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Voyage to the Azores with Temaresor and to Copenhagen 2002

Photos from our trip to the Azores Islands with "Temaresor".

To see the photos, click at the index to the left.

Tuesday 9th of July

We went up at 7 am and departed at 9 am by a taxi to the central station in Borås. Actually we were just in time for an earlier bus to Gothenburg. It was sunny and much warmer than it had been in several weeks. Two hours of waiting in central Gothenburg, mostly on a cafe, before our bus departed at noon to Kastrup, the airport of Copenhagen. We had a lot of time to read and Christina was sewing on a Viking shirt for me.

About 3.45 pm we arrived at the airport. Pretty well in time for the first check in. We strolled around the shops in the transfer hall and then ate a late pasta lunch. The plane departed 6.25 pm. We sat besides Lars-Åke from Värnamo, who also should join us on the tour. I got a small nap during the flight and read some in my book. The flight dinner was unusually bad, so we were happy that we already had eaten.

We arrived about 9pm (1 hour less). It was still quite warm. Our luggage arrived quickly and we found a guy waiting for us. It took a lot longer time before the next guest in our group came out. In a taxi and a couple of mini buses did we go to the hotel Continental a bit from central Lisbon. Later we heard that some of the 21 people in the group missed their luggage, as it had been checked directly city to Horta. We went straight to bed as we were very tired.

Wednesday 10th of July

The wake-up call was 7 am and we had a good breakfast buffet with a lot of fruits. Taxis out to the airport and after check in we had a long wait on the airport until the departure at 11.45 am to Horta at Fayal, one of the nine inhabited islands of the Azores.

It was a really sunny weather in both Lisbon and at the Azores. We had a great view over the islands before the landing. We arrived at 1.30 pm local time (another hour before). A short trip to hotel Fayal in Horta. We saw a green and nice landscape on the way. The hotel is in a colonial style and had been owned as the employee apartments for "United Cable Company" until some years ago.

After we had put our luggage in our rooms, most of us walked down to the harbour to "Peter's whale and dolphin watching". At 3 pm we went out for watching tour on the Atlantic Sea. Christina, Conny, Lars-Åke and me went in a small and fast rubber boat and the other in a larger boat. The other boat disappeared behind us quickly as our made over 40 knots on the calm sea (they don't make any trips if it blows over 3 metres/second). I hold tightly, so it was a bit tiring first, but soon relaxed. We saw a lot of common dolphins swimming around us. It was tempting to stretch out the hand. A lot of sea birds called Cory's shearwater flew around the dolphins. Soon the other joined us. We went around for quite a while, before the boat driver said that the chance to see a whale was more or less none. He asked if we preferred to stay around the dolphins or go to the coast to see some caves. Everyone agreed on the latter. The caves was made of lava stone and some of them were big enough to enter with the boat. We also went into the large bay beside Horta where the old large whale factory was before. We returned just before 6 pm and got something to drink at Peter's bar.

Then we made a walk in the harbour where the tradition is that all sailors over the Atlantic Ocean draw a logotype or similar to give good luck for the remaining of the voyage over the sea. A lot of them were really artful. Astonishingly many of them were from the Scandinavian countries.

We went back to take a shower before dinner. Over half of the group stayed at the hotel for a buffet and folklore evening, but we and six other went with Lisa (our Danish guide) to restaurant Capitolia and had a good dinner. Not a quick service, although we enjoyed the meal much. Back to bed at 10.30 pm and we slept almost immediately. Maybe because of the good red wine.

Thursday 11th of July

We woke up at 7.15 am for breakfast. Spent some minutes in the lovely hotel garden before we departed 9.15 for a round trip on the island in the sun weather. Although the island only has 16 000 inhabitants the parliament of the autonomic islands is situated here with 52 members, including one from the government of Portugal. Other facts we got was that the last really large volcano eruption was 1672, although there were a lesser one 1957 at the Western part.

