Sunday, September 28, 2014

Scandinavia Trip - Days 3 & 4

Day number three of our adventure! We woke up a bit earlier today, having slept much better than the night before. After checking out of the hostel and storing our luggage we went out in search of the few landmarks we hadn't yet seen. We once again had beautiful weather and were happy to be seeing the city under the bright sun. After lunch we went to the hostel to collect our luggage and then found our way to the harbor to catch the ship to Oslo.
Fountains in the park on our way to find the little mermaid
This tiny little mermaid statue is one of Copenhagen's must see's, but prepare to be less than impressed and to spend an awful lot of time just trying to find it 

Now, when I booked the overnight ship from Copenhagen to Oslo with DFDS Seaways I wasn't expecting it to be a very big ship or very luxurious. After all, it was only 80 euros for both of us. When we turn up at the harbor, however, there is a HUGE cruise ship waiting at the harbor. Yep, that was our ship! 

Having checked in and boarded we found our room which had a sweet location on the ship! It was a little small, but clean and cosy with oh so comfy beds. We had our own TV and bathroom with shower as well, so we were living in luxury that night! 
Boat selfies1

We went up on deck to watch the ship take off and spent quite a bit of time on the decks both that evening and the next morning.  We drank coffee in the ship's cafe and browsed the duty free shop. The free wifi on board made for some nice chatting with much missed friends and family back home as well as a chance to look up some information about our next city - Oslo! 

At night we watched some English TV and I accidentally scared a half-asleep Kayli into thinking the skip had hit an iceberg when I catapulted from my top bunk. 

In the morning I woke up early to enjoy the views from the deck and we spent the rest of the journey drinking coffee and awaiting our arrival in Norway.

Sunrise on the sea
Early morning out on the deck

Our hostel was easy enough to find and we made a bit of a plan while waiting for some rain to pass. 
We explored quite a bit of Oslo, including the City Hall which is 100x more impressive inside than out, the old fortress, the Royal Palace, and a delicious food festival where we sampled bear and reindeer meat and all sorts of Norwegian cheeses and sweets. 

Beautiful City Hall Interior

Old Fortress panorama
After a quick afternoon rest we visited the northeast corner of the city and after a TON of walking were content to spend the rest of the night chatting with our Brazilian roommate, listening to music, and reading until we fell asleep for the night.
Being silly in the botanical gardens
Little German cafe and shop in Oslo

Monday, September 22, 2014

Scandinavia Trip - Day 2

Our second day in Copenhagen was all about the walking! After a not great night of sleep in a room full of snorers, we knew that we would need some coffee to conquer the busy day ahead of us. We ate some delicious cinnamon pastries from the grocery store and sipped our coffee as we went to meet up for the free walking tour of the city. Our tour guide was a spunky little Canadian with 5 years in Copenhagen already behind him. His enthusiasm for giving the tour impressed me, given that he has been giving basically the same tour, everyday, for who knows how long. But he must really love it! I think one needs to be some kind of performer for that job, keeping the audience of tourists engaged and amused throughout three hours of trekking through the city. 
Group Photo - Copenhagen City tour

After the walking tour our feet were starting to tell us about it, but we had no time for that ;) We ended up walking all the way across the city three more times that day, enjoying roaming just for the sake of roaming. 

Before going back to the hostel we bought some cookies and chips and had a bit of a junk food dinner. I think in the end we were just too lazy to go back out and get real food. 

We drank a couple of beers at the hostel and chatted with hostel mates from Hawaii, Sweden, Australia, Belgium, Singapore, and England.The main reason I travel is to see and learn about the world, but the nights spent talking and laughing with newfound companions are moments that I treasure immensely!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Scandinavia Trip - Setting Out

Tuesday morning, awake well before my alarm. Excitement keeps me from sleep, ready to explore lands uncharted. Okay, so not exactly lands uncharted, but I'm about to add three countries to my count on this trip and the prospect of visiting somewhere new is oh so exhilarating!
Our flight to Copenhagen went just fine, a quick little hour and a half north. Once we landed we got cash (Krones), found our train to the city, and followed the easy directions to the hostel.
Upon arrival we dropped our stuff and set out to get our first impressions of the city, which we quite lovely I must say, until we tired of dodging rain and got some quick dinner and headed back to the hostel for the night. We were quite amused by how many 7 Elevens we saw in Copenhagen - on every other street corner practically! Who would have guessed?
In the hostel we met some really funny Swiss engineers to be and ended up chatting with them for several hours about anything and everything! I definitely went to sleep with a happy heart!