coronavirus, Denmark, dogs, shopping, trip planning

Dreaming about Danish delights in Denmark…

Well friends, it’s been another boring winter week in the land of COVID-19 restrictions and crappy weather. Bill was TDY during the work week, so I spent my days alone, doing a lot of reading and thinking. The news came out that Denmark was going to be the first European to end COVID restrictions. Given that we haven’t spent a lot of time in Denmark, and both of us are sick to death of the endless and ridiculous rules in Germany, I proposed to Bill that maybe a trip to Denmark may be in order.

Of course, since I am not interested in taking public transportation, a trip to Denmark would be a haul. But it is doable, as we drove through Denmark in 2019 when we picked up our new Volvo in Sweden. I thought it was a pretty country, and I would like to spend more time there. The only other time we’ve been was when we took a Baltic cruise in 2009 and Copenhagen was one of our stops. Last time we were there, we just spent an overnight. I am itching to travel, and ready to ditch face masks… especially the fucking FFP2s. So we’ll see. I’ll do some research to see where we might like to go. Either way, we’ll probably have to break up the trip with a stop in Germany. I think it would take us at least 8 or 9 hours to get there from where we live. Maybe we’ll turn it into a grand trip, since Norway and Sweden are reportedly also going to do away with mandates.

Aside from dreaming about Denmark, I also bought Bill a couple of funny aprons. I decided to replace his old one, because one of the ties broke off during a wash. Bill had said he would get one for himself, but acquiesced when I asked him if he had an issue with my choices. He laughed and said “no”, then added that if he bought himself an apron, it would probably be black with knives on it, or something. So I went looking, and sure enough, I found the apron pictured below within five minutes…

Yes, he’s holding a knife. I bought that for him some time ago. The comment on the apron translates to “Leave the recipe behind, I am a cook, not a chemist.”

Just as I was about to click away from the page, I noticed another apron that I knew Bill needed…

Bill is a Star Wars fan… I am not a Star Wars fan, but I knew he’d love this apron.

Yesterday, Bill raised the idea of maybe going into town and trying out the new BrewDog restaurant in Wiesbaden. But the weather today is positively terrible. It’s cold, windy, and rainy. And Germany, unlike its northern neighbors, continues to persist with oppressive COVID-19 rules which require even vaccinated people to be boosted and/or tested. I am triple vaccinated, but it’s just too much of a hassle to deal with the restrictions, just so we can drink beer downtown. So we stayed home, and Bill went out and got doughnuts, because I told him I wanted some yesterday. He was going to go to the train station to get them from Dunkin’ Donuts, but I told him to just go to the neighborhood bakery…

Not bad at all! I love doughnuts, especially on a Sunday morning. As you can see, we have Berliners, and choco-Brotchens, as well as regular chocolate covered doughnuts.

We’ll get to BrewDog eventually. Even Germans are getting fed up with the COVID rules that never seem to end. Eventually, the government will want people to spend money.

Arran is fine with us staying at home with him, though…

He sure was glad when Bill got home. So was I.

We were supposed to be going to Switzerland in the middle of the month, as Bill has a few classes planned at the Jung Institute that he was going to do in person. But because of Omicron, he decided to do the courses virtually. We were also going to see James Taylor next weekend, but that show was postponed until November. Hopefully, it will go on. I’m still waiting on a Keb’ Mo’ show that was supposed to happen in November 2020 and has been postponed three times. At this writing, it’s supposed to go on in May 2022. I look forward to it… if it happens.

Noyzi is still his adorable self, too… Every day, he becomes more attached. It does my heart good to see how much he’s changed. And now, when he needs something, he doesn’t hesitate to bark at us to wake us up. But he’s usually polite enough to wait until about 6:00am, if we haven’t already gotten up to tend to him.

Good thing he’s so cute.

Well, that about does it for this week. I hope that very soon, I can get back to sharing some really fun stuff. But for now, it’s gloomy. Even if COVID weren’t an issue, I wouldn’t want to go out in the yucky weather. The featured photo today is one I took in Copenhagen, back in June 2009. Those were the good old days. Maybe we can revisit them soon. We really need a change of scenery. We want our lives back, too.