We went up on narrow roads to Caldeira (height 1043m). First we made a stop for a view over Horta. Along the road are there plenty of blue hydrangeas, which has given the island its name. We went through a forest of Japanese cedar trees, which were planted to give cheap wooden boxes for orange exportation during the 19th century. The temperature is 15-25 degrees all year around. Near the top are a lot of cows strolling. The land is owned by the state and you pay per cow you keep there.

We stopped near the top and went through a tunnel to see the crater which is 400 m deep. It was strange to see the clouds rolling over the edge. We continued on a gravel road down to Praya do Norte. The hydrangeas were everywhere, although mostly along the road. In the village we made a stop for something to drink. The bus continued to Copelinhos and the lighthouse, which were destroyed at the last volcano eruption. The area is kept as is since then and the lava gravel gives the surrounding a special feeling. The first floor of the light house is totally covered. There are a lot of birds, mostly seagulls.

On the gravel road to nice natural sea basin were Christina, I and several others took a cooling dip into the salty sea. Nothing to regret in the heat. There is also a shower to get rid of the salt afterwards. Nearby is the village of Areeiro, where we ate lunch at the restaurant Bela Vista. First a fish plate and than a meat plate. Both with wine and than a good dessert. All was gorgeous, but one plate had been more than enough.

The last stop was the botanical garden near Horta. It has a lot of endemic plants and some which also only exists t Madeira and/or the Canary Islands. There's also a garden with medical herbs. Both less interesting for me. We returned to the harbour at 4.30 pm for the ferry which departed at 5 pm. The tour to Madalena at the island of Pico took 50 minutes on a quite crowded boat.

A bus took us and the luggage to hotel Pico, which is in the outskirts of the town. The island is the next largest, but has less inhabitants. It's only 15 000. The hotel was a bit messy. Several key cards, among them ours, didn't work and we got a key instead. Kent and Christina from Ljung also had water on the floor carpet, so they had to change room. We bathed in the hotel pool and after a shower we went   to a local cafe nearby to eat sandwiches, as we still were quite filled up by the large lunch. It had been cloudy and according to Lisa it would be rain during the night, though we didn't get any on us. It was quite early when we went to bed.

Friday 12th of July

It had been a bit noisy during the night from mostly cocks and dogs. After breakfast we left at 9 am with the coach for a tour around Pico, which has a drier climate. It's known as the black island, as it's everywhere a lot of lava stone, although the last volcano eruption was 1720 on this island. Most houses are built of lava stone and then painted in white. There is often a water cistern beside the house to collect fresh water.

First we made a stop in Cachorro. The lava formation by the coast are gorgeous. There is also a wave turbine, which actually gives 10% of the electricity need of Pico. They do a lot of experiments with alternate energy on the islands. All of the houses except one in the village are used as summer cottages. They sold home made liquor in shop, where we could taste it. It's allowed to sell if you pay taxes to the state.

Everywhere could you see cultivations surrounded by walls of lava stones. Mostly it was grape plants. Here on the North side of the islands most of the plants couldn't grow above the wall protection. The island of Pico has applied as "world heritage" at UN, which will mean that you are not allowed to change this kind of cultivation.

We continued to Sao Roque, where a large whale industry had existed until 1984, although the hunting had been forbidden for some years. But they caught one whale in protest against the lousy allowance they got and finally they got better for the men who had been handicapped during the hunting. The only remain is a whale industrial museum, which we visited. Most parts of the whale were taken care of except the intestines, which were thrown into the sea, although the most valuable part was the oil, which protects the whale brain.

After something to drink we continued up into the mountain. The road was decorated with lot of hydrangeas, a lot of cows, some even on the road. The sunny weather changed to fog the higher up we went. Our destination was Lagoa do Capitao (the captains lake), which is a crater lake. They had put ducks and geese there to preserve the ecological balance. It was just above 800 m, which was the highest we went. The peak of Pico is over 2 000 m, which is the highest of all Azores islands.

When we went down on the South side the sun and warmth returned quickly. In Sao Joao, we stopped at the restaurant Marisqueira for lunch. A soup, a fish plate, a meat plate with jams and a nice chocolate mousse with pineapple made a good local lunch, although less abundant than yesterday.

