Very very brief overlook at what we did on the tour
at Copenhagen’s Kastrup airport and found our way to the train (it was
pretty easy) and then to the hotel (finding our way to the hotel was a little
tough- all the signs were in Danish- my mom was tired and cranky and trying to
translate the signs made her say a few swear words). We did some sightseeing with
Copenhagen Excursions a double decker bus (saw the little mermaid, the stock
exchange, Ameliaborg Palace etc). We met at our Copenhagen hotel around 5
p.m. for a "Welcome to Denmark" get-together and short orientation
walk. (I had met Rick in Atlanta in March but he did not remember- I assured
him by the end of the trip he would never forget me)
We started our day with a walking tour through the old city (lots and lots of old buildings with lots and lots of stairs) and a boat cruise around the canals (got to see the little mermaid again- tiny statue- in 1994 she lost her head and they had to replace it) and out to the Little Mermaid. In the afternoon, we visited the National Museum (lots of cool Viking stuff and the skeletons still have hair on their head) and explored Tivoli Gardens in the evening (A great amusement park- but not high tech- I rode the Golden Tower 4 times and played a lot of video games; also had great live shows). While the rest of the group was hitting Carlsberg Gallery (too much art for me) we went shopping on the Stroget (long pedestrian mall with 3 pretty good toy stores, lots of fountains).
In the morning we traveled to Hillerød to see the imposing Frederiksborg Castle, built in the middle of a lake (learned how to use the Danish train system and learned everyone in the groups name; the fountain in the courtyard is a fake the Swedes have the real one from a war). Had the afternoon free to explore more of Copenhagen and we went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not (good freaky stuff) and Luis Tussauds wax museum (great wax – mom liked the Hans Christian Anderson wax collection of fairy tales I liked the adventure stuff) and more shopping for clothes (didn’t bring enough sweatshirts it was cold and raining). [Here’s a hint get the Copenhagen Card it is pretty cheap and gets you into lots of places plus you can use public transportation]
We left Copenhagen, and headed toward the beautiful island of Ærø (home of ships in a bottle and hooglie). On the way we stopped in Roskilde to see the Viking Ship museum (4 Viking ships excavated and put back together with some kind of wax and glue mix) and cathedral (all royalty buried here like Westminster). After crossing the impressive suspension bridge to the island of Funen, we stopped in Odense and traced the footsteps of Hans Christian Anderson and visited the HCA museum (boring). We took a short ferry ride to the island of Ærø. We end the day with a walking tour of town. Sleep on Ærø- I stayed at Pension Vestergarde with Suzanne and her dog Doozie
We began the day with a morning bus tour around the island (saw two great churches that had Viking vessels hanging from the ceiling). The rest of the day was free to explore the villages, ruins and beaches of Ærø (searched out jelly fish and 14 flavors of ice cream). (I tried to get mom on a bike but she crabbed about the tires being too skinny and the breaking of arms when we fell -so we went jelly fish hunting, did the laundry and ate more ice cream.)
Today, we drove back across Denmark and crossed the Sound into Sweden (first we visited Jane’s family at their farm and I fell in love with Mai). We made our base in the small town of Vaxjo, where we sleep (dead town).
After breakfast we visited the Swedish Emigration Museum (loved Snooze Blvd a representation of Chicago town in the US where lots of Swedes lived) and Vaxjo Cathedral (11th century church rebuilt-beautiful tree of life in glass). We then drove through Glass Country stopping to see this unique art form created at traditional Swedish glass works (bought a glass head). Then onto Kalmar, we toured the stunning Kalmar Castle (king was paranoid and had an escape room in his bedroom), which guards the harbor of this colorful town (2 good toy stores that carried video games).
