Wednesday, September 28, 2016

No exciting travels to report!

There comes a time when the draft blog posts are all gone and there are no new travel photos to report on. Can you stand an update about regular life? I’m so happy that one of my friends recently posted a photo on FB of the unpacking process, not just the pretty pictures. Here is a photo of our moving in chaos from last year ("unpack" does not mean put away nicely" - unspoken quote from the movers):

What I’m grateful for now:

1.     It is hot, and I miss my a/c at work and at home (in the US), but I am grateful that I don’t work on an arctic explorer ship, like we saw in this museum. I’ll take the heat for now, knowing that it will be cooler soon.
2.     My new job is going well. I’m teaching one social work class and learning everything I can about administering the program for undergraduate and graduate social work students. Most of them are Americans living here (Germany), but there are students from other locations in Europe.
So happy to receive a farm share each week. We can take our chances on what we get (yes, please) or vote on preferences

3.     I can go to the American grocery store on base 7 days per week, though it feels somewhat frustrating that all the stores in this part of Germany are closed on Sundays. But really, do I need a new pair of shoes on a Sunday? No. It would be nice if we are out of town to be able to go to a grocery store in our village when we get back on a Sunday, but all the people who work in shops get the day off.
4.     I miss my friends but I’m grateful for skype and google hangouts and someone is finally coming to Europe to see us! I have also me some really nice people here, from my jobs to Chapel/Bible Study, neighbors, fellow choir singers, etc.
Boodles of carrots in the farm share, along with a spoonful of local honey and cinnamon

5.     I’m glad to stay home sometimes. As much as we love to travel and discover new places (haven’t really been anywhere twice yet except the airport!), it’s restorative to take care of things and relax. Sleeping in is nice…although, had anyone else noticed that the older we get, the earlier “sleeping in” in the morning counts? Anyway, getting all the laundry done, cooking a bunch of healthy food for the coming week, and emptying the dishwasher help me to chill on the back porch or at the pool or on the couch with the cat and a book.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

4 Nights in Denmark

We took the overnight ferry from Oslo, Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark. On-boarding and off-boarding were easy, and the ship sailed right on time! The dinner buffet was very nice, though pricey (non-alcoholic beverages were not included). Every type of meat and fish and carb was available, plus an assortment of vegetables and a large number of desserts. Breakfast was also nice.
We started our day in Copenhagen with a less-than-stellar experience; please do not count on the hop-on-hop-off bus to be reliable and on-time as your best means of transportation around town. The hoho boat was the best part of the non deal. We stumbled upon a very nice cafĂ© outside of St. Nicholas’ church that served a delicious lunch, then we continued with the bus of zero customer service. At least we got to see a bunch of town that would have been too far to walk (for me). 
We discovered a beautiful garden, Frederikburg Have, in the Carlsberg neighborhood, and loved strolling around the paths among the lakes and swans/ducks/geese. We had a great Italian dinner in Tivoli Gardens (photo above), which is more amusement park than garden, but the jazz concert among the fountains and flowers was great!
We took a day trip to Helsingor, a 45 minute train ride north of Copenhagen. At first, I was not too enthusiastic about the castle with live performances of Shakespeare's Hamlet because I had not been a big fan of reading his plays in high schools. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see actors and actresses in beautiful costumes performing scenes from Hamlet in the castle Shakespeare had in mind when he wrote it. They did a great job and it was so nifty to see them moving around the rooms of the castle!
There is much more of Denmark to see than Copenhagen and Helsingor. For those who like to shop, there are plenty of opportunities in both places, and I'm sure elsewhere. Good seafood, and healthy choices of meals in addition to desserts and bagels!