Thump ada thump ada will be the sounds as you wheel across Ribe, Denmark’s cobbled streets with the Victorinox NXT Hardside Carry-on Officer’s Wheeled Trunk.
Ribe has the distinction of being the tiny Scandinavian country’s oldest town, and was established in the early 8thcentury.
Its South Jutland locale off the Wadden Sea made it a perfect for seafarers including Vikings; often their wares “found” in various parts of the world were sold at the thriving market town off the Ribe River. Discovering the plunderers of the North is still easy as they can be found in several places.
Ribes Vikinger is a wonderful museum – from the moment you enter, the world of Erik, Leif and Edda is real. Nearby archeological digs have extracted such wonders as carved runes (the alphabet used before the adoption of the Latin one) as well as armaments and artifacts of everyday life in the towns and villages. Wander through the Experience and Adventure Halls where little and not so little would be Vikings can play first hand. A sailing ship with its many oars and dragon head allows visitors to climb aboard for the pretend discovery of new worlds. The museum café offers Norseman type meals complete with mead, a honeyed drink, to further the time travel.
From May until October walking in Viking footsteps is easy – literally – at the Ribe Viking Center. Spread out over several acres, this is a hands-on experience. Reconstructions of a village include a Fyrkat-style longhouse staffed by personnel in period costumes. Bread is baked over open fires, and leatherwork and other crafts are demonstrated…everyone can take a liking to their inner Viking.
Another open air museum, Hygum Hjemstavnsgård, also celebrates Danes and their love of the land through farming.
The Wadden Sea Centre welcomes everyone to learn the treasures from the sea, plant and animals that call this special place not far from the North Sea – home. Seals frolic while crabs scuttle across the sands as the surf pounds with the tides. On the nearby island of Mandø, board the double-decker Mandø Tractorbus to ride above the waves.
Back in town, many centuries of architecture invite visitors to don comfortable shoes and explore. Det Gamle Rådhus og Rådhussamlingen is the old Town Hall, which was built in the 15th century and that was in constant use until 2007. Do not be surprised to see a radiant bridal party emerge, as civil ceremonies are still conducted there.
Since the 13th century, the tower and turrets of the Ribe Cathedral have dominated the skyline. Entering the Romanesque cathedral is free, and the fee to walk up the Civic Tower is well worth the price for the stunning view of the surrounding flat marshlands.
Summer evenings, tourists are invited to join the Night Watchman as he makes his rounds of the Ribe looking for fires or possible floods from the sea. Granted, the real night watchmen were retired over a hundred years ago. Now the authentically costumed character enlivens his walks with songs in both Danish and English.
Between visiting Vikings, sea creatures and Night Watchmen, hunger and thirst are sure to build. Sating them is easy, as Ribe is chock full with a variety of restaurants and pubs. Find everything from Danish-inspired seafood entrees to Mongolian barbeque and vegetarian buffets. On Saturdays, enjoy a beer and the chance to speak to the brewers at the Ribe Bryghus
With a car travel a short distance from Ribe to places like Jernved Mejeri in Gredstedbro or Billium’s Enghavegård Osteri where cheeses are produced. Pack a wedge or two to take with you. With the free Victorinox luggage Swiss Tracker™ Bag Tracking Program, should you lose your bag you will soon be nibbling the cheeses again.
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