Sunday, January 24, 2010

The End: Copenhagen to home

The morning started very early. Our cab was to arrive at 5 AM, so the alarm went off at 4 AM. We needed to pack all our bags back out to the road where the cab would meet us. Christel had been kind enough to bring us a large variety of breakfast food the night before, so we were able to eat before we hit the road.

It was so quiet. When we walked up to the road, we could hear the cab coming for almost five minutes before we could actually see it. (OK maybe it was closer to two minutes.) The cab took us into Karasjok and straight to the bus for the airport in Lakselv.

Then we were flying again. Lakselv to Tromsø to Oslo to Copenhagen.

It wasn't until we got to Copenhagen that we realized just how much the dog sledding had kicked our butts. We were mentally and physically exhausted. The change in climate from the cold dry air of the north to the cold wet air of Copenhagen didn't help, either.

Suddenly we were coughing and sniffling and not at our best. Plus we started to realize it was time to come home and perhaps we really had slammed a little too much into this trip.

Nonetheless, we were glad to be in Copenhagen.

Our friend Christian picked us up at the airport and took us back to their place. His wife Karen would meet up with the three of us not too long after. As well as their new addition, baby Viggo!

Christian & Viggo

It was great to see them. A few years back, they lived a year in Vancouver. Beth and Karen met and became close through a knitting group. We spent a lot of time with them that year. They'd been back to Vancouver last summer as well. Nevertheless, it was great to be able to see them on their turf this time.

We could feel that everything was winding down once we had gotten to Copenhagen. Suddenly our energy was gone, I wasn't taking hundreds of pictures every day, we were just relaxing... cocooning... preparing for the trip home.

We spent some time exploring the city. We did the cheesy touristy bus tour. Regardless of how cheesy these can be, I've always found them a great way to get an initial view of the city. Find out the history of the area. We didn't have much of a selection of tours to choose from, as pretty much all of them are shut down this time of year... But the one we took was quite good. We got to see the major spots of the city, the Little Mermaid, Nyhavn, the Bella Center (where the climate change talks had been just a few weeks before).

Ahhh wind power.

We took an afternoon and went to the Carlsberg Brewery, where we saw the largest collection of unopened beer bottles in the world. Something like 19,800 at the moment. I'd been here ten years before and done the tour, but it was interesting to do again. They'd added quite a bit to it.

Now, that's a lot of beer.

We also took a day trip to Sweden. It's a forty minute train ride from Copenhagen Central Station to Malmö, Sweden. We hadn't actually taken a train this trip and Beth wanted to add another country to her list.

The trip was nice. Heading over the massive bridge that connects the two countries, we saw some huge wind turbines out in the distance, providing Denmark with some portion of the 20% of its power that comes from wind. We also saw an IKEA actually in Sweden. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of it, since we just saw it from the train.

As soon as we got to Malmö, we went to the tourist info center. We wanted to find out what we should actually see in Malmö. They recommended the Twisted Torso, a walk along the seaside, a visit to the castle and then finishing off by walking through the old town. We managed each of these, except for the castle.

The Twisted Torso was pretty cool. We took some pictures and moved on fairly quickly, since it was so cold.

Twisted Tower in Malmo

Us & The Twisted Tower

The seaside was quite nice as well. Reminded us a lot of Yaletown at home, with very trendy looking cafes and condos and such. There were even some house barges!

Houseboats in Malmo

Then we found that we were losing the light and we pretty cold, so we decided to head back towards the train station. We did a quick walk through the old town and jumped back on a train to Copenhagen.

We spent most of the week just hanging around in Copenhagen. Visiting several of the sights, but mostly relaxing and spending time with Karen, Christian and Viggo. A whole lot of board games and card games ensued (Settlers of Catan and Set). It was a great end to the trip.

To thank them for their hospitality, we all went out to dinner the last night we were in town to a place called Madklubben ("The Food Club"). It was a pretty fabulous meal and a fun evening.

When the last morning finally came, we were more than ready to head home. We said our goodbyes to everyone and headed back to Copenhagen Central. A quick train to the airport and before long we were flying again...

From Copenhagen back to Reykjavik. We both would have loved another dip in the Blue Lagoon, but unfortunately it was not to be... then from Reykjavik to Seattle.

The interesting part of flying west is that we arrive at the same time we leave pretty much. We left Reykjavik at 4:30pm and were to arrive in Seattle at 4:55pm. We did get back a little late... but still, it definitely throws you off.

Landing in Seattle we saw our first rain in five weeks. First time we'd seen rain since we were originally in Iceland. Very quickly I remembered how little I missed it.

Beth was going back to school and staying in Seattle, and Jon jumped on a bus and fled back north to Canada.

It was good to be home.

Overall, the trip was fantastic. The weather was amazing our entire trek. Getting the chance to spend time with family for a Norsk Christmas was wonderful. All that time playing in the snow. The dog sledding was amazing. Far more intense and incredible than we had been expecting in advance. The Northern Lights beautiful. Ending it all off with good friends in Copenhagen, the perfect touch.

We squeezed in a lot over the five weeks of the trip and we enjoyed all of it.

Have to admit though, suddenly being able to think about our next trip... After all that cold, the beaches of Costa Rica in February sound very very good. ;)

1 comment:

Grandma Simons said...

Thanks for making it possible for all of us to accompany you on this amazing trip, Jon and Beth! SO glad that you had such a terrific time. Much love XOXOX