Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland (Aug, 2014)
Well it has been a week since the last blogg, so I have now renamed them as chapters, I hope that this one is not too long, and interesting enough to read, please share with others & click on a like, just so I know you are reading it, comments are also appreciated.
Arrived in Hamburg Germany on time at 6:15am, thick fog, what we would call “Pea Soup”, but the Pilot had no problems landing in it, all good, exit time, walked through the airport as if it was just a domestic flight, great system they have here in Europe, easy & it works, no paperwork, just get your bags and go! So once I had grabbed my bags, headed of to the other terminal, a couple on hundred metres to pickup my car, all good, except they don’t have my car that I booked, so free upgrade to an Audi A3, great!!.
So I set up my Tom Tom GPS to drive to Hirtshals, in the Northern most part of Denmark, to get on the ferry to Kristianstand, Norway, pressed the button “Let’s Go”, and a voice started issuing orders, her name was Karen, so all of a sudden I have a new lady in my life telling what to do.
I arrived at Hirtshals, in plenty of time to catch the next ferry which left at 5:00pm, however it was fully booked, no spots available, I was a bit disappointed as I really needed to get to Norway early enough so that I could find a hotel, as I had not slept for over two days, and the next ferry was at 9:00pm, plus the 2.5hrs trip would make it about 11:30pm by the time I got there, so “Buckley’s Chance” (for those that are not Australian this means bugger all, none or slim chance) of getting a room at that time I thought, so post inquiry was told to try the other line, there ferry was also fully booked also, so ended up on the 9:00pm ferry.
Once I arrived in Norway, I had to drive through immigration/customs, all was good until they saw my German registered car, and I was pulled aside and told to go to a separate area, the guy there asked me a heap of questions, nothing too much, just took valuable time that I could have spent finding a room, so now free of inquiry off I went, and with not much trouble found a room for the night, getting close to 1:00am by the time I hit the sack.
Next morning a slow start to my day, a sleep-in to 6:30am, a full breakfast, and a casual getaway, Karen re-programmed, were off!! Headed up the western coastline of Norway aiming for the town Bergen some 450+ klm away.
Did not make it the whole way, stopping and shooting takes it’s toll, so ended up staying at this small motel/camping area for the night. My next-door roommates were working for a Wind Turbine company, and they were there to service some/all of the 44 turbines just near where we were, it was very interesting talking to them, a typical case of don’t judge a book by it’s cover, two of the three looked like vagrants, dope smokers or hippies, but they knew their stuff, no sooner had we discussed what they did, and one went into his room and grabbed the latest brochure on the new 131/3000 turbine, pretty impressive to the uneducated I can tell you, the prop blades on these big fans are upto 65metres each, that makes a 131meter diameter, it generates 3gigawatts of power per hour, and the pole stands a whopping 120metres high, it even has a lift inside, I did not ask but they said no visitor allowed sadly, besides it was Sunday tomorrow, their day off.
The next morning, I left early for Bergen, further to the North, another ferry, another tunnel, another fiord, very scenic stuff, but very hard to park off the road as there is no side to them, just a cliff or a rock wall, as a matter of fact the roads were so narrow that select an area to stop to let other oncoming traffic past, I still don’t know how I missed a bus, our mirrors would have been completely taken off had they have been at the same level, here I am shitting myself, and the bus driver seem to be quite comfortable with it, I looked at my mirror, and it was all but touching the bus.
Arrived at Bergen, lovely place, picturesque to say the least, lovely harbour, boats & old buildings as well as the city itself, spent a bit of time photographing here and then travelled inland but also slightly further north to Voss, just around the 60 degrees latitude, to get there more tunnels, up to @8klms long, in one of the tunnels, I came across a roundabout, that’s right a really big roundabout, lit up in neon blue lights, had to get a photo of this. as it turned out there would be several of these to come, but first impressions were rememberable.
Called in to the head office of Phase One in Copenhagen, Denmark, took a little bit of the JD charm to get past the girl on the front desk, but it worked and a young bloke “Yeppe” came out from the inner offices and I told him that whilst I was unannounced, could he give me a bit of a tour, “No Problems”, so off we went into the inner workings of the No.1 Medium format company in the world, a personal tour, how good was that, I was introduced to various members of the staff, a few that I had met before in Australia, and got to see the assembly process of the Phase One backs, does not get better than that. Oh and guess what, Yeppe decided to show me the support room, then grabbed a ruined Phase kit, said this one was water damaged, told me a bit of a story about it, and guess what, it was my previously owned and destroyed IQ260 & 645DF+ camera system that had been water damaged, (drowned in actual fact).
So I left Copenhagen to head south to Gester, this is where I will catch the ferry to Rostock, Germany. I came to the small town of Koge, beautiful old buildings, cobblestone roads & village square with some retail & coffee shops all around, postcard stuff, but moving on further to the west driving across farming country, wheat fields, hay bales & lots of houses & farm sheds, their often red roofs & white walls promminate against the yellows greens & sky blue of the countryside.
Stayed last night at the Hotel Fjordkroen, the bed & breakfast was well priced at about 670DK, that is about AU$128, but believe it or not, this little B&B Hotel had a five star restaurant, and me arriving just before the last dinner bell, dressed to the nines wearing a pair of RM shorts, King Gee work shirt and a pair of Katmandu rubber sandles, (just thought that I should mention that I was wearing brand clothing too, just in case you though that I would look out of place), anyway had a few beers, a nice meal and it cost me as much as the room, all good however it did take the head waiter a time to find me a place away from the others, not sure why, probably thought that I needed a bit more solitude maybe.
Hit the tar early again (@5:30am) to get on my way to catch the ferry, have to be there by 9:00am, and thought that I would take a few side roads, nothing stunning same same, so only a few shots fired, arrived at the ferry, on time, so I leave Denmark for last time on this trip at least, heading for Germany. Meeting up with a friend from my old surf club in Berlin tonight, Joshua Griffiths, so beers & bullshit tonight I expect, anyway cheers for now.
Late PS: As I type this blog, I am in the cafe area of the boat travelling to Germany, the time is now @10am, the couple beside me have gone for early openers, a couple of draft beers to top off breakfast!!.