Trip Start Apr 20, 2008
47Trip End Aug 29, 2008
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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.
Sunday 20th July
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
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.
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!