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 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-1

I was waiting for that moment…

depart

Two words: Getting real!

I still have some packing to do tonight, and Chéri’s hair to cut, and my walking shoes to waterproof, and things like that…  But I am in what we call in French “le dernier droit”…

I’d like to write more, but I guess it will have to wait.

One night left, and I am taking the leap!

 

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-4

Today, it just hit me…

“Enjoy speaking French while you can girl…” a little voice told me.

I should indeed. Because in four days, not only will I be surrounded by Danish (which was my will to start with, no complaining here!), but when I’ll need a time off, it won’t be in my good old French slippers… No, no, no… My only hideout will be English.

And the last time I had to spend weeks not speaking French (except to myself, but that is another story) was in North Carolina, more than 15 years ago…

I’m kind of happy I had that thought today.

Just saying…

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-7

One week to go…

I can’t believe that in a week, I will finally be on my way to Denmark… For real!

 

These days, it is all about lists, and lists of lists… What to do, what to get, what to prepare, information I have to gather… It is a bit hectic, working, dealing with everyday chores, and planning all this, but it is getting more and more exciting as the days roll by.

 

Accomplishments of the week…

Hosts searching:

Out of the 9 cities I will visit, people from 4 of them have agreed to let the crazy Canadian Turtle in their lovely homes!! I will not drop names without permission, but

Tusind tak til dig, søde venner og venninder i Aalborg, Viborg, Odense og Sønderborg!!

(A thousand thanks to my friends in Aalborg, Viborg, Odense and Sønderborg! – Well, soon to be friends anyway!! )

I have requests pending for Copenhagen and the Island of Møn… So things are going very well!

 

Other very good news! I now officially have a phone waiting for me… I have my phone number and all!! Wow! This is getting real!

 

Tomorrow I have to concentrate a little bit on paperwork that need to be done even if it is dull… Letting know my bank I’ll be abroad, gathering information like Canadian Embassy’s number, making myself a list of important and useful phone numbers and addresses… And such stuff!

When things get a little stressful, I sit back and tell myself that all I REALLY need fits in one hand:

IMG_20160427_232135_038.jpg

And I have it. So what could go wrong now? J

D day -15

It is said that it takes 21 days for any person put in a new situation, to lose his or her points of reference to embrace the new reality completely.

I found that interesting tonight. I realized that was exactly what I was about to do with Denmark…

I am not foolish enough to think I’ll come back fluent in Danish, or with a complete understanding of the Danish way of life, but I believe it will be a fulfilling experience overall.

I did my first practice at packing up tonight. I am allowed 25 pounds and although I know I haven’t done a thorough job for my first attempt, I am still just at 15. Needless to say that I am pretty happy with myself… And as my brother told me, I need to keep some space and weight to bring back a few souvenirs!

My schedule is almost set, and I will be visiting 9 cities in total. I hope you’ll follow me, because it is the point of this blog, after all…

Two weeks, and I’ll be embarking this adventure. Two weeks… Just 14 days to go.

Fjorten dage…