Further Eastwards to Lajes and the whale fisher’s museum. First a film about their life. But there policy is that if there is a single Portuguese in the audience they always send the Portuguese version, which is the less good version, so it didn't gave us much information. The museum was on the other hand much better.

On the way back home we made a short stop in the village of Areeiro  at a lace making shop. Less interesting for me, so I mostly kept myself in the shadow outside. Despite it was getting late afternoon, it was still very hot.

Finally we stopped in the outskirts of Madalena on the wine cooperative, to see some of the wine production and do some wine tasting. Although we knew one of the wines tasted very good and still was very cheap, we decided that we didn't wanted to drag it along.

Back at the hotel we went to the pool to cool us a bit. I read some in my book and Christina sew some on the Viking shirt to me. Near 8 pm we walked down to the city centre to find something to eat. The centre was quiet, but we felt the smell of a grill, so we went to that restaurant. With a nice view over the church and the harbour we waited 45 minutes to get something to eat. The menu was as usual only in Portuguese and the waitress was bad in English, but we got a couple of "espetadas" ("skewer"). Some of the other in our group came in later. They had been trying to get something to eat in  the neighbouring restaurant, but had given up.

Afterwards we strolled around in the small town and then went back. It took about 45 minutes. We spent the rest of the evening to read.

Saturday 13th of July

We ate a pretty late breakfast and repacked our luggage. In a store nearby we found mineral water for the day. The weather was cloudy, but quite humid. I got time to end my book and start on another one waiting for the departure at 12.30 pm.

The airport of Pico is really minimal. Lisa took care of all check-ins for us. We ate a small sandwich as a light lunch. It was free placement on the flight, which departed at 1.50 pm and took about 1 hour to Ponta Delgado, the largest town on Sao Miguel. The island has 120 000 inhabitants, which is half of the people on the Azores. 35 000 of them lives in Ponta Delgado.

The coach took us along the Southern road through the city. It's the only town, which has large industries, like wool, tobacco, sugar and alcohol. The tourism is increasing fast and most new buildings are hotels. Unfortunately the islands has a lot of problems with drugs and people without homes. Mainly among Azoreans who has been living in the States, but for some reasons has been thrown out and returned to the islands.

We made a stop in Vila Franca do Campo. There are a lot of old nice buildings, as it was the first large port on the islands. South of the city is there a half-circle island, called Ilheu da Vila, which originally is a volcanic crater. Now people are going out there by boat, as it's a good sheltered beach inside the half-circle. It had become warm and sunny again, when  we found a place to have a quick and late lunch meal.

We continued on more and more curvy road on lovely hills. Here were also a lot of flowers along the road. We came over the edge of the crater of Furnas and soon passed by Lagoas das Fumas (the fire lake) before we arrived to the town of Furnas. Tthe town is deeper down in the crater than the lake.

5.30 pm we arrived at Terra Nostra Garden hotel. The hotel was built around 1930 and someone stated that it was taken from a film with Hercule Poirot, which was very true. Everything kept up in the same style, which particularly Christina enjoyed.

We strolled around in the magnificent garden behind the hotel, where it's also a pool with hot yellow spring water, which is said o be good for the health. Unfortunately Christina fall on the slippery pathway and stretched herself badly, plus got grass stain on her clothes, so we couldn't go around all of the enormous park this day.

Back in the room we rested for a while, until we met in the reception at 7.45 pm to go together to Tony's  restaurant. The service was unusually quick, maybe because Lisa helped them with the order's and serving. But the cutlet was a dry disappointment for us. Most of the other were more lucky, though. Back at the hotel did we rest and read, waiting for the worst partying outside to calm down  bit, as we had our room towards the street and there was a wedding party in the old casino building at the other side of it.

Sunday 14th of July

After breakfast we went for tour in the North-Eastern area. First we went up to the lookout Pico de Ferro, which is about 300 m over the lake (580 meters above the sea) and than continued North to Salga. We made another viewing stop at the pass Salto do Cavalo. We saw a lot of cows on the mountain fields. The hydrangea hedges surrounded most of the road. It's easy to understand that the Azores has received several international prizes for maintaining the environment.