Standard
Uncategorized

Ten things I learned on our trip to Sweden, Denmark, and East Germany…

Well, it’s time once again to write one of my “ten things I learned” posts.  I always like to wrap up a long trip with a summary post.  It’s mainly for those who don’t want to wade through all my crap, but are interested in where I went and what I did.  I find it’s also useful for me to digest our travel experiences.  I keep reminding myself that I probably won’t always have these amazing opportunities to see the world.  So here goes…

10.  Volvo is now owned by a Chinese company.

I knew that Volvo was once owned by the American company, Ford, but I didn’t know that it was bought by Geely, which was founded in 1986 and is based in China.  I also didn’t know that Geely means “lucky” or “auspicious” in Chinese.

9.  Hygge is a special thing in Denmark.

Actually, it’s a special thing in Norway, too.  The word denotes a certain kind of coziness and comfort, particularly when it includes togetherness with other people.  I didn’t experience much Hygge during our one night in Copenhagen, but I can see how I might if I stayed there longer… or if we’d ventured into Denmark’s cool tree walk.

8.  Always follow up if you don’t get firm instructions regarding a meeting.

My husband, Bill, was kicking himself because he took our Volvo salesperson’s word for it when he was told they’d come get us at around 9:00am.  He never heard from anyone at Volvo itself.  Consequently, we were surprised when they sent a cab for us at 7:40am.  Fortunately, we were able to go to the factory later and get our new car.

7.  The Volvo Factory Experience is cool…

It was interesting to see how robots created the luxury wheels we’re driving now.  Volvo also doesn’t look like a bad place to work, if you can stand factory work, that is.  The factory was clean and surprisingly quiet.

6.  The Stasi Prison Museum in Rostock is closed for renovations.

I was bummed that we weren’t able to see the museum.  It was the one reason we decided to stay in Rostock for two nights instead of Copenhagen.  Oh well.  Rostock is a pretty interesting city anyway. I wouldn’t mind going back.  If we do go back, maybe we can see the museum then.  Or maybe we should just go to Berlin again and see the one there.

5.  East Germany is still pretty unspoiled and vacant compared to the west…

It was a pleasure to drive on the mostly open Autobahns, although I kept wondering what it must have been like there before and immediately after the Berlin Wall fell.  I think the former East Germany is fascinating.  I’d love to spend more time there.  And yes, I know East Germany doesn’t exist anymore.  I’m a child of the 80s.  Humor me.

4.  Leipzig is a very musical city.

I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t know Bach, Wagner, and Mendelssohn had connections there.  I will admit, though, that they aren’t composers I’ve studied much about.  Aside from the heavy hitting classical composers, Leipzig is home to a number of talented buskers and hosts its share of rock stars.  We got to see one up close in the hotel bar where we were staying.

3.  Bedbugs may or may not have bitten my leg…

And if a bedbug did bite me, it proves that bedbugs aren’t necessarily attracted to filth.  Even really nice hotels can have issues with them.

2.  German Apothekes are very helpful if you have a minor illness or health mishap.

I’m sure I knew this, of course.  I just don’t make it a habit of visiting them because as an American with on post shopping privileges, I can get my hands on a lot of over the counter drugs without having to talk to a pharmacist.  But if you’re on a trip in Germany and something bites you or you have minor aches and pains, a German Apotheke may be very helpful and worth a stop.

1.  Autobahns in East Germany have emojis to indicate the length of building projects.

Maybe they have them in the west, too, but I have never seen them.  They’re pretty cute!

This is pretty much how I feel when I encounter a Stau… especially if it’s caused by one of the neverending building projects over here.

Standard
Uncategorized

Volvo, Mark Knopfler, and East German adventures… part five

Tuesday was to be our shortest day driving.  We planned to drive to Gedser, Denmark, where we would pick up our second ferry.  Unlike the first ferry ride, which only lasted about twenty minutes, this one would be almost two hours.  It would also cost about three times as much.  We left the city bright and early, at about 8:30am.  I got some pictures of Copenhagen’s rush hour, which seemed to include as many bikes as cars.  I thought the Dutch were bike happy.  They’ve got nothing on the Danes!

I wish we’d had a day to explore Copenhagen.  Maybe we’ll have another chance to do a proper visit.  Last time we were in Copenhagen, it was during a cruise.  I got some good photos, but no real feel for the culture.

