Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 17- Last day in Copenhagen

Unfortunately the wifi in the hotel has had issues for the last couple of days and my day 17 post vanished into the internet vortex so I'm rewriting it on the way to work this morning.
Started the day in Norrebro again, we liked the vibe here and we wanted to check out the shops since all things shut down on the weekend. We walked through the parks again stopping to feed the ducks and the swans, one swan scared the bejesus out of us!

First we checked the antique shops for the most part they had stuff that didn't suit our taste with the exception of some mid century mod furniture, really overpriced and we didn't want to ship anything. Next we hit a shoe store that was a bust, lots of comfort shoes and the apotek where we grilled the chemist for everything we can't get in the states, the guy was super helpful.

Next we went into Goggle, another shoe store, strange name for a place that sells shoes. I keep wanting to call it google. They had reallly nice shoes here, poor Debra did not have any luck with shoes. I got lucky and the shoes I liked, a pair of suede grey granny shoes fit like a glove and the price was right!

Time to eat! the favorite past-time of this team. We ate at Beatroot, they had a 3 part mixed plate, I would love to say it's a deal but that's hard to come by in Copenhagen, but you can say it's a deal in Copenhagen about $16 usd.

Meatballs, hummus, and artichoke chickpea salad. Debra had a delish creamy artichoke in her mix.

After our meal we walked up to the big park, Faelledparken, in Osterbro. We hung out under a big shady tree until we realized we should get going back to the hotel and start packing.

We jumped on the 3a bus and hopped off at Vesterbrogade and walked the rest of the way back.

A couple of blocks from the bus stop there was a museum with this neat model of the city of what it looked like in Medieval times. Two pigeons were hanging out near the moat and it look like a Godizilla movie.

We got back to the hotel pack for an hour, then went for our last meal in Copenhagen at
Biomio. I we ate there the previous two nights but it's tasty and we knew it wouldn't make us sick to our stomachs. So long Copenhagen.

- Posted by misskitty1970

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 16-Turn right at the first hooker

Oh Copenhagen. So we found out that we are staying on the crappiest block in the neighborhood. But the neighborhood itself is totally fine and the hotel is really nice at a great price. We have had no troubles with the local criminals we aren't the customers they are looking for so they leave us alone.
This morning we had a great brunch at the hotel in the very sunny courtyard amongst the heavy European smokers, we got especially lucky, two old men smoky their pipes, me a lung full of tobacco smoke with breakfast.
Okay on a side note, Debra and I have been having the discussion about how parents and kids here actually make you want to have a family. Having a child here doesn't make you a naurotic mess. People take their kids out and don't make a fuss everything is private. Their kids aren't pitching fits, or skating in a restaurant and any inappropriate behavior is not tolerated . They make parenting seem enjoyable. Okay side note ended.

Today we went to Norrebro on our bartender's recommendation, he lives there. He suggested we head over to Blågardsgade that there a bunch of cafes. We walked through this amazing park with multiple lakes in the center with swans and ducks. The park starts at Gammel Kongevej and Svineryggen, it seems to have few names depending the section you are walking through. People jogging in this park can be quite aggressive, its like there running for their lives and you better get out of their way or they'll knock your ass down.
Then we made our way over to Blågardsgade, it was not the coolest place in town and our friend at the hotel suggested. But we walked further towards Norrebro's epicenter (according to Time Out) Skt. Hans Gade on the way we found Laundromat cafe which our friend Dada let us know about which we later have a nice beverage at and they a nice menu too.

I picked up a couscous salad and breaded eggplant at Beatroot on Elmegade and went to eat it on the benches at Skt. Hans Gade in front of Pussy Galore's Flying Circus (which is great place to use the WC). Debra and I spent the afternoon just walking around the neighborhood until we came to an antique store that was floor to ceiling junk! Debra ventured in and confirmed, lots of junk.

We kept passing cafes with tons of people just spilling out onto the streets watching the soccer game today the match between Germany and the UK, it was insane you could hear the screaming down many of the streets.

We found Laudromat again and got nice people watching seats ordered some beverages and watched beautiful Danes on the bikes ride by.

Next stop Irma City the supermarket for some water and treats. We bought some delicious honey waffles,hot chocolate and beer, the beer was for drinking when we got back to the hotel. Coming out of the market we met a very sweet Scottie.

Got back to the Axel, dropped our supermarket finds and drank our brewskies.

