Our family loves this Hans Christian Anderson quote so much that we’ve turned it into our family motto! So it’s very fitting that this month we are visiting Denmark, the home of Hans 😊
An odyssey in June
Although I’m trying (trying being the operative word) to write posts regularly about our 3 month trip of a lifetime – our Odyssey– I’m still keen to continue with my Sentence a Day posts. I’m not having much luck in updating posts, for various reasons, (mainly time), but a sentence a day is a great way of keeping track of what’s been happening. And believe me there’s been a lot happening! I think this month will top even May’s list of activities so be warned, get a cup of tea or coffee and settle in for a whirlwind month of travel.
In this month’s write up we loved our week in Iceland, enjoyed our cycling tourin Amsterdam where I also got to meet one of my all time favourite bloggers Lucile, and loved catching up with friends and family in Denmark. At the end of the month we moved on to Germany. We are now two thirds of the way through our Odyssey and yes we’re still talking to each other and we’re still enjoying our adventures. There’s a lot to fit into July before we head for home at the end of the month.
Read on for more:
Friday: An early start with a bus trip to London with our eldest daughter, a flight to Iceland, a bus into Reykjavík then a bus back to the Blue Lagoon. It was stressful at times but the Blue Lagoon made up for any negative stress.
Saturday: We walked the short distance to collect our hire car and set off on our self guided driving tour around the Golden Curcle and South Coast of Iceland – what an amazing place, driving through lava fields, geothermal areas, doing a tour through a lava tunnel, amazing views of volcanoes, a soak in the hot tubs and a delicious dinner after a walk around Hveragerdi.
Sunday: An overcast start to the day as we set off through open grasslands, snow covered peaks, amazing waterfalls, black sandy beaches and to top it all off, we stayed at a gorgeous boutique hotel for the night, just outside the town of Vik.
Monday: Went to the Sólheimajökull glacier, it was a broody foggy morning so it was very atmospheric, before driving into the countryside with more waterfalls, geysers and quaint old churches along the way. Sitting in the outdoor hot tub at 10pm in Hekla, after a very expensive dinner, with full light was a novel experience – the sun doesn’t really go down here in Iceland.
Tuesday: A huge day taking in stunning landscapes on the way to Iceland’s historic Thingvellir National Park where there’s a huge crack in the earth – an absolutely amazing place with its own waterfall and connection to the filming of Game of Thrones. We headed north through the toll road tunnel to Reykholt where Snorri Sturlusson hailed from. A long day that ended with us in Reykjavik the night.
Wednesday: We played tourists in Reykjavik for the day walking around and soaking up the history with visits to museums and even playing dress ups. That night we caught up with friends from Australia for dinner.
Lava tunnels in Iceland
Geothermal area In Iceland
Vikings in Iceland
Viking boat in Reykjavik in Iceland
Thursday: Up very early (at 3am) to catch the bus to the airport and guess what, it wasn’t even dark – we parted ways with our daughter as we moved onto Amsterdam for the next adventure. Meeting my blogging friend Lucile was a highlight, even though we started off by taking the wrong train from the airport 🤦♀️
Friday : The day our youngest daughter turned 30 back in Australia had us walking around Amsterdam city in the rain thinking of her all day, followed by a delightful dinner with Lucile and Durk.
Saturday: We started our cycle tour today, joining the boat and meeting our fellow travellers at 3pm in Amsterdam harbour just under the nose of NEMO, the science museum. A 15km warm up ride and then a surprise visit from Lucile and Durk.
Sunday: Day 1 was a great 46 km cycling from Amsterdam to Hoorn stopping at the quaint sailing villages of Marken and Volendam. We then sailed across from Volendam to Hoorn. A beautiful flat ride through open farmland with not too much wind, (the wind is called the Dutch Mountains). Lovely warm weather, great new friends, delicious food and a walk around Hoorn at night finished the day off nicely.
Monday: An easy ride of only 27km for Day 2 of our Top of Amsterdam cycling tour today. We rode from Hoorn to Enkhuizen, along the coast and through gorgeous little farming villages with thatched roof cottages. The headwind wasn’t too bad. The afternoon was spent in the amazing Zuiderzee Museum, which was actually two museums – the indoor and the outdoor – devoted to preserving the cultural heritage and maritime history of the area. We spent ages roaming around before another great dinner on board and an evening walk around the beautiful old town.
Tuesday: on the island of Texel after a fab day of cycling 37km through the countryside, not too much wind, a spit of rain, then sailing through the barrier which holds the sea back from inundating The Netherlands and spending the evening in the pub listening to live music.
