Norway/Denmark September 2019

September 2-12, 2019

September 3 - Arrive Copenhagen for group dinner

Copenhagen is committed to reducing pollutants so encourage the use of bikes. Successful? On any given day you will have around 240,000 cars in the city but also have 260,000 bikes as well. They are considering giving tax incentives to those who ride bikes in the city.

Bikes above and below. out for those wide bike paths which crisscross the entire city. They give new meaning to "look before you cross" them.

Bud & Carol Browning with Mary & Larry Austin in front of our Copenhagen Island Hotel

September 4 - We take a short drive to Odense, Denmark. Birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson

Hans Christian Anderson home town got us into the mood for our visit.

Penny Werner and Jim Newmann, fellow Rotarians, are set for the walking tour. Heather and Sue Furness along with Larry Bernauer wait the group.

Traversing through Odense with our guide, we paused for a group picture under the statue of Hans Christian Anderson. Left to right Mike & Christine Baudendistel, Pat Baudendistel, Lynn Baudendistel Winston, Sue Furness, Jim Neumann, Larry Austin, Mary Austin, Larry Bernauer, Dave Peters, Mary Ann Bernauer, Sharyn Grider Mondloch, Valerie Graczyk, Bill Mondloch, Wayne Graczyk, Sue Peters,  Duane "Bugs" Johnson, Mary Jo Keating, Richard Packar, Bonnie Lueck, Mary Walrath, Carol Browning, Tom Hall, Penny Werner, Bud Browning and Rosie Newmann

Christine Baudendistel doing an impromptu impersonation. 
She was always one to capture your attention with her playfulness and energy.

Valerie captured the moment and beauty of flowers along the street the Hans Christian Anderson walked as a child and young man.

A unique part of the homes on this narrow street was a devive that allowed the occupant inside to look outside and see up and down the street at the same time.

Look closely and you can see footprints on the cobblestone showing that Hans walked these very streets at some time in his life.

Tom and Mary looking over the goods of probably the oldest "store" in town if not Odense. You name it and they had it. Almost like a flea market.

Pat and Christine Baudendistel checking things out as well.

Mary Jo Keating having fun sitting on Han's lap in town.

Sharyn Grider Mondloch making sure Hans was appreciated.

Dave Peters and Mary Walrath making sure we all knew where we were. Notice the words written in Chinese/

The highest percentage of visitors here are from China and the street sign recognizes that.

We return to Copenhagen across the wonderful Storebaelt Bridge, the 18 km long bridge across Great Belt (Storebaelt) that connects the eastern and western parts of Denmark. 

September 5 - Copenhagen city harbor tour - Christianborg Palace 

New Opera House

Got on harbor cruise ship and were met with rain for the first 30 minutes then sun popped out for rest of cruise and most of day. Bugs and Mary Jo look so cute in their

 bright orange rain gear.

Sun was a coming out and Wayne and Valerie were drying off.

A view of the Little Mermaid from our ship

The Christianborg Palace is located on the tiny island of Slotsholmen and contained the Danish Parliament Folketinget, the Supreme Cort and the Ministry of State. 
Part of our group are viewing a beautiful and long dining table that isn't used anymore since it was hard to carry on meaningful conversations.

While the Palace was beautiful, we took every advantage to sit down for short spells. 
Bonnie Lueck, Penny Werner, Rosie Neumann sitting with Jim Neumann .

Mary Walrath,  Mary Ann Bermaier and Bugs Johnson taking their break. Notice the beautiful tapestries in background.

The Queen's tapestries in the Great Hall. The Danish business community marked the Majesty Queen Margrethe's 50th birthday by ordering a  gift of 11 tapestries. The tapestries depict 1000 years of Danish history.

