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June 13-14, 2003



Friday, June 13, 2003


            Marcia drove the 115 miles northeast to the Danish port city of Frederikshaven [haven or havn means port,] which took an hour and 40 minutes.  We followed the signs and pulled into the Ferry area to get info on when the next ferry was leaving but I couldn’t find anyplace to ask.  Marcia parked there and I hiked all the way to the end to a red building marked “Stena Lines” and went in.  Nothing on the 1st floor so I took the elevator to the 4th floor and there it was.  The lady told me that the next ferry is leaving at 8:45 and to be there at 8:15.  It was now 5:30 so I figured I might as well do my run here and have dinner as well before we leave.  I bought the tickets ($126) and made the long trek back to the car.  On the way back, many Danish people were asking me “How do you get to Sweden?”  I told them, “I think you need to get a boat.  Go to the red building and you’ll know what I know.”

            We drove from the ferry area over to the center of town which was not easy to find.  We parked the car and finally found the pedestrian area which was pretty quiet.  We walked into the Jolly Butcher Irish Pub and Marcia had a glass of wine while I changed clothes in the men’s room and went out for my run.  I got a chance to see the whole town and discovered the best place to eat for dinner if we could do it quickly.  So when I was done with the run, I sent Marcia over to the restaurant while I changed at the Pub and paid the bill.

            The restaurant was called Vinkćlderen (on Havnegade) and it was filled with many people having a wonderful time – the laughter was all over the place.  The waitresses were carrying these large metal hangers filled with several hot platters of cooked steaks, it was unusual.  Our waitress was a little curt when I told her we were in a hurry to catch the ferry, but warmed up after a bit.  We had a beer and wine and I ate Wienerschnitzle with peas and new potatoes and Marcia had salmon with shrimp, baked potato and broccoli.  It was all excellent and we enjoyed it very much.  The “running restaurants” choice this time was a winner.

            We finished dinner and drove back to the ferry area arriving exactly at 8:15.  We drove onto our first ferry of the trip and it left port exactly on time.  You get out of your car and go to this wonderful setting with activities, bars, cafes and comfortable seats and tables.  I worked on the computer while watching the scenery.  Marcia read and napped.

            After 2 hours we pulled into Göteborg harbor (also called Gothenburg in English) right on time at 10:45 PM.  We drove the car off the ferry and followed the GPS to the Vanilj (means vanilla) Hotel [] and checked in at 11 PM.  After climbing the 3 flights of stairs with 10 tons of bags we were ready for a drink.  We walked one block to the main street and found O’Leary’s Bar at 11:30.  The place was interesting because they had a corner area where there was a black jack dealer and people would come up and play.  The bartender told us it’s not like Vegas but a little different and told me not to bother.  While in the men’s room Marcia was telling the bartender about the difficulties with getting phone chips for each country and his colleague came up and told us that he had a Swedish chip with its own number (including 50 Kr of talk time) and he would sell it to me for 50 Kr.  How could you pass up a deal like this?  I first was suspicious, but after he said he would put it in and set it up, I figured he was legit.  He moved here and now had his own number and didn’t need the chip.  I paid him and he set it up and it was perfect.  Since I paid 50 Kr for 50 Kr of talk time, I got the chip and phone number for free.  After we left at 12:30, I noticed a lot of activity across the street at the Auld Dubliner, so we went in and it was quite something.  We had one drink and then called it quits and got to bed at 3 AM.


Saturday, June 14, 2003


            I woke up at 10 AM and went downstairs and had a cappuccino in the café in the hotel.  I brought the maps with me because we had to make some important decisions as to which direction we were going to go.  Marcia was upset that we would be rushing to Russia and miss the Norwegian fjords.  I was worried we would rush through here and have to return.  But could we cover all of Norway, get to Nordkapp and drive all the way down Finland to make it in time for July 10th to Russia.  If we went from Oslo directly to Bergen (second largest city on west coast) we would miss all of southern Norway.  After studying the maps with rosy glasses I laid out the plan.  Now let’s hope we can accomplish it.  I walked over the Forex (they have them in Sweden also) to change some money (beautiful Swedish Kroners) and then to a bookstore (Wettergrens) and bought a Norway tour book and a marking pen to mark the maps.  It’s a very neat city and I want to see more of it.  Then I walked to the main cathedral called Domkyrk (below left) and the statue of the King (below right,) but knowing we would have to return here, decided it was time to take off.

            Below is the interior of the Domkyrk (left) and close-up of the altar (right.)

     

            I found Marcia having lunch at the café in the hotel so I joined her for another cappuccino.  Based on the decisions I made earlier, we then checked out and headed north to Norway.

 

KJH                                                             Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #10 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com

Ken@Hoffer.US

Ken:      +47-938-69-693                                                  RETURN TO INDEX

Marcia: +47-938-69-582

Göteborg, Sweden

Sent 6-26-03

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