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Travel journal of summer 2001 (Legoland and the coast of Denmark)

Content:

Laura, Jaana and Irma on a ferry's shelf at the cargo hold of GTS Finnjet (behind our car):

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In general 

The travel dates were 2.-14.7.2001.

The aim was to travel by car both on a holiday as weel as seeing if travelling with kids would work out. The motorcycle trips of the coming years were already haunting somewhere in the back of our heads...

Our children's, Laura (8) and Jaana (7), first trip overseas was done by car. At that stage there was only one motorcycle (Irma's one was purchased a little later), and neither of the kids were tall enough to travel on a motorcycle. Not to mention the experience required. In addition, neither of them was able to sleep on the motorcycle the way that when they were to wake up they would for sure stay on their seats instead of wooshing (rushing) somewhere else.

The overall kilometer amount turned out to be about 2500 km + 1 000 km on sea. The route in Denmark can be found on a photo over here.

The ticket orders for all the three crossings were done at one go from Silja Line.

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Finland (2.7.2001)


We packed the Mazda 323-hatchback with the equipment required for the two weeks' trip (tent accommodation) and the route plan was roughly outlined so that from Rostock we were to travel to Legoland in Denmark by the coast and returning back via Gothenburg and Stockholm.

GTS Finnjet was a big ship for the kids and there was plenty to see and do, having first figured out all the possibilities. Everything was new to them, from boarding the ship in Katajanokka, Helsinki to accommodation on board and eventually leaving the ship in Rostock, Germany.

Jaana and Laura on the inner B-class cabin:

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  I must admit feeling a bit envy over this group as we drove onto the Finnjet's car deck. A car is just a car..

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Germany (3.7.2001)


Leaving the ship by car was no bigger deal than done by two wheels that we were used to, so we got to the highway fairly quickly with the destination of town Lübeck. With for once having a permission to try out how well the four wheels moved, the motor had to be tested out for a little bit longer... After some time the family car did move in a completely new way, suprisingly.

Lübeck was passed smoothly so that there would be more time to find accommodation from the western side of it. The first night was spent on the camping ground of Stockse. Not a word of English was spoken there but that was fine, everything else was achieved with "Zwai bier Bitte!"-level of German dialect, apart form ordering fresh bread buns for the following morning. The location was really good for swimming as well, so the kids were entertained. There were a lot of other children too, some apparently part of a school group. The entrance to the camping ground is in the right side of the photo.

Laura spent the night on a bed spread on the back of the hatchback, a chance to try that. There would be plenty of time to try out the brand new Halti Alta IV-tent later.

The campers with their transport, accommodation and cooking equipment:


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The coast of Baltic Sea somewhere in the area between towns Eckenförd and Flensburg would be well suitable for a bike trip for example, a place worth visiting for several days. Also the old coastal towns would provide plenty to see, like this local vehicle with its back bag.

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Denmark (4.-12.7.2001)


In town Billund we found the entrace of Legoland ready for the morning and then went to check out the local camping ground. It seemed too dry and hot, and therefore our route took us via supermarket to the camping ground of town Give for a couple of nights. The local "cough medicine" aka spirit called Akvavit was expensive, just like someone had previously warned.

Jaana and Irma next to the car, behind them a small fridge that had proven to be extremely useful (unfortunately, though, it couldn't be cooled down with battery electricity):

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There were more things for the kids to do and room for choice for the location of the tent nearby the trees. The additional trip was only 20km on road # 176, and there we didn't even have to listen to the airport noice of Billund airport. The camping ground required us to buy a Nordic camping ground card, which was valid also in Sweden.

Legoland was a pure heaven for the children, so we didn't have to tell them twice to get going. There were buildings and fast equipment around several themes...

Jaana leads and smiling Laura arrives next:

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The trouble didn't start until the evening, when a local thunderstorm hit with its full power and changed the theme park into nearly an inland sea. One of our children stood on a table covered by a sunshade and I was left with the part of a bystander on the ground, as we missed the departure to the car by two or three minutes. Luckily it was a warm summer weather and there was a working fan in the car..

