Fun facts about DK…

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Ok… Since I am trying to make way better posts out of my “Day ** – Name of the city” series, and that it is taking time, I thought I’d treat you with anecdotes and fun facts in between cities… I don’t guarantee 100% seriousness, and if Danes are reading, and don’t agree, please correct me, or give your opinion…

Here is one fun fact that is possibly more on the fun side than actually a fact. But I don’t really care. I have lost my faith in the Internets a while ago, and I don’t bother doing thorough background check when I read something weird. I just assume it is a hoax. When I really really want something to be true, I do my research (most of the time to find out it was a hoax anyway). And there are very few and blissful moments when I just accept a funny story as it is told. Knowing too well it is probably a hoax, staying consciously oblivious to the fraud.

This is one of those delightful moments…

I read somewhere online a funny story about Faroe Islands. Those islands that belong to Denmark nowadays were previously part of Norway’s territory. (that’s the fact-part) The story also said that Norway lost the Islands after the King of Norway had lost a drunken poker game against the King of Denmark…

Don’t Google anything! And if you do, don’t tell me about it!

I want to believe that a few centuries ago, a hammered King woke up one morning with a splitting headache telling himself he’d never have Akvavit again. That he got up, went to get good strong Danish Kaffe, and asked his wife what had happened the night before… And that at the end of the epic summary of the drunken King’s evening, she just added;

  • Oh, and you won Faroe Islands hun…

 

*Giggles*

 

That’s the kind of stories that make my life worth living!

But I held a minute of silence for Faroe Islanders though… Because it is the worst way to change nationalities. The country that is letting you go didn’t fight the big fight to keep you… And your new country didn’t really want you all that much… It must have been a crappy ego day for Faroe Islanders.

Sooooo… the lesson learned here is? Never play drunk poker, or drunk checks, or drunk any game for that matter, with a Dane! They hold the liquor better than you!

Getting back on the horse…

 

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I bet some of you thought I had an argument with Denmark, which would have led us to go our separate ways a few months ago…

Things couldn’t be much farther from the truth.

I still love Denmark deeply. More than before I visited it, if that is even possible. And that’s exactly why I had to put this blog on “hold” for a while.

I got the after-trip blues. It might sound like a made up thing, but it is a real “condition”… I had read about it on fellow travel Bloggers’ sites. They sure tried to warn me about that sad feeling of not being abroad anymore… But I guess I was just in denial.

Not that I was disappointed to be back home, no way! I was happy to get back to my “normal” life. But every time I listened to a Danish song, or watched a video, or looked at the pictures I had taken during my trip; I ended up with teary eyes, and that just didn’t feel right.

So I put everything in the closet for a while, giving myself time to put a distance between me and Denmark, and let the dust settle.

And now, it is time to get back on the horse! I wish it would be a wild one! (you’ll see what I am talking about when we get to Langeland…)

This Blog is therefore officially re-open!

 

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We’re back in business, and I want to do things right! So no more pressure about posting once every day. I should be able to post once or twice a week, allowing me to put more information about every city I am visiting, more links and more stories…

And don’t you worry! My memories of Denmark are as fresh as when I got off the plane back in Montréal..

I’ll be catching up with my Danish lessons too… and I have a few ideas to help this Blog live on even when I’ll be done telling you about my 11 days left, and revamping the 10 days I already told you about…

A LOT of work ahead of me…. But I am decided, and there is no rush.

You know the fable “The turtoise and the hare”?  Remember who won that race?

Dang yeah! The Turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 10 – Esbjerg day 2

I am not a breakfast kind of girl, but when days stretch up like they had been doing for the last 9 days, it becomes a necessity to change my habits a bit…  And if breakfast meant spending some time outside out at a picnic table, enjoying the early morning’s sunshine, I sure could make a little exception…  So I took my tablet, my goodies and did a little trip to the vendor machine to get some hot chocolate to get the set up ready…

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Day 10 was time to meet Mennesket Ved Havet. Unfortunately, not long after my frugal breakfast, I noticed that the weather had changed drastically, and it was now raining cats and dogs (well, not litterally, of course, otherwise, I would have taken pictures for sure, which I didn’t do).

