Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pike Fishing

Gene has had his eyes on pikefishing in Sweden ever since my cousins son Adam spent this past Christmas with us and entertained everyone with pictures and the tale of how he caught an 11 kg (aprox 22 lb pike) in the lake Levrasjön. Of to Levrasjön we went for a day of pikefishing. The lake had this magical emerald shine to it, and Adam had filled the cooler with all the essential foods for Pike fishing like, cinamon buns, choclate balls, sugar soda and plenty of licorice candy:) The boat sped of

Thursday, July 10, 2014


The famous Astronomer Thyco Brahe was given the island of Ven from the Danish Kind Frederik II, in 1587 as an appreciation of his services to the royal court. On the island of Ven Tycho Brahe built the worlds first  scientific research centere where his main focus was to study the stars before the telescope was invented!! You might wonder how can you study stars withou a telescope? Well for Thyco it was a no brainer, he used a sextant and various other astronomical devices that could measure the angles of the stars as they related to the horizon. He would then measure the same stars over and over again and see the difference in distances and derive his theories from that.

Ven is an amazing island in the middle of Öresund, with rolling hills of crops, amazing vistas and fun little gravel roads to bike on. The circumfrance of the island is about 11 miles, that makes it an easy day trip. They make their own ice cream, (thumbs up from Max), their owwn Canola oil, and the best part they have their own Whiskey distillery where we tried some of their home brew!

Rolling fields with Rye

Fun gravel roads for biking

Crazy Drops down towards the ocean

Tycho Brahe observatory

Gene and Max learned a new summer game


25% grade of upphill climb
Ahh.. summer fun !
 Morfar and Gene happy with the Whiskey selection


No visit to Sweden is complete without a visit to Legoland, in Billund Denmark. It is a 4 hour car ride from Lund Sweden. The trip used to be WAY longer before they build all the bridges between the different straights of water. My friend Louise and her son William joined us for the trip. They normally lives in Durham, NH. She is also from Sweden and her parents lives just an hour car ride northeast of my dad!!

Snekkersten, Denmark.

A high preassure system has landed itself over Sweden and is here to stay. Another glorious day with temperatures in the mid 80's a nice breeze and it is beach time! We took the ferry from Helsingborg to Helsingör in Denmark and got picked up by my uncle.  My cousin's son Gustav who is a year older than Max was staying with them for the weekend, so we thought it would be fun for the boys to get together. We started of the day with a quick visit to the technical museum of Helsingör, a place where you could see every machine imaginable. My favorites are the evolution of the bikes! Back to the house for some lunch Danish style!! Yum! After lunch we all went to the beach for some swimming in the ocean again. Who can restist when the water temperature is close to 70 degrees!


My childhood friend Sofie invited us for lunch and a swim in Domsten, a tiny village 10 km north of Helsingborg where my grandparents had a house and I spend every childhood summer there. We finally moved there fulltime after third grade. It was so fun to show Max and Gene my elementary school, the windy road thru the woods down to Domsten, remminice about bikerides home and once I even rollerbladed the 2 miles from school to home.  Max and Sofies son William made fast friends, even though he is 2 years younger and just spoke a few words of Swedish. William immediately found his fixed blade knife and asked if Max and he could run up to the woods and carve some sticks.. Of course, since this is Domsten with very few cars and a way of life how it should be! A quick walk to the harbour and swim in Öresund, the straight of water between Sweden and Denmark. Max and William spotted some kids fishing for crabs from the docks in the harbour and begged to do the same. After luch they left by themselves for some crabfishing adventure, while Gene and Anders (Sofie's Husband) bonded over strategies on how to best play the game "Clash of Clan". The day ended with a ride back to Helsingborg, in style!!


The weather gods promised some sunshine and we decided it was time for a visit to the nature reserve "Kullen" that is located on the Northwest tip of Skane. My main reason to go there was to visit the country of Lalandia, where the Artist Lars Vilks built a giant driftwood sculpture called Nimis!! It is built illegally on a Naturepreserve, the authorities wants to tear it down and years of legal battles has taken place between the Artist and the authorities. Prompting him to sell the sculpture to various individuals like the famous artist Cristo. His last stance was to proclaime a soverign state called Lalandia in order to ensure the sculpture gets to stay!

Berlin to Sweden via Train

By the time we finally figured out the subway system in Berlin in a way that made it easier to get around, it was time to leave... We so wished we had more time, we would have loved to explore some more beer bars, taken a cruise on the river that flows threw Berlin and go to the Postdam castle. It also turned out that there is an old concentration camp only an hour via train outside Berlin, that would have been interesting to see... Now we know that Berlin has so much to offere and we would love to go back.

Instead we jumped to the train to Sweden, an apparent semi high speed super efficient train that sped through the German country side. Gene got a bit woosy from the rocking. First changeover took place in Hamburg, changing from a German train to a Danish one. Next stop was Puttgarden where the whole train rolls on the ferry!! Pretty crazy but yes that is how it went down.NExt stop after that was copenhagen, change trains there to get on the train to Helsingborg!! All in all the trip took 8 hours or so.!! As we arrived in Helsingborg, the temperature had plumeted to less than 60 degrees with a narly wind, wow it was so true that the further north you go the colder it gets... The night also got much brighter with prolonged dusk and a sun that does not set unteil after 10 pm!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Berlin Sight seeing

We decided upon a walking tour of Berlin with an English speaking guide
We got to see:
The Berlin Wall
The former death strip
Stand over hurlers bunker
Benelplatz: Nazi book burning
Checkpoint Charlie
Reichtag and government quarters
Brandenburger gate
Memorial to the murdered Jews
SS and Gestapo head quarters
Museum Island

Berlin demonstration

We asked our tour guide at the end of the tour where the hipster place of Berlin is, she send us towards Kreuzberg. We got of the subway, started to look around all of a sudden we se tons... I mean tons of police in full riot uniforms hanging out.... We walk further and see a crowd of people hanging out in an intersection some of them were sitting in the middle of the street, peaceful strumming the guitar. We ask what was going on. Apparently some refugees occupied an old abandon school and made it in to their home, they had been promised Asylum that never came through so now they had grown frustrated. The city decided to clean up and evict all people of occupied buildings, but the refugees took to the roof of the building and said they will throw them self to the ground in case police enters... All the people on the street was there to support the refugees. A couple of ours before we got there there was a scuffle between police and protester, people got bloody noses, got carried away by police and teargas was being used. We all thought this was a new event but talking with people we found out it has been going on for over a week with the same intense police back up.  A full city block around the school has been blocked of and only people that could show a drivers license with their street address was leg through. A German man told us, German police is great as long as you go to work and mind your own business, as soon as you oppose they come out in full force. the police man at the barricade were dressed completely in black with no identifying tags to allow them to be as brutal as they want to without any risk of anyone identifying them. 

We left, grabbed an ice cream and then found a quiet street bar where we could watch Switzerland vs Argentina!

Prague to Berlin Via Train

The train ride was incredible beautiful it followed the river for all of Czech Republic