Tag Archives: wadden sea

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

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.

 

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

Find Danhostel Ribe på facebook
Danhostel Ribe’s facebook

Wadden Sea Music – Wattenmeer Musik – Musik fra Vadehavet

Wadden Sea National Park and UNESCO World Heritage
June 24th 2014 UNESCO decides if the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark will be on the list of UNESCO World Heritage in the future. If the Danish Wadden Sea succeeds in this, it will join the Dutch and the German Wadden Sea National Parks that became World Heritage as early as 2009.
While we are waiting for UNESCO’S decision we could spend a little time listening to music from the Wadden Sea.

Vadehavsmusik. Rod Sinclair Band. Sea Scape
Vadehavsmusik . Rod Sinclair Band. Sea Scape

Wadden Sea Songs
In Denmark the Scottish folk musician, Rod Sinclair, a Ribe citizen for many years, has composed several songs and music for Denmark’s largest National Park, the Wadden Sea National Park.
The most famous of the songs is the National Park anthem “Gryden” (The Dip) that first was presented at the Wadden Sea National Park inauguration on the “Meadow of Heads” outside Danhostel Ribe (2010).
In this video you can listen to Rod Sinclair Band and the song “Gryden”. Its filmed at the launch of “Sea Scape – Wadden Sea Songs” album at Danhostel Ribe in 2013 .
The second video is the title track Sea Scape. You can find the lyrics on the bottom of this page.

The song “Seafarers” will explain you why the Meadow outside Danhostel Ribe – a part of the Wadden Sea National Park – is called the Meadow of Heads. It’s about Hans Jessen a merchant from Ribe who caught Alexander Hock and his group of pirates. Alexander Hock’s men were all beheaded and their heads were placed on stakes on the Meadow of Heads.
On this link you can see another video, where Hans Jessen Søhane tells about what happened when he caught a group of pirates: Beheaded pirates on Meadow of the Heads

Members of Rod Sinclair Band: Rod Sinclair, Martin Schack, Andreas Tophøj, Anders Pedersen, Jullie Hjetland og Jacob Pedersen.
A Seascape tour is planned for April 2015. Songs can be downloaded from eg iTunes and Spotify and be purchased in Rod’s shop and at Danhostel Ribe

A Song from the German Wadden Sea National Park
The last video is a German Wadden Sea National Park Song. It’s song by Achim Reichel and is called: Trutz blanke Hans (Lyrics by Detlev von Liliencron and Music by Achim Reichel). It’s from the Album: Regenballade

DANSK REFERAT (Summary in Danish):

Nationalpark Vadehavet og UNESCO Verdensarv
Den 24. juni 2014 afgør UNESCO om Nationalpark Vadehavet i Danmark skal på listen over UNESCO Verdensarv i fremtiden. Hvis det lykkes, vil det danske Vadehav slutte sig til den hollandske og tyske del af Vadehavet, som blev Verdensarv allerede i 2009.
Mens vi venter på UNESCO ‘S beslutning, vil vi bruge lidt tid på at lytte til musik fra Vadehavet.

Sange fra Vadehavet

Den skotske folkemusiker Rod Sinclair, som har boet i Ribe i mange år, har komponeret flere sange til Danmarks største nationalpark, Nationalpark Vadehavet.
Den mest kendte af sangene er den officielle National Park hymne ” Gryden “, der først blev præsenteret ved Nationalpark Vadehavets indvielse på ” Hovedengen” udenfor Danhostel Ribe (2010) .
I den første video kan du lytte til Rod Sinclair Band og sangen Gryden , det er fra lanceringen af ​​” Sea Scape – Wadden Sea Songs ” albumet på Danhostel Ribe i 2013. Den anden video er titelnummeret Seascape . Du kan finde teksten herunder – og tekster, noder og akkorder til resten af albummet på dette link: Seascape lyrics

I Sangen “Seafarers” kan du høre, hvordan Hovedengen udenfor Danhostel Ribe fik sit navn (Hovedengen er en del af Nationalpark Vadehavet). Sangen handler om Hans Jessen en købmand fra Ribe, der fangede Alexander Hock og hans sørøvervenner. Alexander Hock og hans mænd blev alle halshugget, og deres hoveder blev sat på stager på Hovedengen langs Ribe Å.
På dette link kan du se en anden video, hvor Hans Jessen Søhane fortæller om, hvad der skete, da han fangede piraterne: Halshuggede sørøvere på Hovedengen

