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

 

Day 3 – Møn’s Island

MønsKlint

 

Today was bound to be yet another fun but long day… And it has been just that. Starting with a flash trip to the Island of Møn, and then a quick come back to Copenhagen to take a short flight to Aalborg in the evening.

Møn Island is absolutely be-a-u-tiful! It is totally worth seeing. Unfortunately, the bus driver misunderstood me and dropped me in a little fishermen harbour village, with nothing to do, but having two hours to kill before another bus could take me to the actual Møns Klint site…

I found a man and woman sitting in front of their house, enjoying the nice weather and thought it was about time I would test my Danish for real!

Ok, we switched to English not long after, but I guess I looked friendly enough to be invited to jump in Klaus’ car, who drove me straight to the site, telling me about the Island along the way…

So, looking back, thank you mr bus driver for your lack of understanding 🙂

Here are a few pictures of the cliffs… Which were worth the hike, even with about 25 pounds of load on my back!!

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1  / Copenhagen, day 2 

 

Day 2 – Copenhagen

Second day of great fun, but without much rest along the way… Today, I mainly went to Copenhagen’s Glyptotek, a big (big, as in way bigger than just a little big… Big big big!) museum founded by the son of the founder of the Carlsberg beer.

After many hours of watching the different expositions, I moved to Tivoli Gardens, a must if you check any “to do while in Copenhagen” list on the Internets… And it is indeed, a must see! The oldest amusement parc in operation in the world is really worth a visit, even if you don’t go on rides…

So here are some pictures, awaiting corresponding comments, a little later 🙂

On the way to the Glyptotek (actually on my way to and back from it)

 

In my Glyptotek pictures, there is a lot of butts and such… After seeing the exposition about Rodin’s work twice in Montréal, I found myself to be fascinated by marble statues…  Especially angles we don’t usually see. I won’t start on it, I’d post just tomorrow morning…

 


 

After a few days of skipping the blogging and chatting in the evening, due to extreme tiredness, here are some of my pictures of Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks still running, and one if not the most beautiful one I have visited. It is possible to enter the park without getting on any ride, and I recommend it warmly… It is a 20 something dollars well spent to have a nice time in the Danish mythical park.

 

 


 

Previously…

Copenhagen, day 1 

Day 1 – Copenhagen

 

Okie… Summary of the day…

Strøget, Church of our Lady, Rundt Tårn, the Botanical Garden, Statens museum for kunstners, Rosenborg’s castle, the King’s gardens, Nyhavn, the Royal Danish Theatre, the Table church, Amalienborg, Kastellet and its church, the Little Mermaid, le Skuespil Huset and Copenhagen’s stock exchange building!

When I came back to the apartment, I had burned every bit of energy I had… I just felt like going to sleep even if it was barely supper time. It was good fatigue, but I was (and still am) as tired as can be. So I’ll leave a few random pictures of Copenhagen, that haven’t been touched up yet, to give you an idea, and I’ll add the comments later 🙂

Thanks for your understanding!

 

To learn a little more about Copenhagen;

http://www.visitcopenhagen.com

 

D day-2

Today, I received an email from Pippa, suggesting where and when we should meet… And it struck me.

Now, all this is really getting really really real!

I got butterfly flutters reading the note. Because it is one thing to say you’ll meet someone, but it is completely different when you can picture things happening.

And now I can imagine myself sitting on the side of the street near the B&B where I’ll have spent one of the most resting nights of my life, knowing I am safe in Svendborg’s Fairy’s town… – That being Svendborg, if you have trouble following – protected from all evil spirits that could have wanted to give me nightmares. And waiting, with the magical green fairy dress I have fought dragons and evil Asian delivery critters (they are the worst!!) to bring to her on my lap. And there she will come, with her long wavy hair in the wind, walking barefoot (yes, even in May… she is a FAIRY!! Follow!!) in the green Denmark grass, the wind playing with the many ribbons dancing around her svelte silhouette, vintergæk pinned in her braided hair and all…

Ok, it probably won’t be just like that… But still, I know exactly where and when it will happen.

And things are really getting really real!

D day-3… The grand opening!

May 1st.

