Results tagged “Bridges” from Europe 2016

Woke up in the middle of the night for an hour last night. Dunno why. Other than the static electricity I was comfortable enough, just not sleeping.

Breakfast was pretty decent. After breakfast went for a walk down to the river to photograph the Lumberjack Candle bridge.

After breakfast we had a tour of the town of Rovaniemi with a local guide. She took us to the Lutheran church in town and we got a very detailed explanation of the fresco there.

Then we headed up north of town to Santa's "office" and the whole tourist kitsch. It's advertised as being on the Arctic Circle, which I thought was pretty cool at the time.

Except.

It's not.

Not only is it a couple of kilometres south of the Arctic circle, it's not even on a horizontal line to match up with any meridian. If you look at it on your favourite mapping application it's on quite a sharp diagonal.

But I didn't discover than until later.

In the meantime, they gave us some time to explore Santa's village there. We wandered into Santa's "office" where you can have your photo taken with the "real" Santa. Mum wanted to do it so we did. Me, I took one look at the prices and declared it *completely* ridiculous. It was 30 Euro for a large print. 35 Euro for five small prints. Or 40 Euro for a digital copy of the photo.

What. The. F@#k. ?????

How can they get away with charging 40 Euro for a digital file that they don't even have to expend any media on?? It's criminal. Needless to say I was not amused. I said I'd given them 10 Euro for the file. The girl wasn't amused. I'm sure she gets it all the time. I certainly wouldn't be doing that job.

Not only that, but you could tell the queue lasted for hours at certain times of year. They had a whole huge setup for the queuing. What made it so bad was that you went in and sat with "Santa" but instead of just taking a photo he makes all this small talk, which later turns out you can buy as a video.

?!?!

If they wanted more money:
1) charge less for the photos
2) cut out the crap and just churn people through instead of making them wait forever

Anyways.

I'm not cynical at all.

Honest ;)

After that we had a wander through all the little souvenir shops which was fun.

Got back to the hotel and given a small lunch break so I had Subway. Because it was across the road. So sue me.

Then we headed out again for the first of our optional tours for the day.

The first stop was the Arktikum, a museum of Arctic life. We had over an hour with the guide which was good, but then only got twenty minutes of self exploration of the museum. Ridiculous.

The second stop was a "pioneer farm" which was an old family farm house which had been preserved and turned into a museum. That was a great experience too, but again, ended with only a super short time to explore all the stuff there. Frustrating.

Once back in town again there was a couple of hours to kill before dinner, so mum and I went down to the river to see the bridge, then ended up doing the whole bridge to bridge walk. Whoops.

Then we had the next optional tour, which was out to a reindeer farm. We got to see one week old baby reindeer which were so adorable, and got to feed some young male reindeer. Then we headed up to dinner which was reindeer with mashed potato and berries. Quite tasty and quite a lovely evening.

Then back to the hotel to do computer stuff.

As it turns out, we did actually cross the Arctic circle tonight when we went to the reindeer farm.  I saw a sign on the road, and later confirmed it on the map.  So I have actually been to the arctic :)

Very early start today - had to be out the door at 7:30am. Fireworks went off last night at 12:15am and 2:15am. Hrmm..

Today was just a driving day. Left Copenhagen and drove across the Oresund bridge (and tunnel) into Sweden. 239 Euro for the coach - ouch! Got pulled up and the border crossing and they came through the coach and checked out passports.

Had a pitstop for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. No ATMs on the pitstops though, so still don't have any Swedish krona. Had to pay for some fries on credit card. Silly really. Given that we're only going to be in the country for less than 24 hours, I wonder if it would be possible to get away without any local currency at all. Except then I don't get any coins.

Arrived in Stockholm a bit after 4pm.

Then had to wait three quarters of an hour for our bags. In the end I went down and just took ours cause I got sick of waiting in the room with nothing to do.

And of course, once again we are cursed with the lesser of two views. In this case looking directly across to the building opposite, while people on the other side of the corridor get a fantastic view of the river and the old town.

At least there's free wifi. And the room isn't overheated (someone's set the fan to max cold previously).

Tonight's optional dinner experience was a "Swedish summer" dinner at an old farm outside of town (Langa Raden). There was "prawns on toast" which was actually prawns on a dark bread that wasn't toasted. The teeny prawns were very nice though. Mains was salmon or beef. I had salmon and it was *lovely*. Dessert was a chocolate fondant which was very nice but very rich!

Then another half hour drive back to the hotel to crash in a heap (after only about three thousand steps today!)

Slept til about 5:50 this morning - a sleepin!

The breakfast buffet didn't have as much choice as other hotels so far, but was otherwise ok. They even had champagne, go figure, although I tried it and it wasn't very nice. The internet was a bit flakey too - complicated login process, and pretty slow. At least it was included!

Our first activity for the day was Wartburg Castle just outside Eisenach. We had a tour of the main castle building so got to see all the main rooms. Then it was through the museum part and finally the Lutherstube - where Luther spent ten weeks translating the New Testament into German (and defining the German language in the process). Pretty cool stuff.

Stopped at a resthaus for lunch (I just had some stuff leftover from breakfast).

Then onto Worms. We had a walking tour of a few of the sights, which included the Trinity Reformation Church, St Peter's cathedral, the Jewish cemetary, the location of the Diet of Worms, and the big Luther monument.

After the tour finished, we went back to the location of the Diet of Worms (the building was destroyed by the French years ago) and had a little service and sang A Mighty Fortress is Our God.

Then everyone took the coach to the hotel, but Mum and I went for a walk up to see the Nibelung tower over the bridge over the Rhine (didn't find any Rhinegold though).

Walked back to the hotel. The room here is huge. It has a whole entrance foyer thing going on.

Dinner was in the hotel - we had a dining room just for the group which was nice. But Germans just don't understand the concept of tap water. At least two places we've been refuse to even serve it. This hotel did - but only if you asked the right way - we didn't - so ended up with a 2.30 bottle of water. Pissed off about that. If I'm going to spend money on a drink, I'd rather beer or wine. Spending money on water offends me.

Breakfast as usual this morning, then checked out.

Our first stop was in Potsdam. I'd been here with the sweetie eight years ago. Last time we hired bikes and got around *heaps* of the palaces and things to see. We also had a brilliant day for it. Today it was grey. :(

Our first stop was the Glienicker Brücke - "Bridge of Spies" - for a quick photo stop.

Then onto Sans Souci palace. The vines hadn't come out yet so it was all a little grey. But still quite pretty and there were bulbs already flowering in the gardens at the bottom.

Then they took us into town and dropped us off for some free time. We went into the Nikolai church because that was just there. Then mum and I went off for a walk. Got up to the Brandenburg Tor, then back up Brandenburger strasse to Nauener Tor, back through the dutch village, and back to the coach.

Most people slept on the coach ride south to Leipzig. I stayed awake and talked to the sweetie for a bit. Had a brief toilet stop (by now this is the third toilet I've had to pay for today :(:( ) and continued on, getting here at nearly 3:30pm.

In Leipzig we met a local guide for a walking tour of the old town. Highlights included the Thomas Church, the oldest coffee house in Germany, the market square and the Nikolai Church.

Then to the hotel. Not a bad room, although the view is a little boring - the roof of the atrium!

Went out for dinner tonight to a restaurant in the old town. Had some mushroom soup, some sausage and potato, and this weird (but nice) cake thing with apple sauce.