Wednesday : another full on fun day cycling on the island of Texel – a place listed as one of the top 5 places to visit in Europe by Lonely Planet guide. It has everything – long sandy beaches, forests, great cycle ways, lots of birds, interesting farmland with Texel sheep, it’s own Texel beer, a mountain at 15mts high (!), a beautiful harbour, a war cemetery, quaint villages and is on average 20km long and 8km wide – despite this, we managed to cycle 46km. We sailed back to the mainland ahead of a predicted force 6 wind and wandered around Den Helder.
Thursday: Although the Netherlands is flat, they do have wind and we met this today – riding into force 5/6 wind isn’t much fun but we made it into Alkmaar, the City of Cheese, without being blown off our bikes.
Friday : A day of windmills – our final day of cycling was absolutely magical. The wind dropped, the sun shone, the path was flat and we just seemed to pedal our way effortlessly through the final 64 kms from Alkmaar to Amsterdam. We hit Amsterdam at peak hour on a Friday afternoon but it didn’t phase us. A great final dinner with everyone reminiscing about our week, plus a special song, finished it all off nicely. We cycled 265kms in total without any drama.
Fun in Amsterdam in 2018
Our happy guide Marjan
Houses in Alkmaar
Saturday : We farewelled our new friends, met up with Lucile and Durk for a coffee before heading to the airport to fly to Copenhagen. Somehow I managed to get priority tickets and we got to see some of the Australia vs France World Cup match in the lounge. Great to see our friends Elke and Per again in Copenhagen.
Sunday: Caught up on some domestic chores and finally met Sophie (our Danish exchange student daughter) and Martin’s children Benjamin is now 3 and Josephine is 4 months. I will have to write a post about our Danish connections!!
Monday : We went for a swim with Elke in the Oresund, the strait between Denmark and Sweden, and although it wasn’t freezing, let’s just say it was invigorating!
Tuesday: We moved on down to Sophie’s place today after a walk around the castle and a visit to the charming town of Helsingor.
Wednesday : Walked Benjamin to Kindergarten and took Josephine for a walk before gardening and relaxing in the sunshine. Just what we needed😊
Off to kindergarten
With baby Josephine
Out to lunch in Copenhagen
Thursday: Went to Copenhagen by bus and train to meet up with friends Annelie and Håkan from Malmo, had a great day out and lots of colour in the city as Australia played Denmark in the World Cup.
Friday: my mother turned a significant age and I wished her a happy birthday with an early morning video call.
Saturday: Midsummer and a lovely summery day!
Sunday: Went for a bike ride to visit a castle, beaches and the forest followed by an excellent afternoon’s entertainment – an outdoor Viking play with over 200 in the cast. Although it was all in Danish I got the storyline!!
Monday: After walking Benjamin to kindergarten we drove to Naestved to stay with friends Vibe and Svend. It was so good staying with Sophie, it was fun, relaxing and we got to practice our grandparenting skills on her lovely children.
Tuesday: We went on a 21km cycling tour around Naestved and then watched Australia play in the World Cup – they lost against Peru.
Wednesday : Hot again so we borrowed the bikes and rode 10km into the beach at Karrebaeksminde for a quick dip, an ice cream and then back for a visit to Avno Nature Centre and dinner with friends at their home.
Thursday: Another hot summer’s day saw us take a walk in the cool forest looking at old Viking burial mounds before having a typical Danish lunch overlooking the water at Karrebaeksminde. We had the ultimate Hygge epxperience that evening with our lovely hosts Vibe and Svend.
Friday : A relaxing morning before going to Copenhagen Airport for the next leg of our trip, flying to Düsseldorf to spend a few days with Annabell and her family. Annabell was a Rotary Exchange student in our town last year and was very keen to have her first visitors from Tumbarumba.
Saturday: After a delicious breakfast with everyone we set off on a cycling tour of Dülmen with most of the family, hearing of its history and stopping for lots of photo opportunities. A special choir performance saw us join Annabell and her parents at their local church for a captivating service as they farwelled their music director. Although in German, we got the gist of it all. A lovely summer’s day ended with a bbq, just as it would in Australia.
Well that was June in a nutshell. A huge month travelling, being active and spending time with friends and family 🙂 We are very grateful to all our friends and family for making us so welcome, we get to experience the real lifestyle instead of just being tourists. The proviso is that they visit us one day soon!!
We do not remember days, we remember moments!!
The adventure continues into July 🙂 Make sure you check out our travels so far on my dedicated Odyssey page and keep checking back for updates. You can always hit the follow button so that you never miss out on reading my posts 😊
Once again, I’m linking up with other bloggers from all over the world who also compile their month in a Sentence a Day. Please note this is not a normal month for us, we are travelling for three months and are enjoying every moment, making lots of memories.
Does your family have its own motto? I’d also love to hear what you’ve been up to in June – leave me a message below 🙂
You can also find Deb’s World here – let’s stay in touch!