Generations ago fishing ships were dragged ashore through brute force, a bit of creative mechanics, and a stalwart work ethic. This avoided the need for the construction of grand breakwaters and deep harbors. However, as technology has progressed and the ease of construction has increased, more and more safe harbors have been created up and down Denmark’s wind-tossed shores. With beach erosion a perpetual issue these developments have been for the best, as the process of dragging the ships to and from the water is often far from easy on the local ecosystem.
This means that the opportunity to see a fleet of reasonably large fishing ships muscled ashore in the traditional fashion is highly unusual and this in turn makes Thorup Strand “Thorupstrand” one of the largest coastal landing sites in Europe. The site, which has been active since the 1700s, serves as home to as many as 25 fishing vessels at any given time. Utilizing the deep sand and specially designed ship keels the modern vessels take advantage of a winch system and series of tractors which are used to drag the ships into the water in the morning and to pull them ashore above the tidal line every evening. Sounds daunting doesn’t it?
The result is a charming beach dotted by well maintained and beautifully colored fishing vessels. Combined with the light of northern Jutland, you’re greeted with a sight that promises to transport you through time – especially for those of you that have a vivid imagination. Of course, the site wouldn’t be complete without a ruined and forlorn vessel or two as well…just to keep things interesting.
Of the numerous places we stopped during our tour of Northern Jutland, Thorupstrand was hands down one of my favorites. There’s just something about it that feels real, authentic, and gives you a tangible experience. Sure, there may be a slightly touristic component to their methodology, but at the end of the day these are real fishing vessels plying their trade in a semi-traditional fashion.
As an added perk there’s also a small store situated next to the seafood processing facility that services the beach. There you’re about to purchase directly from the vendors at extremely reasonable prices. Granted, it was off season, but we still managed to get a hearty portion of some of the largest crab claws I’ve ever seen for less than the price of a fancy hamburger in Copenhagen.
Heading to Jutland? Make sure to stop in at Thorupstrand and don’t forget to take your camera.
The Keen Tyretread Chelsea Boot (Product Review)
For those of you who follow along and monitor my Traveling Boot Shot project, you’ll know that for the last 8 years a pair of Keen Targhee IIs has featured distinctly in a majority of the shots. They’ve been trustworthy, reliable, and a great shoe. Over that time I’ve wandered across 22+ countries, 5 continents, and walked 3 pairs of the resilient shoes into the dust. After a quick break where I tried a few other pairs of hiking shoes Keen has brought me back into the fold with the chance to try out their Keen Tyretread Chelsea shoe. When they asked me what I wanted in a shoe, I told them I needed something that was decidedly more city friendly. A boot that I could do some walking and urban exploring in, but which I could also wear into the hippest Danish coffee shop. Historically Keen has rocked the hiking boot niche, but struggled a bit more when it came to more city-friendly incarnations of their shoes. This boot is a great bridge between those two worlds … so long as you don’t mind giving up the distinctive Keen toe guard.
It’s also the first time I’ve worn a pair of lace-free boots. I was always suspicious of the fit and the comfort. While it is definitely true that there is more motion and I wouldn’t do a 5 hour trek in them, I’ve been very happy with the fit and feel. The other added perk is that they’re brilliantly convenient. Here in Denmark it is considered very impolite to wear your shoes inside someone’s home. With the rainy and somewhat muddy weather out here, it makes perfect sense. But, it is also an epic pain in the butt to get a pair of shoes that is both water-resistant, comfortable, not ruined by a little water AND which you don’t have to spend 5 minutes lacing every time you enter and leave a place. Not to mention that it is usually done in a cramped hallway and you need to have taken a few yoga classes to get your shoes on/off!
When the boots first arrived I loved the look of them, but was a little concerned that they felt very light for a boot. Which isn’t to say that they ARE that light, but they arrived at the same time as the Durands Keen sent me to review. The Durands are like the M1A2 Abrams Tanks. The Tyretread Chelsea’s are lighter weight as you’d expect from a street friendly pair of shoes…but they’re still every bit the durable Keen boot I’ve come to love and expect. They also visually feel quite large. Even though I only wear about a size 11, I’ve had number people comment on the size of my feet (odd I know) while wearing the Tyretread Chelsea. After my initial reservation about the boot, I’ve worn them almost exclusively for the last month and a half and love them. They are durable, comfortable, fashionable, and hold up regardless of the weather.
My pair of Tyretread Boot were complimentary and provided for review as part of the Keen Ambassador program. However, this review is completely independent and the Tyretread WP Chelsea’s are a product that I am currently actively using and which I happily recommend.
Make sure to head over to flickr to see the rest of the album.
Would you like to see previous Weekly Photos? View past travel pictures here.