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Summer trip #4: Copenhagen and home

On the train from Copenhagen to Hjørring, where I would spend the night, I ran into an old school mate of mine. She had been too busy to meet me in Copenhagen, so it was very nice to randomly meet her and hang out with her for a bit in Hjørring.


 Hjørring was basically a stopover – as the ferry from Hirtshals leaves at such times that it made sense to not attempt to go directly from Copenhagen. It’s a sleepy town on Sundays.

Next morning – hotel breakfast – and taking the local train from Hjørring to Hirtshals. Onboard the ferry and buying tax-free candy – and then Kristiansand. A pleasant crossing in sunshine.






 I had booked all my nights on Hotels.com – and by the time I got to Kristiansand, I had a free night (at least) – so I got an upgraded suite (for nothing more than the tax) and hung out with a sister and had ice cream.

Next day, after the hotel breakfast (where you could make your own waffles) I went to a bakery and shopped for the train home. Pastry cream filled buns, for my Dad, from Geheb.

I could tell that I have become used to sitting on the train, as a 3 hour train ride went by like no time at all.

What I have learnt:
I came back with at least some things I hadn’t worn. A sleeveless dress, (which I had many of with me), a couple of tops and a skirt.

Underestimate the amount of entertainment you will need on the train rather than overestimate it – I brought back things I desperately thought I needed the night I packed, that I didn’t use. Some of which were heavy to lug around.

Don’t underestimate food to bring on the train.

Don’t underestimate the amount of fluids you will need in hot climates.

Get to museums as they open to avoid the queues. Head to parks for the afternoons. (Instead of the other way around)

You don’t need to bring more than two pairs of shoes – a pair of sandals that can (if needed) be dressy and a pair of comfortable shoes for walking. If you need more – buy it there.

Keep the luggage so light that you can put it on the luggage shelf yourself. (as well as take it in and out of the train.)


Quotation Monday #121: Grief

“And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.”

― Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year


Farmer style. (Gagnam Style Parody)


From Paris, I took the Thalys to Cologne. What sucked was that I had upgraded my ticket to include wifi – but of course they had wifi issues on that particular train.

In Cologne it was 33 degrees, which is way too hot for me. My hotel room was fortunately located so I could see the cathedral from my window.

  I headed out to get some food – a salad at a restaurant. And I stopped at McDonald’s for some fries and a sundae to take with me. I then walked down to the Rhine and had an afternoon snack.




 From Cologne, I took the train to Hamburg where I spent the night. I had a late train the next morning, so it gave me time to be a tourist.

The next train was from Hamburg directly to Copenhagen. It included a ferry from Puttgarten to Rødbyhavn.

  In Copenhagen my hotel room was directly facing the tracks. 

  Which wasn’t so bad, until the next morning when the train started super early. Fortunately, I got to switch hotel rooms to one that faced the courtyard. (Smaller room, but being able to sleep is more important than the view.)

I headed for the Glyptotek and looked at sculptures. 





I hung out with friends. 

I randomly ran into a current coworker of mine who was on a girl’s trip to Copenhagen. In the pouring rain. (So glad for my rain coat.)











 I had some days in Copenhagen, and I am really happy I scheduled it that way. I had the time to meet friends (sadly not everyone, but a lot) and I had the time to savour what I liked about living there.


After spending the night in Frankfurt – in a hotel room that had three distinct smells, none of which were pleasant – I went to the train station and McDonald’s for breakfast.

 Turned out that there were some works on the tracks in Germany so my train to Karlsruhe and onward to Paris was delayed. It was delayed by 15 more minutes than the train company had set as the layover time. So, instead of switching trains in Karlsruhe – I ended up changing to an entirely different train in Mannheim. Worked out nicely enough.

Getting to Paris – I had booked a two week stay at an apartment hotel there.

(Basically, because of my ever changing energy levels, I don’t know from day to day if I would have the energy to get out of the hotel room. So – spending extra long time, and having a tiny kitchen, so I didn’t have to head out for restaurants to get food – so worth it.)

The hotel was located super centrally, and almost everything was within walking distance. My goal for spending the two weeks in Paris wasn’t necessarily to see everything, or to shop like crazy – but rather to get the atmosphere and slow myself down.

A lot of pictures:












































 My sister came down for a long weekend. Unfortunately, I was flat in bed for a lot of that. But it was nice to have company. And we went out to the fountain nearby, and had gelato.

After she left me, I headed for the botanical gardens at Jardin les Plantes. Beautiful even though I was there in the late bloom season.

I visited one museum in Paris – Musée d’Orsay – which I hadn’t been at before. I went almost as soon as they opened to avoid the queues. Afterwards, I took the bus past the Eiffel tower – and stopped to get some food. I then took the bus to the Luxembourg gardens and ate it while I read a book.

I took the bus quite a bit. The metro got too warm and crowded. With the bus I got to see things.

I used Yelp to find nice ice cream, and nice pastry.

Generally, just walking around, slowing down. Not rushing to be anywhere.

A very nice summer vacation.


Quotation Monday #120: Exercising

“Wait. Why am I thinking about Krispy Kremes? We’re supposed to be exercising.”