I could have taken my raincoat out and braved the wind, but I just had a feeling everything would eventually clear up. So I took advantage of the situation, and decided to use the hostel’s laundry services and get all my clothes all clean and fresh!

I was a bit surprised by the price of the precious (indeed) token needed to start the washing machine and the dryer. Fem og tyve kronner, twenty five crowns that is, nothing less! Five dollars! Each, that is! Do I need to say that I didn’t sort colors from white clothing, and delicate underwear from jeans?? I decided everything would have to get clean all together… That’s just how dare-develish I can get!!

Again, my Couch Surfing plans had been cancelled for my next destination, Odense, and I was a bit scared to get Aarhus 2 – The sequel! I decided to spend my clothes washing time in the common hall next door, and find a new welcoming place…  I was quickly contacted by a nice fellow, who unfortunately wasn’t free the 2 nights I was about to spend in his town, but who was offering his help if I didn’t get lucky…  We agreed to get in touch the same evening, I collected my good smelling clothes from the dryer, and got ready to head out to the beach!

A short bus ride later, I was walking along the shore, pretty much by myself. The clouds had spread a little, and the rain had stopped, but the temperature was at the coldest I had experienced yet, and the wind was constant. I walked a long way, watching Esbjerg’s harbour, and fooling myself into thinking I could find little pieces of amber in the sand…

A few pictures taken along the beach…

On my way back towards the four large statues, I appreciated their majesty, standing there, facing the ocean from their green grass stand. My knuckles were almost as white as the tall men, but it was well worth it. Unfortunately, I ran out of battery and could only take a few pictures, but here is a link to learn a little more about the 27 feet tall statues.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/man-meets-the-sea

I couldn’t spend too much time outside, worried that my windbreaker wouldn’t be warm enough to prevent me from catching a cold (Even Danish, it wasn’t part of my plans to get a runny nose or some fever…). I walked around the Fishery and Maritime Museum, a little disapointed to learn that it closed its doors at 5pm, which meant I wouldn’t have time to visit it after all.

Back to the hostel, I decided that I had had enough of Esbjerg… I was lucky enough to get a call from Ib, catching up on my traveling. I asked him for advice, and he suggested to spend the next day in Ribe, on my way to Odense. I noted it down, we chit chatted and I promised to give him my impressions of the oldest city of Denmark!

I also gave a call to Søren. Noone had answered my earlier requests to share their couches, and Søren went out of his ways to find places where I could spend the evening near his house if I didn’t find someone in the meantime. He insisted that I’d come to his place if no other opportunity presented itself.  It was heartwarming to see someone I had never met before caring for the stranger I was. I promised to call again in the morning…

It was already past midnight, and I had a long day coming, so I quickly slipped under my duvet, already wondering what my unespected day in Ribe would bring….


Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2 / Aarhus, day 1  / Aarhus, day 2 / Esbjerg, day 1

Day 9 – Esbjerg day 1

Esbjerg

Leaving Aarhus was a somewhat stressful experience, since the train indications were not the clearest for once. I even asked employees of the train station, just to be sure I was taking the right ride to Esbjerg, you know? But torn between what I was told and what the Internets were saying, I decided to trust my lady’s sixth sense, and chose not to listen the the Danish Railroad’s workers!!

How lucky for me, one more time! I have to say, if I might make a little “aparté”, that I learned two things during my three weeks journey…

  1. To trust myself. I found out I made better choices when not offered a second opinion, than I would have believed!
  2. To always think positive. Countless times during my trip, I faced situations that didn’t look too good at first… Bad weather, doubts about my upcoming whereabouts, Aarhus in general (LOL) and things like that. But being in Denmark, I always had the reflex to tell myself that everything would turn to the best eventually… How could things go wrong? I was in Vikingland after all! And by some Danish kind of magic, everything in and around Denmark did end up on the good side. (I confess to have more difficulty using all-time positive thinking since I came back to Montréal, but every now and then, I force my self to do so, and I am always pleasantly surprised by life!)

