Currently on a coach to Stockholm from Oslo. Since I last posted, I have left Sarah at Mannheim and met a Contiki tour in Copenhagen.
Mannheim was a nice relaxing stay where we caught up on sleep, laundry and German beer. There isn't a lot to do in Mannheim, but they have a gorgeous university which was once a castle, and a really cool water tower protected by all sorts of strange mystical creatures - half naked men wrestling eels, weird topless sphinxes, etc.
After sending Sarah off on her own to Berlin, I spent the day in the Frankfurt airport, which was less than fun. One perk - Lufthansa offers free coffee and cappuccinos in their wing, so it was an incredibly wired wait. I arrived in Copenhagen well after 11 (original flight was meant to land at 4:30) and proceeded to wander aimlessly around town for 40 minutes looking for my hostel. The night in the hostel was a little hairy as I was stuck in a room with 4 old guys who proceeded to play dueling banjos with their snoring. Needless to say, not a lot of sleep.
The next morning I stumbled around Copenhagen and saw most of the sights! It's a gorgeous city with a really nice harbour. This was also the home of Hans Christian Andersen so everything is very fairy tale-esque. I saw the very little little mermaid, wandered the really cool fortress park, and walked down a street covered In roses. That night, I met up with my Contiki group and did another walking tour. One of the people from the group dragged me to a museum that rivaled the British museum for raw ability to steal other countries' stuff. My favourite was a cabinet full of all the broken off noses and ears from the marble statues. The next day in Copenhagen I adventured out with a couple new people and explored the spiral tower and the hippy village of Christiana. The tower had an incredible view but due to building regulations (requiring that no building be in another's shadow, therefore disallowing skyscrapers) the scenery was pretty flat. Christiana was a whole different kettle of fish with a lot of graffiti, reggae and people selling drugs openly on the streets. Crazy gipsies! After the day out I went boutique shopping with Hayley from Aus/New York my favorite line of this excursion was "it's nice, but I want something I can't find in New York", - must be rough! We finished off the night at Trivoli, the amusement park right in the middle of town. let's just say that schooners of beer and roller coasters make going to the Carlsberg brewery tour at 9:00 the next morning a bit challenging.
The next day was a driving day to Gothenburg, Sweden. Yes there is a bridge, it's actually the longest connection in the world - 17km long. The minute we crossed into Sweden the guide blared ABBA, Ace of Base, and Swedish House Mafia for the remainder of the drive, my kind of trip! We had a fun night in Gothenburg getting to know everyone then had a early morning for the leg to Lillehammer. We spanned two counties that day, and finished up with a bobsled ride down the Olympic track. This was hell. I was in the back with a safety belt to keep my spine intact, so just got trashed the whole way down. The bruises took a solid 10 days to go away. I slept well that night though! The next day was really the start of our Norwegian adventures so those will all be discussed in the next post.
To be continued...