Richard Packer observing the tapestries but was camera ready, as always.
September 6 - Arrive Oslo - Tour Drobak Christmas Village - Viking Kon-Tiki Ship Museum

Drobak is a picture perfect Harbor town. PennyWerner is enjoying the 
down hill approach to the harbor 

Valerie Graczyk and Mary Ann Bernauer

Left to right: Richard Packer (back to you), Valerie Graczyk, Mary Walrath, Our guide, Tom Hall, Penny Werner, Bugs Johnson, Sharyn & Bill Mondloch, Bonnie Lueck, Carol and Bud Browning

The three mermaid statues in Drobak Harbor captured the attention of our group. Created by Reidar Finsrud and cast in bronze, it graces the harbor and unveiled in 1999. Also known as "Three Mermaids in a Storm". Rosie Neumann was first of many to pose for our blog..

Bonnie Lueck

Sharyn Grider-Mondloch

Carol and Bud Browning

Valerie & Wayne Graczyk

And Mary Jo Keating holding mermaid's hand.

The harbor was such a great place for photo opportunities as you can see.

Heather & Sue Furness

Whoops...almost forgot Sue Peters

Mary and Larry Austin

Christine Baudendistel

Pat & Mike Baudendistal

Heather Furness 

Mary Ann Bernauer, Pat Baudendistel, Bonnie Lueck, Jim Neumann, Sharyn Mondloch, Bill Mondloch in back, our guide in blue with Lynn Winston and Penny Werner on right.

Some locals in Drobak claim to be descendants of Santa Claus himself and have a delightful Christmas gift shop where you can not only shop but actually sit in Santa's chair and write/and send Christmas cards out.

Jim Neumann giving his Christmas card deep thought.

Dave Peters

"Dear Santa...." from Mary Jo Keating

Mary Austin

Carol Browning

Have to write my grandchildren. They will be delivered by Christmas as well.
Valerie Graczyk

Heather Furness just browsing

Bonnie Lueck enjoying her early Christmas 

Sue & Heather Furness just beginning armed with a shopping basket

Just so you know whose desk we were siting at

We went to 2 museums while there. The Viking Ships Museum and the Kon-Tiki Museum, the latter housing original boats and artifacts from Thor Heyerdahl's world famous expeditions including the original Kon-Tiki balsa raft which he crossed the Pacific Ocean in 1947

This was the original Kon-Tiki balsa raft used to cross the Pacific. It traveled 4,300 nautical miles in 101 days from South America to the Polynesian Islands

It wasn't very large--only 15' x 30'

Lynn Winston and her mother, Pat Baudendistel, standing in front of a replica of a Viking ship

September 7 - Oslo Harbor Walk -Frogner Park-Vigeland Sculptures & Holmenkollen Ski Jump 

Mike & Christine Baudendistel & Pat Baudendistel

Jim and Rosie Neumann in front of a Tall ship

Group in Oslo Harbpr

Olso City Hall

Jim & Rosie Neumann, Penny Werner in Oslo harbor area

Tom Hall & Mary Wallrath

Wayne & Valerie Graczyk

There was a large military exercise in the North Sea so harbor was filled with many war ships. Wayne Graczyk and Tom Hall had to look if we'd fit in this jet.  Nope!!!

A walking tour of Oslo harbor with guide and a dinner to follow.
Guide, Mary Walrath, Tom Hall, Penny Werner, 
Tim Neumann, Rosie Neumann and Wayne Graczyk

"The Angry Baby" in Frogner Park, Oslo, Norway. It is a permanent sculpture installation created by Gustav Vigeland. It is the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist.

Most of the statues depict people engaging in various typically human pursuits such as running, wrestling, dancing, hugging, etc.

Mary Jo Keating returning from a walk in the park with statues on both sides.

Bud Browning

The Olympic Holmenkollbakken Ski Hill

View from bottom to top

View up to very top where skier's start their descent

Bill & Sharyn Mondloch near base of ski jump. A little rain didn't hurt the views.

September 8 - Bergen - Edvard Grieg Museum with Concert - Funicular to Floibanen for views - Trolls

Guide asked if we noticed the question mark on the sign and why it was  used? Simply a marketing ploy to make people see it and ask or wonder why the question mark 
while all the time seeing the name, Bergen.

Valerie Graczyk with the unique and colorful buildings in Bergen along the harbor.  
Bergen is the gateway to the Fjords.

The Someday mystique. On average Bergen has over 260 days of rain while we had 2 beautiful and sunny days to enjoy. Breathtaking. As beautiful as Norway and Denmark was I think most or our travelers would put our stay in Bergrn at the top of their list for total enjoyment.

