Yesterday evening I finally arrived back home in The Netherlands after an eight-day “working” vacation. I actually can’t remember the last time I’ve spent a full week away from home. It was a real treat after more than two years of corona pandemic to be able to travel further away again than just over the border. However I am glad I managed to get home without becoming ill on the way. I met up with several friends, although two others I was going to meet had to cancel because of Covid-19. Very glad they found out beforehand and not after seeing me. But I was sad not seeing them at all.
Saturday 9 July
Also because of all the trouble with airplanes right now, I decided to travel to Denmark by train. With a bit of luck I ended up in Flensburg, Germany, close to the Danish border, with only one hour of delay. This was to be my first stop. I spent the evening strolling around in this lovely harbour town and have a schnitzel as dinner. A few rain drops, but nothing else, although there was a heavy rain shower when I was travelling in the Bremen area. I didn’t see rain in the next days, that were rather sunny, at least until Thursday.
Sunday 10 July
In the bus as early as 9am, although Glücksburg Castle wouldn’t be open before 11am. Just half an hour drive from Flensburg is one of the most beautiful castles of Germany. Happily they had a charger for the phone in the bus, as I had forgotten to do that in my B&B. Glücksburg is quite a touristic place on the waterfront. Once this was the residence of the Dukes of House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. I spent the time before the opening of the castle walking around to take pictures of the castle, and visit a few churchyards with royal graves. That might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I love to do that. After a lovely visit I took the bus back to Flensburg, collected my suitcase and took the train to Kolding, Denmark. The train ride is only about one and a half hours and my hotel was opposite of the railway station. Had dinner with my colleague Susanne from Kolding in the town centre.
Monday 11 July
Finally got some Danish money: they don’t use Euros (although touristic places might give prices in both Danish Crowns and Euros)! Time to visit the exhibition “Mary & Kronprinsesserne” at the Koldinghus Castle, just a short walk from the railway station of Kolding. Very recommendable I can tell. I sighed, that I missed her wedding dress, not remembering that one was actually in another Mary exhibition that I saw later on. Time in the afternoon to collect my luggage again and take the train to Copenhagen. Checked in at my hotel and then met up with my British colleague Joe, who happened to be in the city too. We walked a bit and had dinner. Had my first look at the Amalienborg Palace in years.
Tuesday 12 July
As Joe and I turned out to have the same plan, and the weather was wonderful, we took the train to Helsingør, north of Copenhagen, and from there the ferry to Sofiero Castle in Sweden. From the ferry we had a wonderful view at Kronborg Castle, which was on my list later on. Apart from at first taking the bus into the wrong direction (my fault!), we in the end ended up at this former Swedish royal summer residence. After our visit we returned to Helsingør, had a quick look at the town, and travelled back to Copenhagen. Nice dinner with Joe, and Sue and Mike, two other British friends that were in Copenhagen. The world is really so small. I happened to meet Sue already in the morning at the railway station, not planned at all!
Wednesday 13 July
Another trip with Joe, we travelled separately, and without knowing it were in the same train. This time our destination was Frederiksborg Castle and another wonderful Crown Princess Mary exhibition. Not enough time for the garden unfortunately. While Joe left, as he was returning home, I just managed to get to Fredensborg Palace in time for the last English tour of the day. The palace is only open one month a year. And don’t laugh! I was waiting for my train back to Copenhagen at Hillerød, looked up, and saw Sue with two of her friends taking the same train. That’s what happens when people go to the same places as you do. Bought some bread to eat at my hotel and gave my feet a good rest.
Thursday 14 July
Finally a day in Copenhagen. With Sue and her friends I visited the exhibition of the jewelry of Queen Margrethe II, which was as you can guess, a glittering joy! Afterwards we had lunch at Nyhavn, before saying goodbye. I then visited Rosenborg to see the Danish crown jewels. When I got out it was pouring rain, which luckily soon stopped. Ran to Amalienborg to buy myself a few books. After a short rest at the hotel I went for a stroll through the city centre after all, along the waterfront to Christiansborg Palace – which was the last palace I had visited, so I decided not to put it on my list – and had dinner on a nice terrace there.
Friday 15 July
The days in Denmark passed far too quickly. Time for my last trip, to Helsingør itself this time. Kronborg Castle, and again heavy rain upon arrival. The skies above Sweden in the distance were bright blue and it was dry quite quickly. In the ticket office I happened to meet a Dutch lady working there. Enjoyed the waterfront and the castle itself. From the castle it was only a short walk to the M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark that at the moment has a really nice exhibition about the royal yacht Dannebrog. You’d say I would go back to the hotel to prepare for my trip home. But I decided to hunt for a few royal graves at Sorgenfri and Lyngby first. On my way back home I found a rather cheap supermarket, bought a few things and finally headed for my hotel.
Saturday 16 July
Glad my phone made it throughout the week. Already had some SIM-cards problems recently. But managed to drop my phone on the pavement in Glücksburg. Thanks for inventing safety glass! Some damage and cracks, but everything continued working perfectly. The SIM-card problem however occured in a rather bad way on Friday evening, of course right when I really needed it to set my alarm. To be sure I also set the alarm on my laptop to be sure I would wake up in time as my train home was leaving at 7am. But I am pretty certain I have to buy a new one soon.
It took me only twelve hours to get back from Copenhagen to Groningen, with a few changes of trains. I don’t know how others do it, but my luggage is always heavier on the way back than on the way there. Apart from a few postcards and magnets I also managed to buy a few books, magazines and CDs. And brought with me a small pile of leaflets of all kind of places, that might be useful for my upcoming blog articles. In the end I made it home safely with all my things.