The drive from Copenhagen to Gedser was very pretty.  I was thinking I’d like to explore Denmark’s countryside more.  I even noticed what appeared to be a “treewalk” in the distance as we drove on the highway.  These “tree walks” are opening up all over the place and they’re really fun and cool.  I see the one in Denmark doesn’t have a slide, like the one near Stuttgart has.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stop for a visit, since we needed to catch the 11:00am ferry.  It was delayed, and the next ferry, at 3:00pm, was cancelled.

Pretty Danish countryside…

Danish “tree walk”.

Pretty impressive Danish engineering.

Once you drive your car onto the ferry, you have to go to the upper decks for safety reasons.  There, you can eat, surf the Internet, or hang out on the sundeck, where the wind will try to blow you off the boat.  I got a few photos from the trip.

Driving up to the toll plaza.

 

Into the ass of the boat…

When you buy your tickets, they give you vouchers to buy duty free tobacco.  Apparently, you’re supposed to smoke it all on the ferry…  Good thing I don’t smoke.

We saw one guy breaking the rules, hanging out with the vehicles.

A Lamborghini was next to us.

It was hard to stay topside, due to the high winds.

But you could have a buffet lunch, schnitzel, fish & chips, or sandwiches.

 

I had a schnitzel, which was surprisingly good, even if it was served with cocktail sauce instead of ketchup.

We landed in Rostock in the mid afternoon.  It’s a very pleasant East German city with kind of a dark past.

 
 

Part of the reason I wanted to go to Rostock is because there’s a very cool museum there.  Rostock is where many East Germans who were arrested for political crimes awaited trial.  There’s a prison there that was used until 1989.  I read about it in a book last year and somehow learned about the prison museum in Rostock.  There is also one in Berlin.  I was really hoping to visit it during this trip, but they are currently doing renovations and the museum is closed until next year.  Maybe we’ll get back there.  I did get some pictures of the outside of the prison, which I’ll share in the next post.

“Lovely” East German architecture.  It looked like it might have been refurbished.

Aside from East German horrors, Rostock is also a very charming port city with beautiful architecture, decent restaurants, and plenty of talented buskers on the streets, which are crammed with good shopping.  We chose to stay at the Radisson Blu.  Given another opportunity to visit Rostock, I don’t think I’d stay there again.  Right from the beginning, things got off on a perilous foot when Bill missed the turn for the parking garage.  He wound up driving into a “walking area”, earning a lot of dirty looks from locals, as well as the shame of embarrassment.

The hotel was undergoing some renovations during our visit, which I hope will include an updating of the rooms.  Our room was very large and had a nice view, but the decor was truly nightmarish.  It looked like the set designers of The Lion King threw up all over the interior, with loud colors, safari-ish accents, and stuff that was cool in the early 1990s.  Service was decent at this hotel, but our room had at least one dead outlet and the bed was extremely firm and uncomfortable.  Also, I’m not absolutely certain, but it’s possible that we might have picked up bedbugs there.  If we didn’t get them there, there’s a chance we got them in the next hotel, which is where we actually found a bug, as well as bites on one of my legs.  More on that in a future post.

Here are some pictures of the room.

Bill was excited about the trouser press in the closet.

That print on the wall gave me nightmares.

I didn’t think to take a picture of it, but our room had both a shower/tub and a stand up shower.

After we checked in, and Bill mentally recovered from the error he made in driving through the walkplatz, we took a walk around town.  I got more pictures.

Cool fountain near Rostock’s University, 600 years old this year.

A university building.

This busker was playing a song for the little kid, bravely approaching him.  It was super cute!  The weather was cool, so people were bundled up.  I wished I’d brought a jacket.

The Rathaus…

I didn’t get pictures of inside of the Marienkirche, because it appeared that they weren’t allowed.  However, it really is a beautiful church and is well worth a visit.  It even has an astrological clock.

The tower at the Marienkirche.

 

We were looking for dinner, but most places either didn’t have what we wanted or were heavily populated.  So we ate dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, L’Osteria.  It wasn’t bad, mainly because we were the only ones there until we were almost finished eating.

Bill had beef strips and shrimp with tagliatelle and spicy sauce.

