International Viking Market in Ribe, Denmark

Soak up the Ambience and some Viking History at the International Ribe Viking Market in Denmark

Every year we enjoy to step back in time to wander amongst the Vikings and the Viking Market stalls at the International Viking Market in Ribe.

Ribe Viking Market in Denmark
Ribe Viking Market in Denmark

Ribe Viking Market is Denmark’s most authentic Viking Market. Every spring it attracts several hundred Vikings from all over Scandinavia and Europe. Often even Arab merchants will find their way to Ribe.
In this article you will only find photos from this year’s Viking Market

The Viking Women are sewing during winter in the manor house - the Viking longhouse
A Viking Woman is sewing in the manor house – the Viking longhouse at Ribe VikingeCenter

The Viking Market season in Denmark starts with Ribe Viking Market and of course the Vikings are eager to sell the various kinds of goods they have produced during the cold winter

The Vikings meet at the  market to buy, sell, meet Viking friends and listen to the latest news and gossip
The Vikings meet at the market to buy, sell, meet Viking friends and listen to the latest news and gossip from the Viking World

– of course they are also looking forward to meeting Viking friends

Vikings are meeting friends at the Viking Market and keep up with the latest news and gossip
Vikings meet friends at the Viking Market and keep up with the latest news and gossip

– and keeping up with the latest news and gossip from near and far.
Just as they probably did at Ribe Viking Market during the  Viking Age when Ribe was an important international Viking town.

Viking Age handcraft - a Viking drill
Viking Age handcraft – a Viking drill

We immerse ourselves in Viking history and keep learning new things about the Vikings’ fascinating world. This year one thing we learned was that this small drill was the Black & Decker of the Viking Age

Iron extraction in a clay furnace in Viking Age
Iron extraction in a clay furnace in Viking Age

– and how the Vikings built furnaces of clay and extracted iron

Viking woman selling her handmade garments of wool at the Market place next to Ripa Harbour (Ribe harbour at Ribe VikingeCenter)
Viking woman selling her handmade garments of wool at the Market place next to Ripa Harbour (Ribe harbour at Ribe VikingeCenter)

And of course we come home every year with new supplies of bargains like wool yarn in beautiful colours, drinking horns  and clay mugs –

Viking domestic utensils at Ribe Viking Market
Viking domestic utensils at Ribe Viking Market

–  leather, tools, jewellery, kitchen utensils, etc

Viking children play and learn from the grown ups
Viking children play and learn from the grown ups

We enjoy to see how the Viking children learn from the grown ups

A Viking raid
A Viking raid

– and that new wonderful Viking images will pile up in our camera. We frequently use them on Danhostel Ribe’s website, Danhostel Ribe’s blog and social media (Facebook , Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest).

Viking woman with Viking children
Viking woman with Viking children

Next time we write about Vikings in Ribe on this blog www.danhostel.org we might show you some of our lovely Viking Children photos

Excavation in Ribe, Denmark (June 2015)
Excavation in Ribe, Denmark. Professor Søren Sindbæk, Aarhus University, archeology students from Aarhus University, and archaeologist Maria Knudsen from Sydvestjyske Museer. (June 2015)

– or tell you about one of the newest Viking Age theories: that the Viking Age started in Ribe as early as 725 AD and not with a Viking raid to England in 793 AD  – or maybe tell you interesting news about the viking excavations that are going on right now (photo) as a continuation of the  excavations last year when archaeologists among others found a fully equipped Viking warhorse.

To be the first ones to know, please follow Danhostel Ribe on some of our social media.

Viking craftsman at Ribe Viking Market
Viking craftsman at Ribe Viking Market

Don’t worry if you missed Ribe Viking market this year, there are many other opportunities to get close to the Vikings in Ribe – Denmark’s oldest town – during the year.

Young Vikings in Ribe, Denmark
Young Vikings at Ribe Viking Market in Ribe, Denmark

If you want to know more about Vikings in Ribe and see more Viking photos:

Vikings on Icelandic horses
Vikings on Icelandic horses

Hope you have enjoyed our photos. Photos: Danhostel Ribe
Please like and share with other Viking freaks.

– And don’t forget to book your room at the hostel in Ribe

Book Online at Danhostel Ribe
Book Online at Danhostel Ribe
Find Danhostel Ribe på facebook
Danhostel Ribe’ facebook

© All photos were taken by Danhostel Ribe

Viking warriors at Ribe Viking Centre in Denmark

Ribe Viking Market – a top event in Denmark

Put Ribe Viking Market on your bucket list

Every year around May 1st Denmark’s most authentic Viking Market takes place in Ribe VikingeCenter. More than 500 Vikings from all over Europe meet to join the market.
Visitdenmark  – the Danish tourist board –  mentions it among the “Top events in Denmark 2015

Viking ready to fight
Viking ready to fight at Ribe Viking Market

Do you dare to look in the eyes of a Viking

In 2015 this event will take place from May 1 to May 8.
We hope you feel inspired to put Ribe Viking Market on your travel bucket list for  your next adventure when you have enjoyed (- or have been repelled) by our Viking photos of expressive Viking men’s faces.

Viking drinking from drinking horn
Viking drinking from drinking horn

Best photos from last year’s Viking Market

If you want to see more Viking photos, check out Danhostel Ribe‘s best Viking photos from last year’s market : Our best photos from Ribe Viking Market and the links on the bottom of this article.

Viking with eyes made impressive by a kohl-like eyeliner
This Viking is trying to impress you with long hair, a beard and eyes made impressive by a kohl-like eyeliner

The Vikings will make an effort to impress

Make no mistake – the Vikings will make en effort to impress you.
Maybe Vikings during Viking Age didn’t smell very well – but they wore jewellery, combed their hair and trimmed their beards and used a kind of kohl around their eyes to impress their enemies and win the attention of the women. Since the Viking woman could choose their own husbands, the Viking men had to make an effort in their appearance to be attractive for the women.

Arab with long hair and beard at the Viking market
Arab with long hair and beard at the Viking market

Long hair and beard symbolized strength

If longer hair and beard symbolized strength among the Vikings this Arab visiting Ribe Viking market was able to compete with them. He had the longest beard we have seen at the Viking Market. He named himself after Ibn-Fadhlan, an Arab writer who more than 1000 years ago described the Vikings as “the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures“.
Sadly, we will never meet Ibn-Fadhlan again in Ribe, as he passed away last summer. He was a good friend of the hostel and his good humor and kindness will be greatly missed. All honour to his memory.

ThisThis Viking will not make you feel very welcome
This Viking will probably not make you feel very welcome

Some Vikings will scare you…

This Viking may not have long hair and beard, but we think his eyes are scary, and we certainly wouldn’t like to meet him again at the Viking Market.

