Tuesday, 5 July 2016

2016 Trip to Europe - Days 17 and 18 - Kalmar, Sweden & Copenhagen, Denmark

Day 17 - Kalmar, Sweden

I am unable to go ashore today. My knee is very swollen and access is only by tender. The ship could not dock in port as is has been able to up to now. JP is planning to go ashore, but may not, since there seems to be at least an hour’s wait for tenders and if that problem exists going, it will exist coming back.
Not sure if Kalmar is worth a two hour wait. I can’t, from reading about it, see any real reason we are here. Certainly the view we see from where we’re anchored is uninspiring. With a population of 40,000, it appears to be an oil storage terminal among other things. It does boast a 16th Century castle, but then, what town in Europe doesn’t?

Anyway, if JP gets into Kalmar and if she gets back, we’ll find out whether it was worth the effort!

Kalmar, Sweden
JP did get into Kalmar. The tender took the passengers around the point, right into the center of town, a very different view than the one we had where the ship was anchored.

She reports that it is a lovely little, very walkable
Kalmar Town Centre
town with charming old buildings and nice squares. As you know JP has a thing about churches and old organs. This little town boasts the largest Baroque church in Sweden, with not only an old and substantial pipe organ, but also a smaller two manual tracker in the chancel.

Baroque churches in northern Europe are much simpler in their decoration that those we have seen (and loved) in Austria, Hungary, and Italy. I must admit to a love for the florid over-done churches of the south with their gilded cherubs flying around the pipes.

Day 18 – Copenhagen

Our view of Copenhagen is somewhat colored by the
fact that it was a cold, windy, rainy day. We opted for the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour. The last one we took (in Helsinki) worked well for us. In Helsinki, the commentary over earphones was intelligent and informative and, most importantly, gave us information enough ahead of the stop for us to make a decision about staying on or getting off.

Not so in Copenhagen. The earphones didn’t work well from the start. Then when we got them working we found they had some kind of God-awful electronic music playing whenever they weren’t describing stops. This meant I heard none of the descriptions since there was no way I could listen to the garbage between commentaries.

Brightly coloured houses
We missed it all. We could have stopped at Tivoli, just to see what the first ever amusement park looked like, but since I loathe Disneyland I had no desire to see its predecessor.  Then there was one street full of colorful houses on a canal. We’d have gotten off there except we didn’t see it until after the stop for it. We finally got off at the stop where the Little Mermaid sits on her rock in the harbour. From there
The Little Mermaid
we walked in a truly drenching rain back to the ship.

Copenhagen, more than any other city we saw in northern Europe, is a BIG city. As such, for the most part it looks like every other BIG city in the world. High rise buildings. Modern architecture. It has much attractive green space, city parks and open areas, but it is still mostly big city.

There was stark contrast between ultra-modern architecture and older more traditional buildings. JP feels we didn’t give Copenhagen a fair chance, but I have no desire to return to it. 


Where Lemons Bloom by Blair McDowell
Blair McDowell's latest tale of Suspense  takes the reader to Italy's  beautiful Amalfi Coast.

"Adamo and Eve are two people who have both been through their own versions of hell. They are both certain that they are not ready to enter into a relationship, but love finds them anyway. Then it takes them on the non-stop thrill ride of their lives."
-   Marlene Harris, readingitall.com

When Eve Anderson meets Adamo de Leone on a ship bound for Europe, she has no idea of the dark secret that will endanger both their lives. She accompanies him to his home on Italy’s Amalfi Coast to open an inn left to him by his grandfather. But then she learns he spent 5 years in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. Could the man she loves be responsible for embezzling eighty million dollars from the investment firm he once owned?

Adamo wants to hold Eve at arm’s length until he can clear his proud family name. But when there is an attempt on his life and Eve is terrorized by a gun-bearing thug, he realizes how much he wants her, and he must accept whatever help he can get to uncover the well-hidden trail of a six-year-old crime.

Books of Blair McDowell
To review and purchase any of Blair McDowell's books, Click Here.


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Blair McDowell