September Trip – Malmö, day 2

I had warned David that we’d be sleeping early after our first little walk in Copenhagen. We were in fact in our bunk beds before 6pm, and up again around 5 the next morning.

The weather forecast wasn’t on the optimistic side, and we were ready for several days of pouring rain. And here’s the view we got when we stepped out of the Hawila;

 

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Dang Scandinavian weather! LOL

 

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That’s the Hawila, on the right…
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And here it is with better lighting… I told you I’d have pictures of it!

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And since we’re talking of promised pictures, here’s Den Blå Planet, but we’ll talk about it later.
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We had a quick bite, and shared with a couple of feathery friends…

Then, it was time to move to Malmö, Sweden. But first, a short ride on the Copenhagen Metro…

 

Malmö is just across the Øresund bridge, and a very short ride from Kastrup’s Airport. I was eager to see Sweden, but I knew I was stepping out of my comfy Danish slippers. I wouldn’t say I could get along effortlessly in the countryside, but my Danish is good enough to get around, ask for directions and order a meal without getting a surprise dinner!

In Sweden, my confidence took a good drop.

Especially when I saw an alien spaceship while entering Malmö!

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But the rest of the city seemed pretty UFO-less…

 

 

As you can see, Sunday early mornings are very quiet in Malmö. Most probably because of the Saturday night partying… Theory that seemed to be proven right by the following sight…

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Left over drinks on window sides, or simply on the sidewalk, is also something very common in Denmark. Sometimes, you can even find unopened bottles, just left behind when the party moved on…

While walking around, we fund the King’s Park (Kungsparken).

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By then, we needed to fuel up and nibble on a little something, so we stopped in a little cozy café, The Expresso House, where we also got a chance to fill our water bottles and charge up the camera and our cell phones.

 

We wanted to see something internationally known, in Malmö, and went hunting for the knotted gun. I had seen the sculpture in the past, and I couldn’t wait to see the non-violence icone. Like many other attractions, I was surprised to see that it was a lot smaller in size than I had imagined it… But still!

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Note that the weather was equally horrible on the Swedish side of the bridge! Another thing that looked familiar, after leaving Denmark, was the numerous bicycles…

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One thing I discovered, that is completely different in Sweden and Denmark, is the access to train traveling. Traveling by train (tog) in Denmark is a piece of cake. Once you’ve mastered the use of the ticket booths, you just have to buy a ticket from A to B, and you take the next ride from A to B, hoping to have a nice place by the window. In Sweden, we had to take asigned places at a counter, and I soon realized that it wasn’t a good idea to buy them last minute…

Since we were moving to Stockholm, we spent the last couple of hours around the train station.

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Remember this little guy? It made a stranger laugh that I’d try to take pictures with a tiny fox in front of the lense…. LOL
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This made US laugh. From a distance, we thought those were bread sticks, and planning on buying one for the ride…  Yeah, no… they were roses!
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Waiting for our train to Stockholm…
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Yeah, don’t ask… I just love windmills. And there are a LOT of them both in Sweden and Denmark

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After a many hours long ride, we finally arrived in Stockholm.

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Next, our three days in Sweden’s capital!

 

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September trip – Fly over

I am getting ready to post some of the souvenirs gathered during our two week vacation in Vikingland. I am going through tons of pictures and flyers, and memorabilia, sorting what is of most interest, and what isn’t so much…

I thought I could give you a little sneak peek before I get to the real posts…

So here are our two weeks, in a picture-a-day sum up:

 

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Copenhagen – Day 1
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Malmö – Day 2
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Stockholm – Day 3
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Stockholm – Day 4
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Stockholm – Day 5
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Göteborg – Day 6
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Oslo – Day 7
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Aalborg – Day 8
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Aalborg – Day 9
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Hobro/Odense – Day 10
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Odense – Day 11
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Copenhagen – Day 12
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Copenhagen – Day 13
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Copenhagen – Day 14
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The return home – Day 15
 

I hope you’ll enjoy the trip down our memory lane…

Day 11 – Ribe

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Day 11 was off to a good start…

Waiting for the city bus that was about to take me back downtown to catch my train to Ribe, my phone rang… One of the potential hosts I had contacted the day before had a couch to offer in Odense!

Jubi! (Danish for “Yay!”)

