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From Japan to Ribe in Denmark

Visiting Ribe in Denmark on a round the world trip

Everyone has a story to tell, and we heard quite a lot of them throughout the 30 years we were hostel hosts in Danhostel Ribe in Ribe, Denmark. Yet our recent guests, the world travellers Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa from Japan, had a rather unusual travel story to tell.

( This blog post in Danish: Amazingcars.dk:  Verden rundt i bil. Pitstop i Ribe )

Japanese travellers outside the hostel in Ribe
Travelling around the world in a Mazda Scrum. Yoshi and Yuko outside Danhostel Ribe

40.000 km in a Mazda Scrum from Japan to Ribe

Yoshi and Yuko started their world tour from Tokyo in August 2015 in this Mazda Scrum 660cc, and a year and a month later they arrived to Ribe and stayed a couple of nights in our hostel.

They have driven about 40.000 km and visited all these countries on their way: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Holland and now Denmark.

It is possible to sleep in the car
It is possible to live in the car – but sometimes it is nice to stay in a hostel or hotel to have a bath, a chair and table – and free Wi-Fi. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa

From Ribe they went to Hirtshals to catch the ferry to Island, though travelling north is really out of their way, since their plan is after Iceland to go to Morocco through France and Spain  and end in South Africa around May 2017.

Looking for a home abroad

Yoshi and Yuko tell they want to live abroad, so where they go, they are always looking for a house. They want to stay in a house that “has a good view, is cheap and quiet. If wild bears walk in the garden, it’s perfect!”
It seems to have been very difficult for them to find a home that fulfils all these wished, since Yoshi and Yuko have been around the world since April 2005.
If you can recommend any places, please write it in the comments :-)

Room with a view at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark
View from Danhostel Ribe, Denmark. Photo: © Danhostel Ribe

In Ribe we have no bears walking around, but from the hostel we have the most amazing view of Ribe medieval town and Ribe River. The meadow, named  “the Head Meadow” outside the hostel is part of the Wadden Sea National Park and has a horrifying history of beheaded pirates, whose heads were put on stake in Medieval times.

Black Sun - starlings in Ribe, Denmark
Black Sun. Denmark’s most famous natural phenomenon. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa

Black Sun – Starlings

Instead of bears Yoshi and Yuko enjoyed Denmark’s most famous natural phenomenon “Black Sun – Starlings”  in Ribe. This photo is one of the photos, they took of this natural phenomenon. See more photos in their photo gallery of their travel blog.

Ribe River in Denmark
Ribe River an autumn evening 2016. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa

Visiting Ribe because they love old towns

When Yoshi and Yuko visited Ribe, it was the first town/city they visited in Denmark. They choose to visit Ribe, because it is the oldest town in Denmark. They say “We love old towns. Ribe is beautiful, clean and quiet – very much. The hostel is clean, too, and a good place. We like Ribe and the hostel. We found the hostel using Maps.me (application).”

Ribe Classic. Old cars and motor cycles in Ribe
Ribe Classic. Old cars and motor cycles on the meadow outside the hostel. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawa

In their photo gallery you’ll notice that they not only love old towns but also old cars and motorcycles, since they took a lot of photos Tuesday evening on the meadow outside the hostel, when Ribe Classic had their weekly get-together. You can often see several hundred old cars these evenings. (See also: 10 things to do for free in Ribe – Denmark )

Working while travelling

Like many other round the world travellers Yoshi and Yuko are working while travelling to help fund their adventures.  As a Graphic designer Yoshi gets orders from Japanese clients by Email. Yuko used be an architect in Tokyo and is now a macrame jewellery designer.

Travelling around the world since 2005
Travelling around the world. Photo: © Yoshihiro and Yuko Ishizawav

Travelling around the world since 2005

Yoshi and Yuko: “Actually, we’ve been traveling around the world since April 2005.
First of all, we bought a scooter in Los Angels and drove from the Northern tip of Alaska to the South tip of Argentine.
And from Vancouver to the east tip of Canada by another scooter.
From Nordkapp of Norway to South Europe by another scooter.
Around New Zealand by another scooter.
Around Australia by a car.
Around Southeast Asia counties by bus or something….”