Viking with an axe
Viking with an axe

Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe

Last year Viking Denmark was on the “Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe” list and they said about  Viking Ribe  that it was “The jewel in Jutland’s Viking crown is Ribe”.

Viking boy with the firm and angry look of a grown up Viking
Viking boy with the firm and angry look of a grown up Viking

Boys grow up to become men

If you visit Ribe Viking Market yearly, you will see boys grow up to become men. This boy – Birk – is well on his way. We meet him every year at the Viking Market, and as you can see he already manages the impressive look of an adult Viking.

 Viking absorbed in his work
Viking absorbed in his work

What to do if you miss Ribe Viking Market

Ribe Viking Market marks the opening of Ribe VikingeCenter (Ribe Viking Centre) for the summer season ahead. So don’t worry if you miss the market, there are many other opportunities to get close to the Vikings in Ribe – Denmark’s oldest town – during the year.

Viking at Ribe Viking Market in Denmark
Viking at Ribe Viking Market in Denmark

Viking places in Ribe, Denmark

Viking Warrior training for children

Children 7 to 13 years old can – among others – learn how to fight as Vikings at Ribe VikingeCenter – so remember to put it on your family travel bucket list as well

Defeated Viking warrior
Defeated Viking warrior

Photography Exhibition at Danhostel Ribe

In our hostel you can see a Photography Exhibition of photos from Ribe and Wadden Sea National Park . Some of the photos are Viking photos, like this one of a defeated Viking. The photos can also be bought as postcards at the hostel.

Links:

Danhostel Ribe’s photographer Gudrun Rishede took these photos

Find Danhostel Ribe på facebook
Danhostel Ribe’ facebook
Nordic championships in bouldering live streaming from Ribe

Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. Juniors. Ribe in Denmark

Last weekend we had the amazing experience of hosting the Nordic Championship in Junior Bouldering 2015 in the gym of Danhostel Ribe.
Most of the climbers were accommodated at the hostel .

Both the gym and the hostel were seething with excitement, concentration, fun, joy and annoyance
The gym and the hostel were seething with excitement, concentration, fun, joy and annoyance

Both the gym and the hostel were seething with excitement, concentration, fun, joy and annoyance while 80 of Scandinavia’s best junior climbers were competing to win the title of Nordic Champion in Junior Bouldering 2015.
Climbers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark were competing in three different age categories:  B: 14-15, A: 16-17 and Juniors: 18-19 years old.

Nordic Championships in bouldering - Hannes Puman, Sweden. No. 2 Juniors. Boys 18-19 years
Nordic Championships in bouldering – Hannes Puman, Sweden. No. 2 Juniors. Boys 18-19 years

Bouldering is rock climbing without ropes and harnesses, you  get by with climbing shoes and a chalk bag. If/when you fall down you fall softly on safety mats. Your challenge in bouldering is what is called “to solve a problem”.  In a contest you must be able to solve the  different problems quickly.  Furthermore the routes you climb on the walls are difficult and you must have  a good balance, as well as a good physique,  technique and strength.
Four minutes the competitors have to solve one problem and they have as many attempts as necessary within the 4 minutes.

Natacha Niviarsiaq from Denmark. No 2 Juniors. Girls 18-19 years
Natacha Niviarsiaq from Denmark. No 2 Juniors. Girls 18-19 years

Those who set the routes at the rock gym for a bouldering championship  needs to understand how to do it. The routes must neither be too easy nor to difficult. In both these cases, it may be difficult to find a winner. During the championships the participants go from easier climbs, to harder climbs.
The skilled Joseph Wetzel and Robert Heinrich from Germany were  chief route setter with help from 2 Danish assistants: Thomas Holm Blaabjerg and Thomas Acher Johansen .

Anna Karina Wulf from Denmark. Youth A
Anna Karina Wulf from Denmark. Youth A. No. 4

The finalist climbers don’t have the opportunity to see the problems, before they are climbing. Before climbing they are isolated for 1 to 3 hours. That means that the last climbers are not given an advantage  over the first climbers. All climbers get the same time to study the problem, work out how they will solve the problem and and prepare their climb.

Nordic Bouldering Championships. Juniors. Markus Beck Lyhne from Ribe Klatreklub
Nordic Bouldering Championships. Juniors. Markus Beck Lyhne from Ribe Klatreklub

Markus Beck Lyhne was the only climber from  Ribe Klatreklub (Ribe Climbing Club). He made it to the finals and ended as number 6 in the junior group.

the audience is almost as concentrated as the participants in the competition
The audience is almost as concentrated as the participants in the competition

As you can see, the audience is almost as concentrated as the participants in the competition

Ribehallen – the hostel’s gym – has some of Denmark’s best climbing and bouldering walls. We have previously hosted the Danish Championship in indoor rock climbing for men and women in 2010 and 2013.

Nordic Championships in bouldering – Thilo Jeldrik Schröter, Norway. No. 1 Juniors. Boys 18-19 years
Nordic Championships in bouldering – Thilo Jeldrik Schröter, Norway. No. 1 Juniors. Boys 18-19

Thilo Jeldrik Schröter from Norway solving the last problem. Thilo was the best junior climber and he can now call himself Nordic junior champion in bouldering 2015.

The winner results are studied
The competition is over and the results are studied

Congratulations to all the other winners:

Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. Winners Youth B
Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. Winners Youth B. 14-15 years old

Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. 14-15 years old. Winners Youth B. 14 – 15 years old

Girls 14 – 15 years old
1.   Julia Nilsson, Sweden
2.    Nea Herforth Bæhr, Denmark
3.    Marie Aagaard, Denmark

Boys 14 – 15 years old
1. Noah Seir, Danmark
2. Ymer Alber, Sweden
3. Olov Morsing, Sweden

Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. Winners Youth A. 16-17 years old
Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. Winners Youth A. 16-17 years old

Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. 16-17 years old
Winners Youth A:

Girls 16-17 years old
1.    Silvia Barrett, Sweden
2.    Annika Korsgaard, Denmark
3.    Primula Aalund, Denmark

Boys 16-17 years old
1. Leo Ketil Bøe, Norway
2. Oliver Islin Sahl-Madsen, Denmark
3. Guðmundur Freyr Arnason, Iceland

Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. Winners Juniors. 18 - 19 years old
Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. Winners Juniors. 18 – 19 years old

Nordic Bouldering Championships 2015. 18-19 years old
Winners Juniors:

Girls 18 – 19 years old
1.  Sunniva Eik Haave, Norway
2.  Natacha Niviarsiaq, Denmark
3.  Norea Marceau, Sweden

Boys 18 – 19 years old
1. Thilo Jeldrik Schröter, Norway
2. Hannes Puman, Sweden
3. Frederik Thulstrup, Denmark

Allan Beck from Ribe Climbing Club (Ribe Klatreklub) talking with journalist Rene Aunsbjerg Fogh from Ribe Ugeavis
Allan Beck from Ribe Climbing Club (Ribe Klatreklub) talking with journalist Rene Aunsbjerg Fogh from the local newspaper, Ribe Ugeavis

Ribe climbing club did a great job – members as well as parents and friends from other climbing clubs.
About 40 volunteers made sure the championships ran  smoothly and successfully. Volunteers carried out a range of essential tasks, from helping setting routes to creating the imaginative audience seating in the middle of the gym, to timekeeping, live streaming,  food and drinking supplying, cleaning of wall holds,  being judges, etc.