The voice on the other end was warm and friendly, and I felt that the nice lady was at least as excited to welcome me, as I was to come visit her… We arranged to meet that evening, and I texted Søren to tell him I had a bed for my two nights in town, and that I’d call the next day to say hi.

I hopped on the train for a short ride that got me to Ribe, a city I didn’t know much about. I didn’t care… Ib had said that it was worth seeing, and I was sure to have fun, no matter what I’d find on my path.

And I wasn’t disappointed, as soon as I got off the coach. Right there, across the street, was the Viking Museum! Hey!! Vikings… I like them Vikings! My first stop was pretty obvious… Museet Ribes Vikinger!

 

 

The two exhibitions (About Ribe’s medieval age and the Christian Vikings) were very interesting, even if they clearly didn’t fit the image we normally have of Vikings. After all the conqueror and bloody fighter depictions I had in the past, it was a bit weird to imagine Vikings setting up farms, and trading stuff…

As you can see on one of the pictures, Ribe is recognized to be Denmark’s oldest city (Danmarks aldste by) and it is pretty incredible to know it celebrated its 1300th anniversary in 2010, knowing that Montréal is presently getting ready for its 375th anniversary 😉

The only heavy rain episode I experienced in Denmark (I know, I was clearly blessed) happened while I was at the museum, while I was snacking in the “restaurant” area. I was tempted by the souvenir boutique, but any item meant more weight on my shoulders, and I promised myself I’d come back some day, to pack up on Viking stuff!

On my way out, I noticed the fire department was celebrating some event… (Danish) hot dog selling, fire trucks watching, and tours around town… It was over when I came back at the end of the day… I wish I had stopped to ask a few questions, but at least, I caught a few pictures!

 

May 15th and 16th meant Pinsedag (Pentecost) celebration in Denmark. Because of that, a lot of Ribe’s stores were closed and pedestrians were not very present in town while I walked around… I must say, it was quite a treat, at least to take pictures!

Here’s a walk around town…

 

 

Like many of European countries, a lot of Danish cities have a Domkirke (cathedral), but Ribe’s is definately worth a visit. It is the oldest Christian church in Denmark, founded during the Viking’s age, under permission of the pagan King Horik I. Ribe’s cathedral is the best preserved Romanesque building in Denmark, but over the years, many architectural styles have been added. It was awarded 2 Michelin stars (I didn’t even know churches could get Michelin stars!)

 

The Commoner’s Tower was built in the years 1300, and stands 52 meters tall. For 4$ (20 Kroner) you can walk your way to the top of the tower and have access to an exhibition on the second floor hall along the cathedral.  I highly recommend it. 4$ VERY well spent, if just for the view from the top of the tower…  But get ready to work those legs!!  And if you really want to get a good sweat, try carrying a 25 pounds backpack!

 

After visiting the cathedral, I stopped by the stand (picture in the “walk around” section) to get a hot dog… Rød pølse (red sausage) version… with a bottle of Cocio. I had heard somewhere that it was one of THE musts I had to try, and I wasn’t disapointed. I was distracted by the bright red color of my sausage, though. My brain kept asking me “are you sure that’s not plastic??” bite after bite… Another good reason to walk a whole lot day after day; I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about my hot dog + chocolate milk “snack”…

Still, my shadow seemed on the chubby side!

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On my way to Odense…

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Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2 / Aarhus, day 1  / Aarhus, day 2 / Esbjerg, day 1 / Esbjerg, day 2 /

 

Day 7 – Aarhus, day 1

Aarhus

 

At last…. Well, not really, but blog wise, it was about time, I will give you that!

I was now in Aarhus, probably the city I would miss the less. Not that it was ugly, or dirty, or uninteresting… But Aarhus was harsh with me from the start. I wasn’t even in town, and people already kind of rejected me!

I had couchsurfing plans that didn’t work out, and as the day went by, I switched to researches on Airbnb for a room or an apartment to rent.

There again, no luck, but I was kind of fearing that I was a little short in time to find anybody ready to host me… So I went for my last resort (not that it was really bad, but it was the most expensive way I could afford to get a roof over my head); the hostel!