 

I had salmon with creamy mashed potatoes and a cucumber salad with dill and a bit of vinegar.  It was surprisingly good, although the salmon was just a little overcooked.

For dessert, I had an apricot tart with salted butterscotch ice cream.

Bill had affogato– espresso with vanilla ice cream.

Probably my favorite part of the meal, though, was the focaccia bread, which was served warm with olive oil and some kind of black currant vinegar.  It was delicious!  They only had wines by the glass.  I think it was because of the renovations.  The bar area was totally dismantled, so it appeared that they had diminished ability to serve drinks.

“La Fontana” is one of the restaurants we encountered before we decided to eat at the hotel.  I didn’t want to go in there because the signs had typos.  Here’s a PSA for all of you readers.  There is no reason to use an apostrophe for simple plural words.  Apostrophes are mainly used to show possession.  I know it makes me sound like a freak, but I had a visceral reaction to this sign.  It also sparked a very interesting Facebook thread.

Sunset… I think it was at about 10:00pm.

Standard
Uncategorized

Volvo, Mark Knopfler, and East German adventures… part four

Thanks to having missed our early morning taxi appointment that we were never informed we had, our Monday morning got off on the wrong foot.  When we got to Volvo’s visitor’s center, we could see a sign that welcomed us as one of a group of people there to get new cars.  According to the sign, everyone was from the USA, although I saw one name that had an umlaut and looked German or Swedish, one that was obviously Italian, and at least two others that were Hispanic/Latino.  Strange that a country so clearly full of immigrants is having so many of these recent problems with immigration.

Welcome to new car payments!  Yea!

Anyway, after we dropped off our bags and Bill handed over paperwork and German license plates for the new car, we had lunch in the visitor’s center.  Bill had salmon, and I had Swedish meatballs with lingonberries.

Volvo style salmon.

 

Just like at IKEA.

I had a chance to check out the small Volvo gift shop, too.  You can buy everything from jackets with logos on them to models of your favorite Volvos.  Alas, they only had XC 90 models; there weren’t any XC 40s or XC 60s.

If you’re really a Volvo fan, you can buy a model for your desk.

They even had a toy car for your kids… but  it had no seatbelts!  We heard on the tour that every car has a little Volvo in it, since Nils Bohlin, an engineer at Volvo, invented three point seatbelts.  The company gave away the patent for free for the good of everyone.

Old Volvo.  According to Wen, the Chinese tour guide, Volvo means “I roll” in Swedish.

Ha ha ha… Volvo style “Members Only” jacket…  

Just like the factory.

Later, were met by a tiny Chinese woman who was tasked with handling our factory tour.  The woman, whose name was “Wen” (or at least that’s what it sounded like her name was), spoke heavily accented, but otherwise excellent, English.  She took everyone’s cameras and cell phones, as photos are not allowed on the factory tour.  I happened to have an iPhone, iPad, and digital camera on me, which got locked in a drawer with everyone else’s electronics.

We were loaded up in a “train” like vehicle that had plastic curtains that could be dropped down for protection against wind or sparks.  Then, after we donned plastic safety glasses, the vehicle drove us through parts of Volvo’s vast factory, which Wen told us is larger than Vatican City and Monaco.  I’m not sure if she meant the factory was larger separately, or together.  It was impressively huge, though.

On our tour, we learned that Volvo cars are mostly made by robots.  I’m sure that’s how most cars are made today.  It was impressive to see the robots work, as well as the cleanliness and relative quiet of the factory.  I was also glad to see that the employees appeared to be reasonably happy.  Some of them waved and had real smiles on their faces.

I didn’t know this before Monday, but Volvo is actually owned by a Chinese company.  I knew it was once owned by Ford, but Ford sold it when it took a loss.  So, since 2010, a quintessentially Swedish company has been owned by a company that is decidedly not Swedish.  As we were picking up our new SUV, we were told that prior to the 2020 models, our car’s make was produced in China.  However, the Gothenburg plant now makes XC 60s.  We saw more than a few of them being made in the factory.  Our car was made there maybe a couple of weeks ago.

This was what I was there to see…  our new car.  And no, the one in this photo isn’t it.

