A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Copenhagen

Our favourite city so far

all seasons in one day 16 °C

We have had a fantastic day here in Copenhagen. It really is a great city to spend some time in. We started early by getting a couple of free city bikes and cycled across the city along the quayside of the main river The Inder in glorious sunshine - but it was a bit cold at first. We went to see The Mermaid which is surprisingly small, but beautifully formed!

We left just as several coach loads of tourists arrived. The city has a great mix of modern and traditional architecture and with rivers and canals as a backdrop looks stunning. We visited a strange area called Christiana which was a former barracks area taken over by hippies in the seventies and declared a free and independent state. It has been tolerated by the authorities over the years and remains outside normal regulation and government control today. However I think the early political idealism has been diluted now and it is on the tourist trail. Many of the residents make their living from selling to tourists - arts, crafts and drugs! It seemed a bit seedy to us and has become home to petty criminals. On the other hand they do provide housing for the homeless and soup runs across the city and the Danes seem to accept the right for this place to continue.

Later that day we had a traditional lunch - soused herring and various pickles and potato salads.....scrummy. We saw the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace of Amelienborg which was interesting especially as we have never seen this in London. On our way back we got caught up in a pro v anti President Assad demo. It was handled well by the Police and the pro Assad group eventually left the square to the delight of the antis.

Later we walked around the Tivoli Gardens a very old fashioned kind of amusement park. We weren't tempted by the rides but Frank was tempted by the ice cream,

We ended the evening in the hotel Skybar with drinks and japanese snacks watching the sun go down over this fine city.

Tomorrow we cross over to Sweden and will be staying near Gothenburg for a few days.

Posted by FandC 12:43 Archived in Denmark Comments (3)

More Copenhagen photos

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Posted by FandC 13:41 Comments (3)

Gothenburg, Sweden

In from the cold!

semi-overcast 15 °C

After we left the warmth and comfort of the Tivoli Hotel in Copenhagen we set off for Sweden where the temperature has dropped quite significantly. We are lucky now if we get up to 15C during the day and double figures by night. As a result a night in the tent is out of the question until the weather improves. We have taken to staying in a glorified wooden hut. But more about that later.

We crossed the Kattegat to Sweden on a marvel of engineering that combines tunnel, causeway and suspension bridge over a distance of 16 kilometres with a rail line slung underneath or alongside and which links Copenhagen to Malmo. Many Swedes work in Copenhagen and commute across the bridge each day. We spent a few hours in Malmo on route but then motored on to Gothenburg where we had booked this wooden hut at a cost only fractionally less than the rather good Tivoli Hotel in Copenhagen. we have been warned that the cost of everything rises the further north we go and this is certainly proving to be the case.

We are staying on a campsite in a beachside location just outside Gothenburg. Nearly all Scandinavian campsites have these cabins or cottages as they call them, providing basic accommodation. They have a simple kitchen, heating and bunk beds but the washrooms are separate and shared. They are undoubtedly warmer than a tent! C says: the cabins are not that bad - at least we had a cozy night's sleep!

Anyway we liked Gothenburg a lot. There are two really good food markets one for general stuff and the other devoted to fish (see pics) - I'm sure Ian must have visited these when he came with Kelly? We had lunch in the general food Market called Saluhallen - a huge bowl of fish soup which has kept us going all day. We've taken a tip from the Rough Guide and started having our main meal at lunchtime because it's so much cheaper that way.

In the afternoon we went to a Swedish design museum. It had some lovely stuff and one piece in particular caught Frank's eye and set the cogs whirring for a woodwork project!

On our return here to the wooden palace (aka shed) we spent an hour or so organising another stopover in Oslo for tomorrow night - it doesn't look like it's going to warm up in the next couple of days. The picture on the website of the cabin we're going to shows it covered in 12" of snow!!!

F and C

Posted by FandC 10:19 Archived in Sweden Comments (2)

Gothenburg foodie city

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Posted by FandC 09:26 Comments (0)

Less than 24 hours in Norway

Sweden is warmer and dryer!

We left Gothenburg early on Wednesday morning and drove just north to an area known as the Bohuslan Coast. It is an area popular with Swedes,
especially for sailing, with lots of islands and inlets. It's a very pretty area that would have been even nicer in the right weather conditions. The sun was shining when we left Gothenburg but it got progressively greyer and colder as we moved north. It started to rain late morning and so we decided to stop looking for a nice spot to have a picnic and set off on a long drive to Oslo. The conditions worsened the nearer we got to Oslo and so did our mood!

We had always said that our travel plans were going to be flexible but that principle was now going to be put to the test. One of the highlights of our tour was intended to be seeing the Norwegian Fjords. Our plan was to move on from Oslo to Bergen on the west coast and then work our way northwards through fiord country. Below are the reasons this is not going to happen - at least not this year.

REASONS TO LEAVE NORWAY AFTER LESS THAN 24 HOURS

- The weather was atrocious in Oslo and even worse in Bergen
- The forecast in Bergen for the next 5days was either heavy rain or hail every day with temperatures of 6 or 7 degrees C
- We did not think that the few Norwegians we had met in that brief time were particularly friendly...the weather doesn't help
- We had taken another "wooden hut" at a campsite on the northern edge of Oslo which was very grubby and not in good condition
- This was even more expensive than the same accommodation in Sweden
- The showers in the washrooms were not very clean and seemed also to be used by some suspicious looking guys who came in through the forest from outside the site
- To add insult to injury the showers were restricted to 6 minutes!
- The Traffic in Oslo was awful

We did not feel very comfortable or welcome in Norway so we looked at the weather forecast for Sweden and found it to be very promising. So after taking stock of the situation for about 10 seconds we knew that we would be heading back to Sweden. It has turned out to be a good move, the weather in Bergen is still cold and wet and here in Leksand Central Sweden the weather is sunny and we have rented a brilliant modern cabin with a great view over a beautiful lake. We plan to be here for a few days and to chill out and get in some walking and cycling in this friendly and relaxed place. Apart from being warmer and sunny the cabin - note I am not referring to it as a hut - is spacious and clean and has underfloor heating and it's own bathroom. We will be very content here. It's a pity about Norway but maybe we will give it another chance one day.

