Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Arhus and Silkeborg, Denmark

Hello again,

It's our last night in Arhus. Tomorrow: Copenhagen.

Claire and I never made it back to the house to get dolled up. By the time I was done with my blog, which only took 15 minutes, she was talking to a fellow Englishman outside. We joined up with him and his Norwegian friend (read friend, not boyfriend) for dinner and drinks and a long night of good conversation. The Englishman is 60 years old and living here, and he met the 32 year old Norwegian musician at the bookstore the Norwegian manages. It was quite the international night and an unexpected birthday celebration. I'll be happy to have Chicago Thai food, though, as my birthday Thai dish cost $25. This Denmark country sure is expensive. Lovely but expensive.

Yesterday it was a late start, but we eventually (after taking the bus the wrong direction that ended one stop later at the bus terminal) made it to the beach for a good lie in the sun-shade. We also went on the prehistoric trail that leads from the beach to the museum. Where we saw one of the famous bogmen--preserved in a peat bog for over 2,000 years. He was just a bit creepy, especially as he died by having his throat cut and being shoved in the bog... We had a fabulous Greek dinner last night (thank goodness for the English-speaking Danes).

Today we took the train to Silkeborg for an all-day canoe extravaganza. Neither the wind or the current were in our favor the first three hours, so I'm sure we'll feel it tonight. Nevertheless, it felt good to be on the water and paddling away after all the walking we've been doing. Tonight it's Italian food on the river and an early bed for our early train. That is, if we don't fall asleep in our food.

Hope all is well with everyone,


Monday, July 28, 2008

Arhus, Denmark

Hello everyone!

Well, I am officially 34 and in my 24th country. Life is good.

Claire and I arrived in Copenhagen yesterday and made our way to the city of Arhus. It was a long travel day, but we made it in good spirits (I did my usual head nodding, catching flies thing on the train for 3 hours).

We are staying on one of the oldest streets in Arhus. Translation: terribly quaint with our own little backyard garden and a cobblestone streets. Translation 2: very steep stairs, the sink in the shower, and lots of character.

This morning we made our way to the outdoor museum that shows different house and living styles throughout Denmark's history. Lots of photos of people dressed in costumes! It took us three hours bobbing in and out of short buildings, and we enjoyed every minute. I even found hummus and salad in the cafe, so we ate in style, too. A quick nap in the botanic gardens and we were all refreshed from our tourist morning.

Now we are on our way back home to prep up for my birthday night out. We've found a restaurant that serves vegan and omnivorous options, so yeah! In our search for a restaurant, I've posed on the laps of a random Blues Brothers statues to fulfill my Americanness, or rather my Chicagoness...

We are going to ditch Legoland for a day on the canoe and a bike ride on the beach. It's lovely here. A bit quiet, which is a surprise, but I'm sure Copenhagen will make up for it!

Hope you are all well.



Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Georgia...then Denmark and Sweden

Hello all,

Well, thanks to Jackie, I've been shamed (all the way from Birmingham, UK) into a new post on my travel blog.

It's been a quiet year on the travel blog front, but don't you fear! Instead of blogging, I've been giving travel presentations to people in Chicago via Hostelling International. So, I'm spreading the travel love!

Last July, before I jumped into the MFA at Columbia, Claire and Chris flew over from Liverpool and we flew out to Seattle for a west coast road trip. We drove from Seattle to San Francisco, stopping to see Mount St. Helens (which I always thought was in Montana--shocking US geography), then Portland and the Columbia River Gorge, then Oregon Pinot Noirs, then the Oregon Coast, then Crater Lake, then the Redwoods (and a larger than life Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox). After my trip to Switzerland which was teenage girl-centered (as you read), I basked in the freedom (and wine) of an adult vacation. Of course, it didn't hurt that Claire and Chris were fantastic travel companions.

Last fall I took a trip to Punta Gorda, Florida to see Bill and Cheryl. The Ringling Museum and the Ford/Edison Winter estates were second best highlights next to Bill and Cheryl's company (and a pint of cider from the Celtic Ray). In January I flew down to Oklahoma City to see Grandma and Colleen. We read, watched sports, talked, napped. Visiting them is always a relaxing trip. Then a weekend trip to Madison (with another next week) to see Amy, Matthew, Brett, and Susie.

I just returned on Saturday from a celebration 4th of July in Columbus, GA where my youngest brother, Matthew, graduated from Army Ranger Training. I held my own in beach volleyball (facing both my brothers from the other side of the net), but my overenthusiastic dives left my shoulders feeling their 33 years. My serves are still as inconsistent as they were in high school, but I can still bump-set-spike, but don't make me prove it to you.

My passport, my poetry, and my sanity are in need of a new adventure. So in a few weeks I will visit Denmark with Claire (one week) and Sweden (one week), where I'll hopefully visit Legoland, Hamlet's Castle, and Isak Dineson's house before heading to see Martina and family. So, more postings to come.

Remember, the best thing you can do for your country is to leave it and explore another. It opens your mind and your heart. What a different world we would live in if people had more empathy for those next door and in far away countries. So, get your passport up to date and start searching the travel sites. It's never too late.


p.s. I offer travel advice for free (unless you give me a bug for somewhere new, in which case I owe you)