Don't Ask Us About Helsingborg - It's Gone.

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June 21st 2016
Published: September 5th 2017
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I wake up around 4am and, prior to my bathroom visit, I peek out the window shades to monitor our progress. It's zero. We're still sitting in the same place. I thought we were leaving at 2am. Oh well. Back to sleep.

The Captain awakens us at 6:30am with an announcement. The weather was still bad at 2am and their next opportunity to leave the port per the harbor pilot was 6am. Leaving that late made it impossible to stop in Helsingborg so we were making way directly to Copenhagen. We had reserved a walking tour of Helsingborg through HAL but, of course, that was done. Today will be another unscheduled sea day. Mom likes that but I would rather see something besides the inside of the ship. Both Helsinki and Helsingborg have been ports eliminated from our itinerary due to weather issues.

With no real schedule, we have a leisurely breakfast and then visit the main desk. There's a line but we deal with it. We need 500 DKK for our travels. About 300 DKK for our cab ride to the rental car agency and a few extra for something. The 500 DKK costs us $78. We need one more luggage tag for our bags. I also spoke to the desk about our Internet fees. The WiFi has been spotty at best. I sent out the first three blogs early in our trip and two more a little later but that was it. I used up 150 of my 250 minutes doing that or attempting to do it. They apologize and will refund my unused minutes so I will make no more attempts to use the ship's Internet. I'll try the WiFi at our hotel in Oslo, Norway tomorrow night or maybe our next port. We wave goodbye to Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden next to Stockholm. We hear that Volvo is the largest employer in town.

Speaking of the blog, I have been staying current in writing the material. I must do that or I'd forget it all, especially at my age. But writing is just one facet of the whole project. I must take pictures during our adventures and, if there is nothing exciting going on, it's up to me to create excitement somehow. Next, each camera (there are 3) must be connected to the IPad and I then select pictures to download to it. I also take movies with my movie camera (OK, some call it video) but the files are just too large to download for the blog. Simple editing is performed on those photos used. Then the photos are placed in the TravelPod app. So far, all of this is done offline. Now online, I must sync the app to the TravelPod website. This moves my written material and photos, one at a time, from my IPad app to the website. Going to the website, I can then view the final product of each entry day just as you will see it, move pictures around and send out the notification to those on my mail list. Without a good Internet connection, I can't complete this last part to get the blog out to everyone. As of now, I have 10 in the cue for downloading and launching. I'm not really sure which ones I have sent so I may duplicate a few notices when I finally get online.

I come up to the Ocean Bar to work on the blog. It's 12:30 and I like working with activities going on around me. The Captain made an announcement earlier that, because of the missed stop at Helsingborg, he is opening all bars for free drinks from 12-2pm. When I arrive, it's packed with people, the ones that wouldn't pull a buck out of their pocket earlier, now sitting with drinks lined up in front of them, hootin' and hollerin'. I order a Coke. Soon Mom joins me and orders a raspberry lime fizz. The bar crowd is getting louder as the 2 o'clock hour nears. They have sung Happy Birthday to the same guy at least ten times. What the heck! I order a Tequila Sunrise and Mom gets a Bloody Mary. Hey, it's free. We're supposed to arrive back in Copenhagen at 3pm. Maybe the port has free WiFi. We'll see. Another drink, bartender.

They do have free WiFi at the Copenhagen dock but it works only for a while and slow at that. I try several times before and after dinner but now put my faith in our hotel Internet in Oslo, Norway, tomorrow night. Mom returns to the stateroom to pack our bags. They must be outside our door by midnight and they'll be there waiting for us on the pier when we leave. We have one more nice dinner, prime rib for us along with baked Alaska for dessert. Since I have to buy food for the next ten days, all except our breakfasts, it will be rations for all. I try out the GPS and it picks up the European satellites just fine. A GPS rental is $15/day. I bought this one on EBay for $70 including maps from all over the world updated twice a year. I enter the address of the rental car agency and that seems to work fine. We'll see.

We're packed and ready to leave the ship in the morning. We are scheduled off at 8:45am. I'm not sure how the taxi situation will be tomorrow. We pick up our rental car in downtown Copenhagen and travel through Sweden and Norway for the next week, returning the car next Wednesday. That's my plan. We'll see how it goes.

Weather: Overcast, 61°F


18th July 2016

This is just how Hemingway used to work.

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