Frederik from Ribe Climbing Club volunteered as hold cleaner
Frederik Gram from Ribe Climbing Club volunteering as hold cleaner

The Swedish national team doctor Björn Alber said about the championships: “Good accommodation with food just next to the climbing gym, boulder walls with World Cup potential, well-organized event organizers with an eye on the time schedule and results, skilled route setters – yes you have to say this was one of the most  successful Nordic championships I have been to”

Some of the climbers relax in the hostel
Some of the climbers relax in the hostel

Some of the climbers relax in the hostel before they are leaving Ribe.

Back to Norway. Thilo Jeldrik Schröter - no 1 in the  Junior group - checks out of the hostel
Back to Norway. Thilo Jeldrik Schröter – no 1 in the Junior group – checks out of the hostel

If you haven’t had enough bouldering by now you can see 6 hours 25 minutes and 43 seconds streamed live on Mar 15 from the finals in this video – from before it started in the morning till all the winners were known.
The video is streamed by Dansk Klatreforbund


Links:

 

Hostel guest in the lobby using the free WiFi

Hostels in Denmark – and a hostel host’s thoughts

The boat Johanne Dan in Ribe Harbour, Denmark
The flat-bottomed ship Johanne Dan in Ribe Harbour, on the West Coast of Denmark – an important part of the hostel Danhostel Ribe’s view.

A Hostel Manager for 28 years.
More than 500.000 guests were welcomed

I’ve been a hostel host in Ribe for more than 28 years now.
Most people call me a hostel manager, but I always used the word “host” myself, because I like to welcome our guests as guests – and it is vital to me that my guests feel welcome and at home.
Recently guest number 500.000 was welcomed, and we decided to celebrate this by making a donation to Johanne Dan, the beautiful ship, that is an important part of the view from the windows of the hostel. A view that both our guests and we enjoy every day.

Hostel host Jens Philipsen welcomes the Dutch family Rolf van Heeswijk
I (Jens Philipsen) welcome the Dutch family, Rolf van Heeswijk.

Home is where the heart is. I lost mine to the breathtaking beautiful Ribe

Ribe is breathtaking beautiful. It is Denmark’s best preserved town and also the oldest.  The hostel was built on the best spot in town and has an amazing view of the old town, Ribe River and the Wadden Sea National Park.
I am very thankful, that I was trusted a hostel such a lovely place, and have tried to take good care of it and our surroundings.  Today travellers build sustainability into their journeys, but to me a green hostel has always been a must.  The hostel has been eco-labeled with Green Key since 1997 and is still the only eco-labeled accommodation in all the Wadden Sea National Park. Since then we also became Official National Park Partner, was Refood labeled etc.

3 generations of the Petersen family from USA are photographed outside the hostel
3 generations of the Petersen family from USA are photographed outside the hostel. They are in Denmark to search their roots and visit their Danish family.

From dorms to rooms with private facilities

The celebration of 500.000 guests made me recall some  hostel memories. When I came to Ribe as a young manager of a brand new and modern hostel, I ended in a real buzz about placing a hostel on the most attractive site in Ribe. Furthermore the hotel owners in town were very concerned that the hostel should not have better facilities than Ribe’s hotels.
But times changed and after some years our hostel was modernized and all our  rooms got  private baths/toilets.

Hostels in Denmark are for all ages.
Hostels in Denmark are for all ages. This photo is of families from different parts of Denmark. They meet every summer – and this year they met in our hostel.

From youth hostels to hostels for all ages

In Denmark are hostel rooms with private facilities more common than hostels with big dorms.
Couples as well as families and backpackers book a room with private facilities.  When I started as hostel manager, guests who arrived after the hostel rooms were fully booked, were happy when they were offered a cheap mattress in a conference room shared with many others. They often stayed for many days, happy to have obtained a very cheap accommodation. Nowadays very few in our hostel will settle for a bed – certainly not for a mattress – nor shared showers.

Many of the Danish hostels have conference facilities. This photo is from a conference at our hostel focused on websites and social media in hospitality and tourism
Many of the Danish hostels have conference facilities. This photo is from a conference in our hostel focused on websites and social media in hospitality and tourism

Getting rid of old stereotypes about youth hostels

The Danish hostels started to welcome all ages many years ago, we have modern facilities and serve excellent breakfasts, many of us even have conference facilities, but it is hard to get rid of old stereotypes about youth hostels. We felt that youth hostels were not the right name any more. In Denmark hostels changed names from vandrehjem (homes for wanderers = youth hostels) to Danhostels. In Ribe we changed name from the Danish “Ribe Vandrehjem” to the international “Danhostel Ribe“.

Newly married couple from Germany in one of the hostel's luxury rooms
Newly married couple from Germany in one of the hostel’s luxury rooms

Luxury rooms with view of National Park

Danhostel Ribe was enlarged twice.  I started up with 26 rooms – now I have 40 and about 20.000 overnight stays per year.
As an icing of the cake the 6 superior rooms (A++) along the top floor were built featuring spectacular views of the old town, Ribe River and the National Park. (In 2010 the meadow outside the hostel became a part of one of Denmark’s first national parks: the Wadden Sea National Park.)
These rooms have become an attractive accommodation for many foreigners who marry in Ribe – and for couples of all ages who want a romantic holiday. What a pleasure for us to welcome these happy lovers.

Look inside our romantic hostel rooms 360º

Take a virtual 360º tour in one of these  luxury hostel rooms. Click on the Google map above – You can even go for a walk around the whole hostel – 360º: Virtual tour of Danhostel Ribe.
You have to “walk down the staircase” from the second floor (am.: the third floor), we have no lift. The other rooms are smaller and a little cheaper- but all have private bath/toilet.

