Tag Archives: Sustainable Tourism

Storytelling on wheels, Ribe, Denmark

Cycling through history and nature of Denmark’s oldest town Ribe

Ribe Bike Tours – Storytelling on wheels

A view on bike tours and bike tourism out of the bigger cities.
Explore Ribe and the Wadden Sea National Park – a UNESCO site – by bicycle

Welcome to Danhostel Ribe‘s guest bloggers: founders of Ribe Bike Tours (Ribebiketours.com) Line Fricke and Leon Walker

Line Fricke and Leon Walker from Ribe Bike Tours
Line Fricke and Leon Walker, Founders of Ribe Bike Tours here having the famous “Isvaflen” ice cream at Skibbroen in the heart of Ribe

Bicycle tours and  bike tourism in smaller towns, national parks and rural areas

Being on a bike with wind in your hair while being guided by a great storyteller is incomparable to any other way of visiting a new city. Or area! Oh yes bicycle tours and  bike tourism is just as attractive, if not more so, for smaller towns, national parks and rural areas as for cities. Here, we share with you why.

Bike tours and bicycle sightseeing in Ribe - See Ribe and the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage by bicycle
Bike tours and bicycle sightseeing in Ribe. Ribe old town and Ribe Cathedral seen from Riberhus Slotsbanke – the location of the medieval castle Riberhus, that once stood here. The spirit of Valdemar II The Victorious and his Queen Dagmar still resides here

Ribe Bike Tours: Storytelling on Wheels

Being a green yoga‐ & bike‐loving couple we have been involved with bike‐tours in cities all over the world – both as bike tour guests and also as guides: from Shanghai, China to London, UK to Mount Maunganui, New Zealand to Copenhagen, Denmark.
And now Ribe, Denmark’s oldest town, where we this summer launched Ribe Bike Tours offering guided bike tours or “storytelling on wheels”, as we like to say.

Ribe Bike Tours. The tour takes off at Ribe Viking Museum
Ribes Vikinger – the Viking museum in Ribe is where Ribe Bike Tours city tour takes off – just as Ribe’s history started here over 1300 years ago

Bike Tours without traffic, exhaust fumes and crowds

We’ve always believed that biking in big cities is a great way to be in one with the pulse of the city – and to see more in less time. But this city‐pulse invariably involves traffic, exhaust fumes and crowds – conditions that the ”perfect” bike tour should be without.
And it can be without as we’ve recently discovered. Taking a bike tour in the old town and the surrounding Danish nature of Ribe, conditions suddenly become closer to “perfect”.

Ribe Bike Tours
Ribe Bike Tours – www.ribebiketours.com

 See, hear, feel – when exploring by bike in Ribe

In Ribe we have little traffic, kilometers of bike‐lanes, friendly roads and lots of history to explore along the way. Whether visitors are into the establishment of the Vikings, wars of the Middle Ages or following the trail of famous local personalities such as the Danish-American journalist, photographer and philanthropist Jacob A Riis, Ribe has it all. It’s practically a condensed Scandinavian history lesson in one town… And on a bike the lesson can be felt, heard and seen in a couple of hours.

Book bicycle tours in Scandinavia's oldest town, Ribe in Denmark
After a tour by Ribe Brewery it’s time to get closer to the neighboring and magnificent Ribe Cathedral

Outstanding Danish West Coast nature and views

On the doorstep of Ribe is pure Danish West Coast nature. There’s even more to explore here:  Pedaling through this amazing  West Coast landscape we enjoy  as well the rich animal life; forests as flat marsh land.
Galgebakkerne (the Gallows Hill) where Riberret (the tough Ribe Law) was ”manifested” through witch-burning and other horrors.
From Kammerslusen lock by the Ribe Dike – which has worked as coastal protection and has protected Ribe and its historic treasures from flooding since the beginning of the 1900’s – you have  an outstanding  view over  the UNESCO Wadden Sea outside the dikes and over the Ribe March Wadden Sea National Park all the way to Ribe’s red roof tops and  its soaring Cathedral  inside the dikes.
In fact many of these spots out of Ribe can only be reached by private car or bike – for example Bicycle rental through Ribe Danhostel.

