Monday, 30 July 2012

Malmö, Sweden

Saturday July 28/12
It was a 4 hour bus ride South to Malmo, Sweden, so I arrived around 3pm.

My new couch surfing host, Christoffer came to the central station to pick me up. He is originally from Malmo Sweden and works for Nintendo (so cool!).

He had 3 other surfers with him. 2 girls from Germany and a guy from France. All three of the were leaving later in the afternoon. We walked back to Chistoffer's place. A nice 3 bedroom apartment. I got settled and then we were off again. We drove the French guy to the highway where he was going to hitchhike his way to Stockholm and we dropped the girls off at the central station where they were going to meet up with some other travellers.

Christoffer and I met up with some of his friends and went to the laser dome. There was 9 of us total and we played 3 games of laser tag. It was sweaty good fun! Christoffer was the champ.. and I wasn' t very good but I didn't come in last.. I was like 19/23.
We all headed out for supper after. We went to a Mongolian buffet and it was awesome!! You fill up your plate with raw veggies and meat topped with noodles and sauces and then the chef cooks it all up right in front of you. It was delicious!

Unfortunately , I forgot my camera back at the apartment so I have no pictures :(

We left the restaurant around 11pm and Christoffer and I went back to his place because he was expecting 3 new couch surfers from France.  These 3 guys were cycling for 10 months pretty much across the world. They were super interesting to chat with and they gave me some advice about travelling Eastern Europe.

Sunday July 29/12
The French guys were off early in the morning. Christoffer and I had no real plans but set out into the city around 11am. He showed me around the central area of the city. It was very beautiful. Unfortunately it was very cloudy out..and threatening rain.

We picked up some groceries and back at the apartment, Christoffer made me an awesome spaghetti and meatballs meal. His friends came over and we watched Batman Begins.  Then headed to the theatre where we met up with more friends and we all went and saw the new Batman movie - The Dark Knight Rises. I will just say that it was awesome! :)
We went for supper at an ordinary restaurant and then just hung out at the apartment.

My trip to Malmo was great. I was sad we didn't have better weather but it was nice to get away from museums and just enjoyed doing regular things with cool interesting people.

Monday July 30/12
Still raining in Malmo. We watched another movie - was a bit weird but entertaining. Then I took the train 5 hours to Stockholm.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Göteborg, Sweden Day 4

Friday July 27/12
Today Amir and I spent the day touring around the city of Göteborg. First we went to the botanical gardens. It was beautiful.. Spent like 2 hours just walking around and enjoying the flowers and nature.

Then just across the street, we went to slottsskogan.  A beautiful park with sea lions, penguins, goats, horses.. random things. 

Then lunch. We decided on pizza.. Kebob pizza - it was very different than any pizza I have ever had, but it was good. 

I rented a bike and we cycled around the city centre. We rode to the ocean, then to a park where there was a live band. Then to a place by the river where we enjoyed the sunshine and played some cards. 

We once again enjoyed the grill with Amir's friends. We had chicken, pork and meatballs with rice. Then we watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics.. only till about midnight because I wanted to get mostly packed for my trip South to Malmo.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Göteborg, Sweden Day 2 & 3

Wednesday July 25/12
Slept in, which was so nice. Amir and I had some breakfast followed by some lunch then took the bus to the beach.
It was packed with people.. I couldn't believe how many there were for the middle of the week. But I guess these sunshine days have been rare so far this summer.

We met up with one of Amir's friends and another random couch surfer.
We layed in the sun, played cards (I learned some new games), and played in the ocean.

It was a beautiful day in the sun. Very relaxing! We played some frisbee and did a bit of walking around the beach.
There is a path by the water edge behind those rocks in the background        --------> and it was very lush. I called it the fruit path because it was full of cherry and apple trees and raspberry bushes.

We didn't leave until close to 7pm. We had another grill (as they call it) for supper. This time Amir and I had chicken and rice. It was very enjoyable with good company!

Thursday July 26/12
Today I enjoyed the famous Liseberg amusement park of Göteborg.
I was only going to spend a few hours.. but ending up staying the whole day there!
I started with an easier roller coaster and worked my way up to Balder - one of the biggest wooden roller coasters in the world!

