Tolne Gjaestgivergaard is centrally located in northern Jutland. It is less than an hour’s drive to either coast as well as to the northern tip. One coast is wild with big choppy waves

windy

Flag at Hirtshals

while the other (at least on our visit) was more peaceful and full of fishing boats.

wooden ship at Skagen

It is surrounded by beautiful farms and barns, stocky ponies, pheasant, hawks, and some sort of giant bunny I startled while walking in the woods.

Woods at Tolne

The woods are deep and so dense there is little undergrowth but ferns. I am pretty sure there are gnomes. Trolls at the very least. And the flowers! Foxglove, poppies, bachelors button, gentian (kind of a yellow wisteria-like large shrub) all growing wild.

  Massive roses grow wild and every little garden is full.

Wild roses

I wasn’t there to paint, but it would make a perfect location for a plein air retreat. Northern light, great meals, enough space for group sessions, the train stops at the front door. And the Skagen museum not far away. So many possibilities.
Anna

The day after we went to Skagen was the English volunteer worker Anna’s day off. I saw her leave on a bicycle but didn’t know where she had gone until Sara (from Italy) said she as worried about her. We asked why, and she said “Anna went to Skagen!” Soon after, she walked in, hungry but just as cheerful as ever after her fifty mile round trip. She wisely caught the train for the last ten miles, but still. It was an unexpected privilege to meet these bright, brave, independent young women.

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