 

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Here is what my standard set up was when I took a train for more than a 45 minutes ride… My loyal tablet, my now-lost-somewhere-in-Skagen water bottle, my now-retired Lumia phone, and not-in-pijamas bananas 🙂

Once on the train, and not worrying anymore about where I would end up, the train controller showed up to check my ticket. I found out, as I was handing the freshly printed pieces of paper to the lady, that I had two receipts, and no ticket per say. In Denmark, boarding a train without a valid ticket leads to a fine (not so fine fine, if you ask me) of a little over 700 kr. (just a little less than 150$) It wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but that was starting to look like a bitter goodbye from Aarhus!

The lady and I discussed a little, and I don’t know if it is the Canadian flags on my packsack, my hush puppy eyes pleading I really had bought my ticket, or the sight of the numerous bus and train tickets I looked through in my bag, hoping to find the ONE to Esbjerg… But she finally told me it was ok for this time, but that I had to be extra careful next time. Heldig mig igen!! (Lucky me, again)

Esbjerg is the largest city on the West coast of Denmark, and has the most important seaport on the North Sea. All I really knew about Esbjerg before getting there, was that it had a very impressive set of 4 statues called “Mennesket ved havet” (Man meets the sea) which was actually the only reason I chose to visit Esbjerg (no offense to the citie’s inhabitants, I am sure there are tons of great things to do around, but I was just foolish like that, wanting to see Esbjerg just because it was on the West Coast and had four really tall men looking at the sea!)

When I got there, the weather wasn’t actually great. It was pretty chilly, compared to what I had accustomed to during my first days of vacation, and the wind was pretty strong. I walked a bit downtown, had a McDonald’s cheeseburger, just to get WI-FI (and because I was hungry too). After visiting the Tourists’ Bureau, I decided that I’d better head to my hostel right away and decide what to do from there…

 My home in Esbjerg, the Danhostel! No, I was not the only guest, but I must admit that we were just a few… Which is great, since I got the 4 bunk beds room all to myself! 

It was about supper time, and I decided to go to the grocery store and get myself something yummy yummy for my tummy, since I had access to a fully equiped kitchen. I finally toned down my cooking frenzy, bought rye bread, sausage, two pots of bread spread, and some remoulade (all of my goodies costing me under 10$ total) and walked back “home”…

My loot… It might look basic, but I am just not a fancy eater!

I made myself comfortable in my new home, ate my meal at the round table by the open window, and enjoyed a good hot shower before preparing to hit the sack. I puffed my white duvet while thinking about visiting the four tall men the next morning, and fell fast asleep, once again, still happy in Denmark…


Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2 / Aarhus, day 1  / Aarhus, day 2

Day 8 – Aarhus day 2

 

My second day in Aarhus started at sunrise, which means a little before 5 O’clock. Actually the only time I really saw the sun rising, since in Denmark, come mid-May, even my excitement wasn’t enough to get me up that early…

I headed downtown, to my “secret” Wi-Fi spot to send a few early bird messages, hoping to find a nice place for my second night in town, and to make sure my next future stops wouldn’t be a worry once again!

While browsing around, concentrated on my tablet’s screen, I noticed a few people sitting at the other end of the large roundish bench. Two drunk men… Not an unusual sight at all, as alcohol drinking is largely enjoyed everywhere.

Danes are not all party-all-nighters like the Internets depict them, but it wasn’t uncommon to see men getting on the train with a six pack of beers, and leaving, after a short ride, without much to take home with them… People drink everywhere, and anytime, and those who party, party hard! In the early morning, the empty bottles were always there to testify that Mr. Fun was there the night before!

But surprisingly, drunk Danes, at least the ones I’ve seen, don’t go angry-drunk. They are loud (OMG can those otherwise discreet people scream loudly when under the influence of alcohol!!!), but other people just scream back at them, and that always seemed to settle the spontaneous need to express themselves in public (as loudly as possible, obviously).

So after a while, I left my drunk bench-fellows, and went to the bakery to get myself my very first Danish pastries. I am not into sweets, but pastries are a MAJOR thing in Denmark, and I felt like it would almost be a crime not to try them at least once.