We headed north through the Swedish countryside, stopping for lunch along the Göta Canal (very windy almost blew our lunch off the table). Then it was on to Stockholm, which truly lives up to its tourist slogan "Beauty on Water." (Arrived during earth day parade) (Stayed at the Queens-Hotel- stay away from that what a dump) We walked through the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan (Old City) (and walked and walked and walked- but a great place with lots of history and narrow skinny cobblestone lanes) http://cityguide.se/stockholm/turism/staden1_e.phtml
began our day with a tour
of Drottningholm, the Swedish "Versailles.”.(gaudy rooms- fake marble)
(had the fountain that the Swedes won in the war) In the afternoon we visited one of Europe's most amazing sights
the imposing, well-preserved Vasa ship (this is a must see- it is
huge with a great museum- 25 people died on the maiden voyage), which sank on
her maiden voyage over 370 years ago. We visited Skansen, Europe's original and
best open-air museum (lots of people running around in Swedish national dress,
good houses to see of how peopled lived in the old times) and hoped onto a
canal ride (thank God my feet were killing me from all the walking). (Tip- Get
the Stockholm Card, don’t miss the subway art and we did lots of walking, walking,
We began our day with a tour the impressive City Hall (home of the Nobel Peace Prize- looks like it was built 150 years ago- only 75 ears old) (has a room filed with golden tiles where everyone parties after the pace prize) and the rest of the day was free so we went to Armory and watched the changing of the guard. Then onto the Tivoli of Stockholm. We ate at the Grand hotel (huge smorgasbord- don’t eat the shrimp they look back up at you).
Today we said goodbye to Sweden and hello to Norway. We'll drove through dense birch forests and past pristine lakes on our way to Oslo, Norway's bustling capital. We took a quick bus tour of Oslo. (We stopped to visit Dave’s foster family in Drobak when he was in College in Oslo and ate with them- goat cheese is great). (Tip-get an Oslo card) http://www.virtualoslo.com/virtualsightseeing/
This morning we took a look at the dizzying Holmenkollen ski jump, (and rode the ski simulator) We hopped on our bus over to the next sight- a museum with Viking ships that had been the burial ships for a queen and her slaves and from there we hopped a boat and cruised across the harbor to the Bygdøy peninsula, home of Scandinavia's best-preserved Viking ships, and the ships of modern-day Viking explorer Thor Heyerdahl (saw the Kon Tiki , movie in the maritime museum- I told a Swede a joke and thought he was Norwegian (oh boy) and saw the type of ships that Vikings were buried in . ) We visited the National Museum of Norway (famous for its collection of Norwegian art and the artist Munch- “the scream” and saw a room with duplicates of all the great pieces of art from other countries) in the afternoon and the rest of the afternoon was free (we got lost walking back to the hotel). http://www.virtuallillehammer.com/
We started the day with a visit to the amazing Gustav Vigeland sculptures in Frogner Park (great place with over 150 pieces of granite, and metal art –I liked the angry boy best). We took a city orientation walk, including a tour of the mural-decorated City Hall (lots of great art work in each room- looked very modern artish and told the story of the German invasion and Norway’s resistance). We skipped the resistance museum (too many museums) but took a sightseeing train around Oslo center and spent the after noon at the harbor (I loved the harbor)(again don’t eat the shrimp they look up at you).
Driving northwest from Oslo, we visited the Maihaugen Open-Air Folk Museum (better than Skansen, our guide was a beautiful English blonde and we got to sit in houses from the 1800’s and see how they lived and worked) visited briefly the town of Lom, where we toured a 12th century stave church (the church is made of dark almost black wood and has dragons head on the corners). We went over hill and dale through the Jotenheimen Mountains and had a snowball fight (snow was 9 feet high at some points) and got to see a beautiful glacier. This evening we settled into our hotel, which is located on a 700 year old farm. Sleep in Elvesæter (got to swim in the pool and met the crew from Silent Witness) http://www.virtualstavanger.com/
Today we cruised the fjords, drinking in the stunning scenery (we stopped in Flam the famed “Norway in a Nutshell”). (Walked down a beautiful road along the fjord, Jean got stuck on some hairpin turns- I was afraid we were going to burn out the brakes ) Then it' was on to ruddy-cheeked Bergen, built between mountain and fjord--Norway's historic capital. (we said goodby to Jean and I knew I would miss him)
A local guide showed us the enchanting Bryggen wharf area, where wooden buildings recall the glories of Bergen's days as a Hanseatic League trading center (the tour was a little boring so we ditched the group and went out on our own). We went to Gamla Bergen (charming and loved it) and took a sightseeing train around Bergen. Tonight we took a funicular to a restaurant atop Mt. Fløyen for our "Last Supper." (I got to say the toast with quick yet meaningful eye contact)
The tour was over after breakfast. I still miss Joyce and Wally, Julian and Bob, Dick and Tori, Valerie, Sally and Suzanne, Don and Ben, Jack and Bev , Clare and Irv
CLICK ON COUNTRIES ON FIRST SHEET FOR BLOW BY BLOW DESCRIPTION OF THE DAYS
Fly around the net and visit some places