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We are now in Oz after two amazing years of traveling Europe in our home built plane. We met many fantastic people who we are proud to call friends and have gained a much better understanding of the similarities and differences between the cultures of the different European states as well as the history and geography that have lead to these differences. We enjoy meeting people with similar interests to ourselves and learning more about other cultures. Please let us know if you're going to be in Queensland and would like to catch up for a meal and a chat.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Samsoe: Energy self sufficient island

Samso international terminal 1

This was our second destination with Clare and Guntram.  You wouldn't belive it but even a small distance like the 45nm from Egeskov on Funen island to Samso island actually takes a while if you need to ferry people and gear – 3h flying in total for Julian! Samso airfield is small & quiet, a great location for a break, especially considering that it's on the sea. When the weather was good we saw visitors from Germany, Copenhagen and many other parts of Denmark.
Pretty old houses in Nordby village

Samso is world renowned and most impressive as it's completely self sufficient energy wise – they put up 11 wind turbines, which are part owned (subscription) by the local people and over the year provide more energy than is used on the island. Many people come to study Samsoe from overseas, though I am not sure how well it would manage to be self sufficient if the population were larger.
Solar array
Great wind indicator at the centre for sustainable energy.  We hoped to go back and look inside, but....

Over several days we managed to cycle all around Samsoe, which is also Copenhagen's veg box, and there were great vegetable stalls everywhere, which caused Guntram great consternation in deciding which vegetables were needed.....
Claire & Guntram just leaving the airfield

There were also heaps of Loppen (garage sales or in Swedish Loppis), really strange as they always seem to be selling junk that a) no one would want to buy, b) no one would have ever wanted to buy, so where does the stuff come from????? Having completely ignored the Loppis in Sweden we decided that we should take in this cultural phenomenon and inspected all stalls we passed.
Julian inspects the folding chairs
And Guntram contemplates whether he really needs best of Eurovision 1983
Samso is really great to cycle around, as it's fairly flat and there really isn't much traffic.  Well except for this caravan, which we passed in total 4 times as we stopped to look at stuff.
Apparently weekly rental of horses and caravans is a new business venture for Samso (though I see that they do similar on the German East Fresian Isles), which does seem a lovely relaxing way to holiday.  We prefered the North peninsula to the South, simply because of spectacular Langor harbour and beautiful Nordby village.
Langor harbour
There were a lot of very talented potters and other artists on the island, but since it was no longer peak holiday season, everyone seemed to have different opening hours and we didn't manage to have a look in any open shop (other than the supermarkets).

After a few days on Samso Rune, who runs Samso International Airport suggested that we give a 1.5h lecture to his Flight students.  That evening.  So it ended up being a pretty hectic day with Julian sorting through our photos to get some nice shots for one 45 min lecture 'the build', and a second 45 min lecture 'the trip'.  Denmark has a unique schooling system with approximately 10% of students going to boarding school, and some boarding schools like this one on Samso offer 'adventure' subjects to attract the students.  A few of the other subjects on offer were parachuting, bunji jumping, scuba diving and horse riding.  So the students were around 15-17 years old but seemed to concentrate surprisingly well.  If you would like us or Julian to give a talk, please let us know, we're relatively well prepared now!
some of the class
Clare had to get back to work in Berlin, but we weren't very lucky with the weather - we had planned to take her and Guntram back to Flensburg by plane, but there was lots of low cloud and rain, so we sent them off by ferry.

And of course the weather cleared up the day after they left.  So we went kayaking across to Langor, as Rune has not just bicycles available for hire on Samso's airfield, but also 3 kayaks (one double).

Quite shallow water and so beautiful!
It was a pity about the wind on the day we chose, which made it pretty hard work, but still fun!
Gratuitous group shot including Rune, Eva and Mille
So in summary Samso was a really lovely place and a great destination for flying in Denmark. Rune was most helpful and all the necessary facilities were available (including 2 toilets and a shower).

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