Rod Sinclair Band er: Rod Sinclair, Martin Schack, Andreas Tophøj, Anders Pedersen, Jullie Hjetland og Jacob Pedersen.
Der er planlagt en turne med sangene fra Seascape i April 2015. Sangene kan downloades fra bl.a. iTunes og Spotify og købes i shoppen eller på Danhostel Ribe

En Sang fra den tyske Nationalpark Vadehavet
Den sidste video er en sang fra Nationalparken i Tyskland. Sangen synges af Achim Reichel og kaldes: Trutz blanke Hans (Tekst af Detlev von Liliencron og musik af Achim Reichel). Vadehavssangen er fra albummet: Regenballade

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The first three verses of the song Seascape. Words: Rod Sinclair, tune: Martin Schack
Find more lyrics, notes and chords for the CD: Seascape – Wadden Sea Songs

Salt air over restless water and hastening clouds
Pale sunshine and dark rainstorm driven by wind
The sea outlines the sand
Time the moon and the tides
Salt water turns into land

This seascape was sung from darkness by seagulls’ cries
Built from nothing by wandering singers who gave it all names
They sang the birds in the sky
They sang the fish in the sea
They sang the beasts in the grass

Flat country breeds hard people who fight to survive
Raising homes on grassy hillocks to keep them from harm
Always lived by the sea
Always lived with the sea
The sea’s life kept them alive

Ribe is Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination 2014

Two European travel websites have asked their users:
“Which is the best small town in Europe” among 52 beautiful European towns.

Ribe - Europe's most beautiful town
More than 22.000 voted and Ribe in Denmark won the competition. 3965 users voted for Ribe while Obidos in Portugal was next with 3734 votes. See the results: Globalgrasshopper
Ribe Town Square and Ribe CathedralRibe is Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s oldest town. It is dated back to the early Viking Era (710AD). Ribe town and its citizens have for many years  done a lot to preserve the architectural and cultural heritage of Ribe. Latest around the town square and Ribe Cathedral . See photo left.

If you want to know more about Ribe, you can see a lot of beautiful photos and learn about Ribe’s history and attractions on the hostel’s homepage Danhostel Ribe

View from Danhostel Ribe
View from Danhostel Ribe

From Danhostel Ribe you get the best view of both Ribe town and the Wadden Sea National Park.

Ribe harbour and the boat “Johanne Dan” can also be seen from the hostel

Ribe in Denmark is Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination 2014
Ribe in Denmark is Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination 2014

Verdens største østers fundet i Vadehavet ved Ribe. Biggest oyster in the world found in Ribe – Denmark

world's largest oyster
Grete med verdens største østers

NEWS 31ST JANUARY 2014: Guinness book of world records has approved the oyster as the worlds largest with these measures: 35,5 cm (13.97 in) in length and 10.7 cm (4.21 in) in width

Verdens største østers fundet i Vadehavet ved Ribe
En østers der vejer 2,5 kg og måler 35,5 cm – det svarer til en sko i størrelse 44 – det er, hvad en medarbejder på Vadehavscentret ved Ribe, Grete Sandahl Jensen, har fundet i Vadehavet ca. 10 km fra Ribe.
Det er formodentlig verdens største østers. Guiness-rekordbog har været på besøg på Vadehavscentret ved Ribe for at måle den fundne østers, og i løbet af ca. 12 uger vil vi vide, om det virkelig er verdens største østers. På grund af dens krumme facon kan den være svær at måle korrekt.  Så vidt vides er den største østers, der er fundet indtil nu, fundet i Californien og måler 33 cm.

I et akvarium på Vadehavscentret ved Ribe
Østersen er stadig levende og kan ses i et akvarium på Vadehavscentret ved Ribe indtil d. 1. november, hvor centret lukker for vinteren. Selv om centret er lukket, kan man komme med på én af de mange østersture med naturvejleder, som kun foregår om vinteren, og hvor man selv kan fylde rygsækken med de lækre østers.  Læs om turene her Østerssafari og se turkalenderen her: Østersture i Vadehavet

Perler i østers
Der er i løbet af den sidste måned fundet flere perler i østers i Vadehavet. Så nu tager Danhostel Ribes gæster ikke kun på østerstur på grund af delikatessen og den storslåede natur – men også for at finde perler. Hvem ved, Grete bliver måske også ejer af en flot perle.
Mon ikke vinterens gæster på vandrehjemmet vil forsøge at slå rekorden og finde en endnu større østers.

klaus_melbye_vadehavscentret_med_verdens_stoerste_oesters
Klaus Melbye, Vadehavscentret ved Ribe, med østersgæster

