I DREAM OF LICORICE (TO NORWAY AND DENMARK)

The deals will take me anywhere: this time, they are taking us to Scandinavia. I will be full. I will be in poverty. I will also eat fast food.

Aalborg is located in the city of Aalborg. I barely looked at the map before I booked. Enjoy spotting them on this map of Denmark.

Did you win the lottery? If I had not searched for it prior to generating the screenshot, it would have never appeared.

This is a beautiful city located in northern Denmark. It takes about four hours to get there by train. (I’m currently on a train as I type this post). It was difficult to tell where it was compared to Copenhagen without zooming in.

The flight was $600 cheaper here, with a stopover in Oslo. (We will NOT discuss how expensive Scandinavia is. After January, no deals with France or The Netherlands were available. So, here we are, at the tail-end of shoulder season and bopping around Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.

In the next ,two weeks we will be taking a lot of trains, planes, and boats (no buses as we have a History of Buses and try to avoid them whenever possible). We start our hike with a trip to Joe and Juice. I’ve become a fan of this place, I guess. It’s my favorite pre-flight snack.

Our juice-fies

It’s pretty normal to fly to Amsterdam on a Saturday night, but my New Smart Thing was to use it. I googled “places for a shower at Amsterdam Airport” months before, anticipating the smell and fatigue that would follow a redeye flight. I got a list with airport lounges and…an airside hostel? Witchcraft.

The Yotel Schiphol is the best hotel for airside travelers. We walked 5 minutes to our hotel, hidden behind McDonald’s, just above passport control. It was worth it to be able to land in a quiet area and take a nap between flights if you have a layover of at least four hours.

These puppies are very quiet. Think twice before you pay (or enter credit card benefits) for a lounge pass in order to avoid the plebs. Yotel is a great hotel.

All the rooms have a spaceship theme and a bed that expands when you press a button. There was also a small toilet and shower that I could only flush. Rhett couldn’t figure it out, and his mother accidentally pressed the emergency button.

Rhett and the puzzle of the bathroom

Bed down, sleep mode engaged

I had just completed one REM cycle, and I felt alive again. After I had done my duty (flushing the bathroom), we left. The passport control area was a ghost town now that all of the passengers from the American flights were through to the next gate. (Suck it, plebs)

We flew to Aalborg in exactly one hour and were treated to a tasty curry cheese sandwich. This is because European airlines that are not budget are superior to American airlines. Even the seats were soft and comfortable. Is this socialism or what?

Socialism tastes great

As we arrived in Aalborg, the mustard fields were in full bloom.

Aalborg Airport is tiny, with maybe five gates. You have to deplane by stairs and walk into the terminal as if it were a private aircraft (if it were, I would have kicked the coughing people off). They were everywhere. My Danish lessons on Duolingo have also paid off because I am able to read many signs that are not in English. Yes.

These smaller towns and airports are my favorite. Sometimes, they are better ways to experience the country than the big metropolis. Aalborg, located on the shores of a fjord and has invested a lot of money in revitalizing its waterfront. The mix of modern and contemporary architecture with the traditional brick houses is amazing.

She was a little offended we didn’t spend more time in Aalborg and gave us some suggestions for things to do on the waterfront during our jetlagged night (hey, I napped!). She directed us to a street-food hall located about 40 minutes west. The weather was warmer than expected, and it was a pleasant walk.

 

It was a great food hall! There were many choices. Tacos are depressing in Europe, so I decided to pass on them. I decided to have some gyoza and buns. The lady didn’t have any buns that were specifically vegetarian, but she made some for me when I asked. These were really good.

We were so tired and hungry that our long walk back felt like a death march. It was Sunday night, and the streets looked deserted. After buying a bunch of random junk at the grocery store for today’s lunch, we went to bed (after doing poorly in my Danish lessons on Duolingo, I could not bear disappointing the little bird).

It was a great breakfast at the hotel, which was unfortunate for me because I don’t like eating in the mornings. The breakfast was paid for, and I was about to go on a long training session, so I ate it reluctantly, complaining about the fact that I had to eat. The sugar rush that comes with most continental breakfasts differs from the European breakfast. I will fight this.

Eggs, chia pudding, CHEESE!!!

Today is a transit day – Aalborg to Copenhagen and then Oslo by overnight ferry.

A massive group of schoolchildren were gathered at the train station. In Europe, schoolkids leave in mid-June. We’re right before that. But I forgot about school trips and hoped these kids weren’t in our car. Thankfully, they were not. I narrowly avoided the chaos that noise-canceling headsets can’t block.

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