Visitors want authenticity

In terms of what visitors want, we are seeing people preferring less “cookie-cutter” mass tourism with big groups on busses just stopping to take a photo to more authentic, personal, unusual and fun ways of exploring, learning and doing.
Something bike tours can offer and which is what we want Ribe Bike Tours to offer. We make the very famous, the less famous and the very worthy stories come alive for visitors and cycling enthusiasts. We share the beauty of Danish nature, Danish history and Danish “green” bike mentality. A mentality that most people take for granted also exists outside of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.

“Come bike with us in and around Ribe where we can promise visitors clean air, almost empty roads and a positive green experience with biking!”

Xx Line & Leon

Vikings and Middle Age Kings & Queens in Ribe, Denmark
Whether guests are into the Vikings, the Middle Age Kings & Queens or ghosts of the past Ribe Bike Tours’ guides Line and Leon will bring the stories to live

Facts:

  • Line Fricke from Ribe, Danmark and Leon Walker from Mt Maunganui, New Zealand
  • Line is Master in Social Science Service Management and Leon is Bachelor of Commerce – International Business
  • Both have worked and lived in Shanghai, China the last 4 years
  • Line is also a yoga teacher in Ribe and blogs about yoga, travel and life at ShantiHabits.com
  • Leon enjoys talking about the stock market and kite surfing on the windy West Coast
  • The main languages on a guided bike tour with Ribe Bike Tours is Danish, Swedish and English but even a tour with some Chinese can be arranged
Ribe Bike Tours. www.ribebiketours.com
Ribe Bike Tours: www.ribebiketours.com

Links

© All photos belong to Ribe Bike Tours – You are welcome to link to this blogpost, to Ribe Bike Tours or to Danhostel Ribe

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

Earth Hour 2014. Danhostel Ribe, Denmark

Earth Hour at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark 2014
Earth Hour at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark 2014

7 successive years Danhostel Ribe celebrated Earth Hour  together with millions of people all over the world, who all switched off lights on the 29th of March from 8.30pm-9.30pm.

At the hostel we celebrated a quiet, pleasant candlelight moment serving free homemade cookies, Wadden Sea tea and organic coffee for our guests, who all had had a busy day exploring Ribe and the Wadden Sea National Park. Most of them had joined a guided Black Sun Tour to see

Black Sun starlings fantastic air dances
Black Sun starlings fantastic air dances before they go to sleep

the starlings fantastic air dances before they go to sleep in the reeds, and were planning on another busy day the next day seeing the new beautiful Ribe Town Square around Ribe Cathedral,  visiting Ribe Art Museum and Ribe Viking Museum and some were going on a bike tour in the Wadden Sea National Park  to see flocks of barnacle geese and other birds. In Ribe these tours are arranged by The Wadden Sea Centre (Vadehavscentret)

 

HI Hostels all over the world celebrated Earth Hour
Many other Hostelling International Hostels around the world took part in Earth Hour 2014. Read about some of them on HI Hostels Blog

Earth Hour 2014 at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark
Earth Hour 2014 at Danhostel Ribe in Denmark

The world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment
Earth Hour  has grown  to be world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment and countries, cities, towns and people all over the world participate in this celebration for the planet. Earth Hour is organized by WWF and in Denmark by  WWF Denmark (World Wildlife Fund )
The municipality of Esbjerg took part in Earth Hour all the other 6 years and turned out the lights in Ribe streets. This year they decided not to, but 25 other municipalities in Denmark took part.

Eco labels at the hostel and thoughts about Earth Hour
At the hostel we are aware that we are probably not reducing CO2 emissions by taking part in this action and that we don’t save the earth by turning out the lights for one hour, but we think it is a nice way  to raise awareness about climate change together with people all around the world.
Danhostel Ribe works to make sustainable tourism a part of our hostel. The hostel is eco-labeled with Green Key  , is recognized as Official Wadden Sea National Park Partner (Officiel Nationalpark Partner), and is applying for TripAdvisor’s new GreenLeaders Program .

