30.09.2013 (quite belated, my bad!)
“Caught with your beard in the letterbox”
Old Swedish Proverb.
Dan was in a bit of a hairy situation, having recently lost the ‘beard trimming attachment’ to his clippers he has had somewhat of a lengthy departure from his usually clean and trim beard. For those of you who know Dan, his beard growing capabilities are truly impressive, he is able to grow a beard like the one pictured below in a matter of weeks – 2 to be precise. Yes, 2.
If you are a beard connoisseur, lover or appreciator I highly recommend that you go to Scandinavia. Everyone has a beard, but the Swedes have the most impressive. Shiny, lush and diverse in style, there are a range of beards/moustaches to impress even the harshest of critics. All in all, Swedes are most definitely the most stylish populace I have encountered, they even put New Yorkers and Londoners to shame. Their subtle, timeless and minimal fashion sense is a style that I very much appreciate and admire, with the men being even better dressers than the women… and then there’s me. Damn you beautiful people!
Stockholm was an absolutely STUNNING city, old buildings and cobbled paths interlaced with the odd glass front & brick building made for interesting walks as we tried to discern between what was legit and what was pastiche. Gamla Stan, or Old Town, is home to the Sverige Royal Family with their modest Palace proudly sitting at the forefront overlooking the water. The beautiful thing about Stockholm is that it’s a series of islands joined by small iron-caste bridges, which means that there is no shortage of water. Stockholm is such a romantic city. Because of the water and the lovely views, even in Autumn/Winter it’s so easy to imagine how beautiful the place must be in Spring and Summer when the sun spills from the sky and the warmth means that no jackets are required. I know that Monet loved Venice, but it makes me wonder if he had ever been to Stockholm… Probably not.
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People of Denmark.
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“Berlin is still going through a transition since the Cold War – both in what used to be East and West Berlin. I can still sense the confusion and the struggle for identity there in the streets. There’s a pulse to it.”
Hello dear family and friends, it’s me, Nicky… that person who promised to regularly post updates about my travels… It’s been a short while since my last entry… and by short I mean long and by long i mean an era has passed. We have seen two moons come and go since I last put these fat fingers to the keys and punched out a screed or two. As I am writing these posts in arrears I will be skimpy on the details as a lot of the little things here and there have long since been forgotten and for that I apologise.
BERLIN! Where to begin? Let’s start at the wall. It was huge.
At its peak, the Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer) segregated East from West Germany covering just under 150 kms. The wall was erected as the threat from the Red Army increased, this was an attempt to keep them out. Can you believe that it was only taken town 23 years ago?
Berlin for me was the most surprising experience in our travels so far. It’s a funny city, I don’t quite know how to explain it without doing it a severe injustice. The East and West, although no longer separated by the wall, are still very different which is disconcerting as it almost feels like you’re entering a different country rather than another suburb. The East for me still has slight traces of it’s communist forebears whilst the West more traditional and lush… To put it into context it’s like going from Mt Eliza to Frankston… Although Berlin is nothing like Frankston… That was a terrible analogy.
We stayed in Friedrichshain, East Berlin with a half German/Australian couple serving up our first Air B’n’B experience. With lots of great tips about where to eat/drink locally, we were spoiled for choice and quickly discovered the best burgers we had ever eaten… So naturally we got them for dinner 3 out of the 5 nights we stayed there.
Friedrichshain and East Berlin in general is a super trendy, burgeoning city shielded in the ever ubiquitous graffiti that Germany is famed for. With hipster run cafes and indie bars/restaurants, every where you walk seems to have it’s own little square which acts as the local epicentre with venue lined streets full of people and life.
Unfortunately, I am lacking in historical recounts as we really didn’t do much in Berlin aside from drink, eat and walk. We saw the Wall, walked through Alexanderplatz, and all in and around the new and old city centres… Sorry Grandma, please don’t be mad!
I have updated the Sweden, Denmark and Germany tabs and have stocked them with some photos ready for your viewing pleasure.
Soon to follow will be an updated post now that we’re back here in London, don’t hold your breath tho, I don’t want your blood on my hands.