Berlin in a hurry

Berlin Parliament
Memorial for the murdered Jews
In front of Berlin Wall

What an action packed day we’ve had! Whisked around at lightning speed from one historical site to the next, almost all of us are asleep again on the way back to our floating palace. Our tour guide was fantastic. Full of knowledge and humour, he did a great job of telling us a little about the inside story of living in Berlin, as well as explaining the history of the city. We have seen too many places today to remember them all or bore the reader with descriptions here – all the usual points such as Checkpoint Charlie, what’s left of the wall, the site of the book burning, Parliament, the Memorial to the Jews and Brandenburg Gate were covered. What I did not expect to see was an escort and the President riding about in his car (who we passed twice as he evidently forgot something and had to retrace his steps), a fabulous chocolate shop (previously employed for the Royal family) with models of famous buildings around Berlin made of chocolate, or the unlikely car park built over Hitler’s bunker. I would like to come back one day, and actually go into the museums that we only had time to talk about and pass by. Josh enjoyed reminiscing about where he’d been 5 months ago, and translating for us the different messages written on the bins around the city. He is very useful to have around! We are scheduled to return to our ship by 7:30pm, and are sailing out at 9:30. Tomorrow is a sea day, which the kids are gleefully looking forward to!

Cruise ship Getaway

Yesterday was a transit day. We checked out of our beautiful apartment in the morning, and took a train to downtown Copenhagen. After coffee in Starbucks, the kindly shop assistant phoned a maxi taxi for us to get to our cruise ship. There is only one way to describe the NCL Getaway – enormous. I think the capacity is 3900, and I’m pretty sure we have that number aboard. There are people everywhere! We keep getting lost. The facilities are very good, with a rock climbing wall, rope courses, water slides, mini golf, basketball, table tennis and movies to entertain us. The kids are in heaven. Our cabins are extremely nice too, and miles bigger than we expected. Mum and Dad have Josh and Daniel in their cabin, while Tim and I have the other two. After a huge lunch, we wandered around the ship until it was time to depart. Caleb and Daniel even braved the pool which was apparently quite warm. Dinner was at a lovely restaurant, and then we all went to bed early.

As I type this, we are on our way to Berlin. We were up at 5:30am to have breakfast with the other 3900 people (very wide choices available for breakfast), and then off the ship by 7am. We have opted for a tour with others rather than just by ourselves, due to the cost of things in Scandinavia. Our bus is very comfortable, and we are sure to enjoy our ‘Classic Berlin’ tour. We get back to the ship at 7:30pm, so it’s going to be a huge day. Currently, most of our party are asleep!

We will have little internet coverage, as we have not opted for the pricey internet on the ship except for messages and emails. Stay tuned for blogs whenever we get the chance to post something!

 

If I could sum up Copenhagen in one word…..

If I could sum up Copenhagen in one word it would be ‘accessible’. We have been amazed at how accessible everything has been. It’s been very easy to get ‘up close and personal’ with just about every feature and highlight the city has to offer. At the gallery yesterday you could get so close to the Paintings you could see every brush stroke and movement from a Picasso, Monet or Degas painting. There’s no way you could do this in any other gallery we’ve been to anywhere in the world.

Today we went to one of the many palaces Copenhagen has to offer. Christiansborg palace the third, having burnt down twice previously, is used for royal receptions and housing of the royal horses. No prizes for guessing who chose to visit this palace! We spent the morning touring the reception rooms before watching the royal horses in training in the palace court ménage. We then sneakily roamed into the royal stables despite them not opening for another 2 hours for visits. We got so close that we could pat the horses (although we chose not to) and hop in the royal carriages which we again chose not to do. We then watched the royal farrier change the shoes of two very large horses. We were meters from his work and he had a mobile forge in operation where he made the shoes on the spot for the two monster horses.

We then toured the underground ruins of the two previously burnt down palaces and 13 century castle followed by a tour of the royal kitchen which is largely used for final preparation for royal receptions these days. The actual meals are now made at another palace and transported to Christianborg.

We ate lunch on the side of one of the canals before splitting into two groups. T, J, C and M went for a cruise on the water bus whilst L, B, K and C went to another palace, Amalienborg, which was somewhat disappointing apparently. In both the palace visits there were no sightings of Princess Mary.

T, J, C and M had coffee and hot chocolates in the Christianshavn town square where we met a local retired gentleman having his afternoon beer in the square. He was quite excited to meet some Aussies. Princess Mary is very popular in Denmark. He was keen to tell us about the great lifestyle in Denmark and the wonderful retirement pension he was receiving. I didn’t tell him what I did for a job but he is certainly very privileged to be receiving a government pension in excess of A$70,000 a year for a single person. You apparently receive a bigger pension the more educated you are.

we then returned to our house for our final meal before hopping on the cruise tomorrow. Copenhagen has exceeded my expectations. It’s a wonderful city and a number of the boys reckon they could easily live here if there was ever an opportunity.

