After driving through deciduous tree-lined autoroutes with occasional glimpses of neatly tilled farms to Hamburg we turned north towards Denmark. We noted Hamburg's many huge cranes on both sides at its container ports. Further along we were back into forested autoroute with glimpses of farms and towns as we approached the Danish border. Here the police stopped us---the red rental license plate the culprit. They checked our passports and waved us on. At Kolding we turned east to Odense.
Going over the bridge onto Fyn Island was beautiful. It was a stellar day. We could see for miles. And the cable stay suspension bridge was long. And not that high. Once across, we could see more of the countryside as we drove.
It was near to 3p as we approached Odense so we decided to stay in Odense. We checked Lonely Planet and Rick Steve's book and they both agreed the Ansgarhus Motel was a good deal so we stopped there first. At 875 DKK it seemed a good deal...and the room was spacious and clean, the staff..owner..pleasant. The center of Old Odense was an easy walk away.
Down a bricked pedestrian only street, by neat old brick buildings with narrow lanes branching off, we walked. We saw 2 old churches....one from the 1300's. Buildings are tall and narrow with 3 windows across up high and a central door usually flanked windows.
We looked for a restaurant serving 'old-fashioned' Danish food but found they were reserve only. We splurged on French....lamb and veal schnitzel.
After eating we did some exploring. We followed Hans Christian Andersen's footsteps for a time. We found a square surrounded by a yellow building on one side and a deep blue on the other. Brick was used to build another. Down a narrow lane we found an Irish pub with a large green suited leprechaun smiling with his pipe in his hand and a green top hat on. This lane widened into a small square surrounded by pubs and a restaurant. As dark was approaching, we walked home. It was almost 10p.
Prices are high. Gas in Germany was 2.70 €. It is much higher in Denmark...8.75 DKK and in Sweden 12 to 17 SeK.
The next morning was misty. We headed across the next bridge to Scane Island and Kobenhavn. We saw little till we were almost across the low to the water cablestay bridge. As we neared the end we could see many fishermen fishing. Many shorebirds were about as well. As we drove towards Copenhagen the mist lifted and the sun came out. As we neared the town center we found our way blocked at times by a running race. Around the block we'd go waiting for the GPS to recalculate. The Hotel Danmark was easy to find. By 10a we had parked and settled in. Sun. night was almost 1600 DKK...over $300 Cdn. Mon. was going to be double. We stayed one night.
We took a canal cruise...saw and learned a lot. We saw the church with the outside spiral staircase, the rounded opera house, government buildings, a palace, many boats, swimmers...some topless to Gord's delight..lots of low bridges etc.
After we stopped for a bacon wrapped Danish hotdog and walked the cobblestoned pedestrian streets to the vehicle street our hotel was on. We stopped to watch a sand sculpter work on a large golden retriever, a puppy, a cat and a mouse....all well sculpted from sand on a tarp. There were kaffe wagons and food wagons along with statues and fountains in the squares.
We went for the free glass of wine at our hotel...and had 3 as did the others. We ordered an appie...not free...but good.
At 7.30p we went to the Tivoli Gardens. We started with hamburgers at one of the many restaurants. Lights came on starting around 8p. The 'gardens' are an amusement park...well maybe 3 amusement parks on one large site. Paths lined with flowers and colored lights run between a lake with a large pirate ship, dragon flies and lightening bug statues that light up and rides of all kinds....a huge roller coaster, bungie jumping-like rides, giant monsoon swings, a neat jungle themed merry-go-around, bumper cars, swings that go up and down a high pole while they swing out and round the pole. Yes it is fun.
Huge rhododendrons and multicolored azaelias line some paths. Beds of deep purple and brilliant orange tulips line the one side of the lake. In other places fluorescent red tulips highlight the shore. Expemded fritillaria must have been beautiful and still are as huge lime green seedpods have replaced the flowers.
Lights in all shapes and sizes are everywhere. As dusk descended, the lights stood out more. A Taj turreted place was beautifully illuminated as was a Shinto pagoda. The theater area, a pale green before dusk came to life after with its many lights. Giant spools of lights showed the path to the exit. Curtains of lights brightened paths amongst trees.
All too soon it was time to leave and find our way home through the now quiet streets by now closed restaurants. It was dark when we reached the hotel.
This a.m. we were up early and on the road. We crossed Europe's longest cablestay bridge in the fog. It is low to the water. The air is warm and the water cold. By the time we reached Sweden, we could just see the fishermen fishing along the edge of land.
We skirted Malmo and drove to Lund. We stopped in the central square for coffee and walked around a little. Along the streets blocks of apartments were lined up. Streets were narrow. Cobblestones surfaced the streets. We were stopped barely an hour.
We drove northwest taking E20 to E4. We again drove tree lined roads although more evergreens were in evidence. Deciduous seemed to be a 'cotton' floating aspen similar to cottonwoods. We drove through farms and towns each with a stately church either stone or wood sometimes painted. We drove along Lake Vetter and turned to go through forests. Near the east coast we again saw towns and some farms. Most farm animals were horses although we did see one herd of cattle.
It was after 5.30p when we entered Stockholm's suburbs and found Motel L....with no parking of its own. We have 1 night here and have found a cabin on a lake nearby for the next 3 nights. Tomorrow will be a day of rest and moving residence.