 Stillehavsøsters (Crassostrea gigas)
Den østers, der er fundet, er en Stillehavsøsters (Crassostrea gigas). Som navnet antyder, kommer den oprindeligt fra helt andre og varmere himmelstrøg, hvor den dog ikke bliver nær så stor. Leder af Vadehavscentret Klaus Melbye fortæller, at Stillehavsøsters  vokser bedst ved temperaturer under 15 grader.
Når den fundne østers er død, kan man finde ud af, hvor gammel den er – ved at tælle årringene i skallen.
Da man begyndte at opdrætte stillehavsøsters i Nordtyskland, troede man ikke, at den kunne overleve de kolde vintre i naturen. Det viste sig ikke at passe, og nu breder den sig til skade for andre arter, som den udkonkurrerer, og som er vigtig føde for mange fuglearter i Vadehavet.  Stillehavsøstersen har kun én fjende – og det er mennesket, for vi er de eneste, der kan åbne skallen. For mennesket er den til gengæld en stor delikatesse

Tag med på én af de mange østersture, der finder sted i løbet af vinteren af bl.a. Vadehavscentret ved Ribe, Sort Safari og Mandø Event. Gå ikke selv ud i Vadehavet – på grund af tidevand og vejrforhold er det vigtigt at følges med guides, der er kendt med Vadehavet.

THE WORLD’S LARGEST OYSTER FOUND IN THE WADDEN SEA NEAR RIBE, DENMARK
An oyster weighing more than 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) and measuring  35.5 cm (13.97 inches) as big as a size 44 shoe – that’s what an employee at

The world's largest oyster found in Ribe - Denmark
The world’s largest oyster found in the Wadden Sea National Park near Ribe in Denmark

Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (the Wadden Sea Centre), Grete Sandahl Jensen, found in the Wadden Sea National Park approx. 10 km from Ribe, Denmark.
It is probably the world’s largest oyster, Grete found. Guinness World Records have been visiting the Wadden Sea Centre in Ribe to measure the oyster and in 12 weeks we will know if it really is the world’s largest oyster. Due to its shape it can be difficult to measure correctly .
Leader of Vadehavscentret Klaus Melbye says that the biggest oyster, he is familiar with, found so far is found in California and measures 33 cm.

Come and see the world ‘s largest oyster
The oyster is still alive and can be seen in an aquarium at the Wadden Sea Centre until the 1st November, when the center closes for the winter. Although the center is closed the next couple of months, you can join one of the many oyster tours with the centre´s guides, which only takes place in winter. See tour-dates and look for “Østerssafari“. Oysters are one of the Wadden Sea National Park’s biggests delicacies.

Pacific oyster
The oyster is a Pacific oyster ( Crassostrea gigas), which originally come from a completely different and warmer climate, where they do not grow so big, as Pacific oysters grow best at temperatures below 15 degrees. When the found oyster is dead , we will know how old it is – by counting growth rings in the shell. And maybe Grete will be the lucky owner of a pearl.

Nationalpark Vadehavet. Plan 2013-2018 til debat på Danhostel Ribe

Fremtidsplaner for Nationalpark Vadehavet skal diskuteres i de 4 Vadehavskommuner

400 forslag og tiltag har dannet baggrund for Nationalparksplan Vadehavet for 2013-2018.
Planen skal nu i offentlig høring frem til den 30. juni 2012.
Der vil blive blive afholdt offentlige høringsmøder i de fire Vadehavskommuner.

Nationalparkplan-Vadehavet-2012-2018
Nationalparkplan-Vadehavet-2012-2018

 

Tidspunkterne for møderne omkring Nationalparkplanen er:

 
Tønder Kommune: 19. april kl. 19-21 i Ecco-centret
Esbjerg Kommune: 26. april kl. 19-21 på Danhostel Ribe
Fanø Kommune: 8. maj kl. 19-21 på Nordby Skole
Varde Kommune: 10. maj kl. 19-21 på Eventyrgården i Janderup

 
Nationalparkens formand Bent Poulsen siger om Nationalparkplan Vadehavet 2013-2018:
”Jeg er utrolig glad og stolt over det resultat, som vi er nået frem til, og jeg glæder mig til den forestående debat om indholdet i planen”, sagde Bent Poulsen og fortsatte: ”Det er en enig bestyrelse, der står bag udkastet, som er den foreløbige kulmination på en god proces, hvor Nationalparkrådet, borgere, institutioner og myndigheder har bidraget med forslag og idéer i stort tal”.

