Tuesday, 5th August – Lund to Lubeck

Firstly, apologies for the quality of the photos for this post. The camera has been mucking up again, but I have managed to salvage some of the photos for the blog. With the problem identified, I hope it won’t happen again in future because it’s heart breaking to upload the photos only to find that they are over exposed.

A huge day of travel today – three countries! We left Lund in Sweden and headed towards the Danish town of Roskilde. When we got there we had a coffee stop and looked around the town – it was really pretty!

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The reason we went to Roskilde was for the Viking Museum. It’s world renown and has a number of original viking long ships that were excavated on the site of the museum. They have also built a replica of a viking long ship exactly as the vikings would have, then they sailed it from Denmark to Ireland! At the museum you can actually join a group of other people and learn how to row and sail a viking boat.

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There are a couple of MASSIVE bridges in Denmark since there are some big islands that need to be linked. They do cost a lot of money in tolls, but are much better than waiting for ferries! Bec grabbed a couple of pics on her iPhone as we drove over one.

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Following the “ancestral trail”, we went to a little village in Germany called Kronshagen. This village was where my mother had one of her first jobs ever – looking after some children for a family. She remembered the house specifically and the address, so we went searching for it. We found some cute little houses and a forest that Mum may have walked through back then. The little house was still there! It had a loft area in the room with a little window and was very cute. Behind the house was a business that had the name of the family that she worked for back then! It would have been great to speak to them, but because we can’t speak enough German it would be hard to explain if they didn’t speak English!

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We finished the trip in a town called Lubeck. It’s been a long drive, but a great day.

2014 European Adventure Denmark Germany Sweden

Monday, 4th August – Stockholm to Lund

Today we leave Stockholm and make our way to Lund. There was no particular reason for Lund itself, but it seemed like a good spot to stop on the way south. Little did we know it would take us by surprise.

The drive there was pretty much the same most of the way. There were a couple of highlights and both revolved around the lake we found. The first was Bec randomly yelling that she just saw puffins! The second was the rest stop we made to see the perfectly clear waters of the lake close up.IMG_2578

When we finally reached Lund, we were blown away. It is the cutest little town with the most beautiful buildings. We parked the car, checked in and went for a walk around the town.IMG_2627IMG_2601IMG_2622IMG_2640IMG_2619IMG_2638IMG_2592

We settled down to a fantastic dinner and then had an early night in. Tomorrow is going to be a big day, crossing through three countries in one day!

2014 European Adventure Sweden

Sunday, 3rd August – Stockholm

We woke this morning to a terrific thunder storm with loads of lightening and heavy rain. Therefore we enjoyed a lazy morning watching the storm and eating breakfast, another positive – the car was now washed!

With the storm over and a bright sunny day ahead of us we caught the bus into Stockholm – we’re staying in an apartment about 15 minutes outside the city.

Stockholm is beautiful and we enjoyed strolling through the city, the warm weather and breeze from the water set us up for a perfect day.

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One of our favourite spots was the City Hall it’s an impressive building situated on the water. It’s a relatively new building by Europe standards, construction began in 1911 and it was officially opened in 1923.

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The Parliament Building and gate to the downtown shopping district was incredible. We skipped the shopping, it was so busy! So we headed toward the Royal Palace.IMG_2487

The Royal Palace was pretty bland in contrast to the other amazing buildings in Stockholm, Mary’s palace in Denmark was definitely more impressive.IMG_2511IMG_2512

After a long day of walking around in the sun we headed back to the apartment for a couple of cold ciders.

2014 European Adventure Sweden

Saturday, 2nd August – Sundsvall to Stockholm

Today started with a traditional breakfast with the Swedish family who provided our accommodation. It was great talking with them, they’re really nice people and it was great to get an insight into the daily life of a local family.

We set off in the morning for a pretty boring drive – most of the way was highway and it was unavoidable. There were some cool rest stops like a deserted Asian Restaurant Theme Park and a camping place on a lake with little trails through the forest to get to the picnic areas – but the photo issue with the camera got worse and the photos are pretty much just a white blur.

We reached Stockholm in the afternoon and settled in to our accommodation run by – much to our surprise – a Sydney North Shore ex pat! It was a great unit and comfortable so after all the driving we again had an early night.

Before we went to bed we did a little exploring – thank goodness for iPhone camera.photo-1photo

Ps. Happy 1st Birthday to our beautiful nephew Wyatt xoxo

2014 European Adventure Sweden

Friday, 1st August – Hell to Sundsvall

With a hat-tip to Alan Moore, today we drove From Hell to Sunsdvall, across the Norwegian border into Sweden.

Leaving Hell, I noticed that there was a cool Hollywood-type of sign in the forest on the hill…IMG_2219

We drove on and stopped here and there to take photos. Unfortunately, there was something of a settings error on the camera and most of the photos for today turned out really badly. I have tried to do what I can with an image correction programme, but they are nothing like they were in real life. Oh, well. Sometimes things go wrong.