It felt natural to open the doors of my Travel Blog to my friends and family today. In seventy two hours, I will be at the Pierre-Elliott Trudeau Airport waving at my brother as I head for the customs.

So welcome to all!

Welcome aboard this journey around the great Kingdom of Denmark, home country of all those little things you see everyday; legos, Bodum coffee makers, Pandora jewelry, Tuborg and Carlsberg beers…

For those of you who have had the chance of not being in my close surrounding during the past weeks, meaning that you didn’t have to suffer all the preps, here is just a quick summary of things…

Wednesday, I will be boarding a plane for a night flight to Keflavik, Iceland. (Yes, mom, I promise to look out the window as we land 🙂 I know you miss Iceland!) I’ll spend eleven hours of teasing time over there before flying my way to Copenhagen… At last!

denmark

Almost all the places I will visit are on that map 🙂

From there, it will be a hyggelig mixt of planning and improvisation. Three weeks of discovery, and I’ll try to find at least a Hotspot (free wifi zone) a day to give news, and share pictures with you all. I’ll be travelling alone with my backpack, resting where I’ll be welcome, getting to know Denmark through the eyes of the people who know it the best, locals!

Follow, share, “like” if you like, comment if you have questions or things to say…

Special thanks to four very special people, without whom I would never have been able to do this trip…

  • First, and obviously, Chéri! Thank you for letting me go for three weeks to live this dream trip. I know it will not be easy everyday, and that it will be lonely at times, but you were generous enough to tell me to go anyway, and I appreciate the value of that freedom every single day. Thank you for understanding that I needed to discover Denmark this particular way, which wouldn’t have been comfortable for you. Finally, thank you for holding the fort while I am away… Je t’aime!

 

  • My brother! When I decided I wanted to take only a carry-on backpack, I didn’t know what I was getting into. If my brother hadn’t been there to share his knowledge about light travelling, I would have been lost for sure. There are so many little details I never would have thought about… Thanks for the shopping day spent together, the conversations and the priceless advices! And, of course, thank you for the lift to the airport. I know mom and dad would have come gladly, but it would have been a lot of trouble just to see me go through the departure gate!

 

  • Pippa, AKA the Svendborg Fairy.  Pippa is my first Danish friend, we’ve been veninder (friends) for a while and I never thought we’d get to meet so soon. Although my interest for Denmark didn’t need fuel when we met, she confirmed tons of things I had seen and read about her home country, making me like it more and more every day… She was a great help with my first steps with Danish, and thaught me more than I’ll learn with any paid guide… Tusind tak igen Pippa! And on top of all that, Pippa have seen Mads in person, reducing my degree of separation with Sir Mikkelsen (yeah, he has been knighted twice) to one person!

 

  • Last but not least, Ib. After Sting’s Englishman in New York, the American man in Denmark! If there was a way to calculate the chances of making friends with particular people, the odds of the two of us becoming friends would have been pretty low. But life sometimes life works in mysterious ways, and I am happy to count you in! Your helping hand is always ready to stretch out, and your generosity has no end. Thanks to you, I’ll be safer with my Danish smartphone, and some people will sleep better at night in Canada. I’ll also carry the bag of advices you provided me with, some more serious than others… 😉 And hope you’ll keep them coming along my way. Thank you for your foreigner’s view of Denmark, proving that the Danish way of living wasn’t necessarly just good for Danes!  Forbliv fjollet min ven!

 

Ok, time to go back to preps now… Stay tunned 🙂

D day-5

This morning I woke up with a tender stomach, but all other symptoms I was experiencing yesterday night were gone, thank God!

I had a lot to do… And, although I didn’t get to take care of all I wanted to get done, I am happy with myself!

I went shopping, for a few knick knacks, and for gifts for my future hosts. It wasn’t easy, because I don’t have much place to carry them, but I hope they’ll be nice souvenirs from the crazy girl from Canada.

