3 October 2016

Lovely Lübeck, 16th August 2016

What a lovely day to walk the gorgeous Hanseatic city of Lübeck. After a quick stop at our hotel, we set out to explore. First stop, the Holsten Gate. Built between 1464 and 1478, the Holsten Gate was one of four gates that surrounded the city in the Middle Ages.

A perfect spot for some family pictures.

And even some taken by Josh!

Inside St Mary's Church.

Lighting a candle to remember our loved ones.

The church was heavily destroyed during an air raid in 1942 and it was reported that the bells continued to ring as they fell.

Striking a pose again, could they both be teething?

Little devil!

The Town Hall and Town Square.

Before dinner Ben made the obligatory "quick trip" to find the local delicacy, this time it was the famous marzipan we had heard so much about from our German friends. We had (incorrectly) assumed it would be sold everywhere, being that Lübeck Marzipan has a European Protected Geographical Indication. Despite seeing most of the other sights around town we had not stumbled across any marzipan. We surely couldn't go home without it!

Exhausted after his marzipan hunt, Ben sat down for a hard-earned beer.

Josh was a little more excited for his drink!

The food was delicious too!

After dinner we continued our slow stroll around the town, before heading back to our hotel. It is a really beautiful small town, easy to walk around and a great place to visit. We loved the architecture of the red brick buildings.

And we found a digger! Everyone was happy!

Kronborg Castle, 13th August 2016

While Ben claimed this was ACTUALLY Hamlet's castle ("Hamlet was a fictional character!"), it was here that Shakespeare set his famous play. It was also supposed to be the best castle in Denmark, and indeed one of Europe's finest Renaissance castles. All sounds good so far!

Lew was suitably impressed, and this was just the carpark.

It is a pretty impressive view.

Rare photos of the boys doing the same pose, three times over!

Look left.

And smile.

Out the front of the ol' Bro house.

Near the entrance there was a scale model of the castle and its extensive fortifications. Since its construction in 1574, the fortifications have been altered and changed and added to. She's a strong castle!

We were greeted with a musical accompaniment as we walked in: here comes the parade! Doo doo da doo!

The Chapel. This room was used also used for ammunition storage during the Danish military's occupation of the castle. As you do.

We had to climb up windy staircase to the top of the castle for the magnificent views across to Sweden...

... and so Lewie could scare the life out of me as he ran full speed along the roof to the edge! Eek!

We're up so high!

Up again?

In the Great Banquet Hall, very grand.

Walking back to the car. Wouldn't it be nice to live in castle, Mum?

6 September 2016

Copenhagen, 12th August 2016

Odense to Copenhagen

Feeling in need of more, more, MORE Viking history, we stopped at the Viking Ship Museum in Ladby. In 1935 the remains of a viking ship were discovered here, along with the bones of the King's horses and dogs. It is the only Viking burial ship still situated in the mound where it was placed over 1000 years ago.

These cool viking kiddie carts were very convenient for hauling little vikings around the archaeological site.

The entrance to the burial mound.
Inside the burial mound. The wooden planks of the ship have long since deteriorated, but the metal nails, hooks and decorations are still in place. Even the anchor and anchor chain lie ready in position for the King's voyage to Valhalla. An awesome sight to see.

In December 2011, construction began on a full scale replica of the burial ship, using the skills and tools of the Viking age. In May 2016, the Ladby Dragon was launched successfully (lucky for us!). Eventually a Viking crew will be trained to sail the ship around the Fjord.

Me turn Mama?

Ok Lew, here you go!

Leaving Ladby, we continued our journey across the Great Belt Bridge to the island where Copenhagen is located - an 18km long bridge! A super duper long bridge with a super duper expensive toll!

We stopped off for a bite to eat in a small town called Rosklide. We fluked upon the town square, a rockstar park and an awesome cafe with great food and coffee. This is starting to be a habit in Copenhagen... Maybe it's not such a coincedence.

Unfortunately and sadly, the cathedral was closed for a funeral (that prompted some interesting conversations), but we were able to have a stroll around the grounds and the town centre.

Should we visit another Viking Museum? No, I think we're good for now...

Rare family photo! Look relaxed!

Arriving in Copenhagen there was a 'slight' mishap with the booking... Ben booked it for September instead of August! Hmmm that could be a problem! A hasty internet search for nearby accomodation turned up Sweden as the best result (admittedly just across another bridge but still). Luckily Kirstie was able to talk them around and we managed to wrangle a room as long as we changed rooms on the second day.

Out and about for more non-German food (ignore the German beer!)!

Josh doing his best Usain Bolt impression. Ben doing his best "don't drop Lewie in the fountain or break a leg" impression.

Top of the list was a canal tour around Copenhagen. Doesn't get any better than this!

But as we discovered, it can get worse! The heavens opened up and we got soaked! Ben was the only one on the boat without a raincoat so had to borrow the captains.

The tide was up and the bridges were low... Everybody duck!

The famous mermaid statue, and 3 million tourists (like us).

Danish Royal Library. 
Also high on the list was a bike with a box at the front for the kids. Unfortunately this was the best we could manage but it was fun nonetheless! Fun with a sense of danger as it only had lap seat belts - eep!

Our ride took us as a far as the Paper Island food markets (about 200m away!). It was worth it.

Mmmm fully loaded hot dog.

Creme brulee donuts. I'll have 10,002.

Lovely view from our hostel...just don't look inside!

Rosenborg Castle, in the centre of town. Home to the crown jewels, and big scary guards with guns trying to look scary. Moving swiftly on!

And finally, the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park! Conveniently located just down the road from our hostel, we had seen many of the bigger rides on our walks and so had a plan of what we wanted to try. Sadly, Josh was too small for the ride he had his heart set on (devastating for him, but we were grateful - it was the "death drop" style ride!). He and Ben had to settle on another far too small and far too squishy roller coaster instead.

Lew's choice: the giraffe on the carousel that went around a few too many times and Lew wanted to get off. Once again, he was much happier watching the rides than going on them.

Someone just HAD to have fairy floss (one guess). Yum!

Mum, up there? Is she crazy? Evidently, yes.


Across another massively long bridge over the ocean and our trip to Denmark was coming to end. Unfortunately we eventually ran out of massively long bridges, and had to settle for a ferry for the last part of the trip. Bye Bye Denmark.


Final note/ word of advice: On ferry trip between countries, where announcements are given in many more languages than you can speak, it is important to watch what your fellow passengers are doing. Clearly, the 5 minutes warning before the ferry docked started at the BEGINNING of the announcement, and not the end, nor the Wnglish part. Luckily for us, and unluckily for everyone else, our car was at the front of the queue. No one would be leaving without us! :D