This might be the last post for a while as I’m not expecting much, if any, access from our cruise ship tomorrow. Our boat is the Norwegian getaway and leaves port at 5pm tomorrow headed for Berlin.

i sit here writing our travel blog as the three older boys are all playing together on the piano. None of them have ever had a piano lesson yet they seem to have been able to figure it out and play some pretty fantastic tunes…..  amazing!


The amazing lense-Copenhagen

Hi all, today in Copenhagen we decided to go to the gallery, and then visit Nyhaven for Lunch. The gallery was good, with a Gogan, a Picasso, and a Momet, not to mention some Renoirs. Unfortunately, it was stiflingly hot as is the custom in indoors establish,mets in Copenhagen, we have found. It was a relief to get onto the slightly less sauna-Like ferry, towards Nyhavn. When we got their, we noticed the incredible food prices and opted for a crêpe/hot dog instead of a sit-down Lunch. After this we rounded off our day with a visit to the round tower, built by a Danish King as an observatory in the 15th century. After this, we took the train home.
Caleb

The amazing lense- Caleb’s Crazy Copenhagen

  • Hi all,
    Today in Copenhagen we went to the Tivoli Gardens theme park. It was amazing, although we had a little trouble spotting the rides at first. When we did spot them, the prices seemed very high. 50 Euros for one ride?! Then we realised it was in Danish Krona (or Drachma, as Mum calls them), equivalent to five dollars. We had unlimited ride tickets at an excellent price, and then we got stuck into the good stuff. After many rides, we decided to take the free lunch provided at a fabulous little burger restaurant down the street. Contrary to most theme park food, the burgers where excellent. After this, I embarked on an unprecedented venture. I went on a roller coaster with four loop-the-loops! Comtrary to expectation, I loved it. After many more rides, and a lot of walking, we arrived at home run off our feet, waiting for Gran and Poppy to arrive.

Copenhagen

Mum and Dad joined us late last night, having flown in from Lisbon. Today was a beautiful sunny day in Copenhagen. We began at the art gallery, which was superb. It was very strange to see the high quality paintings and sculptures on display with virtually no other people fighting to see them. Artists ranged from Monet, Degas, Rodin and Pissarro to Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso and Miro. The building itself was a work of art, with marble everywhere and a beautiful ‘winter garden’ in the entrance, with plants and a fishpond that was a highlight for Matthew.

Daniel and a Rodin
My favourite- a Renoir
Caleb’s favourite- a Pissarro

 

 

After we felt suitably cultured, we walked to do a boat cruise. Instead of paying a fortune, we did the ‘poor man’s’ version and took a boat bus which was included on our metro pass tickets. It took some going to get to the boat bus- we had to run across two lanes of marathon runners first, and it seemed like all of Copenhagen were out running! We saw the Little Mermaid as a blob in the distance, which was plenty for our party. More interesting to our crew were the warships and submarine in port. We alighted at Nyhaven, gazing enviously at the many that were enjoying eating at restaurants along the canal. Instead, we opted for crepes and hotdogs, followed by icecreams- a pretty good (if not exactly healthy) second choice! The Round Tower (built in the 17th Century) was our final tourist destination. This tower was the first observatory built in Europe, and still operates as one. There was a good view from the top, and an interesting glass panel that showed the alarming drop to the bottom.

Matthew was still running this afternoon, after our 12kms walked for the day, and was outside for another half hour playing on the apartment’s playground…I think we’d better give up on the idea of tiring him out!

Coffee catastrophe in Copenhagen

Hi all. When I first wrote my blog I thought it was voluntary but, alas, I have been somewhat forced to write. As always, all events in this blog are true.

Today, it was forecast to rain but surprisingly, the weather changed and it became the most pleasant of days. After showering in probably the most complex shower ever invented, I was hurried out of the door to rush to the amazing art gallery which to Dad, was rather dull. Before this though, Dad  bought a 45 Kroner coffee, which in Australian dollars was a whopping $9. This  ‘dull’ art gallery included Monets, De-gasses, Rodins, Picassos, Gaugains and Patissas. Even though the art gallery didn’t have the most famous of the artists’ work, there was a piece of the Ishtar gate! While Mum, Josh and Gran travelled into where the greater part of where most of the statues were kept, we relaxed on the benches of the Winter Garden. In most countries, winter is cold, right? Well, the Winter Garden was one of the hottest places I’ve ever been. While stripping off all our layers, Matthew dropped his car into a pond while a tour guide walked past. After this catastrophe, we travelled out to the Water Taxi which surprisingly wasn’t yellow. We had to walk about a kilometre to get to this taxi because there was a fun run passing through our path. This is where the saying “No child left behind” takes place. While most of us ran across the road, Josh was left behind. Then Poppy was also stopped and Mrs Mug was dramatically bowled over. Eventually we found the water taxi just as it was leaving.

The Round Tower was the next item on our list, and as you can tell from the name, the tower was round. After a long walk up the tower, we found another amazing view. After walking the wrong way to the train station, error made by Dad, we eventually hopped on the train and went home. Our tiedest traveller was of course Mrs Mug, as she has no legs.

