I am visiting my father right now. About ten years ago he moved back north, returning to his roots at the German-Danish border. He moved into an old manor house with his longtime companion. It lies close to the Baltic sea on the German side of the border. I try to drive up at least once a year. It is beautiful here. The house is a huge old thing, the ceilings are more than 4 meters high, the windows and doors ornamentally carved. It is surrounded by a big park with ancient, majestic trees, that sway and rustle in the constant wind.
There are three huge barns close by, and everything is surrounded by a moat that is full of water fowl. No wonder my dad became an ornithologist living here. There are field glasses in front of every window, and no matter if it’s a Canada goose on stop-over or some goldfinches in the brambles, he gets really excited.
If it wasn’t so far I would come a lot more often. It is so peaceful here. The activities change with the seasons: swimming and boat rides in the summer, picking berries and cooking marmalade in the fall, and winter is for making chocolate. My fathers spouse makes pralines, jams, and schnapps, and sells them on markets in the area. Rights now it’s praline time, and the whole kitchen is covered in chocolate and sugar.
They also have a beautiful flower garden, that they are very proud of. They trade seeds with friends and spend a lot of time watering and trimming.
The surrounding area is hilly, unlike the super flat coastal area of the North Sea, which has a totally different charm. Large fields and wind generators dominate the countryside. There are many natural beaches that are now, in late summer, deserted.
Lots of fishing boats go out to sea every day and provide us with fresh fish.