Posted by FandC 06:12 Comments (2)

Back to Sweden!

It was a shame to miss seeing the Fjords but the weather was really grim. Also Frank didn't mention the numerous traffic diversions on our route North!

But its great here and today we just chilled. In the supermarket one of the young guys was amazed that anyone from England would want to come on holiday to Sweden.

Anyway the pics are of our journey across (picnic), Frank taking photos as usual, the campsite here and finally a pic of the Oslo cabin in the rain!
Love C
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Posted by FandC 09:46 Comments (2)

Hoga Kusten (High Coast) Sweden

Back under Canvas

sunny 17 °C

We had a great few days in the luxury cabin - I enjoyed the comfort and the use of our own 'facilities'. We did a really long walk around the lakeside in lovely weather. This should have been a cycle ride but I fell out big time with the hire bike with fixed wheels and no hand brakes. It ended up with Frank taking on the role of train buffer as I came careering down a slope. So we walked instead and came back in style on an intercity train. The holiday season here is not really underway so it is really quiet which is great but does mean that many cafes and other things are still closed.

Apparently the Swedes all go crazy as it heads towards mid summers day. One venue which was open was the Bear Park at Orsa right up in the hills beyond Lake Siljan. It was a great day out and while it is always a bit uncomfortable to see animals like bears and tigers in captivity, here the emphasis was on conservation and the enclosures were huge. We saw quite a lot of bears including a couple of Polars, some tigers a wolf and a leopard.

We left Leksand yesterday morning and drove across to the East coast through endless lakes and forests and arrived her at the Snibben Campsite near Ramvik. It was hot and sunny on arrival so we decided to get the tent out again and we have a pitch right by the lakeside ( within feet of Frank's side of the airbed actually so he'd better behave). He was so pleased at the way the tent went up this time that he's taken loads of pictures. I'll attach a couple but after that I promise no more tent pics! So whilst I'm sorting the pics out I'll hand back over to Frank. Just before I do though - a big thanks to Duncs for his efforts with the plumbing and the allotment. And thanks to everyone for your comments - it's great to know you're looking at the blog and following our progress.

Yes this lakeside pitch is hard to beat. Although it's a bit on the cold side at times, largely due to the wind, the sun has mostly been shining and the lake is an intense blue. At night the wind seems to drop and we go to sleep with the gentle lapping of waves on the shore. Given the proximity and Christine's comment I have been well behaved.... so far at least!

Yes about the tent.....I must put in a good word for Outwell tents. Although we were a bit concerned we had gone over the top with this four berth tent with a large living space and full headroom we now have no doubt that this was a good buy. The original "in tent ion" (sorry about the awful pun) was to get a small two berth tent that would be quick and easy to pitch. That would have been a mistake so thanks to Andy for the advice. The sleeping inner tent is completely sealed by zips but the entrance doors can also just have a fine mesh screen to let in air and keep out the mossies. There are two separate 2 berth compartments so we sleep in one and the other is Christine's dressing room and wardrobe space. I am not allowed in there. The rest of the living area has it's own carpet and is completely sealed by a zipped in groundsheet. There are two entrances that can be used depending on orientation etc and the front entrance opens up to form a canopy if it's warm enough. The living area has windows all round to let in maximum light. That's enough about the tent.

We are just about to get our evening meal under way so we will sign off now and in our next blog we will say a bit more about this beautiful and remote area of Sweden

Luv F and C

Posted by FandC 08:14 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

Cabin tent and bears

The pics always seem to mix up but I'm sure you can work out what's what. The little children one is a sculpture we saw in a garden which I rather liked.

C x
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Posted by FandC 09:11 Comments (0)

And then on to Stockholm

sunny 18 °C

We enjoyed our first taste of Stockholm this evening. We arrived late afternoon and went out into the city for a meal and quick look round. First impressions were very good. We plan to spend the next 3 days here and take in as much as we can. We will post a more detailed blog on how we got on early next week when we are on our way to Tallinn, Estonia.

Meanwhile we can tell you a bit more about our last few days under canvass at the Huga Kusten. This remote area of Sweden is in the North on the eastern coast. It's a couple of hundred miles south of the Artic Circle. It's recently been designated a World Heritage site. It was covered 3 kilometres deep by ice during the last ice age and when the ice melted the land started to rise as a result of the released pressure and it continues to rise by 8mm per year! This is apparently the fastest rising land mass in the world at present. Any way the resulting landscape is beautiful with lots of islands separated by channels of water. Yesterday we went to nature reserve with a large interperation centre at a place called Docksta. We asked for advice about suitable walks and took a route to the top of a slab of rock called Skuleberget which is 300m high and it turned out to be more of a climb than a walk. It was very steep and had sections with near vertical ladders fixed into the rock face. We didn't see many people on the walk, just one man and two labradors and 3 climbers coming off the rock face with all the climbing gear. We both enjoyed it and Christine was very brave when dealing with the ladders. She didn't look down until we reached the top! The view was worth it as you could see right along the coast and the series of islands.

Christine says: it was a super few days on this lovely little campsite. The weather was sunny most of the time although it was a bit cold at night. We were told that the lake we camped beside still had ice on it only 3 weeks ago. I had fun trying to talk about cooking with a Swedish lady who had as much English as I have Swedish. I'll post some photos tomorrow.

Love FandC

Posted by FandC 14:13 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

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