The tour was interesting, although I was very ready to see our new wheels.  After we picked up our electronics, Bill and I were met by a charming, handsome, and very personable Swedish guy who showed us all of the cool stuff featured on our new car.  It took about an hour for him to demonstrate the many different ways the seats can be adjusted, opening the trunk by waving a foot under the car, and programming the iPad like control panel on the dashboard.  He even helped me pair my iPhone with the car’s infotainment system.

Learning new tricks.  This car doesn’t even have a paper based owner’s manual, nor do you put a key in any ignition.  You simply have the key on you and it starts up with the push of a button.

There s/he is!  Since it’s Bill’s car, I’ll let him decide the gender.  He says it’s a male.  Whatever it is, it’s a pleasure to ride in the 2020 XC 60.  Bill loves driving it, too.

Once we were checked out on the new car, Bill and I set off for our next destination, Copenhagen.  It took about four hours to get there and involved a 20 minute ferry ride from Sweden to Denmark.

One last look at Gothia Towers as we made our way south.

 

This was our first time driving in Sweden.  It was mostly a nice drive, although I couldn’t help but notice our industrial it looked.  I was expecting prettier views as we made our way southward. The new car has a place for a SIM card to go, so pretty soon I’ll have a hot spot in the car.  However, for the time being, I used Gig Sky again and amused myself reading the news, Facebook, and playing games.  I can’t believe how much “smarter” the new car is compared to our 2006 Toyota.  I remember thinking the Toyota was “smart” back in 2006.  Makes me wonder what I’ll think of our next vehicle… in the 2030s?

Our first ferry ride.  It cost 55 euros.

Approaching Helginsborg, Denmark…

Where you wait… they have restaurants and duty free shops on the ferries.  We only had time for a drink and a pee.

 

Welcome to Denmark!

From the ferry, it was maybe another hour or so to get to Copenhagen.  I had wanted to stay downtown, so it would be easy to walk around, but I was also concerned about adequate parking facilities.  I rented a room at the Adina Apartment Hotel in Copenhagen, an Australian chain that has sprung up in Europe and offers pretty good facilities for families.  We stayed in one in Berlin, when Bill’s mom visited us in December 2017.  Since it was just the two of us, and only for a night, I got us a studio apartment.  It was small, but basically comfortable.  Here are a few photos.

There is parking right outside this hotel, but it’s off limits to Adina guests.  Instead, you can book the huge parking garage just around the corner.  This hotel is close to the train, which will get you into Copenhagen proper.  We decided we were too tired to mess with that and stayed in.  Maybe if we’d made the earlier group, we would have walked around Copenhagen.  We have been there before, anyway, even if it was ten years ago.

 

They do have room service, but you can also use the microwave and fridge.  There is a restaurant on site.

 

Decent shower.  Nice head.

 

Sofa and bland art on the walls… but there’s also a little balcony for smokers and/or fresh air.

 

The restaurant has a full bar and beers on tap.

Mmm…  “The Chubby” was interestingly named.

I had a steak with Bernaise sauce.  It was okay.

Bill had fish and chips.  We ate a lot of fish and chips on this trip.

Time for bed.

 

The Adina Hotel worked fine for a night.  If I were going to be there longer than a night, I think I’d go for the one bedroom apartment.  The studio was a bit cramped, even for just two people.  I wish we’d gotten in earlier, so we could have walked around Copenhagen.  Unfortunately, we just don’t have the same stamina we used to have.

But I did get to enjoy some danishes in Denmark.

 

We checked out after breakfast and were soon on our way to our next stop, Rostock, Germany.

Standard
Uncategorized

Volvo, Mark Knopfler, and East German adventures… part one

For the past week, Bill and I have been engaged in an epic road trip.  What started out as just plans for a long weekend in Leipzig over the Independence Day holiday, eventually turned into a car buying odyssey in Sweden, with stops in Copenhagen, Denmark and Rostock, Germany.  Our road trip will end on Sunday, but since this is going to be a long story with lots of pictures, I’ve decided to start writing about it today.

If you’ve been following my blogs, you may know that over the past couple of years, Bill and I have been attending a lot of concerts.  Although I really love music, it’s not that often that I go to concerts.  I don’t like crowds, spending lots of money for uncomfortable seats, or having people’s armpits in my face.  However, even though I don’t enjoy being in huge crowds, I also realize that a lot of my favorite musicians are getting old.  A few have already died before I ever got the chance to see them live.

