Saturday, 17 June 2017

Saturday 17 June - Copenhagen, Denmark and Ålabodarna, Sweden

Where’s Bertie? He's in a coastal car park (at 55.9439, 12.7715) just up the road from the little harbour village of Ålabodarna, in Sweden.

The party that was going on behind Bertie as I posted yesterday's blog was a flash in the pan. At 5pm a trio of chaps were erecting a big gazebo and laying out drinks. Guests arrived. An hour and a bit of raucousness ensued (where the women found it too much trouble to walk the 100m to the toilets and were happy to squat within our line of sight). Then suddenly it was over and the gazebo was dismantled. By 7pm all was quiet.

We still had a marginally disturbed night (comings and goings at 2.30am), but still bounded out of bed before 7am for an early breakfast. A couple of hours later we were running the ParkRun at Amager Strandpark, along with 70 other people.

It wasn't just ParkRunners out - all the paths around water features in Copenhagen seem to be full of people exercising. Every time we have passed, the lagoon here has also contained a good few swimmers pulling fluorescent inflatable markers.

Save for going over a couple of bridges, the course at this venue (it's one of three ParkRuns in Copenhagen) is dead flat, with the only impedance being that the one path, lying between a lagoon and the sea, is fully exposed to the wind. Happily, that wind wasn't as windy as it had been yesterday and overnight. The rain, which had been hammering at some points overnight, also gave way to increasingly fine skies.

With our runs complete, we didn't leave town, as had been our rough plan. Instead, after showers and second breakfast we jumped on the Metro and went back into the city. I had two missions: to get a map of Norway and to see if I could find some new running shoes at a price I was prepared to pay (annoyingly, the side support of the pair I brought with me has collapsed).

We succeeded in the map mission (at 2.5 times the price of the identical one I bought but didn't receive before we left home), but failed on the runners. I wasn't prepared to pay £150 for my usual brand, or to squeeze my feet into a £100 pair of a brand that are too narrow for my feet.

It wasn't just a shopping trip, as our route between the relevant shops took us past another dead end canal...

...on which some very large (and also a few normal sized) swans were gliding around...

I proposed a go on one of the swan pedaloes. Mick vetoed.

...and via Rosenbourg Slot (castle/palace), in whose grounds a 2-day music event was in full swing:

Back at Bertie, after a late lunch and some toing and froing to Lidl*, off we went in search of a petrol station, thence to Sweden.

The Øresund Bridge, which links Denmark to Sweden, celebrated its one hundred millionth vehicle yesterday and, after convincing the attendant that Bertie really is under 6m (he's 5.99m) and that we didn't have a bike rack on the back pushing us over the magic number (the difference between a €56 toll and a €112 toll), he gave us our receipt, an information leaflet about the bridge and a handful of gifts. The gifts were a bit bizarre. They're pencils with caps on the ends. Those caps contain seeds. The instructions tell you to use the pencil, then plant it cap side down, to grow some herbs. I assume they have an oversupply by the fact that we were given six.

Beyond the toll booths, customs waved us to stop, wanting to know where we were heading tonight. Not accepting "65km up the coast" as an answer, a map had to come out to find a name. I'm sure I mangled the pronunciation, but it satisfied them. On reflection, I should have said 'Göteborg'; it's not like they were going to check.

So, here we are, in a car park with four other motorhomes and a couple of caravans. Being in Sweden, we're all here perfectly legally, and can stay up to 48 hours. Not that we will: Norway is calling.

The village and harbour, just down the road from where we're parked

(*In Denmark and Germany (and possibly other European countries in which we have not yet shopped), a deposit ('pant') is payable on cans and plastic bottles. In Denmark the going rate is 3DKK per bottle (around 33p). You redeem the pant by feeding the bottles into a machine, which then gives you a voucher, to be spent in that shop. We had some empties to return from the other day, and used that voucher to buy some bottles of water (3.40DKK each with a 3.00DKK pant). Those bottles were decanted into one of our water carriers, and we immediately returned the empties. Realising our drinking bottles were empty, we bought another bottle of water with that voucher and it started to feel like we could just keep going around.)

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