Fathers having fun with their children in the hostel garden
Swedish fathers having fun with their children in the hostel garden

Difference between hotels and hostels

When the hostels in Denmark are so modern what is the difference between hostels and hotels, besides the prize?  One of the answers is “Do you want to be private or do you want to  socialize – or maybe both?”
In hotels it is normal to be private. You don’t share your TV or minibar with others. In hostels most people want to mingle with other travellers.
In Danhostels it is possible to be both private and to socialize. You can close your door and be private when YOU want .
Futhermore most hostel rooms do still have more beds (usually bunk beds)  which is a perfect fit for 3-4 friends traveling together or a family of 3 to 4 persons.

Good mood and high spirits rub off onto us (the staff) and the other way around
Lunch – A break in an intensive training weekend for young musicians

Most hostels have many common areas

If you want to socialize you have good possibilities in hostels – also in our hostel. We have many spacious common areas where guests can mingle and meet other travellers, exchange travel ideas, cook and eat, watch  TV,  play table football or other games, have fun and find new friends for life. We even have a sports centre for badminton and soccer and with one of Denmark’s best rock climbing walls. Children find new pals,  parents and grandparents don’t have to shush them all the time, they can just enjoy some happy children.
Good mood and high spirits rub off onto us (the staff) and the other way around.

Student group from DIS - Danish Institute for Study Abroad
A student group from DIS – Danish Institute for Study Abroad – is visiting Danhostel Ribe

Danhostels are members of Hostelling International (HI Hostels)

We all need positive and life-giving oases in life and especially when we are travelling far away from home. Places we feel comfortable, meet new friends and broaden our horizons. This is what Hostelling International  is all about : “to provide hostels or other accommodation which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions and thereby develop a better understanding of their fellow men at home and abroad.” And “to promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world”.
Makes me very proud of being a hostel host in HiHostel.
And don’t forget if you have a HI Hostel or Danhostel membership-card, book through HI-Hostel, Danhostel or contact us, you will get 10% discount on accommodation. This discount is the same in all Danhostels in Denmark. On our homepage you’ll often find more offers

Young travellers using the free WiFi
Young travellers using the free WiFi at the hostel

Free WiFi in hostels is a must these days

When I started at the hostel our guests booked rooms and beds by letter and included a return stamp. I had lovely postcards from all over the world and still keeps many of them.
Now most travellers are online. They check their mail, find new information and book their next hostel (- after they have  checked ratings and what other guests say about this hostel). They also rate us – most of the time they even rate us in top – though we are often compared to hotels. They also help us to be better all the time, so thank you if you take the time to rate us, when you have visited us. I’ll put links to some of our ratings at the bottom of this blog.

90-year-old celebrating her birthday at the hostel
90-year-old Kirsten Jack is celebrating her birthday at the hostel, and she helps hoisting the Danish flag (the Dannebrog) herself

Celebrating a 90th Birthday at the hostel

Many of our guests are frequent guests in our hostel – some have come here every year for more than 25 years. Others visited us years ago with their parents or school and are back with their own children. But it is seldom that I – like on this photo – hoist the Danish flag for a 90-year-old birthday. Kirsten Jack  – who lives north of Copenhagen – celebrated her birthday at the hostel with family coming in from all over the world.  As you can see she is a lively and wonderful woman who is helping me hoisting the flag.

Young family visiting the hostel

Links you might also want to see:

Go social with Danhostel Ribe

Dahostel Ribe’s ratings

Christmas in Ribe. Danhostel Ribe

Christmastime in Denmark – and in beautiful Ribe

Christmas in Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town

Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town Ribe creates the perfect setting for Christmas as in the “good old days”
The  Christmas decorated town is breathtakingly beautiful and the town square with the huge Christmas tree and the  enlightened Cathedral put the icing on the cake.

Christmas Time in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas Time in Ribe, Denmark

“Hygge” is part of the Christmas in Denmark

Danes love the feeling of “Hygge”, especially at wintertime.  Hygge is difficult to translate, but means something like ‘creating a cosy atmosphere’ and can be described as an embracing feeling of warmth and well-being. We light the Christmas candles, huddle together to keep warm, enjoy hot drinks as cocoa or the traditional mulled wine with raisins and almonds and eat Danish, sweet Christmas Dumplings.

Christmas Decorations at a Restaurant in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas Decorations at a Restaurant in Ribe, Denmark

Christmas lights and decorated streets

Festoons with Christmas lights decorate streets and in the top of Ribe Cathedral you can see a Christmas star with sparkling lights every evening.

Christmas Street Lights and Festoons in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas Street Lights and Festoons in Ribe, Denmark

Christmas shopping in Ribe

The overwhelming beauty of Ribe makes it one of Denmark’s most delightful destinations at Christmas time to make Christmas shopping.  A wide range of specialty shops – all within walking distance of the hostel – makes it easy and convenient to go shopping and perfect for buying unique souvenirs as Christmas specialties from Ribe. We can recommend Ribe Christmas Ale from the local Ribe Brewery (the brewery is open for visitors every Saturday) or Christmas cookies – Danish butter cookies in a cake tin with a snowy Christmas picture from Ribe. You can buy these in Parmo’s old grocer’s  shop in the pedestrian street. You will be overwhelmed of all the wonderful Christmas smells coming towards you, when you open the shop door, and you will probably also be tempted by his famous fruits in port.

Christmas Shopping in Ribe, Denmark
Christmas Shopping in Ribe, Denmark

Christmas Markets in Ribe

Several Christmas markets take place in Ribe during Christmas time. One of the most popular is the Christmas Market at the old grocery store from the  1500s, Quedens Gaard. It is Christmas as in the good old days. You’ll find tastings like roasted almonds, Christmas beer and freshly baked cookies, but also old trades and crafts like candle and rope making, pottery, quilting and handmade Christmas craft is introduced to you.

Taste the Roasted Almonds. Christmas Market in the old merchant's house, Quedens Gaard
Taste the Roasted Almonds. Christmas Market in the old merchant’s house, Quedens Gaard

Christmas hearts decorate Christmas trees

Making Christmas hearts and Froebel stars of paper for Christmas tree decorations is an old Danish tradition.
The oldest known Christmas heart was made by the famous fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen about 1860.
At Ribe Art Museum (Ribe Kunstmuseum) the beautiful Christmas tree is decorated with Sonja Brandes’ handmade paper cuts.
On the photo you see the favourite heart from the hostel host’s Christmas tree, and if you follow this link you’ll find a tutorial for the most common Danish Christmas heart: Make your own Christmas heart

Homemade Christmas Heart Decoration on the Hostel Manager's Christmas Tree
Homemade Christmas Heart Decoration on the Hostel Manager’s Christmas Tree

Christmas street theatre and guided tours

An old beloved Danish children’s book Peters Jul (Peter’s Christmas) lend name to the Christmas time in Ribe.
In the weekends you can see the Peter’s Christmas street theatre and follow free guided tours “In Peter’s footsteps”. You can also follow Ribe’s Night Watchman for a guided tour in old Ribe.