I didn’t have a lot of money or generous boyfriends when I was younger and more tolerant of crowds, so I missed a lot of my best concert going years.  Likewise, for Bill, it’s only been recently that we’ve been able to afford to get tickets for good seats.  I don’t like paying a premium for seats in the nosebleed section.  I can just as easily listen to a live album at home.

In any case, 2018 and 2019 have been unusually active concert going years for us.  Since a year ago, we’ve seen The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Roger Hodgson (of Supertramp), Scottish Music Parade, The Irish Folk Music Festival, Elton John, The Eagles, and tonight, Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits).  In 2017, we saw Sting, and in 2016, we saw Van Morrison…  or, at least I think it was 2016.  I can’t keep the dates straight anymore.  In 2015, we saw Diana Krall, and in 2009, we saw Lyle Lovett.

I like going to concerts in Europe.  People tend to be more considerate here, for the most part.  Also, they don’t seem to have as many rules.  At American concerts, it costs an arm and a leg to buy a beer.  People lose their shit and have less regard for people around them.  Although I may be proven wrong tonight, I’ve found that people aren’t like that so much on this side of the pond.

I bought the tickets for Mark Knopfler last fall, as we were preparing to leave the Stuttgart area.  I decided to get them for the Leipzig show, even though Knopfler is playing in Mannheim tomorrow, and Mannheim is much closer to where we live now.  I chose Leipzig because I’d been wanting to visit there.  Also, the date for Knopfler’s show in Leipzig seemed to make better use of the long weekend.  Originally, I had just planned for a three night break.  I was excited about this show, especially, because I’ve been wanting to see Mark Knopfler for years.  I missed him when he came to Germany in 2015.  His music means a lot to me for a lot of reasons.

Bill booked our dogs at the Tierpension Birkenhof in Darmstadt, and I got us a nice room at the Grand Hotel Steigenberger, which is one of Leipzig’s nicest hotels.  Had we not been able to book the dogs, we planned to find a self catering place where they could hang out while we went to the show.  Fortunately, the dog sitting situation is less severe in Wiesbaden than it is in Stuttgart.  We had no issues getting them a place at their new boarding facility.

For months, we waited for our trip to Leipzig, planning for just the three nights.  Then, in the spring, Bill decided he was ready to get a new car.  Our thirteen year old Toyota RAV 4, which was an excellent vehicle that served us very well in many countries, was beginning to need costly repairs.  It was time for a new car.  Bill wanted a luxury SUV.

In late April, we visited Capitol Motors Volvo in Kaiserslautern, as well as the BMW dealership, to see what kind of wheels we were going to buy.  Volvo won, so we ordered a beautiful 2020 XC 60 SUV in denim blue.  It’s a T6 Inscription, which is the top of the line trim.  Our dealer told us the car would be ready to pick up on July 1st.  Realizing that it had been way too long since our last proper vacation, I proposed to Bill the idea of flying to Gothenburg, Sweden, picking up the car at the factory, then driving it back to Germany.

Some readers may be aware that U.S. based Volvo dealers offer a great program for people who want to fly to Sweden, pick up their new cars, enjoy a European vacation, then fly home and have the car shipped to them.  Well…  over here in Europe, Volvo buyers, even through military sales, don’t get the same love.  If you are reading this from the United States and are thinking of having a Volvo sponsored European vacation, I recommend that you read this guy’s blog about it.  It’s not that I don’t want you to read my account, too.  It’s just that because we purchased our car in Germany, our experience was somewhat different.  However, we did get a very nice military discount.  I think Bill said we got our new Volvo for about $8,000 less than we would have paid if we hadn’t bought from military sales.

Since the car was going to be ready so close to when our Leipzig concert was planned, I proposed turning our car delivery into an epic trip.  Since Volvo was not going to be paying for our flight to Sweden and would only put us up for one night in a Gothenburg hotel, we decided to just come up to Sweden on our own, spend two nights in Gothenburg’s best five star spa hotel, pick up the car, and make our way to Leipzig.  I did some research and determined our itinerary.