The road became worse after the viewpoint and down to Salga, where we took a coffee break.  Next stop was at Ribeira dos Caldeiras, where it's a waterfall and a water mill. All with well preserved environment by the municipality. Just after we entered Vila de Nordeste, where we had lunch on the restaurant Tronqueira. Outside was there a plant school with a lot of beautiful flowers.

We continued to the at Ponta do Sossego (the point of calmness), where they had made a fine garden and a picnic place with a nice view over the sea. It had become cloudy again. We also had a good view towards the village of Pedreira.

Next stop was at Pico Longo, where we had a view over the town of Povoacao, which is built on 7 ridges, to avoid water and earth tumbling over the houses. It looks like a star of houses. A short stop for coffee of ice cream in the town.

Back in Furnas we quitted the bus at the hot sulphur smelling springs. Nice, but with a bad smell to stroll around. Christina ate corn which had been boiled in one of the springs. It had been sunny and warm again. After writing some postcards, we went to a cafe nearby for a light meal. some of our group friends were already there. As usual the service was slow, but it didn't really matter. I continued with the postcards until nearly midnight, as we hadn't planned to go up early in  the morning.

Monday 15th of July

We woke up earlier than planned, as some lorries, but mainly the noisy fish merchant on a moped caused this. Christina had difficult to sleep because of the damage. It still had hurt a lot and we were now pretty sure it wasn't because of stretching the muscles.

It was quite sunny when we went to the post office to buy stamps and post half of the postcards. Then we went to the Terra Notra park to explore it more thoroughly. It's really large and fantastic with both imported and endemic plants and flowers. Part of it was like walking in a jungle. There was a memorial stone of the founder in the end of the 19th century. There are also several stone animals dressed in ivy. Quite a large part of it wasn't maintained, probably because an immense cost. We probably spent a couple  of hours in the garden.

When we had finished we met Conny and Ivan and they joined us for a small lunch at the cafe. Afterward Christina and I went to the pond with the hot spring water (about 30 degrees) to swim for a while. It was really nice. It seemed to be good even for Christina, although she didn't dare to swim. The water is very yellow and looks dirty, but it's said to be good for the health. You could see  yellow taint below our feet afterwards.

At 3 pm we met up with the other and most of us walked up to the Furnas lake. At 4 pm we got a meal which had been boiled in the hot soil during 6-8 hours, which is a traditional way to cook in this valley. They served it on picnic tables with white table cloths. As usual we had a lot of wine with the meal. It tasted really delicious.

A "Cozido nas Caldeiras" contains pork, beef, chicken, chorizo sausage, blood pudding sausage, bacon, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, collard greens, cabbage and carrots. As a dessert we had fresh and sweet pineapple. Everyone were content with the meal. On the walk home we got some drizzling, but it soon disappeared.

Most of the group met in the bar around 8 pm for a drink and talk. We sat with Conny until 10.30 pm. At this time all the other had left long time ago. We were really tired when we came back to the room. I finally wrote the last postcards before we went to sleep.

Tuesday 16th of July

Christina had even slept worse than the night before, when the wakeup call came. I went away to post the last cards before breakfast. Finally I saw the funny-looking fish merchant selling his small fishes.

We departed with our luggage 9.25 am. We were late because the people on the hotel who were responsible to fetch it had forgot all luggage on the second floor and they had to fetch it after Lisa had asked for it. A perfectly normal situation in this country!

It was quite cloudy, when we went to Gorreana, the largest (of two) tea plantations on the island. This factory is founded  1883 and most of the machines were from that time. There's a lot of work to manually sort and pack the tea. The green tea has only one quality, but the black tea is sorted in three qualities depending of it's granularity.

Then we went to the town Ribeira Grande. First a stroll in the centre, where we entered the church. The view from the bridge was really great, otherwise it was only interesting to see the inside of a coffee bar.

We continued to a liqueur factory called "Mulher de Caporte" ("women's cloak"). They cultivated passion fruit, bananas as raw material. They make liqueurs on passion fruit, bananas, blackberry, anis and some other tastes. Most of the liqueur are stored one half to 3 years in oak barrels. Here we met the first other Swedish group, although we had heard some Swedish before.