So one frøsnapper and a chokolade bolle later (well, after buying them, I mean… I could never eat 2 pastries that fast), I was back on the road to get to Den Gamle By… The Old Town!

Frøsnapper

Example of a frøsnapper…  Chokolade boller being chocolate croissant, I don’t think a picture would bring anything more to this post 😉

I had to see the open-air museum, and after my afternoon at Copenhagen’s Glyptotek, I thought it was better for me to show up early in case it would take me a little more time to see everything, than expected.

On my way to Den Gamle By, I received a text message from Ditte, my Aalborg host, who had noticed I was looking for a place to stay in Aarhus…

“My sister has a room to lend, near Den Gamle By, if you are still looking, that is?”

When I say that Danes are nice people, Ditte is one perfect example of the experience I had with them… Unfortunately, Ditte’s sister’s room wasn’t available that night after all, but who cares? Just the thought of having caring people following my whereabouts was enough to make my day.

That, and Den Gamle By.

It is basically a reconstitution of Danish life, in the 1800s, 1920s and 1970s… Genuine houses from all around Denmark have been moved to Den Gamle By, and you can enter some of them to discover the different merchants that provided their services back then. Every here and there, you can also find live characters glad to tell their story to the visitors…

This post is already getting very long, especially for Aarhus, and I wouldn’t want the city to get a wrong impression, thinking I liked it better than Aalborg or Viborg… So I’ll just put a selection of pictures and the official link to the museum’s website (https://www.dengamleby.dk/the-old-town/)

I’ll just add that the open-air museum is REALLY worth stopping by. Especially if you are off season, like me, and don’t have to bump into tourists every step you take in town. The characters are just incredibly interesting to talk to. (I fell in love with the general store’s owner who spent a long while telling me about his business as if we were still in the good old days… Not stepping out of his charming character one single time. I have a picture of him, but I promised I wouldn’t put it online, so you’ll just have to imagine him. Special mention to the baker too, who gave me extra sweets when I told her I was Canadian, hehehe) But plan at least a whole afternoon… Because it is HUGE! And you don’t want to rush in.

In the late afternoon, it was time to rest my Ow feet and check in at the City Sleep-In hostel (http://www.citysleep-in.dk/en/), since I hadn’t found any couch to surf for the night. I stopped on my way to buy a Frikadelle burger, a must in Aarhus, according to Lucas! And I wouldn’t want to miss one of Lucas’ musts!! I might write a post about the hostel later, since it was an adventure of its own… But here are a few pictures in the meanwhile!

 

P.S. The frikadelle burger is worth the detour… I thought it’d be heavy and a little dry, but it is a fast food delight! Med remoulade, of course 🙂

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2 / Aarhus, day 1 

Day 7 – Aarhus, day 1

Aarhus

 

At last…. Well, not really, but blog wise, it was about time, I will give you that!

I was now in Aarhus, probably the city I would miss the less. Not that it was ugly, or dirty, or uninteresting… But Aarhus was harsh with me from the start. I wasn’t even in town, and people already kind of rejected me!

I had couchsurfing plans that didn’t work out, and as the day went by, I switched to researches on Airbnb for a room or an apartment to rent.

There again, no luck, but I was kind of fearing that I was a little short in time to find anybody ready to host me… So I went for my last resort (not that it was really bad, but it was the most expensive way I could afford to get a roof over my head); the hostel!

First day in Aarhus was spent mostly walking around, looking for good free Wi-Fi spots and hoping to find a place to stay. (by the way… If you are in Aarhus and looking for a hot Hot Spot, try the bench in front of “Magasin” in Lille Torv Square)

Oh, and since I don’t have much to say about this first day in Aarhus, here is a map with three important places… The little red heart is for my favorite Wi-Fi spot, the yellow star for my hostel, and the green spot (hi there, Green Spot!) a place we’ll be discussing in my next post… Den Gamle By, literally “The old town”…

Aarhus-map

Oh, and I feel generous… a view of “Magasin”, with my favorite bench – in Aarhus! (spent a loooot of time there, hoping for good news LOL)

Magasin-Aarhus

Thanks Google!