Mazda Scrum 660cc on  world tour from Tokyo to Ribe
Mazda Scrum 660cc on world tour from Tokyo. Parked at the hostel, Danhostel Ribe, in Denmark

If you want to know more about Ribe

Jazz Camp Ribe at Danhostel Ribe, Denmark

Jazz Camp Ribe photos. Danhostel Ribe

Jazz Camp RibeJazz camp every spring the last 5 years

The hostel has been the setting for  Jazz Camp Ribe for kids every spring the last 5 years. The camp is organized by Ribe’s jazz club Jazzin’Ribe, the culture school of Esbjerg (Esbjerg Kulturskole) and “Jazz Hostel” Danhostel Ribe, Ribe’s hostel.
High spirits at Jazz Camp Ribe in Denmark

The hostel really comes alive with jazz

When students from schools of music from all around the Southern part of Jutland come together at Danhostel Ribe to play  jazz the hostel really comes alive.

The youngest participants at Jazz Camp Ribe

Passionate and enthusiastic musicians

The age range for participants at this year’s jazz camp ranges from 9 to 19. The youngest to have ever participated was only 8 years old. All the students are passionate and enthusiastic about their music.

Professional instruction at Jazz Camp RibeProfessional music instruction

Students of all levels receive mentoring and professional instruction to develop their musical skills and enhance their knowledge of music.

classes in ensemble playing,  jam,  workshops and master classes.

Jazz classes

During the weekend the kids attend classes in ensemble playing,  they jam and they take part in different workshops and master classes.

The jazz camp is also for vocalists

Jazz vocalists

Both instrumental musicians and vocalists participate in the music camp. Some of the participants train their skills both as vocalists and musicians.

Jazz workshops only for girlsJazz camp for both boys and girls

In general the jazz genre is dominated by men, but at JazzCamp Ribe, the girls represent almost half of the participants. The girls play all kinds of different instruments as well as sing –just like the boys.

At Jazz Camp Ribe you'll meet hand-picked jazz teachers

Hand-picked jazz teachers

All the teachers are handpicked by Jazzin’Ribe to ensure qualified, talented and experienced teachers and the highest level of education for the students.

Studying music with the top jazz artists in Denmark

Top jazz artists and teachers

Every year the students study with some of the top jazz artists and teachers in Denmark during the day, and see some of them perform at night at public concerts in Ribe.

The camp is also having fun and making new friends

Meeting old friends and making new friends

On top of the music, the camp is also about meeting old friends and making new ones, having fun, and playing in our sports hall, Ribehallen

Jazz Camp Ribe is also having fun

 Planning next year’s camp?

Maybe they are planning next year’s camp, composing new music – or maybe they are just having fun.

Jazz Camp Ribe and delicious food

Delicious hostel food

Last but not least, the camp is also eating and enjoying the delicious hostel food.

Jazz Camp Ribe concert

 Rising  jazz stars

On the third day of the jazz camp all the students will show to the public how the new rising stars of jazz play at a concert at SeminarieHuset in Ribe.All that jazz at the hostel

Looking forward to Jazz Camp Ribe 2017

After 3 days the kids leave the camp with jazz dancing through their heads, already looking forward to seeing each other again at next year’s Jazz Camp.

Jazz Camp Ribe 2016

The hostel host is a jazz lover

It’s no secret that Danhostel Ribe‘s host, Jens, loves Jazz. Jazz Camp Ribe was his idea from the very beginning. He is  already looking forward to next year’s camp – and to the jazz camp for adults at the hostel this autumn.

Jazz camp video

Feel the vibes of  Jazz Camp Ribe in this video.

A few more jazz camp photos

Jazz Camp Ribe photoJazz Camp Ribe photoJazz Camp Ribe photo

Jazz Camp Ribe, Denmark

Jazz Camp Ribe – See you next year 

Black Sun - starlings. Denmark's most famous natural phenomenon

Wadden Sea National Park UNESCO World Heritage. Year round adventures

The Wadden Sea is a natural wonder inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list. This photo is taken from Låningsvejen to Mandø. From here you can easily look all the way to Esbjerg. It's about 20 km (12,5 miles) as the crow flies
The Wadden Sea is a natural wonder inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This photo is taken at “Låningsvejen” to Mandø. From here you can easily see all the way to Esbjerg, a distance of  20 km (12,5 miles)

Amazing nature adventures in Denmark

A first impression of the Wadden Sea may be that it is an endless mudflat without life. The sea and the sky merge into one and the horizon goes on forever. But the area is full of life – so join us on an amazing wildlife experience in the Danish part of the Wadden Sea  near Ribe, Scandinavia’s oldest town. Find inspiration for tours all year round – such as culinary adventures, family-friendly outings and incredible tours for all bird and wildlife lovers.

The UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea in Denmark. The ebb path to Mandø – 10 km from Ribe.
The UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea in Denmark. The ebb path to Mandø. 10 km from Ribe.

The Wadden Sea is a natural wonder on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

But first – let’s tell you a little about the importance of the Wadden Sea, which is a natural wonder of unique global importance. It is inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Wadden Sea  extends 500 km/310 miles along the North Sea coast of the Nederlands, Germany and Denmark, which makes it the world’s largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats. It is home to more than 10,000 species of plants and animals ranging from tiny microscopic creatures to snails, crabs, oysters, birds and seals – many of which are rare or endangered. In 2014, the Wadden Sea World Heritage was extended with the Danish part.

The UNESCO WADDEN SEA World Heritage logo
WADDEN SEA World Heritage logo

Read more about the UNESCO WADDEN SEA World Heritage on their own homepage: www.waddensea-worldheritage.org

A huge flock of sandpipers foraging in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea National Park
A huge flock of sandpipers foraging in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea National Park

Buffet for 10 to 12 mill. migratory birds

Twice a day the seabed is revealed by the low tide, exposing a veritable buffet for birds foraging on the mudflats. Hidden in the mud, there are up to 100,000 crustaceans, worms, snails, and clams living in one cubic metre of water, mud and sand.
10 to 12 mill. migratory waterbirds stay here every spring and autumn to rest and forage before flying on to their breeding grounds in north in spring, or back to their wintering grounds in the south in autumn.
6 million migratory birds can be present in one place at the same time.
Follow the migratory birds from the Arctic to Africa and back again in this little cartoon: Flyway Bird Migration

Giant flocks of barnacle geese forage in the Ribe marshland during autumn and spring. As the winters have not been as cold the last few years, many of them now also stay  through winter
Giant flocks of barnacle geese forage in the Ribe marshland during autumn and spring. As the winters have not been as cold the last few years, many of them now also stay  through winter

Not all birds choose to stay in the same place

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth, then I ask myself the same question”. A travel quote by Harun Yahya.
Migratory birds are capable of flying incredible distances.  An example is the small sandpiper called a red knot (Calidris canutus), which travels up to 15,000 km/9300 miles twice a year. After arriving in the Wadden Sea it weighs only 100 grams, when it leaves again its weight has increased to 230 grams.

Black sun starlings in Ribe, Denmark.See also the top photo on this blog post.
Black Sun – starlings in Ribe, Denmark. See also the top photo on this blog post.

Black Sun.
Denmark’s most famous natural spectacle

The most famous natural spectacle in Denmark is called Black Sun  (Danish: Sort Sol) and attracts thousands of tourists to the Wadden Sea National Park every spring and autumn.
Just before sunset hundreds of thousands of starlings gather from all corners of the sky to perform an impressive aerial ballet, during which they make constantly changing shapes in the sky. You can say that the starlings darken the sky, when they are circling around, that’s why we call this nature phenomenon Black Sun.

The range of the tide is almost 2 meters, so unless you are very familiar with the tides  you shouldn’t walk out on the sea bed yourself
The range of the tide is almost 2 meters, so unless you are very familiar with the tides you shouldn’t walk out on the seabed yourself

Beware of the tides. Join a guided tour

The range of the tide in the Wadden Sea near Ribe is almost 2 meters, so unless you are very familiar with the tides you shouldn’t walk out on the seabed yourself, as you might be caught too far out when the high tide starts rolling in.
We suggest that you join one of the guided tours.
At the bottom of this blogpost we have listed a number of tourguides, who arrange tours in the Wadden Sea National Park close to Ribe.

