Tuesday, September 15, 2015

STOCKHOLM - More Time Needed...

                     Preparing to land in Stockholm.  It's not often I see a view like this!

First stop:  Vasa Museum.  Built in the early 1600's, the Vasa ship sank on her maiden voyage.  In 1961 she is pulled out of the harbor and preservation begins.  It was fascinating to see this beauty in person!

Love, love, love carved wood.  Hard to believe this was sitting at the bottom of the harbor for over 300 years.

                                                                 Nybroplan harbor

                                         Peonies galore - $10 for 5 stems or $17 for a bouquet                          

From the Vasa museum it is a short walk to Skansen - the famous open air folk museum founded in 1891.  Skansen is all about the traditional rural life showing off farmhouses, small villages, gardens, and animals.

There were a few allotment huts to tour and they were darling.  After World War I, families who lived in the city were given a little piece of land to grow vegetables and fruits.  Most of these gardens were tended by the woman of the house.  I'll bet it was a nice little respite from city life to have a little gem of a getaway while planting and harvesting the crops.

                                                       A few of the bare necessities

This cute gal dressed in the outfit of the time reading the latest fashion magazine (from the 1940's) while finishing up her lunch.

                                                               More gardens at Skansen

                      Hollyhocks, red wood siding, paned windows, checkered curtains.  Divine.

Seglora Church from the 1700's brought over to Skansen in the early 1900's

This is the fencing just outside the church 

                                               Oh, the lines of a Swedish clock - just right

                                                                       Church ceiling

                                            Framed artwork painted right onto the walls

                                                This is Gamla Stan, Old Town Stockholm

                       A bit of roaming around Gamla Stan before we had to leave for the airport


                               The architecture in Old Town Stockholm made my heart sing

Here is my regret about Stockholm--wish we could have spent one more day.  We only had two days--needed three.  One day to roam around seals the deal for me in getting to know a city.  We didn't get the full flavor of Stockholm but we sure loved what we did see!  Oh, and the Swedish Meatballs were the best ever!  Onward to Norway...

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Well, hello there! It's been over a year since I've posted anything.  What better way to get back in the game then to share a few pics and details about my most recent trip--heaven it was!

One week in Scandinavia, five days in Northern England, a week at Oxford participating in the Oxford Experience, and a few days in London.  Three-plus glorious weeks in spectacular countries.

It's too exhausting (for me, anyway) to include everything into one post so I will devote several posts to this trip.  Hope I can remember how to do this...here we go....


It's always fun to start planning a trip figuring out where to go.  My friend, Leslie, and I participate in the Oxford Experience every few years.  This was our fifth year!  We always visit another country before we head to Oxford and this year it was three of those gorgeous countries that make up Scandinavia--Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.  And this time, my sister Tammy joined us.  Super fun!

We started in Copenhagen arriving at the train station after 8:00 pm.  By the way, the metro from the airport into the city is the way to go--even with our luggage.  Less than 15 minutes, escalators and elevators and all for $6 each way!  Then we made a mistake--we should have taken a taxi to our hotel from the metro station.  Instead, we rolled our  bags over cobblestone streets for what seemed like forever (supposedly a 7 minute walk from metro to hotel--nope) and I tried not to make eye contact with anyone.  Too ridiculous.  But, that's part of the education of travel, right?

Spectacular weather in Copenhagen for the few days we visited.  Cool breeze, bright blue skies with white puffy clouds and a few dark clouds for contrast.

The night we arrived we did the obligatory trek to see The Little Mermaid--a 20-30 minute walk from our hotel along the canal path.  Since it was light until after 10:00 pm it was a perfect first night site to check off our list and get some exercise in after the long flight from Phoenix.

                                                    Snapped this pic around 10:00 pm

Walked by this row of gorgeous homes on the way back to the hotel from the Little Mermaid.

"Come unto me"
Matthew 11:28
After breakfast we went straight to the Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) to see the original Christus by Bertel Thorvaldsen who died in 1844.  My spirit was lifted just standing in front of this welcoming  magnificent piece.

The words written above the resurrected Christ, "This is my beloved Son: hear him"  Mark 9:7

Along the sides are the twelve Apostles.  Peter is depicted above holding "the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shalt be bound in heaven" (Matthew 16:19)

Rosenborg Castle Gardens
After taking in the beauty of the Christus and the works of Thorvaldsen we walked over to the Rosenborg Castle and Gardens.

Rosenborg Castle

Details, details

Which one is your favorite?  

    I'm not a fan of animal heads all over the place but I liked this guy--plus he's a wood carving.

                                            Attention to detail in this pretty stairwell.

I've always heard that Denmark has the best pastries in the world.  Ummm, yes, Denmark does have the best ever.  The above pastry was hands down the best I've ever had--it's a yummy sugary cinnamon snail roll drizzled in chocolate called a Directors Snail.  Had one for breakfast every morning at our hotel--wish I had one right now.

This dahlia pic represents our time at the Tivoli--don't ask me why this is the only pic--the gardens were very pretty and we went on one ride.  Stayed about an hour.  If I had kids with me, would have stayed longer.

           Took a train and then a bus out to Frederiksborg Castle - easy, peasy - and it's always nice  getting out of the city and into the country a bit.

Frederiksborg Castle 

Our reason for traveling 45 minutes out of Copenhagen was to see over 20 original Carl Heinrich Bloch paintings of Jesus Christ--these beautiful paintings did not disappoint.  The above depicts the angel Michael comforting Jesus following his time in the garden of Gethsemane.

                               I love the exuberant greeting that Elisabeth is giving to Mary

                                                             Just look at that ceiling!

                                            The gardens were very Danish--neat and tidy.

                                                                    Lunch with a view

                                                                     A bike or two....


Lots of clean, simple style in Denmark -- bikes everywhere - women in skirts and dresses riding bikes to and from-- couldn't get a good pic of anyone actually on a bike to illustrate because they zipped by so fast.  Fresh fish/seafood as you can image.  Danish pastries galore.  And the city is very clean--did not see trash or graffiti.  We walked everywhere putting in around 20,000 steps daily--which was good given all the good food.  Only took a taxi once and that was back to the metro station to return to the airport.  Although I would recommend taking a taxi from the metro station to the hotel for any new visitors (unless you travel with only a backpack but I doubt any backpackers are reading this blog!).

Next post: Stockholm