 

When home, we slumped on the coach and turned into bed early. Thank you for reading this blog – hopefully it is to your satisfaction – if not, please tell me.

Love Daniel

 

Josh’s Blog – Back 3 Europe: Expensive eating and heavenly harbours

Hi all,

I am writing this blog because apparently we have to write one every day (not what I was told at the beginning of the trip). But that’s okay, you all enjoy reading them so why not?

So today we visited an art gallery, and also walked around the harbour of Copenhagen. The art gallery had many paintings and sculptures by famous artists, including Augustine Rodin (who did the thinker). It was great! However, I didn’t actually see a lot of it because I had a terrible headache through the whole gallery. After that (and a Panadol) I was feeling a lot better, and so we went on a walk around the harbour of Copenhagen. This harboured (no pun intended) many nice (and unbelievably expensive) restaurants. After looking at our options, I eventually decided on a chocolate and banana crepe which was delicious. I polished that off pretty quickly and then moved on to a Belgian waffle with soft serve ice cream. Even though the soft serve was not as good or as cheap as Maccas, the waffle certainly made up for it. Anyway, after lunch we went for another walk to the round tower, a tower that is (suprisingly) round. I know, I was shocked. It is basically this giant (34.5 metres tall to be exact) tower that has a circular walkway going up the entire thing. This walkway was, according to Daniel, used to transport cannons up to the top. I said it was for building the tower (I was right).

After the aptly named tower, we went on yet another walk, more correctly known as a wild goose chase towards what was supposed to be one of Copenhagen’s many train stations. It turned out that dad had actually lead us in the wrong direction, and so I stepped in (before we could walk another 5km) and lead us to the train station using mum’s phone. What a hero!!!

(Parental prerogative to correct the facts. The wrong turn only took us 400m off track and not the factually incorrect slander of 5km as outlined above. Josh was a hero though to recover my mistake. Dad)

So that was our day. Now I am writing my blog and listening to MarioKart and Star Wars music. What a day!

Josh

Tremendous Tivoli

Hi all. I’d like to say I am very sorry for not writing in the last few days.  I have been very distracted by all the attractions that we have been seeing. For the past few days our energetic holiday was actually kind of dull. I know what you might be thinking. A fast moving family like the Andersons actually sat back and relaxed. Well, apart from getting sopping wet and supposed duct on the plane we eventually arrived in the amazing capital of Denmark. The famously expensive Copenhagen. After debating what to do, Mum and a Dad quickly looked up the weather forecast and found that it was going to be a ‘splendid’ day. The reason why I say splendid in talking marks is because as we said this word it started to pour for about half an hour. Matthew and Mrs Mug were out enjoying the short lived sunshine when it did start to pour. We were pleasantly surprised when it stopped raining. We decided to take this bull by the horns and charge into the amazing grounds of Tivoli Gardens. Caleb, Mrs Mug and I were extremely excited about this because as you probably know already we love theme parks. After a slight dilemma with our tickets we finally rode our first ride. After this terrifying roller coaster which as the name doesn’t suggest, it didn’t coast around, we rode a laser shooting ride that went through an ‘animal’ operated mine. With Josh coming out with the top score we decided to have a delicious and nutritious lunch of a burger,chips and a Pepsi or for Caleb and Josh, a Miranda which is a bit like a Fanta. After lunch we rode on the terrifying Dragon which was a Chinese ride. Mrs Mug was disqualified from riding this because of her height. This ride had virtual reality on it but this cost another $5 Australian dollars. This ride had three loops that we actually went upside down on. Caleb suprisingly loved this ride, and I was called upon to ride it again with him even after getting a headache while riding the Dragon the first time. After a Mammoth sized ice cream, we finally decided to head home to our humble apartment after an exhausting day.

I’m sorry this blog is so short. I am exhausted now but I wrote it because I haven’t written a blog in ages.

Love Daniel and Mrs Mug and her passed husband.

Josh’s Blog – Back 3 Europe 2017: Tivoli Today and Organic Overall

Hi all,

We are in Copenhagen. I woke up this morning, washed my hair with organic shampoo, then went downstairs and ate breakfast (organic rice bubbles with organic milk) and then packed my bag with some (yes you guessed it) organic water. Copenhagen seems obsessed with organic food – practically everything in the supermarket is organic. The city also seems fixed on saving the planet single-handedly. Wind farms dot the water, while everything on land is “Eco-friendly”. But that’s enough about planet saving and healthy (and expensive) food, onto the day….

Today we went to Tivoli gardens, which despite the cost, was really quite stunning. Tivoli gardens is apparently the oldest theme park in Europe. It’s a theme park, but it’s also a nice place – it has gardens (hence the name) and parks which are lovely to walk through. The scenery for the theme park is also really authentic-looking. My favourite ride was a mining ride – which had targets which you could hit with lasers that were pathetic, but it was fun!

So that was about our day – you could sum it up by saying that Tivoli today and Organic overall but that was the title and I don’t want to repeat myself.

To sum up: gardens, theme parks and healthy food

Josh