Copenhagen Capers

Trip Start Apr 20, 2008
Trip End Aug 29, 2008

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Saturday 19th July

We had a very comfortable train ride to Copenhagen in the 1st class compartment and on arriving at the central train station we caught a taxi to our other Danish Servas friends, Pelle & Oluva Giobel's home.  Pelle was still touring with the band Aqua but would arrive home late the next evening. Oluva greeted us with a beer & great hugs, reminding us that this is how we had greeted them when they arrived at our house with their 3 children a few years ago! Their kids had grown a lot in the interim. The eldest Atle was a gorgeous young lad of 16 who spoke excellent English and was very proud of his new iPhone. Then came their 12 year old boy Gunnar, who was very interested in computer games and finally little Rannvar who had grown into a sweet little girl - she had been just a baby when they had visited us in Australia.
We had a fabulous Moroccan meal that night with lots of wine, laughter and the kids dancing to Faroese music after dinner as Oluva is proudly Faroese. Mum had briefly visited the Faroe Islands on her way to Iceland last year, so she had nice reminiscences with Oluva about that. Finally we crashed into bed for a good night's sleep.

Sunday 20th July After a late breakfast we caught the train into Copenhagen where took a combined bus & canal tour. The bus tour came first and was pretty average with an extremely boring commentary! It had started spitting by that stage, but we discovered we could have a break before taking the open canal boat so we had a nice (if expensive) lunch in a place called Cafe Europa. By the end of lunch, the rain had cleared so we had a lovely canal tour with stunning views of various buildings & this time a good commentary.
We got off the boat just as it started to spit again so that was lucky! Mike then raced around looking for an Irish Pub so he could watch the British Open - Greg Norman was equal leader going into the final round with an Irishman called Harrington so the Irish pubs were televising it! We watched with him for a little while but then left him to it. Mum & I plus the kids headed back, walking along the main shopping street and past the Tivoli to the central train station from where we caught the train back to our hosts. I had promised to make dinner for the family that night with some nice pork Oluva had already bought. Their friends also came to dinner which was nice. Their daughter had spent a year in Australia the previous year, so we had nice chats. It was a lovely evening, and Mike eventually got home in the middle of it, telling us the sad news that Norman had lost but the Irishman had won.

I eventually got the kids down and went to bed but Mike stayed up to welcome Pelle who got in about midnight from his gig, so it was a very late night for him.  
Monday 21st July

Alison: We had a lovely breakfast catching up with Pelle and all his news. I popped on some washing and then the 2 families headed off to the Tivoli on the train. Luckily the entrance is directly opposite the central train station which makes life easy! This was a great excursion for adults and kids alike and we had a great time there going on roller coasters, bumper cars etc and eating hotdogs and drinking beer. Mum, who is not noted for enjoying such rides, instead enjoyed wandering around the beautiful gardens which were very well maintained and quite stunning. We all agreed that it was much better than Disneyland!

After an exhausting but fun day we eventually headed back to the train & home. I popped the washing in the dryer while Mike & Pelle got takeaway Chinese for dinner & we had a lovely relaxed evening talking, drinking & eating before I packed & we went to bed, sad that we were leaving early next morning and would also be farewelling Mum who had been travelling with us for a month.

Tuesday 22nd July

Alison: We woke early, dragged the kids out of bed and said sad farewells to Mum who was heading home via Berlin later that day and to the Giobel family who had been so gorgeous and hospitable. Pelle very kindly drove us to the airport (and later they took Mum too which was very generous of them) & we got safely on our Finnair plane to St Petersburg, looking forward to the unknown delights of Russia... 
Mike: Of all the people who had visited us from o/s and become such friends, I think it is fair to say these guys are amongst the 'coolest'of them.  Peter, the reformed rock-muso cum sound technician, who tours with all the big visiting bands and is friends with many of thee names in music... and Oluva, the fiery redhaired effervescent Faroe Islander, sooo with it and soo into having a good time and just being herself and letting her bright red hair down!  
And three great kids.. Atle a supernice teenager who we hope will come visit and do the backpack thing soon, Gunnar a great young guy too just a few years younger, and the gorgeous cheeky young thing Rannvar.