 

And, as usual, a few pictures taken along my stroll…

 

 


 

Previously…

 

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1 /

Viborg, day 2

 

Appologies and excuses…

Hey everybody!

No… I’m not stuck in Viborg, and no, I haven’t given up on this blog either.

I am now back in Montreal… And Looking back, I shouldn’t have thought I would be able to keep a daily blog while abroad. I love writing, writing just a few lines is something that is impossible for me, and while in Denmark, having the time of my life, I found out that posting a post a day was planin impossible.

Days in Denmark were (and still are, I wouldn’t pretend to have changed anything for Danes by just spending 3 weeks among them) sooooo much longer than they are here in Montreal! The sun was up around 4 AM and there was still some light in the sky at 11 PM…

The excitment of being in Vikingland had me up and ready to go very early in the morning. I was waking up, getting ready and hitting the road as soon as possible. That wasn’t a problem, per say, but I would wander, explore and visit until I’d notice that it was around 9 PM.

Denmark made me lose all track of time (among other things) and by the time I was “home”, I’d barely have the force to eat a little bit, take a shower (Yeah, baths are not a common thing over there… to say the least.) and fall asleep, EXHAUSTED. Many times, the order was changed, falling asleep fully dressed being the firt step of the process, and waking up in the middle of the night to have a bite, clean up and put on my pijamas for the last few hours of sleep!

So… I deeply appologize for not keeping my promise to keep you informed on a regular basis. But I will complete my blog now, and work on my previous posts also to give more information about the already posted destinations…

Thank you for your good thoughts, and your comments, come back every now and then, and I should have more to show! Denmark is a more interesting country than I had imagined, if that is even possible, and I hope to honor it with my own words.

Until next post…   Knus 🙂  (hugs… in Danish, of course)

Day 6 – Viborg

My second day in Viborg started with the singing of the birds and the sunrays warming the already more than comfy duvet I had been hiding under for far longer than any other night since the beginning of my journey…

After a short walk in my hosts’ garden, to appreciate yet another sunset in Denmark, I got back in to back up my belongings, ready to give Viborg a second chance.

I hadn’t had a chance to talk much with my hostess, a more than nice Swede now living in Denmark. As I was checking the busses available to take me back downtown (No way was I going to take the walk again… ) we had a long and interesting talk about differences between Canada and Denmark.

We exchanged, while I was eating my mix of avocado and weed pesto on rye bread, and I felt bad we didn’t have more time to get to know each other.

I then got back downtown, to stroll around and get a better taste of the city Lukas called his hometown. Although it wasn’t as full of attractions as other cities I had visited before, Viborg has a charm of its own. And when I came up to the Dom Kirke, the main church, I just had a feeling I had to go in…

The church was at the image of Danish churches, a perfect mix of luxury and humbleness… I walked through the aisles, until I found the way to the crypt. I couldn’t help to get down the stairs and peek at what was hidden in the building’s basement.

When I got in the room, my attention was first drawn to the tombs of long gone important people of the church… But quickly, I came back to the main room of the crypt, and discovered guest books, in which people left messages to God…

I found the idea interesting, and being a compulsive writer, I took the latest book, sat down in the middle of a bench, and started writing. At first I thought I wouldn’t know what message I would leave behind, but I quickly realized that my hand had a soul of its own, and a lot of things to say. The organ was playing a solemn and slow music piece as I thought about life, and I filled a whole page of the large book, with my trembling hand writing. When I finished, I set back, and my eyes teared up.

People have faith, or they don’t. It is not to me to judge. Those who do have faith, have so in different Gods and powers, and I am noone to say who’s right or wrong. But even in a church that wasn’t my own, I have to say that the eperience I had was powerful enough to make me understand that there was a reason I had set foot in Viborg.

I closed the book, with this new feeling in my heart, and I left the church… And I was off to another adventure, Aarhus now awaiting me…

 


 

Previously…

 

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg / Viborg, day 1

Day 5 – Viborg

Viborg

 

Fifth day in Denmark, and after yet another night sleeping like a baby, I awoke with the first rays of the sun.

