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Anders was recently back in Copenhagen after a few years in absence!
It's time for our annual Year In Review video!
We often travel to Denmark to visit family and friends. Usually we go by car or we fly. So far, this has always been the cheapest way for us. Train fare has really never been a realistic option.
Train tickets are expensive in Europe. In fact, they are so expensive that I have often been asking myself how they even sell anything! But they do, because usually the trains are filled - during the holidays they are more than packed - and I also realise that when it comes to commuting between cities, trains are the best option. After all, commuter discounts are available.
But as a holiday transportation option it has never been an attractive option to us. But then we literally stumbled upon a great offer from Deutsche Bahn (DB) and we decided to go. Children under 14 years are free when they travel with parents or grandparents, so this was in fact not expensive at all!
What a fabulous summer we are having here in Munich this year! As I write these lines we have 33 degrees Celsius right outside on our balcony. A few months ago we bought a huge BBQ. Gas driven. Unfortunately we are not allowed to use coal right here where we live. Nevertheless, we have more or less cooked and lived permanently outside since I brought the huge stainless steel monster home from the DIY-Store and with some laborious effort managed to assemble it correctly. There is a special feeling about cooking out in the open. Together with an old IKEA trolley the BBQ now make our state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen. As opposed to the “inside” kitchen where normally Alexandra rules, I am in charge of the outdoor facilities. Alexandra is - however - allowed to cut vegetables and such. But I handle the turning of the steaks and sausages.
It has become routine for us to drive back and forth between Munich and Denmark. Whether we are going to visit family in Jutland or friends in the Copenhagen area. Car rental in Denmark is expensive way beyond what is reasonable, so it is not a real option to fly and then rent a car locally. Instead we rent our car in Munich and spend about 12 hours on the highway in order to get there. This way we have the car available AND we save quite a bit of money. This works for us, and the trip - although it takes so many hours - is actually not so bad. We take turns driving and it has become a good tradition to leave Munich a few hours before midnight, in order to arrive mid-morning the next day. A bit tired, sure, but nothing that a good afternoon nap cannot fix!
The advantages of driving at night are many. Less traffic. Less traffic jams. And less trucks. That is… this is how it usually is. This time we went right into a snow storm and icy roads. I believe we greeted EVERY truck on the European continent! And I believe we saw EVERY current road-work throughout Germany. But finally, after 13 hours we arrived at my family’s summerhouse in Djursland, Jutland. With a somewhat sore bum and tired eyes. Anton, on the contrary, was absolutely rested and awake after a good nights sleep in his seat. He is used to long drives and he loves it! This is pretty convenient!
Mid-February and it seems to me that it has been like forever since we had some sunshine and just a little bit of warmth. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely OK with winter, snow and frost! In my opinion this time of year has its very own charm. Unfortunately most of the winters that I can recall were mainly filled with grey clouds, slush and rain. I guess we can all live happily without that?
We live at the foot of the Alps in Bavaria, southern Germany. We have continental climate, which means that our local climate is not under much influence from the sea. No warm or cold stream will influence our weather to the same extent as it does nearer to the coastlines. It also means that the weather is more “stabil” - longer periods with either cold or warm weather. Great in the summer, less fun during the winter (if we only have rain showers for weeks!)
Denmark seems to have quite a nice reputation abroad. A place many people dream of visiting. And throughout the years the Danes have in fact made some positive impressions - internationally seen. Hans Christian Andersen was Danish. Kronborg - the castle where William Shakespeare’s drama about Hamlet took place - lies in Helsinore (Helsingør) Denmark. The Little Mermaid sits on a stone in the harbour of Copenhagen. And then there are a few industrial success stories like Bang & Olufsen (Luxury electronics), LEGO and Mærsk Line, one of the largest shipping companies in the world. When it comes to sports the Danes can also play a larger role. Soccer and handball seems to be national-sports whenever the national teams qualify for something big. Denmark even won the European Soccer Championship once. Back in 1992, but as they won over their German neighbours, they make sure those glory days are never forgotten!