Peter's Christmas. Street Theater on Ribe Town Square every Saturday and Sunday in Advent
Peter’s Christmas. Street Theater on Ribe Town Square every Saturday and Sunday in Advent

Christmas Parade and Santa Claus

At the Christmas Parade you might see a Santa Claus on a red vintage fire engine. In his bag is sweets for the children.
This is a small town and tongues wag: “We know who is hiding behind the beard!”

Father Christmas at the Christmas Parade in a Vintage Fire Engine
Father Christmas at the Christmas Parade in a Vintage Fire Engine

Moped gang celebrating Christmas

A moped gang  disguised like Father Christmases at the Christmas Parade is one of the more humorous elements in Christmas parade.

Moped Gang in Disguise wish Merry Christmas at the Christmas Parade in Ribe, Denmark
Moped Gang in Disguise wish Merry Christmas at the Christmas Parade in Ribe, Denmark

The real Father Christmas

Don’t be surprised when you see more than one Father Christmas in town, but this is the one Ribe citizen call the “real” one – he is named Johannes. You will meet him in the streets several times during Christmas time handing out Christmas caramels to the children. He did that for more than 25 years. His legs are sometimes a little tired and sometimes – like here – he hands out caramels from  a horse-drawn carriage. It is also possible for you to have a sightseeing tour in the  horse-drawn carriage.

 Sightseeing with Santa Claus in a Horse-drawn Carriage
Sightseeing with Santa Claus in a Horse-drawn Carriage

Explore the historic old town
– Denmark’s best preserved

Ribe is Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town. It is also Denmark’s best preserved town or city with more than 100 preserved buildings. Only Copenhagen has more preserved buildings than Ribe, but it is a much bigger city.
Don’t forget to relax and enjoy the beauty of the town, move away from town centre and the pedestrian zone,  go into the side streets and stroll along the harbour and you will feel tranquillity descends upon you from the beauty of our town.

One of the beautiful old streets in Ribe at Christmas time
One of the beautiful old streets in Ribe at Christmas time

Christmas break at Danhostel Ribe

Why not enjoy a Christmas break at the hostel, Danhostel Ribe, in November or December? From the hostel you can have this beautiful view of the Christmas decorated Ribe – Especially if you choose one of the hostel’s best rooms – the ones on the top floor.
Getting around is easy,  central Ribe, shops, museums, cafes and pubs, attractions and Christmas events are just a short walk from the hostel.
This is the view from half the rooms at night time:

Christmas View from Danhostel Ribe - the Youth and Family Hostel in Ribe in Denmark
Christmas View from Danhostel Ribe – the Youth and Family Hostel in Ribe, Denmark

Christmas view from the hostel

The view from the hostel is amazing during Christmas time both at daytime and nighttime – although snow is not guaranteed.
Read more about Christmas time in Ribe and see Danhostel Ribe‘s Christmas offers: Christmas Holiday in Denmark

Hostel view at winter time
Hostel view at winter time

Links that might interest you:

Finally a short video showing the atmosphere in Ribe at Christmastime.

The video is made by TVEsbjerg
All Christmas photos are taken by Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

Also experience in Ribe at Christmas time:

  • Christmas Concerts
  • Live music in the streets
  • This year’s Emil – Grading of the best Christmas beer
  • Christmas dance around the Christmas tree with Santa
  • and more
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Viking Ribe. A horse sacrifice

Viking Sacrifice of horse to Norse Gods at Ribe VikingeCenter, Denmark

The Vikings in Ribe in Denmark have sacrificed a horse
The Vikings in Ribe have sacrificed a horse  . Denmark

A sacrificed horse and lamb was the shocking sight that met one of Danhostel Ribe’s visiting groups at Ribe VikingeCenter. The völva, the wise woman of the Vikings, had slaughtered the horse, skinned it and placed the hide on a long pole, so that everybody could see her big sacrifice. The blood she sprinkled on a sacred stone filled with other gifts to the gods.
Why did the völva slaughter and sacrifice the horse, and should the hostel’s guests be afraid of being the next in line?
Listen to the völva’s own explanation in this video.

Blot – a pagan rite in the Viking Era

The völva  was in the Norse Mythology supposed to have a special connection with the old gods and goddesses, the Aesir. Therefore it was also often her who carried out the pagan rites like the offerings to the gods. The “Blot” was a main rite celebrated in Heathenry. In this video the blot is a ritual sacrifice of a horse to honour the gods, followed afterwards of a feast at which the meat was eaten by the participants.

Horse sacrifice at Ribe VikingeCenter in Denmark
The völva has sacrificed a horse at Ribe VikingeCenter in Denmark

Horse and human sacrifices

To sacrifice a horse to the gods demonstrated you had great wealth, but also slaves were sacrificed, as you can see in the exhibition “The Christian Vikings” at Ribe Viking Museum  (2014 and 2015)

Master with beheaded slave. Ribe Viking Museum
Master with his beheaded and sacrificed slave. Ribe Viking Museum

Real Viking Era Horse sacrifices in Ribe

A pit with a horse sacrifice is found in the middle of a graveyard from the 700s in Ribe (next to the railroad). This indicates that this burial place was founded with a sacrifice to the Norse gods (see  link number 10).
In the summer 2014 an archaeological excavation in Ribe revealed a fully equipped warhorse from around 700 .  The archaeologists can’t say if this is a horse sacrifice, but it is unique  to find a grave with a war horse  from the Early Medieval Era  in Denmark. In the article “Viking Ribe in Viking Denmark“, you can hear the archaeologists tell about the find in the video “The discovery of a dark age horse burial in Ribe, Denmark” .

The Viling völva reading the runes at Ribe VikingeCenter in Denmark
The Viking wise woman, the völva, reads the runes at Ribe VikingeCenter in Denmark

The völva could also tell you your fortune

The völva was also a seer and a fortune-teller.  At Ribe Viking  Centre she might throw and read the runes for you, and tell you her prophecy. That was what  she did for the hostel’s photographer, listen to the völva’s prophecy for the photographer in the video in this article: The Viking wise woman was the late Middle Ages witch

Viking Places in Ribe

  • Ribe Viking Museum (Museet Ribes Vikinger).  Here you can see many of the archaeological findings from Ribe town and different special exhibitions, The Viking Museum is 0,5 km. (0,3 American miles) away from Danhostel Ribe
  • Ribe Viking Centre (Ribe VikingeCenter)  is a ‘living village’ reconstructed according to archaeological findings in Ribe town and with lots of hands-on experiences. Ribe Viking Centre is 3,2 km (2 American miles) away from the hostel
  • Ribe Viking Market takes place at Ribe VikingeCenter one week around 1st of May. See photos
  • Book a guide for a Viking Walk at the Viking Museum or walk the hostel’s self guided walking tour in Ribe
Facts about the horsehide
Facts about the horsehide
Find Danhostel Ribe på facebook
Danhostel Ribe’s facebook

Photos and video: Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

Classic cars in Ribe every Tuesday. Just outside the hostel

10 things to do for free in Ribe – Denmark

Danhostel Ribe’s recommendations for 10 free things to do in Ribe listed in random order.
Ribe is Scandinavia’s oldest town placed on the West Coast of Denmark. It was voted EUROPE’S BEST BIG-TIME SMALL DESTINATION 2014 and was also recommended by Lonely Planet as a Viking site you should visit in “Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2014”. “Viking Denmark” was No 5 on this list.

