Hi there! Libby here!
As many of you know, we are all on holiday right now. We were sent out to explore some of Europe from December 15th—January 12th. For my first week of travel, I decided to explore some of the Scandinavian countries. So far I have traveled to Bergen, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; and finally Copenhagen, Denmark.
During the first leg of travel, I traveled with two of my fellow Luther students: Britta Erie and Becca Buse. We traveled to Bergen and set about exploring some of the great landscapes there. We first went to Bryygen, which consists of the buildings that line Vågen Harbour. It is one of the sights that Bergen is known for. It was fun to see all the little shops and the traditional culture that was there.
The next two days we spent exploring more of the earthly landscape. We got to take a fjord tour by boat. Fjords are the rock formations that are formed by glacial erosion that create paths to the sea from the mainland. It was pretty windy that day, but we still got to see a lot of sights! On our last day in Bergen we hiked up Mount Ulriken. This was the tallest of the seven mountains that surround Bergen. It ended up taking a couple hours to hike up and about an hour to hike back down. It was extra challenging because it was pretty snowy and icy, but we made it up and the view from up top was amazing!
After Norway, the three of us went our separate days. Becca stayed in Bergen a bit longer, Britta went to Oslo to visit another Luther student who was there for the semester, and I headed to Stockholm!
In Stockholm I was to see a bit more of the big city-like feel of Scandinavia. It was wonderful there. I spent my first full day at the Vasa Museum, which is a museum dedicated to the Vasa Ship — a Swedish ship that was built in 1628 to be one of the finest in the land, very big and very beautiful. Just minutes after setting sail, the ship had sank. They were able to recover it many years later and now it is preserved in a museum. I also spent the evening in Gamla Stan, which translates into Old Town. There was a traditional Swedish Christmas market. Of course, I tried some Glög.
The next morning, I woke up early to go to the Stockholm Palace so I could watch the morning change in the guards and tour the palace. The palace is quite beautiful. It is full of art and I even got a chance to see the Crown Jewels! After spending time there I grabbed a meal of Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce and headed to the airport for my next destination: Denmark.
In Denmark, I was staying with some distant family that I had connected with on Facebook! I got there a little late in the evening, but they had a traditional Danish Christmas dinner for me when I got there! When we got up the next morning, we traveled to a town called Roskilde. My cousin, Vibeke, showed me around the area and told me about my 4th Great Grandpa that lived there. I learned a lot about my family’s history in Denmark! After Roskilde I went to Tivoli, which is Europe’s oldest amusement park! I went with my younger cousin, who showed me all around the park.
On my last day there, I got to go to Fredrikborg Castle and tour around that! Denmark has the oldest royal family in the world, so it was a cool chance to see where some of it happened! The castle and gardens were beautiful and I even had the chance to see a painting one of my ancestors created of the royal family!
All in all, I had a wonderful time around three Scandinavian countries, and will definitely be back for more.
I am about to head back to London for Christmas, so stay tuned for a holiday update!