The we went to the house of culture, a bit strange museum. The most strange thing in the museum were large mobile models. One model showed the life in Palestine during the birth of Jesus Christ and the other showed of the Azores in elder days. There were also some ceramics signs of elder model. This seems to be very popular for street signs around the islands.

We continued up into the mountains again and had lunch at the restaurant Lagoa do Fogo, just beside a geothermal power plant. This was the largest on the island and produced 13 Giga Watt, which is about 40% of the need on the island. The power plant had been active since 1978.  A good meal as usual. Funny with a small brook which ran through the building!

After lunch we went to Caldeira Velha, a hot springs  waterfall with a small basin with 30 degree water. Only the Norwegian guy and me went into it for a short swim. It was a lovely to get rid of some sweat. The sun also started to get through the clouds again.

The next view we stopped at was Ponto do Vista,  which is over Lagoa do Fogo (the Fire Lake), which is 500 meter over the sea level and we were 150 m above the lake.  Then we went further up to about 940 meters and the sun was really through now although it was very windy. But the wind was only nice and cooling. We saw three traffic signs, which really described the road well. Warnings for heavy slope, to fall over the edge and curves... Later on we saw warnings for cows and for the wind. The drive down was quite slow in the beginning before the road became less dangerous.

The last stop was made in Lagoa at the ceramics factory "Ceramica Vieira", which was founded 1862. It is specialised in art ceramics and most are done on order. Even though the women are highly skilled, the salaries are very low. The clay is only found on the island of Santa Maria. The quality is a bit poor, but it's the only local one from the Azores islands.

In Ponta Delgada we checked in on the hotel Ponta Delgada. Over one km from the centre near the fort Sao Bras, but it was pretty ok.

We walked into the centre and took photos of the harbour with both sailing boats and cargo-ships. I also took photos of the fountain at Praca Vasco da Gama and the portal and statue at Praca de Goncalo Velha (Cabrol). This seemed to be a quite large town with several shops in streets further away from the centre and not on a single street as in most other towns on the islands.

We ended our stroll in a large shopping centre Sol Mar, where we also ate a sandwich. The first place we found a menu in English. We bought some biscuits and water in the supermarket beside. It was also interesting to see what they sold, particularly in the fish counter where they had a couple of ugly fishes.

Slowly we strolled back to the hotel and went to bed, as we were very tired.

Wednesday 17th of July

The wakeup call was at 7.15 am and we departed at 9 am. First we visited at a pineapple plantation. Sao Miguel is the only place in Europe where they are cultivated. It takes 22-24 months before the pineapples are ready to harvest. Still pineapple cultivators need a lot of subventions, as the pineapples are too expensive for the market. This is the reason they open the plantations for tourists to get some more income. On the plantations they also produce their own pineapple liqueur.

 The cloud disappeared when we had come up to Vista do Rei (The King's view), where we had a beautiful view over Lagoa Verde (green lake) and Lagoa Azul (blue lake). Because of too much nitrogen from the agriculture, the blue lake is rather yellow nowadays. The lakes are in the middle of an old crater 251 meters above the sea. Just beside the view point is a deserted luxury hotel called Monte Paradise. It really looked like a shame. We stopped halfway down for another view over the lakes and the walked down a few meters to see Lagoa de Santiago. This was like a crater in the crater and looked really clean.

We continued own to Sete Cidades (7 cities). A village where we had a coffee break before we continued to Ponta do Escalvodo, the western most point of the island. There is an old whale watching tower and a view over the cliff Mosteiros (monastery)  in the sea, which has given the village its name.

We drove along the Northern cost until we reached Santa Barbara, where we ate a lunch buffet at the restaurant Cavallo Branco (the white horse). Then we went back to the hotel in Ponta Delgada, where we arrived 3.15 pm. As we thought that we had seen enough of the town yesterday, we went to the hotel pool, where Christina wanted to sunbathe, although I was content to be in the shadow with a good book. We stayed there over 3 hours before we went back to our rooms and then went out to search for something to eat. At the open place a block away we found an outdoor cafe where we ate a cheeseburger. Afterwards we strolled around on nearby streets. We went to the bar at the hotel to see if someone of our friends where there, but since there were none, we went to the room and did a little bit of packing and reading before going to sleep.

