Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Saga Begins...

And a Viking saga at that. For those of you who weren´t aware, my brother and I are currently travelling around Europe for a month, using an Interrail pass to go more or less wherever we like. This will be one of a regular series of emails about our adventures - I hope you find them interesting and informative, and if you don't, then feel free to use the delete button.

At present we are in Copenhagen, having flown out here to begin our trip. It had inauspicious beginnings when our flight was delayed by half an hour and my brother lost his cap before we had left the departure lounge, and threatened to get worse when the taxi driver had no idea where our hostel was (unbelievably, after getting the location wrong twice, he then had to ring a friend of his to work out where he had to go!). However, it soon became better when we found that we were in a room with another history student and ended up discussing many facets of European history for the best part of three hours. Maybe it is becoming a bit of a 'Busman's Holiday'!

Today we spent wandering round Copenhagen, which is one of the most picturesque cities that I've visited. A fair amount of time was spent sitting in the Radhusplein, not least because there were some South American buskers playing some rather good panpipe music (even if you did end up watching the tramps scouring the bins for empty bottles). We also went to see the World Clock; 27 years in the making, it accurately tells the day for every day of the year for thousands of years into the future, and predicts lunar and solar eclipses. This seemed to us a better option than to go to the Tivoli gardens; although we didn't enter, from the outside (and from other recommendations) it seemed somewhat overpriced for what it was, particularly as there are so many other nice places to visit, in particular the Royal Gardens and the Rosenborg palace, which is one of the few collections of memorabilia from a Royal Family I have actually found interesting. We then went to see the Danish Crown Jewels, which were very impressive and with intricate design; as a penance Chris and I decided that we would have to bemoan the arrogance of any family who felt by birthright they could spend other people's money on such elaborate ornaments.

Tomorrow we leave Denmark, but will still have the novelty of being able to eat fish for breakfast, as we are heading up to Stockholm, where we intend to stay for a few nights - one in a school in use as a hostel for the summer, the others, with any luck, on a converted ship! We may also get the chance to go on a day trip to the university town of Uppsala, which is highly rated by the Rough Guide at least. (As Robin or Sam, the last two people I have been around Europe with, will tell you, the Rough Guide is somewhat akin to a Bible as far as I am concerned. On the road at least). Luckily for those of you still reading, I´ve only managed to get one half-pun into this e-mail, and I don't really have much left to report.

Best wishes,