Afterwards we headed to Biomio again for a delicious second try. Debra had a 3 mix platter, with a summer salad, tzaziki with wholegrain bread, lentil salad with lots of veggies, I had the sirloin steak with new potatoes and summer salad. The summer salad had tiny strawberries, slices of oranges, aspargus, green salad with blue cheese dressing, really delish.
Then back to the hotel to hangout for a bit in the courtyard before bed.

- Posted by misskitty1970

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 15-I left my heart in Sweden

This morning was a scramble to get to the airport. Our first disappointment was that breakfast is served on the weekends at 8am and we had to leave at 7:30am. Cab picks us up and drives to the Visby airport, it takes 15 minutes, so we get there at 7:45 but the airport opens at 8am!!! Who knew? not those of us waiting for the counter people to come into work. We check-in, get on the plane all flawless. Then we take the Arlanda Express to Stockholm Central Station without a hitch tons of time before our train to Copenhagen leaves.

Boarded the X2000 to Copenhagen left at 12:21pm, perfect. First class is awesome, roomy seats, lots of legroom, wifi, nice service. My two complaints are, the train seriously rocks to the point where I got motion sickness which in all my years alive it has never happen to me; and two the food is equal to airplane food. When we were almost by Malmo which is 20 mins away from Copenhagen they said that we would have to change trains because they didn't have the part to go to Copenhagen.WHAT!!! The instructions on the train over the loud speaker were in Swedish the only thiing in english said was the train to Copenhagen will be right behind this one. While on the platform we realized we were the only ones waiting and I finally asked the train attendant and she told us to walk to the end of the platform that the train is literally right behind our train. So we ran down the platform to get on a crappy commuter train that had human poop on the floor of a bathroom and on the floor outside the bathroom, obviously we were no longer in first class.

Thank goodness it was a 20 minute train ride to Copenhagen.
Checked into the Axel, got our old room again, freshened up.
We went out to dinner at Biomio on Söndergade, an organic restaurant with wok dishes it was pretty delishes. I had a noodle beef veggie entree and it was very gingery.

After dinner we went to Pate Pate for a beverage the place was really packed and buzzing with hipsters.
Time to head back to our hotel via the hookers, pimps and pushers. First we checked out the meatpacking district which started to bloom in the last two years according to our hotel bartender, it was pretty cool looking, one of the places was having a Cuban night.

Sleepy sleep time.

- Posted by misskitty1970

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 14- Midsummer! Last day in Gotland

I can't believe this is our last day in Gotland. We made an effort to get up earlier than usual to be able to get all the activities we want to do today in. I rode my bike along the water while I waited for Debra to finish getting ready, and noted we should come back after the Midsummer celebration. I met Debra at 10am and we went shopping for ourselves and friends. Of course I had to get another pair of clogs so I got these really cute red super high ones at Byrå

We quickly finished up and left our purchases at our hotel then jumped on our bikes and headed towards the botanical gardens along the water. We got to the park next to to the botanical gardens and saw everyone parked their bikes under the trees we did the same. Then we gound a good spot in the lawn to watch the Maypole dance. While we were waiting we start to here music traveling towards us, apparently we planted ourselves in the parades path. We scrambled to get out of the way and almost got knocked over by a flagpole. Now the costumed folk and little kids gathered around the maypole laying on the lawn and started to add branches of green and flowers to decorate. When it was complete they heaved it into the air and it was time to dance. Those Swedish folk have some crazy dances, a lot of milking and animal imitation.

Midsummer celebrations are definitely made for Swedes, I think you have be one to really get it and enjoy it, but it was fun to watch the kids.

We got our bikes and rode the coastline bile bath, it was striking in it's beauty and sometimes in it's intense sulphuric smells. Swans, ducks, and gulls dot the water making their dives for a fishy snack. We rode until the end of the path where there was a beach with placid water and two people and I tested the sand with my bare feet.

Around 3pm we started getting hungry so we peddled back to town and got really tasty pizza at Florence and I had a pear cider that's really popular in Sweden which I will always wonder why because it tasted like kids medicine, blech!

Next we stopped in at the supermarket to pick up some souvenir treats and just be mesmorized by some of the odded food items. We saw a boy band playing some Swedish folksy music on the way to the market. They were celebrating Midsummer, its a hardcore holiday!