See the largest oyster in the world at Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre Ribe)
See the largest oyster in the world at Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre Ribe)

The world’s largest oyster found near Ribe

A staff member at Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre Ribe) found the largest oyster in the world in the Wadden Sea about 10 km/6 miles from Ribe. The record is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.  For your chance to improve the record, you can join an oyster tour during the winter months – October, November, December, January, February, March and  April . All months with a “r” except September. You might even be lucky enough to find pearls in your oysters, like the  very lucky oyster hunter on a tour with Mandø Event who found 30 pearls in one oyster.
Fresh oysters with a little squeeze of lemon is a delicacy – a glass of champagne is the finishing touch. You can  eat as many as you want  and collect all you can carry in your bag.

A family explorer tour in the Wadden Sea National Park, UNESCO World Heritage, Ribe, Denmark
A family explorer tour in Denmark

Sea Explorer.  A family friendly activity

At first glance you won’t see many of the small animals living on the seabed, but by joining one of the most popular guided tours,  the Sea Explorer family tour arranged by Vadehavscentret in Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre), you will see them. These tours take place in the summer months and are the perfect family tour.  Walkíng barefoot through the soft mud,  you and your children will have a blast exploring the Wadden Sea, while trying to find beach crabs, small shrimps, mud snails and all the other creatures living here.

Seal tour with a horse-drawn carriage from Mandø
Seal tour with a horse-drawn carriage from Mandø. See “Explore with a professional guide” at the bottom of this blog post

Seal tours in the Wadden Sea National Park

From August when the seals have finished breeding and feeding their baby seals the Wadden Sea Centre (Vadehavscentret ved Ribe) arranges seal tours to the seal banks. It’s a challenging  hike and you must be able to walk at least 6 km/3,6 miles on the seabed. The tour includes an introduction of the biology of the seals at the Wadden Sea Centre and tickets to the tractor bus to Mandø. Don’t forget your binoculars.
Tour operators on the island Mandø also arrange seal tours in the Wadden Sea (read: “Explore with a professional guide” at the bottom of this blog post)

Mudflat walking during sunset
Mudflat walking during sunset

A guided mudflat hike during sunset

Another adventure you will never forget is to cross the seabed on foot to the Wadden Sea island of Mandø during sunset. As you walk the 8 km./5 miles to Mandø during low-tide, the tranquility of nature surrounds you and gives you tremendous sense of peace. The quiet beauty is only interrupted by the wind and the birds and now and then by the guide’s voice explaining about things you might see during your walk.
The tour is arranged by Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre Ribe) and mostly takes place during the summer months. The Mandø tractor bus takes you back to the mainland.

The Mandø tractor buses bring tourists from the mainland to the Wadden Sea island Mandø
The Mandø tractor buses bring tourists from the mainland to the Wadden Sea island Mandø

Island of Mandø – only accessible by low tide

No real roads lead to  Mandø (Mandoe), but the Mandø tractor buses – Mandøbussen and Mandø Traktorbus – bring tourists from Vester Vedsted (10 km./6 miles from Ribe) over the seabed/ebb road to  Mandø during low tide. From the beginning of May till mid-October the tractor buses departe by low tide most days, though sometimes only once per day.
It is also possible to access the island by Låningsvejen, which is usually passable for private car, though not bicycles, during low tide if the westerly wind is not too strong. It is strongly advised that you  consult tide and weather conditions before you set out. We think the best way to enjoy the island is to take one of the tractor buses.

Sheep and lambs on the Wadden Sea and North Sea island Mandø
Sheep and lambs on the Wadden Sea and North Sea island Mandø

Mandø – a paradise for nature lovers

Mandø is the smallest of the 3 inhabited Wadden Sea islands in Denmark. Around 30 people live on the island,  and they are forced to adapt their daily lives to fit in with the tides and the storm surges in the Wadden Sea.  As Mandø is the most difficult island to reach, it is an unspoiled paradise for bird and seal  watchers and those who want to collect oysters.

National Park Partner, Danhostel Ribe is a great stopover for bicycle tourists in Denmark
National Park Partner, Danhostel Ribe is a great stopover for bicycle tourists in Denmark

Cycling – a great way to get out and about in the National Park

Why not do as these five young French travelers and rent a bike at Danhostel Ribe,  and enjoy a beautiful sunset picnic while sitting on  the dike at Kammerslusen ( the Ribe Lock) – where the Ribe River flows into the North Sea (6 km = 3,5 miles).