In Givskud about 10 km from Give, road # 442 towards Jelling and Vejle, there is a big zoo. We drove our car in the lion park for example, where for the first time I realized how big of an animal it was (a female lion standing next to a car is surprisingly big). There was no need to open the window and yell out anything "wise". The double gates leading to the corral were clearly needed. All the time there were a couple of tractors moving in case someones car was to break down - over the push plate there was enough padding that a car could've been safely pushed out the area. Leaving the car was naturally prohibited in any case.

An ostrich was introducing itself later that day by pushing its head inside the car, which naturally caused interesting reactions in the back seat passengers. Not to mention these animals and in this photo, where the atmosphere is almost like in Loch Ness in 2004..

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The trip continueed to the sea shore, to Songervik, which is a tourist haven in the middle of a sun coast. A bit north of it an opportunity occured to go over the sand dunes to the beach, which was naturally taked advantage of straight away. We didn't swim so we head off north of the coastal road all the way until the sea water stopped advancing more in Thyboren. Then the trip continued for a little bit on a ferry, until we hit the opposite bank.

Eventually we reached by far the most quality camping ground of the trip called Klim Strand Camping. It was a five star area, which was shown for example in the level of buildup and all the organisational stuff. A little also in the price, but every crown used was well worth it.

Klim Strand Camping's location on the map, the layout of the area and the bill. Jaana and Laura in front of the main building and swimming in the sea.

On the right side of the main entrance there is also this "double water slide" for spending time in:

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The tent area was normal, but instead the birdlife around the bush was maybe less common - at one stage I thought that someone's phone was going off in the bush, but only some black bird was visible in there. Either it was a damn good imitator, or I was hallucinating. I'd put my money on the first option...

Straw roofs caught my attention especially in the cooking facilities, I guess it doesnt't catch fire so easily after all. There was no longer need to heat soup with a big Trangia (denaturated alcohol- or gas-operated cooking apparatus, used also by FDF), as appropriate premises and more efficient gas appliances were offered.

It was a new experience for the children to swim and wade in a bit bigger sea. The waves were bigger, the suction from the beach out to the sea strong and the sea water salty enough. Time passed by quickly and the "amazing stone collection" was growing at an alarming rate. The (Arch)geologist that will potentially inspect our building site in the future might wonder for a while why here, in the middle of vast clay filled land, a pile of stones smoothed by the sea can be found.

We got to Fredrikshaven's ferry harbour early enough to be able to change our tickets to the earlier ferry. It was good in the sence that driving through Gothenburg, Sweden and continuing further to the middle parts of Sweden could be done at a good time in the afternoon.

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Sweden (12.-13.7.2001)


Again there was a new harbour ahead of us, so we spent most of the time on the deck spotting jellyfish and the view. As seen in the picture, the ship stopped somewhere on the right side of the harbour area, right next to the city, from where it was easy to get going again. Driving through Gothenburg was easy with good guides, though a bit of traffic was seen as the time got close to 4pm...

In town Granna right next to the lake Vättern we set up the tent again, the area with its surroundings was good. The camping ground had for example stopped outsiders access to the toilets and washing areas with a number code/ key card. The village itself was absolutely wonderful, even though its main industry, tourism, became apparent soon. Here is a photo from its main street in year 2004.

In a harbour east from it there was a similar Suzuki GSX-1100 ESD motorbike like mine, though in local number plate and blue-white colours. Based on the km/h meters they had been imported all the way to Sweden sometime, when into Finland only smaller "sevenfifties". I waited for a while hoping to meet its owner, but no one showed up..

On the way back we tried to visit one aerial museum in Norrköping, but it was still closed at that time. Based on the leaflet the appliances seemed to be mainly Swedish air force gear.

It was nice to drive around in the centre of Stockholm until it was boarding time to the ship again, especially by the underground and tram as well as in the old town and immediate surroundings. However, we had to be careful with the children for example on the station right in the middle of the underground network: Jaana (the younger one) noticed used seringes on the ground and she would've definitely picked them up unless we had interviened in time. How would've she known to look out for those, and anyway it was hard not to inspect everything that looked interesting.

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Finland (14.7.2001)


A good trip, which taught us for example that it is also possible to travel together with the children.

No bigger arguments evolved, apart from overtired tantrums between the back seat travellers (as the overlooking eye evaded a leg or a hand might've swang by accident, or done some other appropriate pranks, nothing more or more worrying)..

Jaana, Laura, Irma and Kari


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