Best food item in the market or grossest. Bacon and cheese in a tube!
Then back to riding bikes until dinner time. A few stops along the way.

Last dinner in Gotland was at Rosegarden again, our choices were, pizza, pizza or Rosegarden. Everything closes by 3-4 pm on Midsummer eve. I had a Wisby weiss and a steak, delish. Debra had a filet of sole that was good but she liked her veggie dish from the night before. Onto packing and bed we have a 9am flight to Stockholm and a 12:21pm we'll be up at 6:15am, ugh.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 13-Farö,Digerhuvud, and Saffron pancakes

Digerhuvud, Farö

Today was a fantastic day, after our breakfast we rented a car and headed to the island of Farö. Farö is at the northernest point of Gotland and it's teenie tiny, but majestic in it's beauty. This might be one of the prettiest places I've ever been to. It was a 45 minute drive to Farösund after circling for 40 minutes in the city trying to find route 149 for the "scenic route" the jokes on us it's all scenic and we could have taken 148 which is a shorter trip, oh well it was pretty anyway. Beautiful pines, shrubbery and wild flowers dotted the landscape.

After the drive we drove onto a ferry that took all of 3 minutes to cross and it comes every 1/2 hr. We never waited. When we arrived in Farö we saw that there was nothing but lovely nature and the sporatic hut or house.

We were desparate for a loo, so we followed the signs for Lauter's cafe after about a 10 minute drive through a winding road we found this wonderful oasis.

Lauter's has a beautiful cafe in a large barn all done in clean scandinavian design, you would never know it until you approach it. They also have a bar and a gift shop in a separate barn, the barn looks like something shot for architectural digest or vogue.

We sat in the sun on a lovely deck outside the cafe, we were surrounded by greenery and the water was only a few feet in the distance. Debra and split a egg and lox sandwich and a grilled veggie sandwich. For dessert we had a Gotland traditional treat a saffron pancake with berryies and whipped cream.

Then time for a snooze on a hammock while someone played their ukele in the background.

Nap time over, back to the car and off to the next beautiful place ,Lauterhorn. Lauterhorn is somewhat surreal, it's an arid land with some shrubery surround by a white rock beach with clear water that's home to some very angry birds.

I had my slip-on Tretorns so not the best for navigating the rocks but then adding an angry bird aiming for you because it must have a nest near by was extra scary, I felt like I was in the movie "The Birds". We walked along the white rock beach and there wasn't a soul around except the birds. Along the shore line we saw with the bones of fish a couple swans which we assumed were from the nearby swan lake.

I forgot to mention it before on our ride to Lauters cafe I saw a lake full of swans and their babies it was unreal. After we had taken the view in we jumped back in the car and took another road right outside of Lauterhorn that said nature preserve in Swedish. This was a road alongside the water and on the other side a short pine tree forest.Our first stop was at Digerhuvud. Here's what Farö and Farösund are famous for, giant limestone formations along the ocean that are thought to be old reefs. When you are climbing them you feel like your on "Planet of the Apes" or some sci-fi flick. It's one of the coolest things I've ever seen. For this alone I'd come back here.

I put on my grandma water shoes, rolled up my pants and wading into the ocean. The water was cold but not freezing and it had tiny snails and mussels floating around. The ocean is so calm here it's like a swimming pool. After about 40 minutes in this beautiful part of nature we got in the car once again and drove for about 5 minutes on the same road in the preserve until we reached Gotländska fiskelägen a historic group of fishing houses or shacks that have been kept up through the years and are still in use today.

We realized we needed to get back on the road asap because the restaurants in Visby shut down at 10pm and we needed a least an hour between driving dropping the car off, and walking back into town. But first a 10 minute dash back to Digervuhud to snap some shots of some glistening light and long shadows, okay time to drive home.
Debra did all the driving which I am ever so grateful for, I took a snooze to forget my painful mouth. Dropped the car off. Dropped the keys off (oh yeah the craziest thing here is there are unattended boxes to drop rental keys in for cars and bikes, and our hotel will leave keys on the reception desk for you to pick up, just sitting on the counter, no one around),walked to the hotel to drop some stuff off. Finally dinner at 9pm at Rosengarden. Our waiter Carlos, who's originally from Bolivia but grew up in Stockholm, was incredibly sweet and helpful. Debra had a veggie parmesan timbal and I had the steak frites with the traditional saffron pancake as dessert. So stuffed time for bed.