Back home, I finished the lists I had started… I am not very fond of lists, but it was a total must, in order not to forget anything… I only have 4 days to go, after all! I listed my clothes, my hygene and medical items, my electronic and entertainment stuff, my gifts, the documents I have to carry and what I had left to do…

I washed everything I am going to pack. Tomorrow, I’ll test-pack again to see what the scale has to say about it. I wish I didn’t have to be at work at 5 O’clock, but I only have 3 days of work left, so I can live with it 😉

Time to rest a little…

D day-6

This one will be short…

Yesterday night, after my evening shift, I got back home at midnight as usual. I had a few stomach cramps, but nothing too worrying.

Until arround 2am, when it hit me… From nowhere, I started being sick. And it was particularly intense and constant. Every 20 minutes or so, all night long, I had to visit the bathroom.

In the morning, I hadn’t slept much, and I obviously had a fever flash, because the little sleep that I got was filled with delirious dreams in which I was trying to solve intricate puzzles…

I had to take a day off work, still being sick and dizzy during the day (and not wanting to share this with co-workers if it was contagious) and I spent my afternoon wrapped in a blanket, trying to wrap up as much online preparation as possible.

I feel like I’ve kind of lost a day, but at least, I didn’t get sick just before getting on the plane!

I hope things are better tomorrow. I have some shopping to do (for my future hosts’ little thank you gifts and some other knick knacks) and I have to work on my packing!

6 days to go… Can’t wait to come meet you Denmark 🙂

D day -14

With less than two weeks to go, and eleven days of work to kill, it is really starting to smell like the final countdown… Europe style final countdown, you know?

I have started getting responses to my Couch hunting, which is encouraging.

My schedule is ready, although still flexible. I won’t post it, because I want to keep a little mystery. I have never been one to reveal too much about my whereabouts in the past, and I guess that’s just something that won’t change overnight.

To those of you worried to see me hit the road alone, Ib and Pippa will be aware of where I am and am going through the weeks. And I will have a cellphone to call for a little help if I ever need to. I know I’ll never be able to take the worries off your minds, but I hope you know I am not going to put myself in dangerous situations.

I have decided to fully pack my backpack next wednesday and live out of it for my last week in Québec. I’ve never been very organized when it comes to luggage when I travel.  I pack just fine at first, but things can easily turn ugly. If I don’t want to take everything out and re-pack every 2 or 3 days and go crazy, I have to be prepared. A little practice couldn’t hurt.

Yeah… Yeah… I feel boring tonight. It happens sometimes, I guess.

Sorry about that one, I’ll try to make preps more interesting next time!

 

 

D day -27

Today has been pretty quiet preparation-wise.

I had other things to do, and it was my last day off work for a while. I had to stock on some energy for the week to come.

But I didn’t want to leave a blank page in my trip’s book, so I just wanted to take the time to thank two very special people. I am not a name dropper, so we’ll just call them Pippa and Ib.

Pippa is the sweetest girl I know. We met via the Internets over a year ago, and we’ve stayed in contact ever since. She lives on Fyn Island, in Denmark, and she is my first Danish friend. I feel lucky for having crossed her path, every day. She is caring, understanding, and an incredible artist on so many levels… She helped me greatly with my Danish, and thought me countless things about her home country. I don’t realize yet that next month, we’ll meet in person. We haven’t spoken live yet, and have chatted on messenger only a few times, sticking to our epistolary friendship. I wish everybody knew a Pippa, because she is the kind of person who can light up your day with her good words!

Ib lives in Jutland. We also met through the Internets, but through blogging. Although we’ve only been exchanging for a few months, we quickly built a special connexion. Ib was not born in Denmark, but he has lived most of his life over there. He is an incredible storyteller, that can make a soar foot interesting. He would say I am biased, but through the weeks, he keeps surprising me with his endless imagination, clever writing, playful ways and twisted ideas. Ib is one of the most thoughful people I’ve had the pleasure to know. It could look like nothing destined us to be friends, and that time, distance and the likes would have kept us from developing a friendship, but it makes him just that much more special… Ib is helping me a lot with my trip preparation, and I can’t wait to thank him in person!

I’ll soon meet them both, and it is heartwarming that although I’ll spend most of my traveling by myself, I’ll know that they will be close by all the way.

Pippa… Ib… Thank you for making a place for me in your lives!

Jeg er en heldig kartoffel!