Sunday, 17 February 2008

Keep on running... even in Copenhagen

Whilst I have to admit that this was not my most successful run ever, at least I have managed to stick to my training schedule by including a 5km run in Copenhagen, thanks to the useful tool Map My Run.

Whilst running in a strange city, clutching a map in your hand, is rather awkward, and does sometime necessitate map checking pauses, it does have the advantage that you cover different ground and see the city from a new angle.

Saturday, 16 February 2008


Our second day in Denmark dawned rather cloudy after the beautiful blue skies of Friday. Our plan for today was to visit Roskilde, 30 minutes away by train, to see the Viking Ship museum.

The museum is based around 5 viking ships which were found in the Roskilde Fjord in the 1950s and were excavated and, as far as possible, reconstructed in the 1960s. In addition to these original ships, the museum also houses a number of replica ships which are built using traditional Viking methods, and used for historical research. Given the cold weather, we didn't hang around outside to explore the replica ships in great depth!

After visiting the museum, we had some lunch and then headed back up towards town, via the old part of town, which featured some attractive half-timbered houses). We were lead that way, in part, by the lure of a geocache, which we found, in a wooded area near an old church (see the log and a couple photos).

I had hoped to visit the cathedral, but by the time we got back up the hill, it had already closed for the day. A pity, as I also missed it on my last visit! In fact, at 5.00 on a Saturday afternoon, it was amazing how quiet the town centre was, with the main shopping street all but deserted.

We headed back to Copenhagen, and after a refreshing gin and tonic at the Hotel Angleterre, visited what claims to be the oldest restaurant in Copenhagen for dinner. Det Lille Apothek was originally a pharmacy, and has a very cosy atmosphere. We were lucky enough to have a triangular corner table, giving us rather more space than many others in the restaurant...

GCKVA3 - Roskilde, Denmark

There's been quite a break in geocaching activity, so Mum, Dad and I decided to try and hunt a few out on a weekend break to Copenhagen.

We found this one after a visit to the Viking Ship museum in Roskilde. The cache is in a nice spot near some old half-timbered houses, and worth a visit. Given the cold and chilly weather, it was a good incentive to keep us outside a little longer.

Dad spotted the cache location, but we sent Mum on the scramble to collect it!

(Unfortunately the rest of geocaching activities on the weekend were less successful. On Sunday we tried for a couple Swedish caches, but failed to find either, hampered by building works and locked gates. Back in Denmark we had the final option of a cache at Kronberg Slot, in Helsingør, but running out of time to catch the train we only got within a frustrating 300ft of it.)

Friday, 15 February 2008

Velkommen til København

Since Dad had a business meeting in Copenhagen, it seemed a good excuse for Mum and I to join him for a weekend away.

Mum and I spent a relaxing Friday morning - getting up late, and then strolling down to the Nyhavn, a very picturesque street with colourful houses and a canal running down through the middle. As we happened to see a canal boat tour about to leave, we decided to jump on for the 1 hour ride around the canals and harbour. The trip itself was quite fun, taking us past the new theatre and opera house up the canal to the Little Mermaid (who is rather disappointing in the "flesh") and then back down through Christianshavn - an area which is known as Little Amsterdam, for its canals, and is also the setting for the book "Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow".

At the end of the canal tour we headed up into the centre of Copenhagen to meet Dad and two of his business associates for lunch at the Schønnemann restaurant, which opens at lunchtime only, and serves traditional Danish smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches). The food and atmosphere in the restaurant were both excellent, and we were all very taken with the convenient ordering system - simply tick the box on the menu next to your choice of sandwich. A very nice easy option when you don't speak the language!

After lunch we visited the Rundetårn, a 17th Century tower that was (and still is) used as an observatory. The tower has a wonderful circular passageway leading up it, which were used by a horse and carriage to bring books to & from the library which was accessed by the tower. The top of the tower gives a fantastic view over the city - something I didn't fully appreciate on my previous visit to Copenhagen, as the weather had been very cloudy.

After leaving the Rundetårn, we headed slowly back to the hotel through the shopping streets and back along the Nyhavn, trying some toasted almonds, which were available from numerous street stalls, along the way.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Asthma UK 10K

In a moment of insanity at the start of this year, I signed up to run a 10km race, in aid of, and organized by, Asthma UK. No, I'm not kidding... the girl who could barely run the 200m at school, is really planning on running 10km (if my P.E. teachers could see me now, they'd hardly believe it!)

After a cold thwarted my initial training attempts, I'm now back running in earnest with the help of a training plan that a friend has put together for me, and I hope that in the remaining 6 weeks before the event (on Easter Saturday) I can improve my level enough to finish respectably. Or come to think of it... just to finish! Between now and then, however, I have a few challenges to my schedule, including trips to Copenhagen and Munich.

Sunday, 3 February 2008


A shameless plug for something else very exciting that landed in my Inbox this week - an advance copy of Jen's new book Nigh-No-Place. It's due to be published on the 10th February, and, along with her first book Almanacs, is available from Amazon.


Despite the fact that my birthday is still a week or so away, I have already been receiving presents!

Imagine my surprise when I opened my Inbox a couple days ago to find an orphaned elephant. Shimba, a 18 month old Kenyan elephant, was orphaned when his mother died after an injury to her trunk. He is now being cared for by the David Sheldrake Wildlife Trust, and will hopefully be rehabilitated to the wild when he grows up.

Happy 2008 and all that...

... well the blog writing has got a little lost recently as I'm still trying to catch up from Namibia. Hopefully, some more to come about my Namibia trip when I get the time, but in the meantime, thought I should get a start on 2008!