We’d spend two nights in Sweden, since our only other visit there was at the end of a four night Baltic cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas.  We ended in Stockholm, and Bill had to fly right back to Germany to go to a meeting in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.  Consequently, we really didn’t see more than the port and the airport in Sweden.  I wanted to do better than that in Gothenburg, which is on the west coast of the country.

Next, we’d spent a night in Copenhagen.  We were able to see Copenhagen on that same Baltic cruise.  I would have liked to have done more than one night there, but we had to make our travel plans fit so that we’d be in Leipzig by July 4th.  After Copenhagen, we’d take the ferry across the Baltic Sea to Rostock.  I had wanted to visit a former East German prison museum there.  Since it looked like a cool town near the beach, we’d stay two nights in Rostock.  Then, we’d make our way to Leipzig for the three nights I planned there months prior to our decision to buy the car.

It’s all worked out seamlessly, so far.

As usual, I’m going to write a blow by blow account of this adventure and will include lots of pictures and TMI commentary.  I hope you’ll follow along, if I manage to capture your interest.  Otherwise, this will just serve as a diary of one of our more interesting trips as a married couple.

Somewhere over Gothenburg, just as we’re about to land…

Standard
Uncategorized

Now we’re in Rostock…

What a cool town this is!!!  Literally, it’s cool here, but it’s also figuratively cool.  Rostock has a lot of fascinating architecture, and it’s right by the Baltic Sea.  We had a pleasant drive through Denmark’s countryside before we took an almost two hour ferry ride across the Baltic Sea to get back to German soil.  We left the Adina Apartment Hotel in Copenhagen bright an early and made it to Rostock in time for check in at the Radisson Blu.

I think I’m going to have to explore Denmark more.  I had been to Copenhagen before last night’s visit– we stopped there ten years ago on a cruise, but I had never seen any other parts of the country.  It’s really pretty, and the ferry is exciting, if not kind of crowded and expensive.

The new car is awesome and continues to surprise us by how smart it is.  I look forward to writing up this trip, because I have a feeling some people would love a series on buying a Volvo via military sales from Germany.  Suffice to say, the experience has mostly been a real pleasure.

So… just a few more days until I write up this trip in detail.

Standard
Uncategorized

A night in Copenhagen

We picked up the car yesterday after a Volvo factory tour.  It was very interesting to see how the cars are made.  Every day, about 1200 new vehicles are created and built mostly by robots.  Our car, which would have probably been made in China had we bought it last year, was made in Sweden.  The car is beautiful, and handles like a dream.  Bill loves it!

After the Volvo tour and car pickup, we headed to Copenhagen by way of a ferry.  After a restful night in Copenhagen, we will head to Rostock, Germany today, also by ferry.  We will have two nights there, so maybe I can start writing some real posts again.  I feel the itch to write.

Standard
cruises, Denmark

A day in Copenhagen…

Back in the summer of 2009, Bill and I took our very first cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas.  It was a four night cruise.  We were “getting our feet wet”, as it were.  Neither of us had ever cruised before and it was an economical way to see parts of Scandinavia.

One of the ports we visited was Copenhagen.  I had been curious about Denmark, even though that’s where Bill and his ex wife got married and the start of so many of the problems from which we have spent ten years recovering.  Granted, if they hadn’t married, I’d probably be a single woman… or married to some guy I don’t like as much.  But maybe I’m just being cynical.  Surely there are other guys out there who could tolerate life with me.

Anyway, we enjoyed our June day in Copenhagen, wandering around the city.  We even got caught in a rainstorm…

 

A still shot

Colorful bum…

Downtown Copenhagen

One of many lunch options…

7-11s are all over Scandinavia and they seem to enjoy selling pornographic looking hot dogs…

Signs in Denmark…

This was a massive outdoor exhibit…

 Some were pretty clever…

They loved George W. Bush…

Explanation please!

 

This wino could have been a street performer…

We had lunch here…


The inside of this place was really cool… murals and paintings all over the walls and only one other American there for lunch besides us…


The door to a beautiful church…

 

We really only got a taste of Copenhagen during our day there.  I would love to go back sometime and really experience Denmark.  Something tells me I’d love it there.  But then, I feel very much at home in most parts of Europe.  I could spend many years there and be happy as a clam.  It was cold when we visited in early June.  Bill had to buy a jacket.  I bet it’s beautiful in July and August.

 
 
Standard