Spend a day cycling through the Ribe Marches along Ribe River to the Wadden Sea Coast at Kammerslusen, then follow the dike along the North Sea Cycle Route south to Vester Vedsted and back to Ribe.  Approx. 25 km./15,5 miles (In Denmark is the North Sea Cycle route identical with the Danish National Cycle Route no. 1)
The National Park stretches all the way from the meadow outside the hostel and all the way to the coast, from where the area is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can cycle the whole distance – bring your own bike or rent one at the hostel, where you can also get a map.
Danhostel Ribe, a National Park Partner, welcomes cycling tourists and is quality labeled with both Bed+Bike and Cycling Denmark

The view of Ribe hostel from the harbour, in winter with the flooded meadow
The view of Ribe hostel from the harbour, in winter with the flooded meadow

The National Park in Ribe, Denmark

One part of Ribe town is included in the Wadden Sea National Park, called Hovedengen (Meadow of the Heads) outside the hostel, where pirates where once decaptiated as punisment. Some of the hostel is even included in The National Park. The hostel is the only eco-friendly accredited accommodation in The National Park (Green Key, Flower or Swan) and makes it an obvious choice if you are looking for sustainable accommodation.

The guides from Vadehavscentret arrange tours that are open to anybody as well as  group tours
The guides from Vadehavscentret arrange tours that are open to anybody as well as  group tours

Explore with a professional guide:

  • Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (The Wadden Sea Centre) in Vester Vedsted 10 km./6 miles from Ribe arranges tours including Black Sun Magic, starling migration (March, September and October), other bird watching tours, Sea Explorer (Summer), seal tours (August, September and October), oyster tours ( October, November, December, January, February, March and April, mudflat hike to Mandø (summer), tours on Mandø (summer), herb picking tours for making your own schnapps.  Vadehavscentret schedules tours during periods which present the least disturbance to nature and wildlife
  • Tours from Mandø. 22 km/13,5 miles from Ribe (remember to be aware of the tides and weather conditions )
    • Mandø Event arranges tours with horse carriage in the Wadden Sea around Mandø: seal tours (May-October), oyster and champagne tours  (from September until spring) as well as sunset tours
    • Mandø Traktorbusser arrange seal tours with a tractor bus to the sand bank Koresand south west of Mandø. Koresand is flooded by high tide and can only be  visited during low tide. (May-October)
  • At the Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet i Esbjerg ( Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg ) 34 km/ 21 miles from Ribe you can see the seals being fed in the sealarium every day at 11am and 2.30pm and go on mudflat walks in the Wadden Sea during July and August
  • 50 km (= 31 miles) south of Ribe (towards Germany) Sort Safari arranges  tours including Black Sun, Bird Watching, winter geese and swans tours, Oyster and Seal tours
Oyster catcher with a lugworm in its beak and a redshank in the Wadden Sea. Ribe, Denmark
Oyster catcher with a lugworm in its beak and a redshank in the Wadden Sea. Ribe, Denmark. (Photo taken on the ebb road , Låningsvejen, to Mandø)

– don’t forget to book your room

at Danhostel Ribe. Read more about the hostel: Danhostel Ribe
All rooms have bath/toilets and half of them have a view of Ribe old town and the Wadden Sea National Park

Book Online at Danhostel Ribe
Book Online at Danhostel Ribe

© Hope you have enjoyed our photos.
All photos were taken by Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe

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
Find Danhostel Ribe på facebook
Danhostel Ribe’s facebook
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

 

Denmark’s prettiest market towns

Today Denmark’s most beautiful market towns/cities have been found
in a competition promoted  by Bygningskultur Danmark (Building Culture Denmark).

Here are the winners:

View from Danhostel Ribe
View from Danhostel Ribe
  1. Svaneke
  2. Ribe
  3. Ebeltoft
  4. Helsingør

You will find a nice Danhostel  (Danhostels are HI Hostels in Denmark) in each of these 4 cities, so don’t hesitate to visit all of them.

Danhostel Ribe congratulates Svaneke.
Svaneke won – but can anyone compete with the view we have from Danhostel Ribe :-)

Take a look at the photo

15 Danish cities were competing. All these cities were chosen because of their ability to preserve the cities’  original medieval environments and at the same time be active cities with business, tourism and settlement.