Richard Packer on the "other side of the harbor". You can almost see our hotel, the Radisson Blu Royal, just behind his head

St Mary's church is the oldest existing building in Bergen. 
Probably dates back between 1130 and 1170 AD. It survived the Explosion of 1944 when the German's confiscated the steam trawler Voorbode during WWII. It entered the harbor with 273,000 pounds of explosives. The ship exploded (cause unknown). The air pressure from the explosion and the tsunami that followed flattened whole neighborhoods near the harbor followed by fires that destroyed wooden houses. The ship's anchor was found on the 1368 foot mountain at a distance
of 3 km away.

 It is one of the most outstanding Romanesque churches in the country. The pulpit is the pride of the church and is considered the richest example of Baroque decorative art in Norway.

We visited the Rosenkrantz Tower which was built in the 1560's. According to our guide,since brick was so rare and Catholic churches were forbidden for 300 years,  three local Catholic churches were torn down and used for the tower. It was both a residence and a fortress. It was the capital of Norway in 1261.

When the tower was also the residence of the King of Norway, he was the only one allowed to use this doorway. Bugs Johnson and Dave Peters wanted to enter but didn't have the necessary credentials

No, Valerie Graczyk didn't get inside the door. This was the door to St. Mary's Church.

We stopped at the Grieg Homestead. Edvard Grieg was a world known composer and pianist.

When asked, we guessed he looked like Albert Einstein or Mark Twain. Edvard Grieg is to Norway what George Washington is to America and William Shakespeare is to England. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor and Peter Gynt.

Sue Furness and Bonnie Lueck with our guide inside the Homestead.

Wayne & Valerie Graczyk in the backyard of Homestead where Edvard did some his composing.

Mary Jo Keating and Bugs Johnson enjoying the view and surroundings.

Sitting or standing, the view was breathtaking. Carol Browning and Mary Ann Bernauer taking it all in and enjoying the sunshine as well.

Pat, Christine and Mike Baudendistel with Lynn Winston sandwiched in between

Bud Browning, Larry Austin, Bonnie Lueck, Mary Austin, Sue Furness, Sue Peters, Jim Neumann and Dave Peters in rear. Carol Browning, Mary Ann and Larry Bernauer in front

Sue Peters and Mary Jo Keating on an elevated viewpoint in back yard

To conclude our visit we were graced with a live concert by Oda Hjertine Voltersvik in the Concert Hall. The 30 minute concert was met with several ovations.

Richard Packer and Bonnie Lueck just before concert began.

We rode the funicular to the top of Mt. Floyen over 1000 feet above the sea and Bergen.

It was an interesting ride up, and down. Jim Neumann had a great seat for the ride.

Excellent view of Bergen and the sea entrance

And Trolls as well. They usually don't come out in the sunshine but this were so rare shots.

September 9 - Stalheim and panorama views with lunch at Stalheim Hotel Restaurant. One way train to Myrdal  then another to Voss and bused to Leikanger

Larry Austin and Bud Browning with beautiful waterfall at one of our stops.

Group picture outside our restaurant in Stalheim prior to our lunch

Heather & Sue Furness

Sue Peters and Mary Jo Keating

Valerie & Wayne Graczyk

Heather Furness

Bud & Carol Browning

Tom Hall & Mary Walrath

Jim & Rosie Neumann

Another fantastic lunch. Larry & Mary Ann Bernauer, Richard Packer

Buffet to satisfy everyone's appetite. Mary Walrath, Bill & Sharyn Mondloch, Bonnie Lueck in front. Larry Austin, Jim & Rosie Neumann in back.