REFERAT PÅ DANSK:

Earth Hour 2014 på Danhostel Ribe i Nationalpark Vadehavet
For 7. år i træk fejrede Danhostel Ribe Earth Hour sammen med millioner af mennesker over hele verden , som alle slukkede lyset d. 29 marts fra kl. 20:30 til 21:30

Ribe Domkirke og Ribe Domkirkeplads
Ribe Domkirke og Ribe Domkirkeplads

På vandrehjemmet havde vi en hyggelig stund i stearinlysenes skær, hvor vi serverede gratis hjemmebagte småkager, Vadehavste og økologisk kaffe for vores gæster , som alle havde haft en travl dag med at udforske Ribe og Nationalpark Vadehavet . De fleste af dem havde deltaget i en guidet Sor Sol tur med guider fra Vadehavscentret. og planlagde endnu en travl dag med at se det nye smukke Torv omkring Ribe Domkirke, besøge Ribe Kunstmuseum og Museet Ribes Vikinger og nogle skulle på cykeltur i Nationalpark Vadehavet for at se  de store flokke af bramgæs og andre fugle, der lige nu er at se i nationalparken.

HI hostels over hele verden fejrer Earth Hour
Mange andre Hostelling International vandrerhjem i verden deltog i Earth Hour 2014. Læs om nogle af dem på HI Hostels Blog

Verdens største græsrodsbevægelse for miljøet
Earth Hour er vokset til at være verdens største græsrodsbevægelse for miljøet og lande, byer og folk over hele verden deltage i denne fest for planeten . Earth Hour er arrangeret af WWF .
Esbjerg Kommune har deltaget i Earth Hour alle de andre år og plejer at slukke lyset i Ribes gader, men havde besluttet ikke at deltage i 2014.
25 andre kommuner og flere virksomheder i Danmark deltog.

Tidligere Earth Hour på Danhostel Ribe
Tidligere Earth Hour på Danhostel Ribe

Miljømærker på vandrerhjemmet og tanker om Earth Hour

På vandrerhjemmet er vi opmærksomme på, at vi sandsynligvis ikke reducerer CO2-udledningen ved at deltage i denne aktion , og at vi ikke redder Jorden ved at slukke lysene i en time , men vi synes, det er en rar måde at øge bevidstheden om klimaændringer sammen med vandrerhjemmets gæster, ripenserne og mennesker fra hele verden.

Danhostel Ribe arbejder på at gøre bæredygtig turisme til en del af vores vandrehjem, vi er miljømærket med Green Key, er anerkendt som officielle Nationalpark Vadehavet Partner og søger i øjeblikket om at blive en af TripAdvisors nye grønne forløbere.

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 :-)

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

Earth Hour 2010 brings us back to Ribe’s medieval roots: a bishop killed by wild Vikings, witches burned,

Ribe's night watch man ready for historical walk on Earth Hour 2010
Ribe's night watch man ready for historical walk from Danhostel Ribe, Earth Hour 2010

captured beheaded pirates, the death story of Denmark’s beloved queen Dagmar, fatal floods, and fires. Not imagination but a journey through the fantastic and true history of Ribe, Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town, that this year celebrates its 1300 anniversary.

At 8.30pm. on the 27th March when Ribe’s street lamps are turned off because of Earth Hour 2010, we invite you to meet us outside the dark hostel, Danhostel Ribe. From here Ribe’s night watch men will guide us safely with their lanterns and spiked maces as protection through Ribe town.
Ribe’s medieval night town watchmen had several duties like to prevent carelessness with fire, lookout for floods, follow drunken Ribe citizens home to bed, and separate street fighters. Every hour they would sing a verse of the watchman’s tune to mark the hours and keep themselves awake, but on the 27th March they will just guide us and tell us some of the fantastic 1300 year history of Ribe.