The first drop is the steepest at 70 degrees and it gets up to 90km/h. It is a 2 minute ride.
I bought a magnet with my picture going down one of the drops.. it's pretty funny but I couldn't take a good picture of the picture to post it.  

Next I went on the SpinRock. We have a similar ride at the Exhibition in Saskatoon.

I had some lunch and decided another roller coaster would be safe after food.
It is called, Lisebergbanan. It was fast and very fun! I took a video that is not very good. I was going to post it anyway but for reason it keeps failing. I will try to put it on facebook instead.

I went on the Hanghai

And then the Uppswinget - which was my absolute favourite.

It goes at 80km/h to a height of 40 meters above ground. And the swing angel reaches 120 degrees. By far the most scary ride I went on.
There was an older lady with her granddaughter beside me and she made the cross over her chest before the ride started and I had to agree with her. It was so much fun - I could have done this ride over and over again. Too bad the lines were 30mins long.

I got back to Amir's around 6pm. He went and played badminton while I played around on the internet. We had dinner with Arash and Afsaneh again. Then the 4 of us played pool after. The women against the men.. best of three and the women won!! We are champs! So much fun!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Made it to Sweden via Ferry. Pretty unremarkable trip.
I have made my way into the couch surfing community and I am staying with a host, Amir. Originally from Iran, Amir is in Sweden to study computer science at the university.
We went to the grocery store and picked up some food.  There is a park with fire pits and picnic tables just a minute walk from his place. A couple of his friends joined us and we cooked up some hotdogs and hamburgers. They are lovely people. It is great to have someone to chat with!

Tomorrow is suppose to a beautiful hot day! Amir is taking me to the beach. We are going to meet up with some other couch surfing friends there as well  :)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Skagen, Denmark

I woke up Sunday morning and packed up my tent and pack. The very generous and nice Norwegians invited me for breakfast before I caught my bus to Frederikshavn.  After the 1 hour bus ride, I needed to take a 35minute train to Skagen. But I missed the first train and had to wait 2 hours for the next one. This was ok because it gave me time to check into the Ferry schedule as I plan to take one to Sweden on Tuesday.
By the time I finally made it Skagen it was after 4pm. I walked about 12 blocks with my pack to where the international hostel was located. All that way to find they have no beds available. So I had my first mini break down of my trip. I walked back about 5 blocks to where I had pasted a motel. They wanted $110 for one night... with no internet access. I was feeling a bit teary at this point, exhausted and frustrated. I walked about 3 more blocks back in the direction of the train station when I saw this:

 Luckily this very nice Danish couple had a room available for an acceptable price. I have the whole basement to myself! With my own kitchen! Happy to have found somewhere to stay, my pack exploded in the room and I went to find a grocery store. Only a few blocks away I bought enough food for 2 suppers, 2 breakfasts and a lunch for the same price as going out for 1 supper. 

Yummy chicken pasta for supper! A travelling classic - made me think of Leah and Cass!

It was already 9pm by the time I had finished eating and cleaned up. So I did some research on the computer and went to bed!

Today I walked the town. I first went to the tourist information where they helped me book my ferry ticket for tomorrow to Sweden. I tried to do it myself last night but I don't understand a single word of Danish, so it didn't go well.  After I got my ferry ticket booked, I walked around the cute little town of Skagen. I went to the Skagen museum not knowing what to expect. Turned out to be an art museum featuring one artist in particular.

They had an audio set in English so I could hear the history and thinking behind some of the paintings. I am not very artsy but it was genuinely interesting.

A couple of my favourites! I bought a deck of playing cards that has a picture of one of his paintings on each card.

Then I came to the water tower. I climbed up it to get a great view of Skagen.

All of the houses are yellow with red brick roofs.

I walked back to my room and fixed myself a salad. I ate my salad and had a beer in the beautiful back yard!

So the neat thing about Skagen is that it is at the very northern tip of Denmark and at that very tip is where 2 different sea's meet and the it is the only spot where the waves crash opposite each other. So you are standing in the Western Skagerrak sea and the Eastern Kattegat sea at the same time.
I am standing at the very tip looking back on the beach. I think this picture best shows how the 2 sea's come together. 

As you can see the sun was hiding for most of the day and it was quite windy but all the walking kept me quite warm!

I had a blast playing in the sand. It was so soft. I thought of Leah.. she would have been rolling in it LOL.

