Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pause in travel

Sitting in the British Airways business lounge at Heathrow, between our flights from Stockholm and to Denver, contemplating a glass of wine and eating ginger cookies.

What a great vacation.

I loved the old part of Stockholm, watching all the bicycle commuters in Copenhagen, the gently leaning medieval buildings in Helsingor and Ribe and Roskilde, the stunning scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, and the monumental architecture of St Petersburg. Nothing disappointed. We met some terrific fellow travelers, stayed with family who made us feel as if we were part of the family, stood on the subways with commuters in each city, and sat at sidewalk cafes to watch the people -- locals and tourists -- go by. It was spectacular.

My favorite thing? The Vasa Museum, I think. It was just so stunning and mind-boggling that I remember clearly the first moment I walked into the dimly list building and saw the totally unexpected and improbably ship. A close second was the fabulous little town of Ribe and the night-watchman tour around the old houses. Or perhaps, becoming part of the huge crowd in St Petersburg listening to the concert in the palace square that we could almost see.

My least favorite thing? Well, the floods that scoured southern Norway while we were there should be on the list. Fog and rain dogged us for a few days, but even with those, we were awed by the spectacular scenery. We had, for the most part, spectacular weather -- sunny nearly the whole time in Stockholm, sunny during every day in Copenhagen and rainy only at night, a beautiful sunny afternoon in Bergen, of all places, and even two hot days in St Petersburg. We're spoiled.

We ate a lot of street food (bacon-wrapped hot dogs are a favorite) and ice-cream cones while walking around the city streets, and bemoaned the fact that Scandinavia seems to shut down entirely at 6pm, so you'd better eat and early dinner or risk having to eat from the local gas station. We tried a few local specialties, but still managed to avoid pickled herring. We ate pizza far too often, but it was quick and good. We probably didn't drink enough beer, though.

But I'm ready to go home and sleep in my own bed. We're waiting for the announcement that they're boarding our flight (9 1/2 hours) back to Denver and should be home sometime around 7pm. We're both tired, variously achy and broken, and ready to be home!

1 comment:

laurafingerson said...

The Vasa museum is still my favorite museum in the whole world! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who finds it so amazing and fascinating. I've been twice and could easily go a bunch more times.

I loved reading your travelogue! Now, we are excited for photos! ;)