― Meg Cabot, Big Boned


My summer trip this year was a bit late. It was almost all about trains, trains, trains this year. My suitcase was slightly bigger than a carryon – I packed clean clothes for two weeks, and planned to do laundry on the way. 


my very distinctive suititcase

I started out on August 15 – taking the train to Kristiansand and the ferry across to Denmark. Taking the train from Hirtshals to Århus, and spending the night in Århus. 

 It rained the morning as I was leaving home, and that prompted me to bring my raincoat – which I would have good use of on the rest of the trip. When I got to Århus, it was pouring down.

The next morning, I got up – had hotel breakfast and stopped at the local Baresso for my favourite SmooTea for the train ride ahead. (I swear, my thesis was practically written on this stuff.)

 That day’s travel went from Århus in Denmark, to Middelfart. I changed trains there, and the next train took me to Flensburg in Germany.

I had scheduled a bit extra time for the stopover in Flensburg, but was fortunate enough that the earlier train for Hamburg was in the station waiting to depart as we pulled in. I was allowed to get on that with my ticket. Of course, as the person I asked pointed out, that meant I had a longer stopover in Hamburg. Hamburg is a bigger station, with more happening – so waiting there was preferable to waiting in Flensburg.

From Hamburg, I took the train to Frankfurt. I stayed the night there.

Lessons learnt:
Have flexible tickets so you can take the earlier train if the one you’re on does make it in time.

Sometimes paying for first class is worth it (especially if the price point isn’t too different). Sometimes it isn’t. (In Denmark, for example, there is typically power outlets around the whole train, not just first class as in Norway.)

Don’t schedule long stopovers on tiny stations.

Bring tasty food and drink on the train with you. Not all trains have catering services.

Bring a light rain coat.


Quotation Monday #119: Happy endings

“You always get more respect when you don’t have a happy ending.”

― Julia Quinn



Victoria expecting second child

The Swedish court announced on Instagram that Crown Princess Victoria is expecting her second child – due in March.


The announcement comes after news media and others have speculated over the summer that the Crown Princess might be expecting another child. However, such speculations have come before without confirmations… it is therefore interesting that they are true this time around.


Quotation Monday #118: Sanity

“Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix




“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”

― Ruth Reichl


Crayon art

We played around with crayons and hairdryers to make art for my wall.



“Try as best you can to have some kind of social life and to do something you enjoy.”

Anxiety Management:The Secrets Of Completely Eliminating Anxiety From Your Life by PP Brennan


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“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea




I am better. I am. I don’t get as fatigued as easily – it takes a lot more to push me to that point now than it did in February. Of course, I am also incredibly tired of the whole thing – and yet I know it is nothing compared to other people.

But I am also better at handling it, I think. I still go out to events that I am invited to – but I may leave earlier when I reach my limit. Just getting out there feels like a huge triumph.

I am also trying to factor in that if I attend big events (lots of people, lots of things happening.) I should not be making plans to do a lot of stuff the day afterwards. It is okay to lie in bed the whole day after I have been social and out and about. And anything beyond that – is a bonus.

A month or two ago, I had a very full week. There was a birthday celebration, a national day celebration, an overnight trip with work, and Eurovision parties. By the time the Friday came around, I was knackered. And a trip to drive to Bergen to a friend’s Eurovision party was deemed too much.

And on the Saturday, I was very low key, yet the Sunday saw me in bed. All day.

I am trying to learn to listen to my body – but not listen too much. Accept that aches and pains are there, and then push it a bit to the side and deal with it later. But at the same time, I feel the need to push a bit.

To do fun things.

To see fun people.

Of course, it also means that when I plan a holiday for later in August, I am trying to factor in *when* will the fatigue hit – when will the depression hit. And the solution is actually at the moment to plan that I will likely end up spending some time in bed during the day while on holiday – and then not fill up the days by set appointments. And book an apartment hotel, so I can buy food for the refrigerator and not *have* to venture out everytime I get hungry – but adapt to the situation.

Accepting it.


Kongens hus : Alle kongeparets hjem by Queen Sonja

I picked this up at the library, after I saw it exhibited at the Open Palace tour in Oslo. It is a beautiful book filled with photographs and interesting text about all the residences that the King and Queen inhabit.

The book is worth looking through for the photographs alone. How the interior is decorated, and not just the public rooms. The pictures of the private apartments are filled with the Queen’s art and the King’s sailing trophies. The pictures of Queen Sonja’s art on the walls remind me of the pictures of the art in the renovated palace in Copenhagen.

Also, pictures of the holiday residences are shared. Some of the places are rarely seen inside by the public.

In addition, if you read Norwegian – the snippets the Queen shares for each residence makes the book worth reading. There is not much new information, but it is well written and makes the book.

Her perfectionism is shown through the story of her sleeping in every bedroom in the palace prior to the renovation so she would know exactly what needed to be done. The only negative is the lack of comments on the uproar on the cost of the renovation.

Her stories are supplemented by facts from the architect Thomas Thiis-Evensen and art historian Ole Rikard Høisæther.

Well worth the read.