Their house reflected their personalities, super eclectic with a fun warm vibe, suffice to say we felt right at home of course!   Their boys, like so many the same age, were riiiight into online gaming, spending most nights till 5am playing all manner of games with likeminded people the world over!    With my good self also known to not mind getting lost in the world of internet and email (not as much the games though),there would at times be all 3 of us glued to screens, while Tom played his DS alongside us so make that 4...   modern times hey!!

Geeeee we had a lot of fun there though. My lifelong sporting idol Greg Norman leading the British Open into the final day at the tender age of 53, literally fooorced me to find a pub with satellite!!  Although he faded out of contention on that final day, just to get himself into position was a truly incredible feat, and I felt very contented to have seen him live and play out suuuurely this final swansong moment, of his superb career.

Rachel and Rannvar loved dancing in the lounge room to some really beautiful Faroese (oh I love that word!) music Oluva played for us, after enjoying a yummmmy African dinner washed down by yummmmy red wines, and a few beer chasers of course!   She too didn't mind a drink or 17, so I was in good company when the urge took me to let it go a bit!!!

Pelle arrived home the day after we got there, back from another very successful tour, this time with local product Aqua, best known for their international hitsong I'm a Barbie Girl!   This of course became our themesong for our time with them, with regular random spontaneous renditions in train stations and the like!   Seeing Pelle was suuupernice, as we had formed such a great friendship so quickly when they had stayed with us.  At one stage it had seemed we may not be able to time it to be there while he was there given his touring, so it was a great delight to all of us that it ultimately worked out we could enjoy at least a day or two with him as well. 

And whaaaat a day it was at the local Tivoli or amusement park.    20 years ago as a backpacker I had seen the local Tivoli, which had looked like a complete hoot and is quite famous apparently... and now I would get to go and enjoy it, yaaaaay!!    I don't know who was more excited, me or the kids!!!?

And it turned to be the peeerfect family day. As soon as we entered the gates we knew we would all enjoy this faaar more than Disneyland, which although worth a visit for the hell of it just hadn't really been our style.  In contrast, here there was fun to be had eeeeverywhere.. a lively and engaging atmosphere much more akin to our good old Adelaide Royal Show, with little stalls, sideshows and rides everywhere, not just a smattering of bigname/iconic rides where you had to queue for hours, a la Disney!!

We laughed a loooot, with a huge array of rides suited to all of us and all our ages. Not surprisingly their family were more adventurous than ours (!), so while they braved the massiveridiculouslyscaryrollercoaster, we chose to enjoy our own thrills on the more sedate but nonethelessscaryforustrain/rollercoaster, and suffice to say all were happy with our different choices!  

Exceeeept that is poor Oluva, who in a fit of madness decided to also join the boys on said scaaaaaaryasrollercoaster, and came down faaaar whiter than any sheet I have ever seen!  She is clearly neeever going to be doing such a stupid thing again (!), but duly recovered from what I think literally bordered on a mild state of short-term shock, the pooooor thing... but she bounced back quickly. 

One of myyy favourites has always been the dodgem cars.  Sooo badly named... as any young lad blessed with their faculties wants only ooone thing, to smaaash the living bejeeesus out of all and sundry foolish enough to enter the track with him!!     Much to my sheer delight they too loooved the dodgems, so in we went and booooy was it fun.  We gave as good as we got, cars leapt off the track regularly on the receiving end of a pummelling, the kids survived it thankfully...  and we laughed soooo hard!!

This was plain and simple a super fun day.  All bouncing on bouncy castles together, big rides and little rides, the obligatory show food hotdogs, fairyfloss, beers for the big kids...  on this day I laughed as much as anywhere on this trip!

Soccer in the local park with their dog too was a lot of fun, although I was somewhat outclassed by young Gunnar in our game of two on two, let alone Pelle!   Nonetheless, Tom kicked one of his best goals ever much to his delight...  and gee he is really looking forward to running out with the good old Unley Primary team again on Saturday mornings, when we get home..

These guys are very much nightowls, so the fridge full of beer was gradually depleted as we sat around their table and fixed the world's problems...   amazing how beer and wine can help do that!!
Goodbye was, as ever, a sad moment...   but they have already begun planning their next foray back to Oz, whence we will join them in exploring more of our beautiful homeshores.. of which I have seen so much less than abroad!
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