My hostess had school to attend, and would leave the apartment shortly after 7 O’clock, so I packed my bag, and left a little earlier, to let her finish her prep quietly… I went back to the Storcenter where I had met Ib the morning before, because I knew the way, and a mall is always a good place to hang around when you have a little bit of time to waste and no time to get lost!

Since the stores weren’t open at my arrival, I went for a walk in the bicycle trails behind the buildings. For the fifth day in a row, the sky was clear of any cloud, and though the morning temperature was a little frisky, once there, it was already warm and promising for the day to come…

I shopped in Bilka, bought myself a few goods to snack on the train and headed to the station to hop on the first bus to Viborg!

I had put Viborg on my schedule for only one reason, that might look silly. Lukas’ family was from the Viborg area, and I had promised him to visit… And my first impression was a little divided… Viborg is a beautiful city, with its pastel painted houses, and its churches, but I think they voted a municipal rule that streetname tags had to be removed downtown, just for the fun of seeing the tourists wander cluelessly.

Which I did, for a while, before I found my way by some sort of miracle!

I then finally made it to my host’s home, after a good hour of walk, starting to tell myself that I was never going to do that kind of trip again (due to Ow feet and Ow back, and Ow face, that obviously hadn’t been sunscreen creamed enough in the morning) like an old drunk!

When I got there, my hosts were getting ready for some rock climbing stuff activity of some sort, so I took all my things upstairs, and decided to just close my eyes to see how it felt like to lay on this incredibly comfortable bed, with that incredibly fluffy duvet on me, and the nice little breeze, along with the birds’ singing coming from the Velux…

It was about 19h, and I re-opened my eyes at around 4h in the morning! I guess I was tired… LOL The fun thing is that I had gone briefly in the garden, because I thought I had seen rabbit cages in the backyard (which were rabbitless) and therefore, I had moved my shoes from the frontdoor to the backdoor. So when my hosts came back from the climbing stuff, they thought I was out in town… All night! LOL

So here again are a few pictures… Mainly of my lovely temporary home, since I didn’t do much of that day 😉

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island / Aalborg

Day 4 – Aalborg

Aalborg

 

Yesterday night I landed in Aalborg. My first reason for being here early in my trip being to meet Ib, and pick up the phone he had prepared for me…

I was going to use Couchsurfing for the first time, and both me and my host were a tiny bit nervous, since we were both newbies at playing the CS game.

I had a great couch awaiting me, with a super duvet to keep me warm, and although I craved to log in and tell everyone about my fabulous day, I just managed to arrange for my meeting with Ib in the morning, and fell asleep like a baby.

I was up at sunrise, discussing the new day’s plans with César, my CS host’s cat. We got prepared (me and my host, not César) and headed for the bus which would take me to the mall where I was supposed to meet Ib.

I was anxious. Being virtual friends is one thing, meeting in person is a whole other deal. But things went as smooth I could have imagined… Like old friends meeting after some time away from each other. He treated me with brunch, and we chatted for a long while, catching up on this and that. He then drove me downtown Aalborg where I was to meet my CS host. He dropped me there with a promise to meet again before my trip back home…

My host then took charge of my visit and gave me a loooong tour amoung the several interesting points of the town… We visited the house of music, Aalborg’s main church, strolled along the popular streets, saw the work of potery and glass blowing craftsman artists… We also went to Paradis, an ice cream parlour (I am not into sweets,but WOW!), and spent a long time along the harbour, talking and just chilling among the hundreds of locals enjoying the numerous parks and resting areas…

Next was time for supper, which we spent in a small casual traditional-style Danish food restaurant. My first Danish meal, and what a platting! Pork with a crispy skin, with (a loooot of potatoes, brown gravy, pickled cucumbers and red cabbage… Yum!!

We finished the day in an ancient Vikings’ grave,just before sunset (solnedgang) with a great view over Aalborg….

Unfortunately my camera’s batteries were dead, so I couldn’t take a lot of pictures, but I will make up for it when I come back at the end of the month 🙂

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2  / Møn’s Island