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In Pursuit of Vikings, Fjords and Cooler Weather, thursdaysd Goes North

In Pursuit of Vikings, Fjords and Cooler Weather, thursdaysd Goes North

Old Aug 13th, 2015, 09:33 AM
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the Hurtigruten is definitely something that DH might like, Thursdaysd, but with my sea-sickness problems, I carefully not telling him about it!

Seriously, I'm very interested to know how you get on with it.
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Old Aug 13th, 2015, 12:32 PM
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Left Bergen at 20:00 and it was smooth as glass. Now it's 22:30 and there is definitely movement. Our cabin is well aft, might be better in the middle, but doubt it would be smooth. Isn't there stuff you can take for seasickness now? I've never had a problem, so am not a good guinea pig.

Excellent dinner buffet (set meals the other nights) with loads of smoked salmon and good cheeses. Gorgeous sunset.
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Old Aug 13th, 2015, 01:47 PM
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At the risk of going off-topic, I heard the booze was very expensive
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Old Aug 13th, 2015, 02:06 PM
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At the risk of going off-topic, I heard the booze was very expensive>>

gertie - that would definitely put DH off.

thursdaysd - there is "stuff" you can take for seasickness but sometimes it can be so bad that nothing works. Then all you can do is to lie down and try to sleep. a cabin in the middle is best because it moves less.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 12:41 PM
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<b>August 1-2, 2015: Museum Days: Copenhagen</b>

With only four nights in Copenhagen, obviously I had to be selective, especially as I spent most of one day at Roskilde. I was staying very close to Nyhavn, and spent my time in the central area, so it is certainly possible I would have enjoyed other areas more. I did see some interesting modern architecture - notably the "black diamond" library and the waterside theaters - some good-looking conversions, and a few older buildings that I liked. However, my general impression of the architecture was of severity, with uniformly flat fronts.

I started the morning of my second full day at Rosenborg Slot, one of the royal palaces. Since this was very close to my hotel I beat most of the tour groups. I was particularly glad of this, not just because I didn't have to dodge too many groups to get good views, but because the toilet facilities were totally inadequate. I enjoyed the Royal Treasury, but the palace proper was too baroque for my taste. The massive silver lions sprawled in front of the double royal thrones were too much.

After the palace I checked out the Botanical Gardens, right behind. Pleasant enough, with a nice lake and rock garden, but nothing special. I did approve of the metro, which took me to my next stop. As with several Asian systems, a glass wall separated passengers and tracks, with doors lining up with the trains. The very long escalators reminded me of Eastern Europe. I don't know whether the metro was supposed to serve as a bomb shelter, but I was surprised it was so deep.

My visit to the Design Museum was more successful, although it did seem to be displaying rather a lot of chairs. The small Art Nouveau collection had been purchased at the Paris Expo of 1900, which seems to have inspired several European museums. I enjoyed the Art Nouveau and the new costume and textile exhibits, but skipped the exhibition on the century of the child. On the plus side, I drank my afternoon coffee in their pleasant courtyard, surrounded by trees and flowers.

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek also proved worthwhile, as did the cafe in its atrium, the Winter Garden. I lunched there on a big smoked salmon sandwich, after a canal boat tour, before tackling the exhibits. The Sumer to Rome collection was very well curated, although the Etruscan exhibits weren't as exciting as I had hoped. I also admired a number paintings by Gauguin, Van Gogh and Degas in the art section, not to mention a very early Picasso, but was not impressed by Gauguin's ceramics.

The guidebooks had not filled me with enthusiasm for Denmark in general or Copenhagen in particular, which is why I was only spending four nights there. Obviously, plenty of people enjoy the country and the city, I'm just not among the fans. Some cities I love on first sight (Venice, Lisbon, Budapest, for instance) but others I don't warm too (Madrid is on that list).
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 01:07 PM
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All well and good but I am dying to hear if the Hurtigruten gave you seasickness!
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 02:58 PM
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thursdaysd ....just read your Sicily TR... sigh.... my bucket list is ever growing.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 03:24 PM
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I enjoyed the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, too -- glad you did!

I think the depth of the metro in Copenhagen reflects considerations of geology and groundwater, rather than defense, but I could be mistaken.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 09:55 PM
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I would agree with kja, since Copenhagen is by the sea, I would imagine that's the reason for deep metro stations, similar to Moscow (river) & St Petersburg (built on marshland).
Danes are famous for chair & other furniture design, eg Kaare Klint, Wanscher, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen etc, maybe that's why there were many chairs on display at the Design Museum.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 10:20 PM
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I have read that at least some of the Moscow stations were as deep as they were because they were planned as bomb shelters (specifically, nuclear bomb shelters). I don't know if that's true.... I've read of geologic reasons for the depth of metros in Copenhagen and St. Petersburg (where, as Odin noted, one needed to tunnel below marshes).

And I would agree with Odin -- not only are Danes famous for their furniture design, but moreover, chairs are among the easiest (smallest) to display. ;-)
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 10:22 PM
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I would have thought you wanted to be above the groundwater, but I know nothing about digging large holes.

Sicily is a great destination, would love to go back!

