Page 2 of Brian and Amy Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Lofoten Islands May 23rd 2016

We woke up feeling refreshed. This is the way to travel for 20 hours! The eye masks were a good idea as it was light pretty much all night. We navigated the communal shower and prettied up for the day. A visit to the restaurant “vagan” for some coffee and cookies helped to open our eyes. Then we uploaded some blog posts and packed our gear. We disembarked in a light rain in the deserted Narvik Station. We needed to get to our rental car at the airport but not a soul in sight. Luckily a few other travels had the same dilemma and fished around online to find a way to summon 4 cabs. We all went our merry ways, us to the Lofoten Islands, them, who knows? We drove about 5 hours around a ... read more
Selfie on the fjord
A rare blue sky

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County May 22nd 2016

We started our day with an early breakfast so we could have time to pack up our gear. We parked our luggage at the hotel and walked back to the harbor. On the way, we passed a demonstration by two opposing groups. The police kept everyone apart and it was well managed. After a cappuccino along the water to wake up, we boarded our rustic ship, the M/S Ostana, for our own “3 hour tour” (sung to the tune of Gilligan’s Island). We cruised through some of the close-in islands of the Stockholm Archipelago. There are thousands of islands, big and little, with both full-time homes and summer cabins. If we had gone to the outer rim of the Archipelago, it would have taken over 8 hours. We saw the site of one of the first ... read more
Folk dancers on the square
Our hotel atrium
One last ride in the lift

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County May 21st 2016

We slept in and had another big Swedish breakfast to prepare us for some serious walking. We hoofed it though the city, taking it all in, and headed down the Strandvagen (a beautiful walk along the harbor) to book an Archipelago cruise for tomorrow. Then it was on to the Djurgarden, a huge island of green right in the city, like Central Park on steroids. These are “Royal Gardens” and are under royal jurisdiction and management due to their original history as Royal hunting grounds. It breaks even, almost like a cross between a non-profit and a National Park. It’s now home to many museums, attractions and beautiful trails. The museums ranged from odd and whimsical (ABBA, Snuf & Matches Museum, and Spirits Museum) to the historical (Nordic Museum and Biological Museums). We visited Skansen, the ... read more
A cool bear aculpture
Another bear!
A rune selfie

Europe » Sweden » Skåne May 20th 2016

We got on the road after a lovely breakfast and chat with our hosts at Red Bird Farm. They moved here from the UK and seemed to enjoy the Swedish country life. They told us that most of the local breads use the oil from the beautiful bright yellow fields that are everywhere in the countryside. We saw a ton of Southern Sweden as we meandered 4 hours or so (sometimes behind tractors) to return the car to Volvo in Gothenburg. Most of it was through the raindrops as we had our first bad weather day. We said goodbye to the XC90 (it was awesome to drive) and we’ll reunite with her in the States in the beginning of July. We met lots of other Americans here picking up their cars (from Oregon, Michigan, and California). ... read more
A nice gettaway
Our hosts, Seamus and Toni
Gold everywhere

Europe » Sweden May 19th 2016

It’s murder I tell ya! - We drove from Varberg down the west coast of Sweden toward the bottom of the country. Our objective was to go to Ystad to follow in the footsteps of Kurt Wallander, the fictional Swedish detective. Many books, films and TV series are set there. We’ve watched all the British shows so we had to do it. Along the way, we saw the southernmost point in Sweden (kind of like the landmark in Key West), a statue inspired by Uma Thurman’s grandmother in her youth (fun fact of the day), and bright yellow rapeseed fields. At one point, we made the new Nav system barf and she went all “HAL” on us. We had to pull over to reset. We pressed on to a site called Ales Stenar, a megalithic “Ship ... read more
Two beauties
Fields of gold

Europe » Sweden » Västra Götaland » Gothenburg May 18th 2016

Volvo Day - We woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed after a good night's sleep. We had a big Swedish breakfast, packed up, and Volvo drove us to the Volvo Overseas Delivery Center. Our Volvo rep was awesome and very professional. We filled out some paperwork (5 minutes) and then she brought out our new XC90. She spent a half an hour going over everything Brian needed to know (because Amy wasn't listening). After a quick test drive, Volvo gave us lunch (Swedish meatballs of course), and then took us on a tour of the plant. It was pretty cool to see the assembly lines. Almost as complicated as an aircraft line. We also had to sign non-disclosure agreements because we were seeing new models, their processes, and other "IP". That reminded us of work, ... read more
The new keys.
Where's the brake pedal?
Proud new owners.

Europe » Sweden » Västra Götaland » Gothenburg May 17th 2016

Amy and Brian's Big Scandinavian Adventure started off without a hitch. The flight from DC to Copenhagen and then on ot Gothenburg was easy and comfortable. During the layover in Copenhagen, we hit Starbucks and the barista told Brian he had a lot of energy after such a long flight (2am DC time). Brian saved a poor old guy. who after his own long flight, dropped his monster chocolate chip cookie. Brian got him a replacement and the guy clapped his hands in glee and made us smile. Our energy wouldn't last. In Gothenburg, a driver from Volvo met us at the airport. He reminded us of the "Transporter"...all business. Eventually, he warmed up to our American charms (no he didn't). In Gothenburg, we walked around downtown along the canals. We visited a famous fish market, ... read more

North America » United States » Maryland » Leonardtown June 3rd 2015

Still stressing about the laptops but, with hope in our hearts, we had a nice breakfast at the Embassy Suites. We waited to miss the morning rush hour and used the time to track down an actual human, Patrick, at TSA to work Mission Laptop Recovery. This was a feat and involved tracking down a Supervisor from an old online newspaper article (saying people hardly ever get their stuff and they have rooms full), calling her voice mail and then getting a special number from her message. Score one for Amy’s persistence. Apparently, TSA Lost and Found does everything by voicemail and email and tries to avoid contact (Ummm, maybe this is why no one gets their stuff from the big room full of IPads, Laptops and lost jewelry!) Talking to a person was much more ... read more

We all were up for an early Taxi and lots of goodbye hugs and thank-yous for another memorable trip. Aunt Eva is a wonderful host and we hate to leave her. We got caught in traffic on the way to Frankfurt but still had plenty of time at the airport. Peggie and Jerry headed off for Condor and we went toward United. We spent our last Euros on pretzels, sandwiches, Cola Light for the airplane and some last interesting chocolate bars. An 8 hour flight later, we were in Newark and then….it went all bad. The mean stewardesses made us gate check our luggage so we had to wait for it at customs which took FOREVER. We only had a 1.5 hour layover for our next flight and there was no way to make it. Luckily, ... read more

We walked around Edigheim and Frankenthal for our last steps in Germany. We met our walking goals every day, plus some, especially from hiking in Switzerland! Amy had her last pistachio ice cream and some yummy pommes frites for the walk home which almost certainly canceled out all the good exercise. Despite 6 or more miles a day, all the bread, pretzels, wine, sekt, prosecco, wurst, kase, ice cream, gelato, bugles, and dinners have likely added to our poundage. Count-down to Leonardtown weigh-in has begun.... read more

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