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Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
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Trip End May 28, 2011


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 28, 2010

We are in Halmstad Sweden, a stopover on the way south to Copenhagen. We spent two nights and a day in Goteberg on the way. Our campground there was out on the edge of town in a nice little suburbia. It require about a 30 minute bike ride into the city, but the way was all by bike trails, all flat, and all sunny, so no problem.

Goteberg is a port town, with 2 sets of circular canals forming the boundary of the old town. It is kind of a mixed bag, with some old and interesting buildings and squares, but also some very snazzy new buildings including the biggest downtown shopping centre in Sweden. The greatest interest is on the harbour, with a spanking new opera house alongside a maritime museum and a marina with some multi-million dollar sailing yachts and other interesting boats.

We did a walking otur in the morning, and then took in the maritime museum. Most interesting was the tour through a 1960s era decommissioned submarine, and a decommissioned Destroyer.

In late afternoon we stopped at a sidwalk bar for a beer and had a very interesting chat with a young couple at the next table… he was a South African and she was a Swede, so they has an interesting perspective on the culture of Goteberg…. he saw it as to "pure"… ie. too clean, too comfortable, too affluent… she defended it as being the product of hard work and intelligent design and politics.

Today we stopped in at the town of Varberg which is a beach resort town with interesting beaches of rolling rocky outcrops, and with a dramatic huge fortress complex at one end. Most interesting was a museum display which featured the skeleton and clothing and the reconstituted story of the Bocksten man who was killed and buried in a bog in about 1450. The chemical balance in the bog kept the clothing so well preserved that it was almost wholly intact when discovered in 1935, and it is the most complete set of middle ages clothing in existence. There was a reconstruction of the entire man's face and body in a kind of Madame Tussaud style. Quite fascinating. They figure he was fairly high up in the class structure, but not the highest, probably was in the employ of a Lord, which got him garroted and speared by townsfolk who he was harassing, or by the agents of a competing Lord.

This evening we are in a campground at a beach resort just short of Halmand. It is a nice campground, and we rode to the beach area… it certainly was a lovely spot, with a beach as long and sandy as Long Beach, but it was much more crowded than Long Beach, and seemed to be party central for 30 and 40s yuppie types… not really posh, but certainly folks with some cash.

Proceeeding towards Copenhagen tomorrow.

July 29, 2010

We are in Copenhagen this evening, but haven’t gone into the city yet. We came across from Sweden at the crossing from Helsingsborg to Helsingor. For Shakespeare fans, Helsingor is otherwise known as “Elsinore”, home of a certain famous prince.

The photos will show a sad VW camper on the back of a transport truck. The truck driver did not know the whole story except that its engine was kaput.   : (

On the Helsingor side we parked and rode around a bit. We did find Mr. Hamlet’s castle, known as Kronberg castle. It was much more interesting than we were led to believe by the guide book, as it was quite complete, with its moats and cannon and drawbridges. It was constructed in the mid 1550s, just in time for Shakespeare to hear of it and use it for his setting. The castle was so authentic that there was even a good whiff of rotten fish in the air!

The town itself was also delightful, with pedestrian streets lined with half timbered shops and houses.

We got some heavy rain on the drive south towards Copenhagen, and it looks like a fairly well ensconced system, so will be using our rain gear for a few days I suspect.

More on Copenhagen to come…
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