From romantic towns to magnificent Copenhagen
Scandinavia and northern Europe for far in history have always interested adventurers and researchers, seeking new insights into the limits of human adaptability to almost impossible climatic conditions and very unusual culture that has evolved away from the major European centers.Visit to Scandinavia and its north end is no longer something reserved only for the brave today, but we were planning this rather long journey with odor of adventure still felt in the air. We looked a little funny when we stuffed winter jackets and thick sweaters in the carhot on a hot July day, but we were warned in advance about the capricious weather in the north and we did not want to take any chances.
Little fear was created by stereotypes of Korean cars - the path of over 10,000 kilometers of wasteland Lapland will be performed by Kia Sephia II. In the crowded car, we drove to Austria. We then turned to Graz and Linz, on to Germany. Austria is uncomfortably expensive country for traveling, because in addition to vignettes, we were repeatedly charged a further toll. Austrian tunnels are also known for a bad reputation, as well as embarrassing petty police, so we felt a little more comfortable when we got hold of Germany.
Potsdam - shine of the power of the old Prussia
Since our main objective of the trip was Scandinavia, we spent little time in Germany. However, we could not resist to look at least some smaller cities. The first in the series was Weimar, the town where once lived Goethe, Shiller, Bach, Liszt and many other artists. This city, in addition, was the center of a controversial Weimar Republic in the first half of the last century. However, we have expected too much from the Weimar - we found, in fact, a beautiful idyllic town that prides itself of Goethe and Shiller on every corner, but that is not in itself something really special. Similarly was with Wittenberg, our next choice. In this city acted Martin Luther, one of the pioneers of the Reformation. However, apart from a few churches and beautiful squares, the city also can not offer anything really in particular. The third choice was a big hit - Potsdam near Berlin. It hides Sanssouci park and several palaces, with some of them really breathtaking. The most beautiful of all is the magnificent New Palace, a royal residence built in the wake of baroque. This palace is perhaps the best thing we`ve seen throughout our trip.
Symbol of Berlin - covered!
We could not resist to enter Berlin, only to see the Brandenburg Gate. However, very soon we were tangled in a snarling traffic of this three million town, we parked quite far away, and after all of this, the symbol of Berlin was - completely covered! Specifically, the restorers have put on a cover, and we were soon somewhat soaked, trying to make our way through poorly marked metropolis with a very unusual transport solutions, in attempt to obtain highway to Hamburg. Great consolation next day was Lubeck, German Pearl of the North.
This beautiful city in many ways reminded us of Amsterdam, and one can already feel the atmosphere of Scandinavia. Roads in Germany are excellent: a very dense network of highways, spacious, completely free, attitudes are common and comfortable, the police are rare, and the speed limit - none! In the former East German highways are being built, so we were pleasantly surprised by newly built parts of the road, that are not even in the latest atlases. The only thing that is confusing is sometimes a lack of emergency lane and protective fencing on a very frequent roadworks.
Charme of Danish castles
On the border of Germany and Denmark by Flensburg there is no stopping vehicles and browsing for passport. Our choice on Jutland, the large Danish peninsula, was the oldest Danish (and Scandinavian) city of Ribe. This used to be an important trading center, today it is a comfortable, historic town that is completely preserved, with the atmosphere of antiquity. Town Ribe is proud of its cathedral, and it is interesting Viking history, of which tell several museums. After a few hours of easy drive, we arrived at the bridge on the central Danish island of Funen and Odense city, which boasts a number of valuable buildings and the native house of the famous writer Hans Christian Andersen. However, beautiful Renaissance castle Egeskov is about thirty miles south of Odense. Islands Funen and Zealand are connected by magnificent newly built bridge. Its beauty, though, seems a lot smaller when you are confronted with tolls - for cars crossing, price is about 220 kuna! Since the island of Zealand is heart of the Danish power and glory, we dedicated to spent most of the time there. We visited the cathedral with sarcophagi of Danish kings and queens in Roskilde, Denmarks probably most beautiful Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerod and a little less imposing Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, primarily known for Shakespeare`s Hamlet.
Copenhagen - the pearl of the North Europe
The splendor of Copenhagen could be praised in endless books, so it is futile to summarize all the impressions in a few lines. While, for example, one does not need to talk about the splendor of Christiansborg, it should be noted that Copenhagen offers a range of lesser-known pleasant surprises, such as, for example, Rosenborg Castle.
Sightseeing boat costs about fifty kuna and offers views of the metropolis with its numerous canals. Copenhagen is memorable pearl of the North Europe. Danish roads are very comfortable and easy to ride, and plain relief does not require viaducts and tunnels. Specificity of Danish highway is sign with two arrows merged into one, which means that the two bands merged, with all vehicles having the same right of way. Although this sounds confusing, in practice it works quite simply.
All directions are perfectly marked and coping in general is not a problem. The only exception is Copenhagen and its suburbs, where the signposts are limited to the nearest neighborhoods and suburbs, but with a detailed map and monitor road markings, these problems disappear. Although it was the beginning of August, a few days were ruled by almost late autumn weather - thick fog, cold and heavy rain. Pleasant week in Denmark was concluded with passing tunnel and bridge Oresundsbron. Just a look from a distance at this European architectural wonder is breathtaking, and ride on it makes you realize how this bridge is really great. On the other side of the bridge we were greeted by Sweden, where the first leg of our trip ended.