A 5km walk there and back. Plus the morning walking.. I think I did close to 20km of walking today. I came home and had chicken pasta leftovers, followed by a short nap!

Tomorrow I am off to Goteborg, Sweden via ferry. I will arrive there around 6pm my time (10am Saskatchewan time).  

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Aalborg, Denmark

I left Copenhagen on Friday. It was a boring day of travel. Pack, train, bus, walk, unpack, walk, eat, walk, sleep. I have been staying at a camping ground in my little one man tent. It gets pretty cool at night but I managed fine.

Saturday I walked into town around 10am (it's about a 15minute walk). Got some tea and a croissant from a bakery.
I set off to see Lindholm Hoje - the largest Viking burial grounds. This was the main reason I came to this town in Denmark. It had a fabulous museum.  The site was excavated between 1952 - 1958. From that archaeologists were able to depict how the people lived in the Viking era (800-1100 A.D.) and the Iron age (0 -800 A.D.). Not only how they lived but how they died and the rituals around burial.  The museum was attributed to this.

The burial site has 700 graves. Each grave surrounded by stone. Women's grave's were oval and circular and the men's graves were triangular and ship-shaped. The men with graves that were ship-shaped were often buried with a sword indicating the man had a special status in society.

Hopefully you can read that. If you have any questions.. I am full of knowledgee!
It was worth the trip to Aalborg :)

I caught the bus back into the town centre. It was the hottest day of my trip so far so I soaked up some sun on a cafe patio while I ate some lunch.
I was going to go to the Aalborg castle but it was closed and under construction. So after I wasted time trying to get into that, I caught a bus to the Aalborg zoo. 

I was a little peeved about how much they charged as entrance fee but after exploring it, I decided it was well worth it!  The Aalborg zoo participates in international breeding programs and is focused on the conservation of endangered animals and their nature. 

I could have watched the giraffes and zebras for hours!! So entertaining. They have a huge living space. 

I watched the polar bears for a long time too; they were having a blast playing in the water. No good pictures through the glass though.

First time seeing kangaroos!

These are my best pictures. Other fascinating animals I saw: polar bears, lamas, tigers, lions, elephants, all sorts of monkeys, hippos, goats, flamingos, camels, and even capybaras.

The zoo was gorgeous. Very lush and green. The animals looked very well cared for.

I made my way back to the campground where I found 2 motor homes situated near my tent. They belonged to 5 very kind Norwegians who invited me over to join them for a drink. They were curious about my situation and my very small tent. I enjoyed their company and they gave me beer and food!  They had just finished a very exciting trip in France where they supported the Tour de France bicycle race. I am very thankful to have met them and I look forward to seeing them again when I head to Bergen, Norway in August!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Copenhagen, Denmark Day 3

First off, I had to organise my train to Aalborg for tomorrow morning. So I went to the central station and bought a ticket. It leaves at 10:50 tomorrow morning.

I then got on a bus and went to Christiansborg area of town. I went to the Thorvaldsens Museum first. Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) a famous Danish sculptor donated his collections to Copenhagen. He was buried at the centre of the museum with all of his sculptures and art work displayed around him.
He did incredible work.. Breathtaking marble sculptures.. I feel like the pictures hardly do justice!

This is one of my favourite museums so far!

Right across from it is Christiansborg Palace. It has burnt down and been rebuilt twice (in the 17 & 1800's).  It currently houses the Parliament, the Royal Reception Rooms used by the Queen, the Prime Minister's Office and the Supreme Court.  The chandeliers caught my eye.. they are gorgeous!

I am going to make you look back to Day 2, at the very last picture of the the Church of Our Saviour. I decided to climb up that today.  400 stairs up! The church part was built from 1682 - 1696. And the spire in 1749 - 1752.
The view from the top!

I tried to take pictures of the Bell and the mechanics part of the bell but they didn't turn out very good. It was a steep climb, but the view was worth it! Of course as soon I reached the very top.. the highest step I could climb.. It started to down pour rain!

I went to the National Museum next but I had a stomach ache (possible from drinking some questionable tap water.. maybe the hotdog) so I didn't spend much time there.
I went back to the hostel and had a nap! Feeling much better now :)
Tomorrow I am off to Aalborg, Denmark. A 4 hour train ride that goes through a tunnel in the ocean!