Thursday 18th of July

Up 6.15 am to do the last packing and bring down the luggage and checking out. We had been promised breakfast at 7 am, but apparently it was Portuguese time..., as they didn't open until a quarter later. After a hurried meal we went to the airport, where the check in is quick, as the airport is pretty small. We departed 8.45 am in the sunny weather.

When we arrived in Lisbon 11.45 am local time it was really hot outside. We had to wait nearly an hour for the luggage. Most of the luggage, which were directly checked to either Stockholm or Copenhagen came up on the belt. Some of our friends took it anyway to recheck it in the next day.

We stayed at Hotel Continental as when we came to Lisbon the first time. After a quick snack in the cafe we went on a not scheduled guided bus tour, which Lisa fixed for us. Everyone except two joined us.

Lisbon is situated on 7 large hills. We passed a really immense aqueduct, which has 29 m between the pillars. It situated beside the Monsanto park.

Near the river Tejo we stopped by the archaeological museum and the Santa Maria church, which we entered. It is gigantic with 32 m height outside and 25 inside. There is a lot of columns and symbolic carvings in the church. It was built by king Manuel. There is the stone coffin of Vasco da Gama, although it's not sure if it's really his remnants in it.

Next stop was by "torre de Belem" (the tower of Bethlehem), which is a large guard tower built 1415 out in the river. There is also the first aeroplane, which flew over the Southern Atlantic via Cape Verde.

When we took an ice cream in the heat, we saw that something had happened further away and that a nurse was present. It was Barbro who had tripped on the forks of a truck and had damaged her legs badly. The ambulance arrived and took her to the hospital before we could continue. None were allowed to follow her in the ambulance anyway, and not even into the hospital.

Next was a short stop at Padra do Descobrimentors, which is a memorial of Henrique the Sea traveller and his discoveries. On the ground they had made a world map with places and years of Portuguese discoveries of the word.

We passed some statues like the one of Marquis of Bombal, which is a memorial of the basic works of agriculture and fishing. On Praca do Comercio we saw several of the small  and colourful tramway cars.

Next stop was for strolling around some living blocks in the old centre of Lisbon. A lot of narrow streets, which made up a maze. Most old people live very cheap here, but the government want to expropriate the apartments and renovate them. A small part of the renovations have been complete, but it will be very expensive before all is finished, not to mention how much the rent will in the new apartments.

The last stop was in the Park of the Nations, the area for the World Exhibition 1998 (expo 98), which mostly has become an enormous shopping centre. We was tired of it after just 10 minutes.

When we had returned around 6.30 pm  we rested a while before we went to restaurant Apeadeiro 7.45 pm. Lisa had returned with Barbro, who had been well taken care of in the hospital. She planned to go with us, although she took a taxi with Lisa. We other had a 10 minutes of walk and it was nearby the bullfighting arena.

The restaurant food wasn't the much to brag about, but we enjoyed the company the more. until nearly 10.30 pm when it was time to walk home and go to bed.

Friday 19th of July

The wakeup call was 6.30 am and we left 7.45 by taxi to the airport. A pretty quick check in and again a tiresome wait on the airport, although it was cooler there than in the heat outside, particularly as I had long trousers again after a whole week in shorts.

The plane departed 9.25 am and arrived in Copenhagen around 2 pm local time. We said goodbye to our friends in the group and after getting the luggage we took the train to the central station. We found our hotel Absalon slightly behind the station, where we checked in. It was a  very expensive hotel compared to its standard, still it is one of the cheapest in central Copenhagen.