First day in Aarhus was spent mostly walking around, looking for good free Wi-Fi spots and hoping to find a place to stay. (by the way… If you are in Aarhus and looking for a hot Hot Spot, try the bench in front of “Magasin” in Lille Torv Square)

Oh, and since I don’t have much to say about this first day in Aarhus, here is a map with three important places… The little red heart is for my favorite Wi-Fi spot, the yellow star for my hostel, and the green spot (hi there, Green Spot!) a place we’ll be discussing in my next post… Den Gamle By, literally “The old town”…

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Oh, and I feel generous… a view of “Magasin”, with my favorite bench – in Aarhus! (spent a loooot of time there, hoping for good news LOL)

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Thanks Google!

 

And, as usual, a few pictures taken along my stroll…

 

 


 

Previously…

 

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2

 

Day 6 – Viborg

My second day in Viborg started with the singing of the birds and the sunrays warming the already more than comfy duvet I had been hiding under for far longer than any other night since the beginning of my journey…

After a short walk in my hosts’ garden, to appreciate yet another sunset in Denmark, I got back in to back up my belongings, ready to give Viborg a second chance.

I hadn’t had a chance to talk much with my hostess, a more than nice Swede now living in Denmark. As I was checking the busses available to take me back downtown (No way was I going to take the walk again… ) we had a long and interesting talk about differences between Canada and Denmark.

We exchanged, while I was eating my mix of avocado and weed pesto on rye bread, and I felt bad we didn’t have more time to get to know each other.

I then got back downtown, to stroll around and get a better taste of the city Lukas called his hometown. Although it wasn’t as full of attractions as other cities I had visited before, Viborg has a charm of its own. And when I came up to the Dom Kirke, the main church, I just had a feeling I had to go in…

The church was at the image of Danish churches, a perfect mix of luxury and humbleness… I walked through the aisles, until I found the way to the crypt. I couldn’t help to get down the stairs and peek at what was hidden in the building’s basement.

When I got in the room, my attention was first drawn to the tombs of long gone important people of the church… But quickly, I came back to the main room of the crypt, and discovered guest books, in which people left messages to God…

I found the idea interesting, and being a compulsive writer, I took the latest book, sat down in the middle of a bench, and started writing. At first I thought I wouldn’t know what message I would leave behind, but I quickly realized that my hand had a soul of its own, and a lot of things to say. The organ was playing a solemn and slow music piece as I thought about life, and I filled a whole page of the large book, with my trembling hand writing. When I finished, I set back, and my eyes teared up.

People have faith, or they don’t. It is not to me to judge. Those who do have faith, have so in different Gods and powers, and I am noone to say who’s right or wrong. But even in a church that wasn’t my own, I have to say that the eperience I had was powerful enough to make me understand that there was a reason I had set foot in Viborg.

I closed the book, with this new feeling in my heart, and I left the church… And I was off to another adventure, Aarhus now awaiting me…

 


 

Previously…

 

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1

Day 5 – Viborg

Viborg

 

Fifth day in Denmark, and after yet another night sleeping like a baby, I awoke with the first rays of the sun.

My hostess had school to attend, and would leave the apartment shortly after 7 O’clock, so I packed my bag, and left a little earlier, to let her finish her prep quietly… I went back to the Storcenter where I had met Ib the morning before, because I knew the way, and a mall is always a good place to hang around when you have a little bit of time to waste and no time to get lost!

Since the stores weren’t open at my arrival, I went for a walk in the bicycle trails behind the buildings. For the fifth day in a row, the sky was clear of any cloud, and though the morning temperature was a little frisky, once there, it was already warm and promising for the day to come…

I shopped in Bilka, bought myself a few goods to snack on the train and headed to the station to hop on the first bus to Viborg!

I had put Viborg on my schedule for only one reason, that might look silly. Lukas’ family was from the Viborg area, and I had promised him to visit… And my first impression was a little divided… Viborg is a beautiful city, with its pastel painted houses, and its churches, but I think they voted a municipal rule that streetname tags had to be removed downtown, just for the fun of seeing the tourists wander cluelessly.

Which I did, for a while, before I found my way by some sort of miracle!

I then finally made it to my host’s home, after a good hour of walk, starting to tell myself that I was never going to do that kind of trip again (due to Ow feet and Ow back, and Ow face, that obviously hadn’t been sunscreen creamed enough in the morning) like an old drunk!