 

Vi glæder os til et stort fremmøde og en spændende diskussion på Danhostel Ribe

Her kan du læse hele Nationalparkplan Vadehavet og danne din egen mening:

 

ENGLISH:

 

The 2013-2018 National Park Plan for the Danish Wadden Sea  is now published
Future plans for the Wadden Sea National Park to be discussed at Danhostel Ribe 26th April. Have your say on the future of the Wadden Sea National Park

400 proposals and actions have formed the basis for the Wadden Sea National Park Plan for 2013-2018
The plan is now submitted to the public, and during the next weeks, it will be discussed at meetings in the four municipalities of the Wadden Sea.

Join the discussions at these places and times:
Tonder Municipality: 19th April 19-21pm. of Ecco Centre
Esbjerg Municipality: 26 april 19-21pm. at Danhostel Ribe
Fano Municipality: 8th May 19-21pm. at Nordby School
Varde Municipality: 10th May 19-21pm. at the Adventure Farm in Janderup

The President of the Wadden Sea National Park Bent Poulsen says of the National Park Plan 2013-2018:
“I am extremely pleased and proud of the result we have reached and I am looking forward to the upcoming debate on the content of the plan,” and he continues: “You find an unanimous Wadden Sea board behind the National Park Plan. The plan is the culmination of a good process in which the Wadden Sea National Park Council, citizens, institutions and authorities all have helped with many suggestions and ideas.”

Wadden Sea National Park. One of 100 places to go before they disappear

Wadden Sea National Park, Ribe, DenmarkBoth Yahoo! News and Danhostel Ribe celebrated Earth Day by mentioning the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark – though we did it in different ways.

At Danhostel Ribe we celebrated it by giving free bicycle rent and a map of the Wadden Sea National Park to all our facebook friends that visited us on the 22th – Earth Day. We had just bought 30 new bicycles, so we thought this was a fine way to celebrate both the day and the bikes – and at the same time let our guests experience this fantastic nature just outside our door.

 

Yahoo! News  celebrated Earth Day by interviewing Gaute Hogh, publisher of the book 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear.
The Wadden Sea in Denmark was the first place that came to Hogh’s mind of the 100 places to go before they disseapear. The Wadden Sea is a low-lying coastal zone in Denmark where visitors can “walk on water” to see varied landscapes and migratory birds. Hogh fears what the rising sea levels will do to this place and its dynamic ecosystem.

 
At the hostel and in Ribe we know about this fear. We have seen the water level rise and the meadow outside the hostel being flooded. We have experienced the water level being almost at the top of the dikes at the Wadden Sea Coast in 1999 – and the only reason that we were not flooded was that the storm surge came by low tide. Had it come a few hours later by high tides our town – not only the meadow but also the streets and houses in Ribe town had been flooded.
So YES come and see the Wadden Sea before it disappears, but better: Listen to Gaute Hogh’s message so that we can enjoy this beautiful place also in the future:
“The whole purpose of this book was to show my children the effects of climate change,” Hogh says. “People usually show someone suffering and I wanted to show the positive side of it: If we don’t do anything, we’ll lose some of these beautiful 100 places.”Danhostel Ribe when the meadow is flooded
“One of my missions with the book is to show teenagers, if you don’t turn off the water or turn down the heat, these places will disappear,” Hogh says.  “They may say, ‘Why should I do this?’ But if I show them these pictures, they start to see it another way.”

At Danhostel Ribe we were happy to notice that the interview sent a lot of people to our article about the Wadden Sea the last couple of days. We hope to see some of them at the hostel :-)
The photo left shows the hostel when the meadow is flooded.

The blog travelandleisure mentions some of the 100 places and ask for more ways to celebrate Earth Day – but you could also comment on this article.

Official Wadden Sea National Park opening outside the hostel’s windows on October 16th.

view-ribe-danhostel
His Royal Highness Prince Joachim and the Danish minister of the Environment Karen Ellemann will open Denmark’s third and biggest national park, the Wadden Sea National Park on October 16th. 2010.

The official opening will take place on the meadow – Hovedengen – outside the hostel. Hovedengen is part of the national park, and Ribe is situated in the middle of this big new national park, that in Denmark goes from the German border to Ho Bay. All ready now we know it will be a big celebration.

Of course this means now that Danhostel Ribe can boast of this fantastic situation right at the very heart of the national park – and with a panoramic view of both the national park and Denmark’s oldest and best preserved town: Ribe.
And at the same time we are the only ecolabeled accommodation you can get in Ribe and its surroundings, since we have received the Green Key and furthermore been mentioned in Environmentally Friendly Hotel´s list of “Best Green Hotels”.
ribe-og-nationalpark-2

Another day I will tell you the story of how Hovedengen got it’s strange name “Meadow of the Heads”