May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV

Friday, June 25, 2010

Denmark Continued

Jim and I both agree that we didn't have enough time in Denmark. In fact, the only city we saw was Copenhagen.......and we didn't thoroughly see everything we could have seen there. If we return, Jim wants to travel more around the country and see where his ancestors lived. His great-grandfather immigrated from Denmark. He married a woman from Sweden after arriving in the United States. Somewhere along the line, the "en" in Sorensen became "on" thus confusing future generations into thinking that everyone was from Sweden.

This is the small town of Dragon on the coast of the island of Zealand. Zealand is the island where Copenhagen is located. It is a small village that was originally settled by Dutch immigrants who were brought in to farm the land.

All The houses in Dragon were painted this lovely yellow and they all had tile roofs. It rained that day so we didn't have good contrast for pictures.

In the late afternoon, we boarded an overnight ferry/cruise to Oslo, Norway. The cabin was tiny and compact but basically comfortable. Guess who got the upper bunk? It wasn't Jim. We had a delicious dinner buffet that evening and arrived in Oslo, Norway the next morning about 9:30 a.m.

We by-passed Oslo at this point and boarded a motor coach to begin our journey through the Fjord country of Norway. We began to see the real beauty of the Norwegian landscape as we passed lakes, farms on hillsides, and snowy plateaus.

Our guide told us that Spring has only just arrived about a week ago. Until then, people were still skiing. In some areas, they can ski all year long. Many people have summer cottages in this area. Notice the hairpin turns that our motor coach was constantly making. Made for some exciting rides.

So ends another blog entry on our travels. There was definitely more to see on this day as we traveled to the snowy plateaus of the Hardanger Fjord.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen

The next morning of our excellent adventure we were up early for an incredible Scandinavian style breakfast buffet. Jim was in heaven with all the choices. He especially loved having several choices of cheese. By 10:00 a.m. we were on our "coach" with our local guide, Gordon Bayliss. As you can tell by is name, he is not Danish. In fact he was born and raised in Texas but now lives full-time in Copenhagen. He speaks Danish with a southern accent.

He told us that it takes three years of residency to become a Danish citizen. One of the requirements is that you demonstrate a working knowledge of Danish. But we also found out that all Danish students begin learning ESL during their third grade year.

Gordon accompanied us on a short walking tour along cobblestone streets. He was full of interesting information and history about the city of Copenhagen.

You can see by the sky, that we were having a spectacular day weather-wise.

Copenhagen felt very pedestrian friendly and welcoming.

Back on the bus and a visit to The Cathedral Vor
Frue Kirke (The Church of Our Lady). The beautiful sculptures inside are by Bertel Thorvaldsen. The church was an example of neo-classical building art.

Next Post will be about our afternoon on our own. At this rate, it will be somewhere around December that I finish my travel blog about Scandinavia. But I have a goal in mind since we have another trip planned for this fall. Have Time (yeah retirement!) Will Travel.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Scenes From Scandinavia

We've been gone. Finally! The big trip to celebrate retirement has happened. There has been a lot of life that has happened between December 2007 (retirement party for Jim) and May 2010 (trip to Scandinavia). Oh how we have needed that trip. It was inspiring and restorative to see the beauty of God's creation in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

So off we went to San Francisco International Airport. Packed and ready to go with passports in hand. Couldn't leave without one last taste of Mexican food.

All aboard for an 11 hour trip to Frankfurt, Germany and then on to Copenhagen, Denmark. Lufthansa Airlines whisked us away to Scandinavia on a 747 full to the brim with international travelers.

We arrive to be greeted by our lovely and knowledgeable guide, Kristina Larsson, from Sweden. She gets us to the Marriott Copenhagen and this view out our window. In the distance you can see a tower at Tivoli Gardens. According to our bodies, it is Friday morning. According to the clock, it is now around 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon.

We meet our traveling companions that evening and then we are off on our first excursion to Tivoli Gardens for dinner and a look around. The dinner was fillet, boiled potatoes, vegetables, a complimentary glass of wine and a yummy dessert. After dinner we strolled around the lovely gardens. Tivoli Gardens is part garden, part amusement park and part entertainment venue. It is right in the middle of the city of Copenhagen. Soon we were all drooping due to jet lag so it was back to the hotel and to bed.

Isn't it lovely? It rained a little while we were there but we enjoyed it anyway. What's a little rain when you are half-way around the world in Denmark.

No. The Little Mermaid has not been moved to Tivoli Gardens. This is a small replica loaned by the Ericksen family. The original is currently "visiting" China.

So this begins my blog about our trip. More to come later.