When I got there, my hosts were getting ready for some rock climbing stuff activity of some sort, so I took all my things upstairs, and decided to just close my eyes to see how it felt like to lay on this incredibly comfortable bed, with that incredibly fluffy duvet on me, and the nice little breeze, along with the birds’ singing coming from the Velux…

It was about 19h, and I re-opened my eyes at around 4h in the morning! I guess I was tired… LOL The fun thing is that I had gone briefly in the garden, because I thought I had seen rabbit cages in the backyard (which were rabbitless) and therefore, I had moved my shoes from the frontdoor to the backdoor. So when my hosts came back from the climbing stuff, they thought I was out in town… All night! LOL

So here again are a few pictures… Mainly of my lovely temporary home, since I didn’t do much of that day 😉

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg

Day 4 – Aalborg

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Yesterday night I landed in Aalborg. My first reason for being here early in my trip being to meet Ib, and pick up the phone he had prepared for me…

I was going to use Couchsurfing for the first time, and both me and my host were a tiny bit nervous, since we were both newbies at playing the CS game.

I had a great couch awaiting me, with a super duvet to keep me warm, and although I craved to log in and tell everyone about my fabulous day, I just managed to arrange for my meeting with Ib in the morning, and fell asleep like a baby.

I was up at sunrise, discussing the new day’s plans with César, my CS host’s cat. We got prepared (me and my host, not César) and headed for the bus which would take me to the mall where I was supposed to meet Ib.

I was anxious. Being virtual friends is one thing, meeting in person is a whole other deal. But things went as smooth I could have imagined… Like old friends meeting after some time away from each other. He treated me with brunch, and we chatted for a long while, catching up on this and that. He then drove me downtown Aalborg where I was to meet my CS host. He dropped me there with a promise to meet again before my trip back home…

My host then took charge of my visit and gave me a loooong tour amoung the several interesting points of the town… We visited the house of music, Aalborg’s main church, strolled along the popular streets, saw the work of potery and glass blowing craftsman artists… We also went to Paradis, an ice cream parlour (I am not into sweets,but WOW!), and spent a long time along the harbour, talking and just chilling among the hundreds of locals enjoying the numerous parks and resting areas…

Next was time for supper, which we spent in a small casual traditional-style Danish food restaurant. My first Danish meal, and what a platting! Pork with a crispy skin, with (a loooot of potatoes, brown gravy, pickled cucumbers and red cabbage… Yum!!

We finished the day in an ancient Vikings’ grave,just before sunset (solnedgang) with a great view over Aalborg….

Unfortunately my camera’s batteries were dead, so I couldn’t take a lot of pictures, but I will make up for it when I come back at the end of the month 🙂

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island

 

Day 3 – Møn’s Island

MønsKlint

 

Today was bound to be yet another fun but long day… And it has been just that. Starting with a flash trip to the Island of Møn, and then a quick come back to Copenhagen to take a short flight to Aalborg in the evening.

Møn Island is absolutely be-a-u-tiful! It is totally worth seeing. Unfortunately, the bus driver misunderstood me and dropped me in a little fishermen harbour village, with nothing to do, but having two hours to kill before another bus could take me to the actual Møns Klint site…

I found a man and woman sitting in front of their house, enjoying the nice weather and thought it was about time I would test my Danish for real!

Ok, we switched to English not long after, but I guess I looked friendly enough to be invited to jump in Klaus’ car, who drove me straight to the site, telling me about the Island along the way…

So, looking back, thank you mr bus driver for your lack of understanding 🙂

Here are a few pictures of the cliffs… Which were worth the hike, even with about 25 pounds of load on my back!!

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2 

 

Day 1 – Copenhagen

 

Okie… Summary of the day…

Strøget, Church of our Lady, Rundt Tårn, the Botanical Garden, Statens museum for kunstners, Rosenborg’s castle, the King’s gardens, Nyhavn, the Royal Danish Theatre, the Table church, Amalienborg, Kastellet and its church, the Little Mermaid, le Skuespil Huset and Copenhagen’s stock exchange building!

When I came back to the apartment, I had burned every bit of energy I had… I just felt like going to sleep even if it was barely supper time. It was good fatigue, but I was (and still am) as tired as can be. So I’ll leave a few random pictures of Copenhagen, that haven’t been touched up yet, to give you an idea, and I’ll add the comments later 🙂

Thanks for your understanding!

 

To learn a little more about Copenhagen;

http://www.visitcopenhagen.com