March 2 – 5, 2018
From Prague we talked about taking the train through Germany, stopping in Berlin and then heading to Denmark to visit our dear friends but after doing the calculation the cost and time it was going to cost considerably more than flying straight to Copenhagen, so we decided to fly.
We arrived late in the evening, rented a car from Sixt (which would turn out to be a big mistake, I’ll explain as we go), and checked into a hotel not to far from the airport. In the morning we had a message from Sixt, their trainee that was left alone to check us in has issued us the wrong vehicle and they requested we bring it back. Since we were right down the street it wasn’t a big problem so we returned to the airport and swapped out cars. Our downgraded vehicle was the one we had booked so we didn’t mind but they offer no compensation for the inconvenience which in my book is bad business. There is more but I’ll explain it all in later post.
Once the car issue was settled we were off to the next country, that’s right another country on our European travels. We decide since our friends Mallan and Hannah were not scheduled to be home for a few days that we would take this time to drive to Malmö, Sweden. We drove through the Drogden Tunnel, a 2.5 mile tunnel that connects the Danish island of Amager the artificial island of Peberholm and then across the Øresund Bridge which runs nearly 5 miles to the Swedish coast line. The journey across does cost a whopping €50 if you have to pay cash on the bridge but we got a bit of a discount prepaying for a roundtrip crossing. We took a video of our trip across the bridge however the weather conditions were not favorable. The low lying clouds made it almost impossible to see this amazing engineering feat. None the less we enjoyed what we could see.
We drove around a bit looking for a place to have breakfast stopping at a small cafe across from the Malmö Castle. After being in Budapest and Prague, this small castle built by the Nords in 1443 then partially demolished and replaced in 1530’s by the Danes didn’t really measure up to what we thought a castle looks like. The very simple design and lack of ornate carvings made it feel more like a old brick warehouse or factory of some kind. Daniel had commented about their being a castle around here we could go see that’s when I informed him it was right in front of us, so I guess we can check that of the list. However, it was very beautiful in its own rite with its manicured gardens and snow covered ground.
Breakfast at the cafe was delicious! On the menu was a few baked goodies, coffee and teas, and two kinds of soup with or without bread. The soups were in two large crockpots that were set out for you to help yourself. One was filled with cream of celery and the other with creamy tomato. Both of them were absolutely scrumptious, I preferred the cream of celery and Daniel the tomato. We had two bowls each and Francesca shared. Afterwards we walked across the street to take photos in front of the windmill next to the castle and chase the gaggle of geese, Francesca’s idea.
We had to pass some time before we could check in to our Air B&B so we drove around the city gazing at the beautiful mix of old industrial buildings and the new modern architecture. It was bitter cold out so we didn’t explore to much, we didn’t want Francesca in the cold weather for to long. Once we could check into our place we made our way to a little neighborhood where our apartment was located. Our hosts had converted part of their house into a private apartment with it’s own access. The studio had a small kitchen, living space with bed and dinning table, a shower room and toilet room. We also had access to the backyard.
Eating out in Sweden isn’t cheap, our soup breakfast was about $45, so we decided to cook dinner at home. We walked to a market a few blocks away and grabbed some items so our private Chef Daniel could whip us up a tasty meal. He did bring his chef knives with him on our travels so he should use them as much as he can, right! For desert we had picked up some Swedish pastries that looked and tasted scrumptious. We discussed what we should do the following day since our time was limited and the weather was frigid. Our host had mentioned a children’s play area that we could visit just a short drive away, we thought it would be the best option and Francesca would get a chance to run around a play.
In the morning, after breakfast, we headed to Busfabriken an inside play land with ball-pits, slides of all kinds, bumper cars, trampolines, climbing ropes, a huge pirate ship with air guns to shoot foam balls at one another, spinning tea cups and much more. This place was amazing and fun for the whole family, a completely parent supervised amusement park for kids. Staff was there to run the concessions, take entry fees and dress up as the fur mascots to prance around the building but non of them stood to play referee at any of activities.
We played for hours running around the giant multiple story building, Francesca played with some children in the toddler zone but, I think, she enjoyed playing with us the most. Daniel’s favorite part was shooting the kids with the air-guns on the pirate ship. Mine was spinning around on the bumper cars that floated in air. I think Francesca’s favorite part was climbing around on the rope walkways to the numerous slides then riding down them and the ice cream, of course. I think we were there for about four hours before we decided to leave. Francesca was getting tired and a bit emotional, she was asleep within 3 minutes once we were in the car.
We drove to a little town call Lund to see its historical square, magnificent church and old buildings. We even got to see the lit up billboard that quotes the famous song ‘Heaven’ by The Talking Heads and covered by our favorite band Widespread Panic. Our stop here was a quick one as it was freezing outside and the wind was blowing. We were there for probably 20 minutes and couldn’t stand being outside any longer. We were not prepared for the extreme cold, we had sent our snowboarding gear home with our friends. Should have had some silk thermals and a warm fur layer to brave this kind of weather.
Our Sweden stay was a short one, really just a stop over to kill some time as we waited for our friends to return home in Denmark. Next time we make our way to the Scandinavian countries I would like for it to be summer and it would please me if we could connect with our dear friend Jonas. Its been a long time since we have seen some of our friends we met while traveling Southeast Asia in 2010 and we miss them dearly.