Night Watchman in Ribe, Denmark
Night Watchman in Ribe, Denmark

1. A walk with Ribe’s Night Watchman

Every evening from May 1st to October 22th you can join Ribe’s night Watchman as he takes you on a guided walk through the winding cobblestoned streets of old Ribe and tells you dramatic and romantic stories from the history of Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town. He also sings the Night Watchman song to remind the citizens that it is time to go to sleep. Find your tour and read more

Ribe Cathedral
Ribe Cathedral with modern art

2. Ribe Cathedral with Michelin stars

Ribe Cathedral is a 2-starred Michelin Guide attraction – 3 stars are the maximum in the Michelin Guide, that reviews and rates attractions other than restaurants.

Ribe Cathedral is the only 5-aisled church in Denmark and combines old and new in an amazing way. The world famous COBRA artist Carl Henning Pedersen decorated the apse with colourful dramatic modern frescoes, mosaics and stained glass windows, but you can find medieval frescoes, memorials and other artifacts in the Cathedral as well.

There are several free church concerts in Ribe Cathedral during the summer holidays, see: Highlights in Ribe

Ribe Market on Wednesdays. Danhostel Ribe in the background
Ribe Market on Wednesdays. Danhostel Ribe in the background

3. Market day in Ribe every wednesday

Market day in Ribe is every Wednesday from May to the beginning of September. The Market is on the Skibbro quay (the harbour) and you can see it from the hostel’s windows. You might wake up in the morning when the traders are arranging their display of goods. You can buy new and second hand wares and fresh food.
During the Danish summer holidays when schools are closed, you shouldn’t miss the children’s market, where the children have their toys, books, clothes and much more on sale. This is also on Wednesdays and takes place in the town square.

Classic cars in Ribe every Tuesday.  Just outside the hostel
Classic cars in Ribe every Tuesday. Just outside the hostel

4. Classic, Vintage and American cars

and motorcycles. Every Tuesday from April to September owners of classic and vintage cars from near and far in Denmark meet on the meadow outside our hostel (Danhostel Ribe) to show their cars and admire all the other cars. The car owners have a passion for taking care of their vehicles, and if you like old cars too, come and have a look. The better the weather is the more vehicles will be on display and it is not unusual to see over 100 cars on the meadow.
Mostly cars but also some motorcycles.

Ribe Town, Denmark
Ribe Town, Denmark

5. Ribe town

Ribe town is an attraction in itself. You should spend time strolling around enjoying the beauty of our town, Ribe River, town parks, the beautiful new town square, winding narrow alleys and cobblestoned streets.
Danhostel Ribe has made a self-guided walking tour of old town Ribe. You can find it here: Old Town Walk . Lonely Planet says about Ribe: “This is historic Denmark at its most photogenic, all cobblestones and higgledy-piggledy houses – so pretty, it was recently voted ‘Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination’. Link: “Viking Denmark – following the footsteps of ancient explorers
Ribe town is also awarded with 2 stars in the Michelin guide of Attractions. The guide writes: “Ribe is probably the best preserved medieval town in Denmark. Its small size has enabled it to retain its architectural unity and old-world charm.”
Ribe is also special for a winter break: Christmas and winter in Ribe is special. 30 photos from Ribe in Denmark

Pet goat at Ribelund Animal Park
Pet goat at Ribelund Animal Park

6. Ribelund Animal Park

A visit to the small animal park Ribelund Dyrepark is a must if you are a family with small children. Here you’ll find pet goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, small kangaroos, birds and fallow deer, but also a playground, picnic tables, and benches. Furthermore jogging paths and an observation platform where you can observe the birdlife in and around Ribe Østerå.

Ribe Brewery, Denmark
Ribe Brewery, Denmark

7. Ribe Brewery

Ribe Brewery – the Micro-brewery is open for viewing and purchasing every Saturday from 10am to 2pm (All year). If you pass by another day than Saturday and notice the brewers are brewing, you are also welcome – but the brewers are only brewing as a hobby, and therefore they are not working here every day. Ribe Brewery brews: Blonde light Ale, Brown Ale and Black dark Ale – but also seasonal brews, such as Christmas Ale and the Wadden Sea Brew. We also sell Ribe Beer at our hostel, see: Souvenirs 

Ribe Craftmans Market
Ribe Craftmans Market in October – Sct Catharinae Abbey

8. Galleries and exhibitions

Take a look at the many galleries with art, glass, ceramics etc. Often you will also find art or photo exhibitions somewhere in the town.
At the hostel we have our own permanent photo exhibition of Ribe and Wadden Sea motives shot by the same photographer, who took all the photos on this page.
During Easter the “Art Tour Southwest Jutland” takes place. Along the South West Coast of Denmark more than a 100 galleries, studios and museums welcome you to visit them.
Ribe’s Craftmans Market takes place during the first weekend in October.

Children's market at the town square. Same place is entertainment for children on Thursdays
Children’s market at the town square. Same place is entertainment for children on Thursdays

9. Entertainment for children

And a little more for the children. Every Thursday in July and the first Thursday in August they can enjoy entertainment for children at Ribe’s town square. 4pm

The hostel's sports hall
The hostel’s sports hall

10. Danhostel Ribe’s sports hall

Danhostel Ribe’s guests have the opportunity to play ball or badminton in Ribehallen (our sports hall) for free when it is not in use. And during the school holidays it will be possible much of the time. Our guests can also play table tennis and table football for free or borrow one of the many board games. If you want to try our rock climbing wall – one of the best in Denmark – you will have to pay.

