and inside the history center before the doors closed. During winter there is a specific starting time to the tour by when you have to be there. Since this is off season and the centre is really only built for summer openings the building is cold and they have a different programme. As the soldiers experienced 149 years ago when the Danes first abandoned Dannevirke and started to dig in at Dybbøl we got to feel the chills and winds of the Danish winter.
On the day we were 75 visitors and we got divided into three groups that each were led by a story teller/tour guide. Ours was Steen and he was good at grabbing the attention of the kids and getting them involved in explaining the circumstances the soldiers found themselves in, in the trenches.
We were then shown the equipment the Danes and the Prussians carried with them to war and two of the kids got dressed up as our guide told stories of how the Germans envied the Danish long shafted boots, how the German state-of-the-art rifles were four times faster than the Danish and how the two soldiers would meet in the middle of the battlefield at night, hats in hand to drink and talk only to be back fighting the politicians way when day broke again.
After that we went outside where the kids (big and small) got to make their own bullets and make pancakes over open fire while we could warm ourselves with warm beer, hot cocoa or coffee.
My nephew swore the pancakes were the best he had ever had and for the rest of his visit in Sonderborg he would often take the bullet out of his pocket and admire it.
We were shown the soldier barracks where we got more stories and then our visit to the centre ended with a bang as the guide fired off a smaller replica of a cannon.
For the rest of the winter Dybbøl Historiecenter opens on Saturdays for tours (without the pancakes and bullet making, I think) and the regular season runs from April 1st to October 31st.
Since we saw the fishermen boats in the harbour and realised that they sell their daily catch to passers-by, we have been promising ourselves that we would indulge ourselves with some fresh fish. In fact, eating fish straight off a fisherman’s boat was one of the first things to make it onto out ‘99 things to do in Sonderborg‘ list.
On Sunday we went for a walk down to the harbour, hoping to tick ‘ice-skating under King Christian X bridge’ off our list. However, coming across the fisherman just starting to sell his small crate of fish we couldn’t let the opportunity pass us by.
We got ourselves a cod (or torsk in Danish). At 30DKK (around 4€) we thought it was great value. Following the instructions of the fisherman – add parsley and lemon slices, wrap in aluminium foil and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes – Michael and I cooked our first whole fish! The serving wasn’t the most elegant in the world, but hey! we can only get better.
Fishermen in Sonderborg Harbour
We went to the boat called “Fru Jensen” which is docked right underneath the castle. The fisherman is usually there from 2pm until he has sold out. To figure out if he has fish you can call 21828201 before 1pm and you will be notified by SMS by 2pm.
On the western side of the sound there is another boat called Nordlyset that also usually has fish at 2pm. There is an SMS service where they send you a message when they have fish. Send a message with the text “fisk” to 51835323 and you should get put on the list.