Sweden

During the afternoon and evening today, Margaret drove us north of Copenhagen to Helsinger, Denmark and then by ferry to Helsingborg, Sweden. We then drove south in Sweden to Lund where we had an amazing Italian meal. It’s a beautiful town with picturesque streets. We then continued on to Malmo, Sweden before crossing the 28 kilometre bridge and tunnel back to Copenhagen.

I’ve included several pictures I took today. Check out the Sweden Gallery on the sidebar.

Copenhagen

I certainly loved getting to know Copenhagen! The architecture is quaint and colourful. History abounds. The people are friendly; consistently so. Danes have been surveyed to be the happiest people on earth!

I’ve walked many kilometres in the city. While Margret and I went to retrieve the bags from the airport, Mary-Anna and the kids had rented bikes. There was no additional bike for me. So, walking and taking the Metro (train) has been my means of transportation in the city.

We visited several museums including the treasury of the crown jewels and museum of past monarchs’ trappings. We saw The Little Mermaid, an icon of this city. We entered several majestic cathedrals and strolled the grounds of the queen’s palace.

Last night, our family, together with Margret and Manuel, enjoyed a fine dinner at Nyhavn, the small harbour that’s another icon of Copenhagen. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Today, we climbed the 420 steps (Aaron counted them) to the top of the spiral tower of the Church of our Saviour. What a view of the city!

Copenhagen July 28

Morning:

So have you have heard our luggage is gone. Okay not gone, temporarily misplaced, or at least we hope. My first few days in Copenhagen have been good, even though I now really know what jet lag feels like and my precious clothing is missing, it truely has been good.

In Copenhagen there are people biking everywhere. I mean everywhere. There is even a lane for them between the sidewalk and the road. Because of that the cities residents are getting a daily workout while doing something as normal as going to work. The first day we came here we drove past a small “lake” by the flat we were staying at. There were so many people running and biking around it, immediatly making me want to go for a run. Then I remembered that clothes arent here…

Yesterday we walked around the town and saw the Queens residence and a went to a museum with alot of royal items like jewel covered crowns and cutlery made of pure gold. The whole day Madeleine was trying to convince us that the whole area belonged to her and that she was the Queen of the City. Yup I know, lame, but to us, hot and tired people, it was hilarious. (Can I also mention that it was 26 degrees 4/5 of us were wearing jeans?)

Evening:

WE GOT OUR LUGGAGE BACK!!!!

There is one happy family visiting Denmark right now. Every thing is back! The only disapointment is that we cant buy outfits anymore. Believe me, Madeleine and me really enjoyed our mandatory shopping trips. Oh well that is ok. The four of us (Mom, Madeleine, Aaron, and me) rented bikes and biked around the city. Its really interesting getting used to the extra lane and special lights for the bikes. We biked through a hippie section of the town. Went you entered there was a sign that said the rules: Have fun, No fighting, No weapons, No running (it creates panic), No picture taking (we dont want drug dealing on camera), Soft drugs are allowed. We didnt spend very much time there. After we went to Nyhavn for supper, its a street beside a canal that mostly cafes. I tried some Herring and Salmon but Im not a big fan… I think it has to do with living in the centre of North America for my whole life. Also Madeleine and me had this AMAZING Chai Latte. It was soo good. We biked home in the dark and the city was so quiet. It was gorgeous! 🙂

Lost Luggage

Two words a traveller does not want hear…lost luggage! Yup, all 5 of our packs did not show up on the baggage belt in Copenhagen. The people in charge of lost luggage have no trace on the whereabouts of our belongings. Not a good problem to have! As a result, the girls have had a chance to go shopping for a few new clothes. This has proven to be very timely since they have fallen in love with the fashion in Denmark.

It’s kind of funny what we’ve missed the most by not having our packs. For most of us, it’s been the chargers for our cameras and computers that we’ve seen as the greatest inconvenience. For Madeleine, it’s been not having access to her clothes and straightening iron.

Hopefully, in the coming day or two, we will hear news of our wayward wares. Thankfully, the airline already gave us 1200 kroner and will give us more as needed. Sounds like a lot but it’s about $200 CDN. Better than nothing! I see more shopping in store for us (pardon the pun).

EAL Begins

Our first sustained non-English environment occurred on the flight on Icelandair from Toronto to Reykjavik. 

During this flight, Emily-Ann was looking at the Icelandic newspaper Frettabladid, (pictured below).  Seeing Emily-Ann “reading” this newspaper, a stewardess assumed we spoke Icelandic.  She pointed to my computer and told me, in Icelandic, to put it in the pocket in front of me during take-off.  I did as asked.  The stewardess thanked me in Icelandic and carried on with her duties.  Hopefully, she wouldn’t ask me too much more.  Oh well, I must have appeared competent in her language.

The poem below was on the pillow case I was given during this night-time flight.  Sweet dreams!

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Twelve Personal Commandments

Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project: Or Why I spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun; Collins 2009) created her list of Twelve Personal Commandments that helped her focus during her year of learning and writing. The exercise is a way to instil your values into your daily living.  You can find her personal commandments at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gretchen-rubin/happiness-tips_b_1285510.html.

I am starting my list and will adjust and practice as I go:

1. Take time to touch and appreciate your loved ones daily.

2. Meditate – daily.

3. Each day is new, yesterday is done-let it go and work with what is here.

4. Live intentionally.

5. Ask good questions of yourself and surroundings.

6. Do good.

7. Be kind.

8. Be happy – everyone with you will feel successful.

9. Appreciate health and energy by making the most of it.

10. Exercise my  reason and purpose of life: to show love.

11. Never take what I have for granted.

12. Weed out the unnecessary.

 

PS  Would love to hear your list, partial or whole. 

Leaving Terra Firma

Air Canada Take Off

Lift off!  At just after 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, our plane’s wheels left the runway, leaving Manitoba behind.  With almost equal buoyancy, I felt in my heart a feeling of exhilaration.  Normal as we know it will be far away for a while.  What a feeling!

It was great to see our girls journaling within minutes after take-off.  Aaron took pictures of the clouds.  Pretty cool!

We’re now waiting for our flight to Iceland where we stop over on our way to Copenhagen.