Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ribe; and on to Paris

Main street Ribe

Sagging Medieval wall

Inside an amber jewelry shop

Street scene

Ribe's mixed white and red brick cathedral; does not work, IMHO

On Monday the 27th we drove into Hamburg, to our old friend the Camping Salon, where we returned a couple defective items (gladly exchanged) and bought some more stuff for the camper. And then we drove on, on familiar roads through Hamburg to Bremen, then beyond, the Ruhr, camped for evening at a lay-by somewhat west of Cologne (saw the Cathedral spires in the distance). And then we drove on on the 28th, across the rest of Germany, a bit of Belgium and Luxembourg, and finally, into France, where we are parked now, at the Charles DeGaulle airport long-term lot, awaiting Rebecca's arrival on Wednesday.

Last Day in Scandinavia: Jelling and Ribe

The small Jelling stone, Gorm the Old honoring his wife The big Jelling stone, Harald Bluetooth, founder of the dynasty, honoring Gorm and Thyra, his parents Christ on the big stone Dragon Inside the 12th century church Church between the tumuli and grounds Poster of Danish royalty, from Harald to Margarethe Our last day in Scandinavia saw us visiting Jelling for the Jelling rune stones and Ribe, one of Denmark's oldest and best-preserved medieval towns. Jelling is important in that its rune stone, the big one, begins the Danes' monarchy, straight to the present Queen Margarethe, and identifies its founder as the conqueror and Christianizer Harald Bluetooth. It is a national site, and the two stones, one Harald's, one his father's (Gorm the Old, honoring his queen Thyra, “pride of Denmark”), rest beside the 12th century church, which itself sits between the two enormous 10th-century tumuli. Ribe once competed with Copenhagen, but declined when its port silted up. It is indeed well-preserved and picturesque. After skyping with Rebecca and Rachel near Ribe, we drove on and camped at a forlorn rest area in Schleswig-Holstein, 40 miles north of Hamburg.


Main gate


New Harbor, Copenhagen

Ribe, old Danish west coast town

Stave church

Brygge, Bergen


After the watery rides, you can dry yourself off in one of these for 20 kroner

The US was very well represented

Me misbehaving with the dance hall girl in western Legoland

Wat Po, really Thai'd things together (running gag)

Vikings of the Caribbean

In the enormous Legoland store

Legoland trash can

Last ones in the parking lot

Part of the Lego factory

Megalithic Jutland, and More

On July 25 we drove north, not to Arhus, but to Aalborg and a couple megalithic sites there. First was the Trollkirken, out in the countryside west of Aalborg, an impressive ship-shape tumulus with a big dolmen atop. Then the Viking cemetery, Lindstrom Hoje, near town. Near Aalborg. It too was impressive in its size and scope, pretty much bronze/Viking age. Then we drove south and near to Arhus (which we never visited) and another tumulus and stone circle, topped by a dolman, the Poskar Stenus. It was unusual in that the dolmen was not centered in the circle.

Later that afternoon, we crossed more of Jutland to visit another historic building site, Legoland, which turned out to be quite amusing and interesting. We camped—our last site in Scandinavia for a while—near Jelling.
Me on the Trollkirken, Troll Church, a ship-shape stone tumulus with big

Trollkirken in perspective; pretty large

Vicki at the bow

Map of Viking cemetery, Lindholm Hoje

Smidgeon of the cemetery

Female sites are circular or oval in shape

Male sites are triangular or ship-shaped

1,000 years of Danish history (Vicki hates these shots)

The tumulus/dolmen at Poskaer Stenus

View of Poskaer Stenus

Why there are so few sites left...

Driving Sweden,Tanum, and Denmark

The Tanum sites are all Bronze Age, 1500-500BC; much
more developed art; the museum had a Bronze Age village 

exhibit that was very interesting

Famous boat scene

The Lovers, also very famous
Lovers, in perspective...a wedding?
The Spear God, one of very few life-
size depictions; precursor to Odin?

Menacing figures

Mounted figures

A number of figures, such as this warrior, were unpainted, but
easier to find in the light rain


Unpainted boat

Big hands; the phallic stuff was much in evidence;
very, very few depictions of women

Love that Swedish sense of humor!

July 22-24 we drove on through more of northeastern Sweden, then at last into familiar Uppsala and then west, initially toward Oslo, then Goteborg, again on a familiar road, stopping, the 23rd, to see the World Heritage rock carvings site at Tanum and environs. We camped the 23rd at a rest area north of Halmstad, on west coast now.

On trhe 24th, in Halmstad, we had the Grey Wanderer serviced: oil change, filter, fuel filters, wheels rotation, etc. $900. OK, the Sprinter requires 14 quarts of oil, synthetic oil. But we also had to pay Swedish wages, roughly twice those in the US, and, of course, it was a Mercedes dealer again. We've been pretty happy with Mercedes, except when it comes time to pay. The camper's still in warranty, however.

We then took the familiar Helsingborg/Helsingor ferry, back to Denmark and drove on across Denmark to Jutland, which we had pretty much skipped going north, stopping for a time at the world's busiest McD. Total kid bedlam, despite which we did some internet work. McD's has been our standard free wifi site throughout Scandinavia, when we could find them. We camped at a rest area near Arhus.