Are you confused of what a market town is  you can read more here: Danish Heritage Tours
Here you can see the final result of the competition:  Bygningskultur Danmark

 

Danmarks smukkeste købstæder
I dag er Danmarks smukkeste købstad fundet i en konkurrence udskrevet af Bygningskultur Danmark:

Her er vinderne:

Udsigt fra Danhostel Ribe
Udsigt fra Danhostel Ribe
  1. Svaneke
  2. Ribe
  3. Ebeltoft
  4. Helsingør

Du vil finde et dejligt Danhostel i hver af disse 4 byer, så tøv ikke med at besøge alle 4 byer.
Danhostel Ribe lykønsker Svaneke. Men selvom Svaneke vandt, er der vist ikke nogen, der kan konkurrere med udsigten vi har fra Danhostel Ribe :-)
Er der?- se bare fotoet

 

15 danske byer konkurrerede. Alle disse byer var valgt på grund af deres evne til at bevare byernes oprindelige middelalderlige omgivelser og på samme tid være aktive byer med erhverv, turisme og bosættelse.
Her kan du se de 15 byer, og det endelige resultat af konkurrencen: Bygningskultur Danmark

Christmas Card from Denmark’s oldest town

 

Cristmas Card from Denmark
Cristmas Card from Denmark

A new Christmas card from Danhostel Ribe  as a tribute to our beautiful town and as one of the last celebrations of Ribe’s 1300 year anniversary this year.
It’s really been a fantastic year and we have had many happy guests visiting us.

The picture is from the poetic footpath over Ribe River from the hostel to Ribe old town. The bench is just one of Ribe’s many benches where the Ribe citizens sit and enjoy our beautiful town while they discuss important matters when the weather is a little warmer.
The photographer is Gudrun Rishede, who has also made the hostel’s postcards Vadehavskort and all the Ribe and Wadden Sea National Park photos that you can enjoy at the hostel.

The Christmas card can be seen/bought at Danhostel Ribe from now.

 

Julekort fra Danmarks ældste by. Resume på dansk:

Danhostel Ribes julekort viser gangstien over Ribe å fra vandrehjemmet til den gamle by og én af Ribes mange bænke, hvor ripenserne nyder den smukke by og diskuterer stort og småt, når vejret er lidt varmere. Postkortet er fotograferet af Gudrun Rishede, som også har fotograferet vores andre postkort ”Vadehavskort” og alle de mange fotos fra Ribe og Nationalpark Vadehavet, der har sørget for vandrehjemmets helt en egen stemning.

Julekortene kan ses/købes på Danhostel Ribe fra nu af.

How our hostel try to engage guests through the social media Facebook

Danhostel Ribe's Winter View
Danhostel Ribe's Winter View

Our hostel, Danhostel Ribe, has been using Facebook (-and this hostel blog) for more than a year now, but we still feel like newcomers. We are still learning – we are still experimenting – how can we engage our customers and potential guests in the best way through social media?

We are very thankful for so many facebook friends wanting to follow us – more than twice as many as any other Danish hostel. Therefore we have decided to thank our facebook friends by giving them an accommodation offer: ½ price accommodation  until 19th December. We can’t wait to see how many will accept this offer – and will we have newcomers?

We know we can offer them some wonderful days in Denmark’s oldest town. Our nice hostel Christmas elves are welcoming our guests and Ribe is so beautiful when the old town is decorated for Christmas.

We hope this will make us wiser. Because we still don’t know if our facebook friends want news from the hostel, from the town, from green travelling  or from a little of all? Do they want offers, photos or a little of all?

Danhostel Ribe Facebook
Danhostel Ribe Facebook

Take a look on our Facebook. How do you think we use the social media to have just as many friends as the big hotels :-)

Animation Festival 2010 in Ribe, Denmark.

animationsfestival… Animation starts where live action gives up. November 8th to 14th 2010.

