Tuesday, 29 July 2008

2003 Scandanavian Circle - Gottenburg, Universeum And Beyond

This morning we awoke early to the sound of rain and a much cooler day. Guzzisue did a little washing followed by breakfast. We purchased our train tickets from the local petrol station and were in Gottenburg for 9:10am to find nowhere open! The shops open at 10:00, museums at 11:00, so we just wandered round not sure what to do, taking the occasional photograph like this sculpture of the gun. We have seen a similar one in a film with a scene in New York, so we think they may have been done by the same artist. Any information greatly received thanks.

While walking around we came across the Universeum and after a little deliberation decided to go in. The fact that it started to rain helped in the decision here me thinks.

The Universum is a national science discovery centre for all the family, basically an indoor nature trail with a tropical rainforest and aquatic environments with live animals ranging from birds to reptiles and sharks. The Universum really grabbed our interest and we were in there for over three hours! This would have been longer but we could not understand the Swedish signs in the experimental part. In conclusion a place well worth a visit and it gets my recommendation.

Mid afternoon we enter Liseberg, Scandanavia’s largest amusement park. Inside they have a large wooden roller coaster based on a 1920’s one.

The queue for this ride was 40 minutes and the rain turned to short heavy downpours, so we decided against this ride. We basically just ambled round the park for a few hours before catching the train back to the campsite.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

2003 Scandanavian Circle - Öresundsförbindelsen, Breakdown and Gottenburg

Surprisingly we were up , breakfasted, showered and on the road for nine o’clock, a new record for us! We picked up the E20 and headed for Copenhagen and onwards for the Öresundsförbindelsen, the bridge linking Denmark and Sweden. Having paid our toll we proceeded into a tunnel and came back into daylight in the middle of the Baltic Sea. This was an experience that we will not forget as we could not see any land at all! A must do trip if you can and I strongly recommend going from Copenhagen for a lifelong experience.

On Swedish soil we entered a tourist information centre to see if we could a campsite hut in Gottenburg, however there was a big festival on so everywhere was fully booked. We discussed this between and decided to head on towards Gottenburg to see what we could find in way of accommodation, or we would have done except the Guzzi didn’t want to play!

While Ian was changing relays and fuses a Swedish Harley rider came over and we had a little conversation telling him that we were last in Scandanavia in 1997. He remembered that summer well as they still talk about how good it was, just like the Brits talk about the Summer of ‘76.

Problem solved we headed our separate ways and slowly made our way north. We were a little taken aback when the speed limit went down when we left residential areas. This was explained when we saw our first moose near the roadside. They are built like the proverbial outhouse. A few days later we saw a report on television where a moose had charged at some cars, writing them off! Definitely an animal I don’t want to mess with.

Arriving in Gottenburg we spied the railway and decided to follow this away from the city. Our aim was to find somewhere near a railway station in order to get back into the centre in the morning. This was accomplished when we found a campsite with huts at Lerum, about 20kms out.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

2003 Scandanavian Circle - Highs & Lows Around Copenhagen

We were woken up during the night by heavy rainfall but by the time we had finished breakfast the day was warming up. To quote from our guide book “July is normally the warmest month with an average temperature of 20 C”, so here we are in mid August and it has been in the mid 80’s F!

Having taken the train back into Copenhagen it was time to act like tourists and take a canal tour. The tour was interesting with commentary given in Danish and English explaining the various sights including the Royal Palace and Yacht, some old dock buildings which were being turned into a concert hall complex, some have been developed into apartments (not sure where we could put our bikes though) and onto The Little Mermaid.

Later in the day we climbed to new heights when we went to Vor Frelsers Kirke, The Church Of Our Saviour. There are approximately 400 steps to climb, 150 of these on the outside of the tower, giving a wonderful panoramic view of the city. We were unable to look inside the church as there was a funeral service taking place so we picked up a leaflet giving a brief history of the building.

Slowly wandering round various shops we ended up at Tivoli, an amusement park and concert arena in the centre of Copenhagen. We felt a little cheated on this as we had to pay to get in and then pay again if we wanted to go on any of the rides. We much preferred Bakken! Tivoli is aimed more at the tourist and we try to avoid the tourist traps as much as possible.

I promised my young friend Bob T Bear something to show his sister from our trip to Copenhagen and here they are.

We found these dragon statues outside a hall that had a Far Eastern type of open day with various stalls inside and the other dragon was hidden on the steps outside the rear entrance to the building.

We returned to the campsite for our last evening in Denmark and had an early evening as tomorrow we head for Sweden. With visiting two amusement parks, JC Nimbus, a canal sight seeing tour, climbing the steps at Vor Frelsers Kirke AND the meeting with the drug squad it has certainly been an eventful couple of days!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

2003 Scandanavian Circle - Bakken And The Drug Squad

Departing JC Nimbus we caught the train to Klamenborg where there is the Jaegersborg Deer Park. From the train station a visitor can ride in a horse drawn carriage, or walk the small distance to Dyrehavsbakken, Bakken for short. This was our port of call as this is the retreat for many inhabitants of Copenhagen, being an amusement park that is over 400 years old. There is no entrance fee for this and is open from April to the end of August. At the start and end of the season there is a large motorcycle ride out to Bakken as shown in the two clips below.

The main attraction of the visit for us was an old wooden roller coaster. Guzzisue and myself went for a very bumpy ride on this while Ian had to miss out due to his dodgy back.

Having spent a very enjoyable afternoon watching people on the various rides and managing to see a red squirrel, but no deer, we headed back to Copenhagen where Ian spotted a green Nimbus. It didn’t take him long before he was chatting away to the owner. It appears that many Nimbus riders around the area appear to know each other.

As we were watching an activity across the waterfront from ourselves things went a little weird. An Italian approached Ian and asked him to take his photo, which he obliged, taking two, one landscape and one portrait. He jokingly offered to take one diagonally before passing his camera back.

The Italian asked us if we knew of any cheap hotels, but as we were on a campsite a few kilometers away and not being local we could not help him out. The Italian then departed only to be back with us accompanied with two very large men who proceeded to flash their police identity cards at us speaking to us in German. They were a little taken aback by the fact that we could not understand them, so in English asked if we had exchanged money with the Italian and where were the drugs!

Ian explained that we had only taken the mans photograph of him with his camera. All passports then had to be examined and wallets and pockets emptied to see how much money we were carrying. Further questions were asked like how long we were staying in Copenhagen, which hotel were we staying in etc. The answers that we gave certainly were not what they expected as we explained that we were staying on a campsite outside of the city and that we had been to a motorcycle shop.

Eventually the policemen wished us a good holiday and gave us a lecture about not exchanging money on the street! The rest of the afternoon was spent looking over our shoulders to see if we were being followed. The strange thing about this incident was that the Italian when he emptied out his pockets was very nervous as he had a large roll of US dollars in his pocket and when we all went our separate ways he was followed!

To this day we are unsure as to if we had walked into a setup. Lesson of the day is do not take photos of people with their camera!

After this the rest of the day was an anticlimax as we just wandered around aimlessly before catching the train back to the campsite and picking up some food for dinner and breakfast.