11. The Wadden Sea – UNESCO World Heritage

Finally, we will mention the Wadden Sea National Park, that is now UNESCO World Heritage: Wadden Sea National Park UNESCO World Heritage. Year round adventures

Nature is free to enjoy, but we recommend that you also join one of the guided tours. Oyster hunting in winter,  Black Sun – the starlings’ spectacular air shows spring and autumn , Wadden Sea walks and seal watching in summer.  See photos and video from a Sea Explorer Tour

Remember to book your room or bed

at Danhostel Ribe. The hostel has Ribe’s most photographed view and is placed both in the town centre and in the Wadden Sea National Park: Danhostel Ribe

©All Photos: Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

 

Common Shelducks, Oystercatchers and Sandpipers

Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark is now UNESCO World Heritage

The Danish Wadden Sea National Park was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list  on June 23th 2014.
The list includes now a little more than 1000 natural and cultural wonders in the world.

Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark - Unesco World Heritage
Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark – UNESCO World Heritage

The Dutch and German parts of the Wadden Sea were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2009.

To be worthy of inclusion on this list the site must be of outstanding universal value – and “contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance”

Common Shelducks, Oystercatchers and Sandpipers
Common Shelducks, Oystercatchers and Sandpipers in the Danish Wadden Sea National Park

Approximate 12 mill migratory birds are passing by the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark, Germany and Holland every spring and autumn to be fed up before flying on to their breeding grounds in north in spring and back to their winter grounds in south in autumn. The Wadden Sea is the largest unbroken system of tidal flats world wide.
The cartoon “Flyway Bird Migration” follows the migratory birds on their annual cycle between Arctic and Africa: Flyway Bird Migration

Redshank and oystercatcher  with sandworm in its beak
A redshank and an oystercatcher with a sandworm in its beak in the Wadden Sea near Ribe
National Park Partner Wadden Sea
National Park Partner Wadden Sea

At Danhostel Ribe we are National Park Partners and next-door neighbour to the National Park.
The official opening of the Wadden Sea National Park took place outside the hostels windows on the “Meadow of the Heads”  on October 16th. 2010 with the participation of His Royal Highness Prince Joachim, Danish Minister of Environment Karen Ellemann and the mayor of Esbjerg Municipality Johnny Søtrup .

Inauguration of the Wadden Sea National Park Denmark.
Inauguration of the Wadden Sea National Park Denmark. From the right: HRH Prince Joachim, Danish Minister of Environment in 2010 Karen Ellemann and mayor of Esbjerg Municipality Johnny Søtrup

The Wadden Sea National Park – Denmark’s largest national park
The Wadden Sea National Park covers large parts of the coastal area between Ho Bay in the north and the Danish-German border in the south.  A distance of 100 km as the crow flies divided among four municipalities: Varde, Fano, Esbjerg and Tonder.

Sunset in the Wadden Sea National Park, Denmark
Sunset in the Wadden Sea National Park, Denmark

Unesco World Heritage in Denmark
Denmark has now 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
3 cultural and 2 natural. Futhermore Ilulissat Icefjord in Greenland, 250 km north of the Arctic Circle became Natural Unesco World Heritage in 2004

The 3 Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites are:

  • Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church (1994)
  • Kronborg Castle (2000)
  • Roskilde Cathedral (1995)

The 2 Natural Unesco World Heritage Sites are:

  • The Wadden Sea on the West Coast of Denmark (2014)
  • Stevns Cliff in southeastern Zealand (2014)
Grey Goose in the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark
Grey Goose in the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark

 All photos © Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe.

  • See lovely photos and a video from one of Vadehavscentret ved Ribe’s guided family tours in the Wadden Sea: Sea Explorer
  • Listen to Wadden Sea Songs, among others the National Park anthem “Gryden” (The Dip) from the launch of “Sea Scape – Wadden Sea Songs” album at Danhostel Ribe in 2013:
    Wadden Sea Music
barnacle geese
Barnacle geese in the Wadden Sea National Park

Kort dansk referat

Den Danske del af Nationalpark Vadehavet er i dag blevet UNESCO  Verdensarv sammen med Stevns Klint.
I forvejen havde følgende steder i Danmark opnået at blive optaget på Verdensarvlisten: Jellingstenene, Roskilde Domkirke, Kronborg slot,  og Ilulissat isfjord, hvis vi skal tage Grønland med.

Nationalpark Vadehavet er Danmarks største nationalpark. Cirka 12 mill trækfugle passerer nationalparken i Danmark, Tyskland og Holland i trækperioden hvert forår og efterår.
Nationalparken blev indviet på Hovedengen udenfor vandrerhjemmet i Ribe i 2010.

 

Viking ship in Ribe River, Denmark

Viking Ribe in Viking Denmark

Viking warriors, Ribe, Denmark
Viking warriors, Ribe, Denmark

Lonely Planet has revealed the 10 best destinations in Europe 2014: “Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2014” .
The editors of the famous travel guide choose “Viking Denmark” as number 5 on their list.

Viking Family in Ribe VikingeCenter, Denmark
Viking Family in Ribe VikingeCenter, Denmark

Lonely Planet also tells its readers about the most important Viking sites in Denmark – and Ribe is of course one of them ” Viking Denmark: following the footsteps of ancient explorers

Viking ship in Ribe River outside the hostel, Denmark
Viking ship in Ribe River outside the hostel, Denmark

About Ribe town Lonely Planet writes: “The jewel in Jutland’s Viking crown is Ribe, the country’s oldest town which was founded around 700 as a Viking marketplace. This is historic Denmark at its most photogenic, all cobblestones and higgledy-piggledy houses – so pretty, it was recently voted Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination

Ribe in Denmark. Town Square around Ribe Cathedral
Ribe in Denmark. Town Square around Ribe Cathedral

Here is Danhostel Ribe’s self-guided walking tour of old town Ribe,  if you want to go your own way on a self guided holiday in Ribe: Ribe Old Town Walk
(Danhostel Ribe is Ribe’s hostel)

Ribe's Night Watchman - a free guided tour of old town Ribe
Ribe’s Night Watchman – a free guided tour of old town Ribe

You can also choose to join the free guided tour with Ribe’s Night Watchman every evening from 1st of May to 18th October 2014

Viking sites in Ribe

Viking woman. Ribe Viking Centre
Viking woman. Ribe Viking Centre

Ribe is also nowadays a  hive of Viking activities as it was in its Viking heyday, and your research into Ribe’s Viking Era could start at Ribe Viking Centre (Ribe VikingeCenter). The reconstructed Viking village is like a living museum with hands-on experiences.

A heathen master with his beheaded slave. Though a heathen it is from the exhibition 2014 "The Christian Vikings". Ribe Viking Museum
A heathen master with his beheaded slave. Though a heathen it is from the exhibition 2014 “The Christian Vikings”. Ribe Viking Museum

– afterwards you can continue your research by visiting the Viking Museum (Museet Ribes Vikinger) with thousands of artefacts found during  archaeological excavations in Ribe.
The special exhibition in 2014 is called ” The Christian Vikings”.

