Since my last post, 10 days ago, we have moved around quite a bit. We left Poland on the 19th of May and headed to Hamburg Germany for two nights, then to Odense Denmark for four nights, next was Vaxtrop Sweden for two nights, then into Norway with two nights in Oslo and finally we went to and are still in Rena Norway. Sounds exhausting just typing it out, but in fact we have been taking it easy for the last little while.
It has been more relaxing because we have been visiting mostly with family and/or staying in small villages so we have not been running around trying to see as much as possible in our short stays in various places. This has been a good thing because after eight weeks on the road doing heavy duty sight-seeing or hiking, we were just worn out.
Spending time with family has been rewarding and it has been nice catching up with
distant relatives. I have some family roots in Germany as my mother was born there. Although she had many brothers and sisters, my sister and I really didn’t know our aunts and uncles because most stayed in Germany. Many were lost during the Second World War and the remaining had predeceased her. On my mother’s death, close to ten years ago now, my sister came across the address of one of her nephews in Germany and decided to write to him to inform him of mom’s passing. Thus began a wonderful family connection between my sister and our cousin, Dieter. He is my only relative in the world, other than my sister, that I am aware of, so it was nice to finally meet him and spend some time with him and his wife.
From Germany we travelled to Odense Denmark where Sanford has friends. It was a quiet visit. Although Odense is the third largest city in Denmark, it had a quiet small town feel to it and there really wasn’t much to sight-see. It’s claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Hans
Christian Anderson, known for his fairy tales, and has a museum dedicated to him. So we took in the museum and the only other thing we did besides that was take in an art exhibit because Sanford’s friend, Jens, is an artist and had a couple of pieces on display. We stayed with them for two leisurely days and caught up on emails, read, and just generally relaxed.
From Denmark we were heading to Norway to spend time with Sanford’s relatives. However, because of the long travel distance we broke up the trip and spent two nights in a hostel in Vaxtrop, a small village in Sweden. There was no sightseeing here, just short easy forest walks and more rest and relaxation. It was nice.
We were heading to two places in Norway, the first being Oslo. We spent two nights here in a hostel. Since it had been a while since we spent a day sight-seeing I really enjoyed spending the day wandering around the city. We took in Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Viking Ship Museum, the Magic Ice Bar, the Concert Hall and walked around the harbour and city centre. The Magic Ice Bar was interesting. It is actually more of a novelty than a bar you would frequent. The bar is in a room that is kept at -5 degrees. The walls, the seating and tables are all sculpted of ice, with many sculptures of various themes done by a prominent artist. With the entrance fee you get a complimentary wine cocktail served in an ice glass. We were supplied with an insulated poncho and gloves to keep warm but after about 20 minutes it was too cold to stay much longer. I’m glad I can say I’ve been there and done that but wouldn’t bother with it again.
In the evening we spent time with Sanford’s Uncle Kaare, a truly amazing man. He is 91 years old, fully cognizant, very active, still drives a car, and he cooked our entire dinner himself. Dinner was chicken breasts with a sauce, rice and vegetables. I hope that I will be as vibrant as he is when I reach that age!
From Oslo we traveled 170 km north to the small village of Rena. Here Sanford has another set of relatives. We are here for four nights. Again it is relaxing here; we are just spending quality time with family and doing a bit of walking around during the day.
Rena marks the farthest spot of our journey. Once we leave here in another two days, we are essentially heading back towards Paris to return our leased car on June 9th and then making our way back to England, via Ireland, to fly home on the 24th of June. We will be revisiting a number of places we have already been but we will also be staying in a few new places.
Till next time………