Lynn Winston, Christine Baudendistel, Jim Neumann, Pat Baudendistel and Bud Browning

Dave Peters, Heather Furness, Penny Werner, Mary Austin, Larry Austin

Valerie Graczyk and two trolls who didn't know it was daylight

Sue Furness stepping on train, Sue & Dave Peters, Mary Walrath

Mary & Larry Austin, Jim and  Rosie Neumann

Our guide stepping on train, Sharyn & Bill Mondloch and Carol Browning

Last but never least, Bud Browning, Larry & Mary Ann Bernauer

Comfort, spacious and reserved seating

The ride up was only 12.4 miles long, it ascends almost 3000 feet in less than one hour to Myrdal

Wayne & Valerie Graczyk, group leaders, in front of the falls. What we missed, and Mary Jo Keating didn't, was the "lady in red' singing an enchanting song up the mountain

We ferry across a fjord, our bus and all on way to Leikenger and our hotel

Cameras ready for that "perfect shot". Jim Neumann, Larry Bernauer, Richard Packer, Mike Baudendistel, Pat Baidemdistel taking picture, Tom Hall, Larry Austin, Dave Peters

Who says riding a ferry can't be fun? Sue Peters, Mary Walrath, Mary Austin, Lynn Winston and Jim Neumann (who is everywhere trying for that great picture)

Bill & Sharyn Mondloch yelling "Land ahoy"

We arrive at our hotel in Leikenger for group dinner.

And goodnight with a setting sunset to top off a beautiful and full day

September 10 - Stave Church, Briksdalsbreen & Briksdal Glacier through Geiranger Fjord to Geiranger 

Bugs Johnson and Mary Jo Keating in front of the Kaupanger Stave Church, the largest stave church in Sogn og Fjordane county, It is still in use as a parish church having been used since the mid-12th century.

Yes it did rain but mostly when we were on the bus.Valerie Graczyk in front of the church

I think Christine was just happy to get back on the bus? Christine Baudendistel to be precise

A wonderful stop for a break at a Thon Hotel with beautiful background for pictures

We encountered a  road full of goats on way to Briksdal Glacier. Our guide actually got out of bus to try to herd them off the road.

That is our guide in blue. Notice how the goats are smart and avoid the truck

At least our guide was unscathed and we got on our way. We have no idea where the goats were heading or where they ended up.

We encountered glaciers, tunnels, waterfall and twisting roads along our travels. This is the Boyabreen Glacier on way to Briksdalsbreen. Valerie Graczyk is pictured.

Some tunnels were over 4 miles long

How do you get to the Glacier? Walk or ride. We preferred to ride.

 It was a wee bit chilly for our trek up to the glacier. Bonnie Lueck, Sharyn and Bill Mondloch, Christine & Mike Baudendistel and Lynn Winston

Richard Packer, Larry and Mary Ann Bernauer, Penny Werner, Mary & Larry Austin

Valerie Graczyk, Heather & Sue Furness, Mary Walrath and Tom Hall

Sue Peters,  Rosie & Jim Neumann, Dave Peters, Bugs Johnson, Mary Jo Keating

Our target...Briksdal Glacier

Also a "wee bit" steep and windy roads

Waiting for everyone else to come down from the top...which meant we only went part way. Bud & Carol Browning and Bonnie Lueck in front. Larry and Mary Austin, Valerie Graczyk in rear

Heather & Sue Furness

Almost got there Valerie & Wayne Graczyk

We took a ferry through the Geiranger Fjord on way to Geiranger and hotel

September 11 - Geiranger and Fjord cruise

Sunrise from our hotel window in Geiranger

Bonnie Lueck about to board our cruise ship for Fjord excursion

It's going to be a great cruise. Christine Baudendistel, Penny Werner,  Valerie Graczyk and Mary Austin with Bud & Carol Browning in background

This is Eagle's Road which we take to Alesund the next day

Richard Packer always camera ready

Jim Neumann still looking for that perfect picture, and he'll have it too

Larry Austin

Bud Browning watching a power boat skipping across our wake

Bud Browning on back of ship

Mary Jo Keating with Norway flag flying bidding farewell to the Geiranger Fjord

Back on shore there is still shopping and eating to look forward to.
Mary Jo Keating, Richard Packer and Valerie Graczyk

Look closely and you'll see Bonnie Lueck, Rosie & Jim Neumann eating

A view of Geiranger Fjord from Eagle's Road on way to Alesund for hotel

September 12 - We depart for US from Alesund to conclude another fantastic journey with "Someday Travel"

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