Christian Viking graves. Archaeological excavations in Ribe, Denmark
Christian Viking graves. Archaeological excavations in Ribe, Denmark

Excavations around Ribe Cathedral from 2008-2012 revealed a Christian cemetery from around 850, more than a 100 years before Denmark was officially Christianized according to the UNESCO World Heritage rune-stone of Harold Bluetooth in Jellinge.

Video: The dicovery of a dark age horse burial in Ribe, Denmark.
Much of the time archaeological excavations are going on in Ribe, and maybe you will be lucky to see one, when you visit our town. The finds from this Viking-Age period are numerous when archaeological excavations are going on in Ribe. The newest is unique and less than a week old, when a fully equipped warhorse from around 700 was found . (See the video)
Here you can read about the rune stone, that was found in Ribe: Rune stone found in Ribe

Viking Market at Ribe VikingeCenter
Viking Market at Ribe VikingeCenter

Every year the first week of May Ribe’s International Viking Market, Denmark’s most authentic Viking market is taking place at Ribe Viking Centre – don’t miss it . It’s 7 incredible days with hundreds of Vikings, craftsmen, warriors, archers, riders, jesters and many others from all over Europe

Horse sacrifice. Ribe VikingeCenter, Denmark
Horse sacrifice. Ribe VikingeCenter, Denmark

At last we will mention a Viking Walk in Ribe. You can pay for your own guide at the Viking Museum, who will take you to all the places in Ribe where the Vikings lived, worked and was buried 1300 years ago – you can also walk Danhostel Ribe’s self guided Viking Walk: Viking Walk . On this walk you will hear about horse sacrifices and if you follow our blog www.danhostel.org we will later this year tell you more about horse sacrifices and show you a video

Don’t forget to book your room at Danhostel Ribe


Danhostel Ribes‘s photographer, Gudrun Rishede, took the photos

What kind of snail is this little one?

A Sea Explorer barefoot tour in the Wadden Sea National Park

Photos and video from a muddy adventure in Denmark

Walking barefoot in the mudduring low tide
Walking barefoot in the mud during low tide

Having barefoot fun

Walking barefoot through the mud flats during low tide looking for mussels, worms, snails, shrimps,
shore crabs, and fish is great fun.
The photographer and webmaster from the hostel in Ribe, Danhostel Ribe, recommend a Sea Explorer
tour with a skilled ranger from the Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (Wadden Sea Centre)

The tour took place 10 km from Ribe town in the Wadden Sea National Park – the largest national park
in Denmark. Ribe is Denmarks oldest town and voted Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination 2014

 

The tidal flats - where seabed meets horizon
The tidal flats – where seabed meets horizon

Where the horizon is wide and the sky goes on forever

The tidal flats of the Wadden Sea National Park from Blaavandshuk and Ho Bay in Denmark (north)
to Den Helder in the Netherlands (south) are the largest continuous tidal flats in the world.
The Wadden Sea National Parks in Germany and the Netherlands became UNESCO World Heritage in 2009.
The Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark have applied for World Heritage membership.
Late June  2014 we will know the result. Read here if you want to know more about the
Wadden Sea National Park

 

Explore the Big World of Small Wonders
Explore the Big World of Small Wonders

Explore the Big World of Small Wonders

Who will be the first to find all the small animals? Fun and adventure for the whole family.
Many of the small animals are masters of disguise and can be difficult to find

 

What kind of snail is  this little one?
What kind of snail is this little one?

Looking for mud snails and Common Periwinkles

A tiny snail is found and studied. What kind of snail is it? Is it alive? For example is the shell of the
very small mud snail black when the snail is alive and grey or white, when it is dead. Biologist and
ranger from Vadehavcentret ved Ribe (Wadden Sea Centre), Karen Vestergaard Henriksen, helps
to identify the little snail.

 

Sea Explorer - fishing with nets
Sea Explorer – fishing with nets

Caught in the net

These boys are very occupied in what they can catch with their nets.

 

Sea Explorer. Catching a crab
Sea Explorer. Catching a crab

Catch a crab

A crab is caught alive and carefully picked up and put into a glass with help from the ranger.
It will be closely examined later at the Wadden Sea Centre

 

Vadehavscentret's guide. A National Park ranger from the Wadden Sea Centre
Vadehavscentret’s guide. A National Park ranger from the Wadden Sea Centre

The seabed in a family-friendly way with a ranger

The ranger will help you spot the very small animals – like the “Small Five“: the lugworm, the
common cockle, the mud snail, the crab and the shrimp – and other small animals that are
either difficult to spot or are hiding in the mud.

 

Picking oysters in the Wadden Sea
Picking oysters in the Wadden Sea

Never eat oysters in a month without an R

Oysters are delicious but this big oyster was picked up, opened, and afterwards thrown away again.
Oysters and Mussels can be gathered from October till May, during the cold months. In summertime
and warm water the oysters can have dangerous bacteria and should not be eaten.
If you arrive to Ribe in the wintertime don’t miss an oyster tour to harvest your own oysters.

 

Looking for small wonders in the laboratory
Looking for small wonders in the laboratory

Let’s take a closer look at the small wonders

After the tour in the Wadden Sea National Park the small animals are closely examined in the
Wadden Sea Centre’s lab

 

Viewed under a microscope small animals will be seen very clearly
Viewed under a microscope small animals will be seen very clearly

Under the microscope

Under the microscope in the laboratory Amphipods, mussels, Common Periwinkle, mud snails, etc
are examined. In the video you can see how suddenly the horns of a Common Periwinkle appears
and look very big under the microscope

Sea Explorer Tours

The Sea Explorer tour is a family activity that takes place during the summer months on the mudflats
at the old Ebb road (Mandø Ebbevej) to the island Mando in the Wadden Sea.  The ranger brings nets
etc. The participants should be able to walk at least 2 km. Rubber boots or bare feet. Clothes according
to the weather. Registration is not required for this tour.
Tickets are bought at the Wadden Sea Centre. The first tour in 2014 is 10am the 29th of May. Read more
about the tours here: VadehavsCentret – Tide Activities

 

Video from a Sea Explorer Tour

Be careful

If you want a good spot to feel the sand and the mud between your toes, then the Wadden Sea National Park is it.
But be careful. The tidal flat surfaces are flooded twice a day at high tide. Don’t walk too far out unless you are very familiar with the tides, for at high tide the water rises above your head unless you are more than 2 meters tall. Join a guided tour with a professional guide instead.

© Photos Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

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Ribe hostel in Denmark: News from Ribe and UNESCO Wadden Sea