Nowadays Ribe’s watch men can be followed on their route through the old, winding and cobblestoned streets of Ribe every evening from 1st of May until 15th of September, but Ribe’s hostel (Danhostel Ribe), and Gammelt Præg (Ribe  Town Preservation Organization), think this is a great way to mark Ribe’s 1300 year anniversary and Earth Hour, since also Esbjerg municipality has decided  to raise awareness about climate change, and therefore has decided to turn out the street lights in  Ribe this hour, which will give the historical town walk its finishing touch.
Everyone is welcome and it is free of charge. If you want to sleep at the hostel of course we have a very good offer for this evening and the rest of the Easter holidays. Look Here:

Earth Hour and Easter offer at Danhostel Ribe

P.S. also the sunset will be “dark” in Ribe – since we have the most beautiful “Black Sun” at the time (migration starlings dancing air ballet in the sunset), and it is possible to go on tour with the rangers from Vadehavscentret before you go with the night watchmen.

Earth Hour is a global event organized by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) to raise awareness about threat of global warming.
Danhostel Ribe has for many years been labeled as an eco-friendly hostel and worked with sustainable tourism in many ways. At the hostel we are aware that we are probably not reducing CO2 emissions by taking part in this action and that we don’t save the earth by turning out the lights for one hour, but we think it is a nice way  to raise awareness about climate change together with people all around the world.

WWF Denmark (World Wildlife Fund – Verdensnaturfonden i Danmark) and TrygFonden recommends the event in Ribe on this link and in news mails, and press releases. You can also register your own climate event on Earth Hour evening if you follow the link.
If you don’t visit us or join or arrange an event in your own town – we hope you will remember to turn out the light yourself in your home.

Earth Hour 2010
Earth Hour started in Australia in 2007. More than 2.2 million people in Sydney turned off the light. All ready in 2008 Earth Hour became global and 370 towns in 35 countries turned off the light and made it the biggest climate campaign ever. Danhostel Ribe and Esbjerg municipality have participated since 2008.

Here you can see a short documentary on Earth Hour from 2007 up to 2010:

Find out more about Earth Hour, sign up, etc : Panda.org

Danhostel Ribe on INNOTOUR

Danhostel Ribe and INNOTOUR – a case of sustainable tourism best practice

INNOTOUR - innovation in tourism businesses
INNOTOUR - innovation in tourism businesses

Danhostel Ribe participates now in INNOTOUR started by University of Southern Denmark, Centre for Tourism, and Innovation and Communication (TIC) .
INNOTOUR is a web-based open platform showing examples of best practices in tourism development to create more innovation in our Wadden Sea region and it has received support from EU structural funds, the National IT and Telecom Agency under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and from the University of Southern Denmark.

 
Danhostel Ribe – sustainable tourism best practice
We participate as an example for sustainable tourism best practice and we hope that researchers, tourism educators, students and businesses committed to furthering the development and dissemination of knowledge in the field of sustainable tourism and innovation will “visit” our case, read it and comment on it
Comments that will bring us further without big expenses and which we are able to implement at once are very welcome, but we also welcome long-sighted more difficult innovative ideas.
We accept challenges – all though we are aware they are big some of them.

 
As a hostel our guests expect the cheapest prices but they don’t accept much less comfort, quality and service than they can get in hotels. We just have to work more and run faster.
Our rooms are not very big , they don’t have minibar and TV – BUT we have Ribe’s most unique location, many common rooms (-also with TV), sports hall, morning buffet with higher quality and lower price than many hotels, free wireless network, guest’s own kitchen, lots of tourist information, bicycle rentals, etc.
But though we have had a green certification since 1997 not many of our guests mention this as a reason to stay at the hostel – we have a very big percentage of repeat-visitors among tourists and groups but very few mention the green initiatives instead they repeat their visit because of the atmosphere, service and unique location in Denmark’s oldest town with a panoramic view of old Ribe, the river and the Wadden Sea National Park.