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Then there was that time when we thought we had started to get the feel for understanding Swedish and the sign seemed to translate to Chocolate Factory. The screech of car tires and the slams of doors were all that could be heard. We bought the most amazing, melt in your mouth coconut flavoured chocolate… and sampled our collective weight in other flavours.IMG_2250

We finally reached our final destination for the day – our AirBnb accommodation in Sundsvall. This was a pleasant surprise as the flat was basically in an old renovated barn with views over the local lake and forest. We settled in and realised a storm was brewing! We ran around madly trying to shut all the windows preempting the down pour, only to have about 6 drops stir the dust up. Got some cool pics, though.

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We decided to have an early night, kicked back, watched a movie and did some blog work before turning in for the night.

2014 European Adventure Norway Sweden

Monday, 28th July – Gothenburg to Oslo

As mentioned yesterday we had strategically chosen a place to stay outside of Gothenburg, so this morning after experiencing an ‘interesting’ breakfast, we set off really excited as we would be seeing lots of Swedish country side.

First stop however was to check out Aspen Lake, it was literally 2 minutes from the hotel and a great start to the day. We started to see what was to become a trend of people walking for exercise carrying their ski poles.

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Our next stop was one that Keith had magically woven into the itinerary – yes it was definitely on the way but only a true SAAB tragic would ensure he visited the SAAB factory in Trollhatten.IMG_0915

So after the giddy school boy got that out of his system on we went to Norway.

The Swedish country side was absolutely gorgeous, so many beautiful lakes and forests.IMG_0876IMG_0885IMG_0887IMG_0925IMG_0933IMG_0975IMG_0932IMG_0965

Some of the most valued items we have purchased since arriving in Europe are a 12 volt kettle that connects to the cigarette lighter and a coffee plunger (we’re living out of a car people, these are luxury items). We have really enjoyed being able to pull up anywhere and have a decent coffee with some of the most incredible vistas in the world – check out the photo below of today’s coffee stop.

Everyone has been on one of those road trips where the road signs promise strange and/or interesting wildlife ahead (years ago we were travelling in QLD and never ever saw a single Cassowary despite the 1000 signs warning us of our impending collision with one), so after seeing signs for deer all day, we were super super excited to see some grazing on the side of the road.IMG_0913

When planning our trip often we’ve had to throw in a town to ensure that the GPS allows us to go the way we want, Drobak was an example of this and oh my goodness what an amazing place! So beautiful in 30 degree weather to sit on the waterside and enjoy some incredible locally caught fish and chips for lunch.

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The strangest thing about travelling through Europe has been literally driving through a small sign that tells you that you’re now in another country! If you miss the sign then it’s usually the road signs that change language that give it away or the houses. Today though it was the Norwegian border police. Keith was really clever and as soon as the policeman got to the window of the car he said ‘Hi mate how’s it garn?’, hahaha I cringed but the policeman’s smile was gold. He asked where we were going and then after telling us to have ‘A wonderful trip’, waved us through. It’s often awesome being an Aussie overseas.

We only saw a little of Norway before arriving at our accommodation but what we did see was incredible. The houses are all either red or yellow, we have no idea why but are theorising that perhaps it would make them easier to see in the snow?

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New road signs promising ‘Moose’ was a reason to get excited! However by the time we got to our accommodation it was Moose count zero.IMG_1076

2014 European Adventure Norway Sweden

Sunday, 27th July – Copenhagen to Gothenburg

After our stay in Copenhagen, we headed off to Sweden!

Our first stop was Malmo. Not only is it the first city on the other side of the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden, but it’s also the location of the biggest Ikea store in the world. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open when we were there, but we did see it as we drove past.

Once at Malmo we parked the car and explored the rest of the city. Where we parked, there was a cute little church – we used the steeple as the reference point to get back to the car.IMG_0594The streets of Malmo and buildings are beautiful and it was great to look around first thing in the morning before the town was swamped by tourists.IMG_0666IMG_0665IMG_0643

It the centre of Malmo is the City hall, which is really quite impressive.

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Malmo’s Central Station is also a really nice building on the canal.IMG_0663

After looking around Malmo, we headed off to Gothenburg – the big city. We decided not to stay in the city itself, but about 30 minutes by train outside the city beside a lake. Once we settled in, we jumped on a train and headed for Gothenburg – the first thing we noticed was a hotdog stand that we had to get a picture in front of.IMG_0679

The streets of Gothenburg were fantastic and picturesque. We wondered around for a couple of hours taking pictures and enjoying the sights.

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One thing we also noticed was the great statues all around the city – here’s a few that we took pictures of. Bec’s favourite was the seahorse… unicorn…. in gold – Keith’s favourite was the knife fight.

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After wandering around for a few hours we were in need of a nice meal and some drinks so we met up with a friend of Keith’s from Sydney – Jonna! It was great to catch up and talk about the differences in countries we’ve been travelling through.

It’s hard to believe that we were in Denmark this morning, Sweden this evening and will be in Norway tomorrow. This continent is crazy!

2014 European Adventure Sweden