A walk to the city, where we first visited Fantask and I chocked the poor guy by buying four board games and one expansion game at the same time. But I had to get money from a bank automat, as they don't take a Visa card. This is pretty usual in Denmark, which apparently is less civilized than countries like Botswana. Then we went out to the main street "Strøget" and looked in several  shops. Most are very expensive, particularly in comparison to our home town Borås. We also visited "Musei Kopi Smykker", which is specialised in copies of Viking jewelleries. Some drizzling started, although they ceased after a while. We went all the way to Nyhavn before we strolled back. We ate some from the stands along the street. At the hotel we rested our legs for a couple of hours and I checked that all the games were complete. Before we went to bed we went out eating a Danish pastry, which isn't really the best evening meal...

Saturday 20th of July

It was really noisy outside so we had to close the windows, which are sound insulated to be able to sleep. Unfortunately this made it very warm and sweaty in the room so we another night of bad sleep. After a late breakfast Christina had to sleep for another hour.

Around 11 am we went out in the sun and checked where our bus would leave from tomorrow. We discovered that they had move the bus stop further away to the other side of the railway station, which meant that the address on our Swebus ticket was incorrect. It was a bit tricky to fond the new bus stop as the sign was very small and we first missed it.

After that we went to the National Museum, where we spent several hours, including a light but very expensive meal. They explicitly had written that they didn't take any credit card, so we made another reflection about when the civilization would reach this country. Most of the time we spent with the Viking and older ages in the museum. The Viking parts are much better and larger here then in Historical Museum of Stockholm.

When we were finished, that is when we were to tired to see more we went out and took a stroll through Christiansborg, where the Danish parliament is situated. Up to "Strøget" and looked in shops and on different street performers. Some were better than other. At the open place near Nyhavn was a flea market and on the way back we found an outdoor cafe beside the church "Heligeandskirken".

We went back with sore feet and had to rest them at the hotel and I slept for nearly an hour and read some afterwards. After 8 pm we went out for a pizza buffet nearby. It was chillier in the air when we went back. After cooling out the room thoroughly we went to bed after 11 pm.

Sunday 21st of July

After another really sweaty night we woke up at 7 am, although we had slept a bit better. We packed the last stuff and ate breakfast. It were less people at this time than yesterday. After checkout we put our luggage in a store room and went to the Town Hall place, from where we went with a sightseeing tour, as we had realised the day before that we hadn't really seen much of the cultural part of Copenhagen.

As we were 25 minutes before the tour started we came just as the bus arrived and got the best places in the front of the top. The tour started at 9.30 am. It was cloudy but not really cold.

The tour went via Østerport and Norreport passing several nice buildings before we arrived to the famous statue "the Mermaid", inspired by the fairy teller H C Andersen. It was difficult to take a picture of it without a Japanese standing besides it. The sun had broken through now.

We also passed through the Copenhagen harbour with a pavilion from where the royal family used to border boats and passed beside a nice mythological statue of Geffion. She got as much land she could plough in a day, which gave her all of Sjælland (Zealand). It's just beside the park of Churchill.

The final stop was at Amalienborg, where the royal family lives. At the castle there are funny-looking guards with large fur hats. Poor them in the heat... When we arrived to Nyhavn Torv we jumped off and went onto the boat included in the tour.

First we passed the lovely stock exchange house, which is said to be the oldest still functioning in the world. On the other side of the harbour we passed a lot of old harbour buildings, which had been remade to luxurious apartments or offices. We passed "the Mermaid" for the second time, and it was  now even more crowded by tourists. We also passed the flag bastion, where the Danish flag always is hoisted and saluted by a cannon once a day.

Christianhavns channel was a nice area with a lot of old renovated houses. We also passed the lovely church "Our Saviours", which has a tower with a spiral stair up to the top. On the way back we passed the Royal Library and it's new part called "the Black Diamond", a new ugly new design.

Back on street we went to a Kentucky Fried Chicken, to get a quick lunch, although quick was really an exaggeration. We understood why it never could be filled up... Back to the hotel the pick up the luggage and walk to the bus. The bus was very warm until it started 2 pm towards Gothenburg (and further to Oslo). Fortunately it became more cloudy and the trip went smoothly with a change of bus in Gothenburg to Borås, where we arrived just after 7 pm. Even though it was difficult to get a taxi, we came home before 8 pm. We were really tired after a long day, but filled with a lot of nice memories.

Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson
Christina Arrindell


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