The first animation festival in Denmark is made as a tribute to animation film and to two of the grand old men within animation film: Børge Ring (89) and Kaj Pindal (83). Both of them born in Denmark and both of them turning up in Ribe not only to be celebrated but also to inspire other film animators coming to Ribe to show off their creations, get inspired and create networks.
Kaj Pindal and Børge Ring are fellow animators and lifelong friends. Oscar winner Børge Ring writes to Kaj Pindal´s 80th birthday “We are buddies and we are soul brothers”.
The festival is for everyone. Young and old will have the possibility to see both some rare and some famous animation films and meet the animators.

Ribe Animation Festival 2010 from Amir Avni on Vimeo.

Børge Ring was nominated to an Oscar in 1978 and was rewarded with an Oscar in 1986 for his animation short film “Anna & Bella”. He has also been involved in the early Asterix films as well as ‘The Pink Panther’ cartoons, and the Danish Viking ‘Valhalla’ cartoons
For Børge Ring, who has lived and worked in Holland a big part of his life, it will be a return to his birth town, since he was born in our street in Ribe, 50 meters from Danhostel Ribe, 89 years ago.
Here you can see Børge Ring´s Oscar winner: Anna & Bella

Kaj Pindal has lived in Canada for many years. He is also an award-winning animator.
He worked together with Børge Ring on – among others – the movies Karate Kids (dangers of AIDS) and Goldtooth (drug abuse). Animation films that succeed in telling about serious problems in an easy understandable way. Goldtooth won the Unicef Meena Prize 1996.

You can meet the 82-year old Kaj Pindal Friday the 12th November from 3 pm to 6 pm at the hostel. He will be showing selected films and tell about his life with animated cartoons. Among others he will show parts of his latest film series “Peep and the Big Wide World” for which he received an EMMY in 2005 as the best animation Children’s Tv Programme in the USA.
Friday evening animators from everywhere will meet at the hostel to present their films and enjoy networking.
You are also invited to watch examples of the latest films and meet some of the new talented animators behind them.
This was only a little part of the program. Other parts will take place at Brorsonsminde, Bispegade school, the Viking Museum, Taarnborg and other places in Ribe. See the entire program here: Animation Festival
The Animation Festival is at the same time part of Ribe’s 1300 Year Anniversary Celebrations

Eco-friendly hostel instead of hotel? Environmental policy at hostels and hostels

Danhostel Ribe is Eco-labeled with Green Key and mentioned among Best Green Hotels
Danhostel Ribe is Eco-labeled with Green Key and mentioned among Best Green Hotels

Danhostel Ribe congratulates The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers for having been named the greenest hotel in the world by the travel and tourist organization Skaal International.

The more green accommodation we get in Denmark the better. And the more focus we get on sustainable accommodation the better. At Danhostel Ribe we can learn from Crowne Plaza –  can they also learn from us? Maybe there are things we just should do different because Crowne Plaza is a hotel and Danhostel Ribe a hostel?

 

 But if you as a tourist would prefer to:

  • get sustainable accommodation in Denmark’s oldest and best preserved town in the middle of the Wadden Sea National Park instead of in the middle of the busy city Copenhagen
  • get cheap green accommodation because you travel on a low budget
  • stay at a environmentally friendly hostel instead of a hotel
  • get accommodation on the West Coast instead of the east coast of Denmark

Well, then you have the possibility to stay at Danhostel Ribe. You can read all Danhostel Ribe’s environmental policy on this link: Environmental policy at Danhostel RibeDanhostel Ribe is Eco-labeled with Green Key and mentioned among Best Green Hotels. Danhostel Ribe cooperates with INNOTOUR  for education, research and business development in tourism. It is dedicated to innovation.

 

HRH Prince Joachim inaugurates the Wadden Sea National Park  Friday 16th October 2010

AND if you come to Ribe this Friday, you can participate in the inauguration of the Wadden Sea National Park just outside the hostel at 12 o’clock. The Wadden Sea National Park is Denmark’s third, biggest and wettest national park. HRH Prince Joachim will inaugurate the National Park and also Karen Ellemann, the Danish minister of Environment will be there. From 10.30am to 2.30pm it´s possible to join different activities and study local wadden sea products, enjoy Rod Sinclair quintet play the new National Park Song, watch the shepherd and his dog work, listen to the local stories about storm surges and pirates – and much more. Welcome.

Eco-labeled Danhostel Ribe, National Park, and Ribe Old town
Eco-labeled Danhostel Ribe, National Park, and Ribe Old town