 
We would like to point out that the challenges are big in our area. Living in the middle of the new National Park Wadden Sea and its fantastic nature adventures and furthermore in Denmark’s oldest and best preserved town, tourists will not be less in the future, when the world finds out what a beauty we have kept almost for ourselves for many years.  
If tourism is practiced with great responsibility and in harmony with the environment, Ribe and the Wadden Sea area will keep their outstanding authenticity and their rich biological and cultural diversity – in other words: it will still be the town and the nature that we – who live here – are so proud of, love  and enjoy every day.
You are welcome to comment on and discuss this – either here on this blog or on our INNOTOUR case
If you want to know more about Danhostel Ribe’s environmental consciousness, read here:
 
Danhostel Ribe Green Key –  Green Key  – Hotlist of THE Best Green Hotels  – Environmentally friendly hotels

HOPEnhagen became NOPEnhagen – but at least Danish tourism took a big green step

green-keyThe COP15 has finished and HOPEnhagen became NOPEnhagen. The politicians have nothing to be proud of.  They know they have to act quickly to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but they allowed themselves not to take the necessary action.
One of the first consequences of the disappointing UN climate change summit in Copenhagen is that the CO2 quotes have fallen in price. Pollution has become cheaper:

High price of disappointment
The price per metric ton of permits to spew carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere fell by $3.30 on the European Climate Exchange between the first day of the climate summit in Copenhagen and the day after its disappointing conclusion as traders reacted to… Full Article at Barre Montpelier Times-Argus

An eye-opener for Danish Tourism
When the politicians disclaim for responsibility it demands a lot from the rest of us. The climate chance summit in Copenhagen was an eye-opener for Danish Tourism. Especially in Copenhagen where the summit took place.  In December 2009 51 % (5.988) of all hotel rooms in Copenhagen were classified green with Green Key (Den Grønne Nøgle), The flower (Blomsten) or The Swan (Svanen). In 2008 it was only 8 %. (wonderfulcopenhagen.dk)

During 2009 29 hotels in Denmark were certified with Green Key – an increase in Green Key Hotels from 41 to 70. Furthermore 3 conference places (one of them the Bella Centre where the summit took place), 2 Danhostels (Family-and Youth Hostels), 6 sports halls, and 2 camp grounds got the Green Key. Only 2 hotels left the Green Key during 2009. (Green Key news)

At Danhostel Ribe we welcome all the newcomers. We look forward to even closer cooperation especially with our neighbor hostel in Esbjerg which is now also a green hostel. At Danhostel Ribe we all ready had the Green Key 13 years ago, at a time when almost nobody noticed or cared. A few years ago we were also rated among the greenest overnight accommodation at Environmentally Friendly Hotels list Best Green Hotels (More than 3000 environmentally friendly hotels, bed and breakfasts, resorts, motels, lodges, and inns listed). Of course we are proud of that, but we are still not good enough, and can get much better. Danhostel Ribe’s green profile has recently been mentioned here:
Adventure travelling info (November 14, 2009)
International Wadden Sea School
Green Traveling Around the World SeriesWorld Beauties
Economicallysound.com

 

Dear Obama, Lula, Merkel, Brown, Wen Jiabao, Løkke etc. gathered in Copenhagen

storm-surge-pole-ribe-and-hostel-with-flooded-meadowThis photo shows the storm surge pole in Ribe and in the background our hostel and the highest water level WE have seen on the meadow. The pole is marked with metal rings showing the water level at the many storm surges that, through time, have flooded Ribe.  Ribe’s houses have not been flooded for almost 100 years. We also don´t want them to be flooded the next thousands of years.

Other places in the world the climate chance challenges are even bigger because of higher sea level, lack of rain, etc.

We hope you will make decisions that make a difference when you all gather from Dec. 7th to Dec. 18th 2009 in Copenhagen to United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15).
That you will take action in real solutions to bring down the world’s Co2 releases – and not just by selling CO2 quotas!
Our generation is obliged to think of the younger generation.

The 4th Dec. the Children’s Climate Forum 2009 with delegates from 44 countries finished their conference in Copenhagen with a declaration. The children emphasize that they will not sit back and watch. The time for talk is over.  They are committed to take action and they request the same of governments worldwide.
PLEASE don’t let them down.