I don't get seasick, so I'm no guide to the stability of the ride, but it has seemed very smooth to me. The woman next to me at dinner last night did mention a side to side movement, and she is on the deck below me. Meals are certainly well-subscribed and no-one looks green. The weather has been quite remarkably good, though.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 10:29 PM
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"The weather has been quite remarkably good, though."

I like that news!
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 05:48 AM
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<b>August 3-6, 2015: Gothenburg, Garden City</b>

Not a Garden City in the sense of Letchworth, where I grew up. Letchworth, and Welwyn, nearby, were founded by Quakers in the early 1900s with the intent that the town should be surrounded by a "green belt" and that everyone should have a garden. I call Gothenburg "Garden City" because of its parks and its Botanical Garden, ablaze with flowers, and the flowers that decorated the several bridges. I especially enjoyed the Tradgardsforeningen, not far from my hotel. Besides an area of grass and trees and a few sculptures, and a small palmhouse, it boasted the best rose garden I can remember seeing. Multiple varieties in multiple colors were in full bloom, all with labels. The cafe in the same section was understandably popular.

The Botanical Garden covered close to a kilometer from the entrance to the Wilderness Area, which I skipped. It included a Japanese Garden, a rock garden and waterfall, formal plantings, and a magnificent display of dahlias. Unfortunately, I had damaged my ankle in Copenhagen, and while it was not as bad as my usual ankle injuries, two or three kilometers (if you add in the distance to the tram stop) was further than I really wanted to walk.

I had thought I might take a boat trip to look at the nearby coast while I was in Gothenburg, a port city on Sweden's west coast and former base for the Swedish East India Company. But I had had quite a good look at the coast on the train trip from Copenhagen, and a quick ride on the town's ferry system didn't show the waterfront to advantage. From the train I saw several crowded caravan parks, and the beaches between the low rocky headlands were well populated with families enjoying sun and sea.

I visited a couple of museums in town, the Rohsska Design Museum and the History Museum. The Rohsska offered five period interiors, spa ning the years from 1800 to the 2000s. Each room was decorated in a specific color, although I am not sure why 1900-1920 was purple. This area included a kitchen by Corbusier which would be considered very basic today. I remember the museum particularly for a video of the traditional technique of book binding. I watched it for a good half hour, and the craftsman was still working on the final binding when I left.

The History Museum was a bit short on English in the modern sections, but I was interested on the information on how the city used to be locked at night. The cabinet where the keys were kept was one of the exhibits. Wood and iron were major exports, while herring, and the oil from herring, also featured. The explanations mentioned that most of the iron was exported to Great Britain, and some wound up facilitating the slave trade. Sweden's efforts to become self-supporting, I was amused to discover, included an attempt to cultivate tobacco. Given that tobacco thrives in the hot, humid climate of North Carolina, I cannot imagine the plants were happy in Sweden. The museum included the remains of a Viking ship, but it was not in very good shape. However, the associated information and artifacts were interesting.

I ate quite well in Gothenburg, although not always where I had first intended. It had taken me so long to buy a ticket at Copenhagen station I had no time to pick up lunch, and had eaten a meager sandwich from the snack cart. So I stopped off at El Corazon that afternoon for tapas - mushrooms and garlic shrimp - which were good enough to send me back for dinner. Unfortunately, El Corazon appeared uninterested in solo diners, putting me in an obscure corner and ignoring me. So I left, finding a much warmer welcome in Le Pain Francais across the street, where I dined twice. My last night I ate at the modern Swedish Tvakanten, where I enjoyed really excellent pork with crackling and cheese stuffed potatoes.
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 10:54 AM
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I am really enjoying your report, thursdaysd!

We are in Berlin right now and the heat has been brutal. It rained this evening, so it's a bit cooler right now. It has been rough with no AC inside most of the museums. Fortunately our hotel is well air conditioned! We have one more day before heading home.

It was so nice meeting you in Boston and I'm glad your trip is going well. I'm taking notes for future reference, as I always do with your reports!
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 12:31 PM
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Thanks, Florida1, I enjoyed meeting you, too.

Maybe after a couple more summers like this, the Germans will start revising their holier-than-thou views on AC!
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 01:10 PM
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I was just reading an article about the Viking artifacts in the Copenhagen museum and those in the Stockholm museum and the differences in how they are displayed. It sounds like the Stockholm museum has a more contextual approach.
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 02:02 PM
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Not another ankle injury! I hope you are able to pamper it.
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 11:26 PM
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Thanks kja! It slowed me down a bit in Sweden, but was less serious than some of my ankle issues and has cleared up now.

Note on sea sickness - I was talking to a woman yesterday who had not done the trip while her husband was alive because he was given to seasickness. She said that he would not have been happy, even though it has seemed very smooth to me. She also said she had talked to a couple of people wearing the behind-the-ear patches, and they would have had problems without them.
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 05:53 AM
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My friends went in February a few years ago. The Captain advised them to strap themselves into bed at night. It was so rough everyone was sick and no-one could eat anything for days on end. That story has always put me off!!
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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The Captain advised them to strap themselves into bed at night. It was so rough everyone was sick and no-one could eat anything for days on end. That story has always put me off!!>>


it would put me off too gertie. not my idea of fun at all.
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