Gps: 56.249629, 8.167515
The amazing story about Vestergaarden
This is the west coast. As in - all the way out, where the eye spies so far it is possible in flat and green. The road to the farm is not asphalted, but rumbly in pebble and gravel. Low farms and so high to the sky…
The history starts somewhere else - in 1992, where Inga is home alone in her and Thorkil’s house in Hedensted. Inga coincidentally watches a tv show - from Vedersø - about Marie on the dune and her life on the farm that was previously har parents, and before them her grandparents, going all the way back to 1770, where the farm was built.
The farm, where Marie grew up and lived her life under the roof that is now falling apart, right in front of her, is a true dune farm.
She is now living there alone, never married, and no children. In the show, Marie tells about her joy about life and her faith in God, about the cats, her memories about her parents, and the beautiful flowers surrounding the farm, filling her life. She expresses it herself; I live for my God, my 88 cats, and my flowers. In that order…
An unmistakable figure, Marie was. In silhouette, you could not mistake her - in Copenhagen we called it - having a garden towards the street and towards the back yard - when she with her hat and coat walked along the small road into Vedersø. She had respect for people - but not for any tourists, whom she called Those Copenhageners!
Inga was moved by what she had watched in the show. She simply had to find Marie and the farm out there at the dune. She convinced Thorkil to go camping at Vedersø Klit (Vedersø Dune) the following year - and here they found both the farm and Marie, witch hair net and chin hair. And they just clicked.
The following four years, Inga and Thorkil visited Marie in Vedersø twice a year at her ruin of a farm. Marie found a soulmate in Thorkil, a thought community, which she had never previously experienced in her life. She was so fond of Thorkil. And Inga - of course.
In 1996, Marie stoic and concise states, during coffee by the flowers and the hay; I have decided, you will be my heirs. Please let me know within 24 hours. Marie’s decision was final. She would bequeath her farm to them, when she would no longer be around. And that is how it went.
Marie died in 1998, just 78 years old, and through the two years, leading to her death, she never asked Inga and Thorkil, what they were planning to do with the farm in the future. Not one single question, she asked.
Inga and Thorkil got the key at her funeral. Their attorney had said: You can renounce from inheritance and dept… You can still regret…
It costed many worries and tears, when the couple said yes to the farm, the contents, inheritance and dept, and the 27 acres of land. Most of the land was sold apart, when they could not fulfill the duty of residence. And Inga was not completely sure that they made the right decision, when the house in Hedensted had to be sold. More tears and worries. The couple had, after all, lived in Hedensted for 30 years. Thorkil had sold his architect business and was now fully concentrated on the rebuilding.
And only in 2003, when Thorkil promises Inga that she can decide herself if she wants to move to Vedersø, she is relieved and moves to the dune farm in Vedersø.
It took 11 years for Inga and Thorkil to rebuild the farm. Everything was torn down and carefully built again. The bricks and the rocks in the courtyard are the only things left from the old house, and the only things remade. The burden of the work was close to unmanageable. Every brick was taken, cleaned, and replaced. All other materials were new. The farm was totally rebuilt.
In 2004, the main house was done, and after requests, Thorkil and Inge built and decorated an apartment for summer guests in 2005.
The couple is deeply grateful for the gift, Marie gave them. Not because they are debt free; there were too much to rebuild, but though so grateful that they carefully and caring have saved and kept a lot of the contents from Marie’s home. With love, the couple have built a memorial room in the house, displaying Marie’s life, and the memorial clearly shows Marie’s austerity and her love to her parents and the home. The memorial is in two floors in the one part of the house.
A large glass entrance is the first sight for guests, who are visiting the memorial.
Everything is in glass - the floor separation, the roof and walls, with a beautiful view over the landscape - all the way out to the dunes. The dark, cozy bordeaux painted room is in sharp contrast to the light flowing through the glass entrance. Every inch in the room is dedicated to the memory of Marie.
Furniture, pictures, porcelain, even Marie’s pants - underwear - is displayed with its not so nicely done reparations - of course; they were not supposed to be seen by anybody but Marie.
Marie would not have approved. Actually, it is probably the only thing at the farm, as it is now, Marie would NOT like. The underwear on the edge of the bed, Marie was born in - and in which she died.
Small handwritten notes are, by Marie with a pin needle, pinned to the thing, they describe. For example, a tiny piece of cut rug, where Marie writes: This rug was under dad’s desk, and his feet has worn it out… Like Marie knew that piece of paper would at some point end in an exhibition.
What moves me the most is Marie’s bible, lying at a table with a embroidered bookmark and a clipping with a verse:
Days come, days flee
The words of the Lord are not moved
It is the light at our feet
And a light at all of our roads.
When I compliment Thorkil for the incredibly beautiful building, he has done, he silently states - just in Marie’s spirit We do not do discount here. When we do something, we do it in high quality - or else we do not do it.
Inga elaborates, they have an offer for everyone willing to hear about Vestergården. You can by a gift card for friends or family: Afternoon coffee with cake, history about the farm, tour in the memorial, 3-course dinner, which Thorkil himself cooks, accommodation in the apartment with luxury breakfast. Drinks you will bring yourself or buy at the place.
Bus after bus arrives with tourists, visitors to the memorial, watching the tv show that led Inge and Thorkil to the form at the dune for almost 20 years ago. The video causing the couple’s arrival in Vedersø and winning Marie’s heart.
Up to 50 guests, Inga and Thorkil can give a tour and tell about the history of Vestergården, about Marie, about the building. The guests can see all the beautiful hand crafts, Inge and her sister make and sell. They tell about Kaj Munk, as he meant a lot to Marie and the area - and he was a frequent guest at the farm.
Coffee and baked goods are offered - like we were - oh, I will never forget Inga’s apple cake…
You can book a tour with coffee and cake. Pre-booking required.
Inga and Thorkil will talk about the other activities at the farm; about the camping space across the road, where up to 20 auto campers can stay a night for a flat rate of 50 DKK - water included.
About the summer residence, which is actually a full year’s residence short from the ocean. Visitors can rent it all year.
About the shelter that many bicycle tourists enjoy visiting - protected from the at times rough western wind. From the shelter, you get a magnificent view over the landscape and a campfire ground.
We are about to say goodbye, when I spot a little plaque at the house wall. It tells, Inga and Thorkil have received the conservation award by Ringkøbing-Skjern commune for the huge effort, they have put into the restauration of the old farm. Nothing is more deserved.
It has been an amazing visit at an amazing place, where we met some fantastic people. You should do the same…
Vestergaard Bed and Breakfast
Cozy apartment in an old dune farm from 1770 with room for 2 persons and possibility for an extra bed for 1 person. Nice living room with radio and TV and internet access. Well equipped kitchen niche with refrigerator and freezer, oven, coffee machine, two hotplates. Separate bath and toilet. Loft with sleeping space for 4 persons.
Summer residence just 400 meters from the North Sea. A nice little house, you must visit.
Gps: 56.249629, 8.167515
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