Catching stalkers, sleeping under a canopy bed and walking around rural Sa Pa, in northern Vietnam.Read More
Let's pick up where I left things about two months ago, the weekend spend in the Danish capital with my mum! After our morning steam bath at the Botanical Gardens, we continued to wander around Copenhagen.
In fact, this day mum’s step counter announced a number over 32k when we finally returned to the hotel in the evening — and thus we had broken the family record from a 2008 trip to Rome (!!!)
One thing I really enjoy about travelling to new countries, even if it is pne so near of your own, is discovering the local supermarkets. Just at 7-eleven they had so much to look at, and I mean, who wants a plain old bottle of water when you can get one with mint & lime for instance?? Sweden/Scotland, watch and learn!
Time for the mornings second caffeine stop; in the prettiest darn backyard found by the entrance of Kunstforeningen GL Strand.
Then we reached hippie mekka Christiania. Walking through the infamous Green Light District was such a strange experience (particularly to have with your mom, let's be real!) - there were stalls like any other market, but most vendors would be masked up like if they were just off to rob a bank. The three rules of the GLD are
1. no photos,
2. no running
3. have fun.
I’m particularly fond of the message hovering one of the exits – “you are now entering the EU”.
I asked HappyCow where to go for dinner and we ended up having burgers at a hostel close of the central station. By no means a sensation for the taste buds, but with a very meager veggie-scene I was happy to finally find something to still my hunger.
We ended the evening in Nyhavn but seeing as it was a beautiful Saturday night of July, it was way too crowded for our more countryside-like manners, so we wandered back to the hotel.
Have to sneak in a photo of this guy here - such bravura of innovation! He had composed a drum set out of kitchen utensils and to be honest he was darn hilarious for a busker. He goes under the name Big Viktor were you to encounter him whilst in CPH.
In all honesty I'm pretty terrible when it comes to "researching" prior to a trip. Most of the time things never seem to work out according to plan anyway. I suppose that is sort of the beauty of travelling. Expecting the unexpected.
With that said, one of the few stops I DID plan on making whilst in Copenhagen was to the city's Botanical Gardens. More specifically the massive greenhouse in the midst of it. So on Saturday morning, after a quick stop for the morning injection of caffeine, I dragged mum along with me to the Botanisk Have. I wanted to get there early as to avoid any crowds... Although, I guess most people with their sanity in check would not enter a greenhouse on a 25°c morning.
In terms of my sanity... Well, I climbed all the way to the top of the greenhouse. It was beautiful. And very, VERY, sauna-like.
After a meal in a steamin hot indian restaurant (we meet again BOOB SWEAT, ol'friend of mine!), we continued to wander the streets of Copenhagen whilst the sky put on a show of different shades of blue. Past statues, monuments and spires. Mum stubbornly with her nose in the guide book, trying to locate us despite not knowing how to read a map properly.
Photos from earlier that day → Copenhagen Day 1: Rosenborg Castle and yoga posing swans.
As soon as I stepped off the train at Copenhagen Central Station last Friday it was all socks OFF camera ON, Copenhagen was so pretty I had to stop and perpetuate just about every brick in the cobblestone streets. That being said -- brace yourselves for a cavalcade of photos from the Danish capital for the upcoming weeks.
Sunday was our last day in France and the sky was matching Julien's Marseille FC jersey perfectly. Everyone was a wee torn from the previous nights birthday celebrations, so we hung out in a small apartment in Pont St Espirit drinking coffee and petting lazy dogs. The bridge itself of this adorable town was bombed during WW2, on photo #7 you see that the restoration of the bridge does not match its original parts. Fun fact of the day!
On the Thursday morning we got into the car again, this time heading to the neighbouring village of Mornas. We were going to climb that castle on the cliff you can see down below.
It was only about a 2 kilometre walk up to the castle, but goodness me was it steep! Especially so in a sizzling 27°C morning.
The castle has been restored close to its original shape thanks to volunteers from across the globe.
I took a bunch of photos like these and with a pleased voice told Julien "so much profile picture material!". He did not agree, complaining that he was merely a pinky finger against the stone wall. Clearly some people do not appreciate art, aye!
(And yes, let’s just ignore the fact that it is very blur – it all adds to the artsyness)
After our castle adventure, we had lunch down in the village. This thing with Pastis is a bit strange to me; the French drink it as an appetizer before a meal, but its distinct aniseed flavour makes me think of the cough medicine I had to take as a kid. Not the most pleasant connotation!
But their coffee sure is fault free, look at that delicious crema!
We had drove past this village a couple of times and I kept nagging on J that I wanted to go there for a proper visit. So after lunch was completed, we walked around to explore the teeny streets.
Very impressive with the wall of the mountain so close by!
Back in Mondragon we took Yoda for a walk...
... through this lush greenery.
We stopped to try and take a nice dog portrait of Mr Da...
... but he was not very interested in starting a modeling career, to be honest.
In the evening we went to a friend of Juliens for dinner; pizza on the lawn whilst playing a game similar to Swedish Kubb. It must be said that never have I ever been to a party of any kind where people are so obsessed with the aromas and colours of their wines, as in France! I'm like ok withdraw your noses from the glass - let's drink it already!
For the first third of our trip to France, check out: > France Day 1 + 2: Vines and Château Pesquié.
The past week's radio silence has been due to me and Julien travelling to France to visit his parents. I was a little worried before take off as
a) they hardly speak any English
b) I hardly speak any French,
c) they seemed to think pate of duck liver is a vegetable
Point C was probably what I had been the most worried about, like you don't want to meet the "in-laws" for the first time and come across as a fussy eater. However, the real struggle was in the communication! I did not get very far with my school book-French and in all honesty the first few days were super stressful for me, not being able to communicate properly with all these people we met.
The silence did give me more time to take photos though, so wreck yourselves for a few posts loaded with photos. Let’s get straight to it:
Last Monday, we flew from Aberdeen via Amsterdam.
I passed the flight time beading necklaces out of small stones from Aberdeen beach.
Around 5pm we finally landed in Marseille, after a 3hour delay in Amsterdam. By then, we had already been awake for about 12hrs as my dear boyfriend seems even crazier than me in terms of “making it in time to the airport”. (We were at Aberdeen airport at 6am, when the flight left around 9…..)
On the Tuesday we went along for a hike with Julien’s mother and two of her friends. Passing through fields of vines and dusty roads.
Living up to their reputation of massive cheese fans, we made two stops on the way back home to both a goat's and a sheep's farm. Both had a little farm shop where you could buy their produce.
I was a little overwhelmed by the smell going in there, to me it just smells like rotten milk but that is probably because I am (certainly) not French. Their noses must contain a refining system that makes them think eating smelly cheese is a sane thing to do... I mean, just look at Mr Depardieu's crane.
On Wednesday we got into the car to drive to the foot of the mountains…
… ending up here, at Château Pesquié – a winery run by Julien’s uncle + cousins. They had invited us over for lunch.
I got a delicious carrot tart, pasta with artichokes and for desert we had a lemon curd cake with a strawberry salad drenched in olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of sugar and fresh mint. I will definitely try to copy that into a recipe of my own sometime soon!
There was of course also plenty of good wine.
IOn our way back we made some stops in the villages we had passed by on our way there. I was sat in the car going "This is just ridiculous... This town is ridiculous!" In my book, ridiculous translates into something such as unbelievably pretty. Just look at it!