On Tuesday morning, we left for Apeldoorn quite early to pick up J and N, my nephew and niece. They had been staying in the Netherlands for a little over two weeks: first one week with my parents, then one week with their other grandparents. We picked them up and even managed somehow to add their luggage to ours in the back of the car. I didn't know the car had so much space...
Then we set out for the long drive to Herlev (which is a suburb of Copenhagen). We stopped at a few rest stops, mainly to eat a sandwich, drink some juice and swap out the driver. We made good time, and the children are very much used to long car drives -- they had installed their portable DVD player in the car, and used that to while away the time.
We arrived at their home just before dinner, so excellent timing! Especially since they had to go to school right the next day -- school holidays in Denmark are already over.
The next day, we took it easy and got up rather late, while the rest of the family had already left for work or school. Then paultje (my sister) returned, and just before lunch time we collected my niece at her school. She goes to a school for gifted children, and it was fun to look around there.
Then we drove to the S-train station at Herlev and changed for the metro after some stops. We took the metro into the city to get to the Paludan cafe for lunch. It's situated in a (used) book store, which gives it a nice atmosphere -- we had been there before and liked it very much. But before we arrived, paultje and klik ducked into a clothing store to shop -- so N and I went to a games shop to check out the nice chess sets they had on display there. When we had seen everything in the store, we went back to discover that the clothes shopping was still going on... After some time we managed to make our way to the cafe, and we enjoyed a tasty burger there, surrounded by antique leatherbound books.
Then paultje and N left for home, and we wandered around Copenhagen for a bit. We did some shopping at Faraos Cigarer (named after a Tintin album, but now also dealing in LARP attributes and RPGs). We also made our way to Nyhavn, which is a tiny bit of Copenhagen that is like the canals of Amsterdam -- but then different. One side of the canal is in the sun (that is where all the cafes and terraces were), the shade-side is almost empty...
The next day, we went to the Arken Museum for Modern Art. They had a good selection of art on display (including an exhibition of works by Hundertwasser), and the building itself is really interesting as well. I did discover that I'm not a big fan of Damien Hirst, too.
On Friday, paultje had taken the day off, and we went to Creative Space, which is a cafe where you can paint porcelain objects. Paultje is a regular there (the personnel knows her by name), and she uses her own creations as tableware. We selected some things and started painting -- my creation was described as "a 'to go' mug with a blue pattern". It takes a week to glaze and fire the porcelain, so we couldn't take our things home with us -- paultje will collect it next Friday.
Yesterday (Saturday), we had breakfast with the whole family and re-packed our stuff. At 11:00, we said our goodbyes and set off for the second part of our vacation. We have hired a cottage on Samso, an island in between Sealand (the island where Copenhagen lies) and Jutland (the part of Denmark that's attached to Germany).
We had reserved a spot on the ferry, and had to be in Kalundborg at 13:05 the latest, and the drive to there would take about 70 minutes. We had been warned that the supermarkets on the island would be but simple affairs, so we thought it best to do some shopping in Herlev before we set out in earnest. We also had no cash on us, so that was also something to take care of.
And so it happened that we were in the middle of the supermarket, selecting sausages, when we realised we had ten minutes to get in the car and start driving -- otherwise we might miss our boat! This was a bit stressfull, but apparently the driving directions Google gives takes the slow pace of driving in Denmark into account, because we made it with ten minutes to spare...
The boat ride out was un-eventful. We had lunch on board, went outside for a bit (windy!) and sat out the rest of the two-hour ride inside, reading.
Once on the island, we found the adress with the key to the cottage quickly, managed to retrieve what we needed from the locker outside and made our way to the cottage. It is the only one with a thatched roof, and it is nice and roomy (because it's meant for six people...) The facilities are good, but we found out that the whirlpool is leaky in a big way...
We did walk over to the beach after dinner (which is only 100 meters away from the cottage) and saw the boat from Hou (in Jutland) arrive, about 50 meters from where we were standing.
Today, it was a bit rainy. We had thought to take a drive to the most northern tip of the island, which is advertised as a scenic spot. When we parked the car, it was almost dry, so we set out on foot towards one of the geocaches I had put in the GPS receiver (all 79 active ones on the island). But about halfway it started raining in earnest, and we got soaked quite quickly.
We doubled back to the car and drove to the main village on the island in search of something to cook for dinner tonight. Quite contrary to the reports we received, there were two well-stocked supermarkets in the village, and both were open on Sunday. So we managed to stock up on provisions, and we even filled up the tank!
Then we took a meandering drive over the island, from small village to small village, to get a feel of the island. It feels like Ameland to me, except it's bigger.
Then back to the cottage for some lunch and a cup of tea, while the rain continues... It should clear up tomorrow...