Geocache Finds 2024-06-02

Geocache Finds 2024-06-02

The Citadel

The Citadel

The Sketch

Our first full day in Copenhagen. Our plan was to take the metro up the city and then head generally north and east past rolyal palaces, touristy high;lights and the citadel (or Kastellet).

The day began, however, by testing the hotel’s breakfast. We got up around 8am and headed down. It was a fairly decent hotel buffet, with a few hot items, meats and cheeses in the continental style, fruits, cereals, pastries, breads, juices and warm drinks. It was good, and the hotel rate I’d booked included this breakfast every day for us both.

Up the Toon

To get up to the city, the obvious route was to take the metro from the nearby Kastrup Station to Kongens Nytorv. The previous night I wasn’t really sure how far Kastrup Station was from the hotel, so we got a taxi from the airport. That was a waste. It was about 300m away at most.

On the way we attempted a multi-cache that I’d got a solution for. Either it was an incorrect solution or it was a missing cache. We didn’t linger, as there were plenty more to come. In fact, we didn’t re-try this one, despite being in Denmark for a whole week after this first attempt.

The Metro proved to be a not-especially-burdensome 10 minute ride through about 7 stations.

Kongens Nytorv (literally “The King’s New Square”) is the central hub of the spangly Copenhagen Metro – the only station that all four lines pass through. That’s not as magnificent as it sounds, really, because the M1 and M2 share a pair of tracks and so do the M3 and M4 lines. So there’s actually only four platforms, each of which is only about half the length of a London Underground platform. Don’t let that sound like a criticism, though. The Metro covers 120 million passenger journeys a year. The trains are fast, clean, spacious and frequent. We’d decided to buy the “small” Copenhagen City Pass, which was probably excessive but the journeys weren’t really planned in detail and the City Pass is very easy to buy online in advance.

New History

Above the metro station is, well, the actual torv that was commissioned by the Kong and which was at some point “ny”. I guess it’s significantly more new than the castle at Newcastle, but nevertheless, you’d have thought after more than 350 years they could drop the “Ny” part……

The square is surrounded by a bunch of quite impressive buildings in a distinctly Scandinavian style, and has a big statue of King Christian V in the middle. That statue was the subject of our first caching experience.

My plan for caching was to basically try do do “area clearance” by zigging and zagging along all the streets in a particular area to find everything possible. In Copenhagen (as in all cities) it gets a bit messy because there are multiple sets of adventure labs to fit in, and some of them are linear, so you have to do the five elements in a particular order. I don’t like doing those because they can result in sub-optimal walking routes when you’re trying to clear an area. The first one we found was a part of one of these. The series is called “Helt til Hest”. That means “Perfect for Horses”, but it became known to me as “Bloke on a Horse” or occasionally “King on a Horse”. The first in the series is Christian V, in the middle of Kongens Nytorv.

Beginning The Walk

Meanwhile, back at the plot, my plan was to try to clear the area north and east of the Square. This would include Nyhavn (“Newhaven” or “Newport”) and the Amalienborg Palaces on our way to The Citadel and the Little Mermaid statue. It’s not a massive-looking area on the map, but I estimated up to 60 caches could be available. So we better get on with it. Anyway, there was a plan to go to a caching event on the other side of the city centre in the evening. I thought that was at 6pm, but when we checked in the middle of the afternoon the event was actualy at 4pm.

Initially we walked north from the square around Palægade doing a few bits of labs and then eventually came back to the square at the top end of Nyhavn.

Nyhavn, is probably the most iconic location in the city for the Scandinavian residential architecture. It’s a street where the houses dress like they’re attending a carnival. Two rows of similar but slightly different rows of houses that all have colourfully painted walls and typical pitched rooves with dorma windows. The north side of the square is now lined completely with cafes and bars that spill out onto the cobblestones. I should probably mention the weather at this point, too. It was beautiful, and way warmer than forecast. I was immediately regretting that I hadn’t packed any shorts.

Palace Time

Time to pass through the place where Danish royalty resides. Four identical palaces, standing in a circle like a well-behaved set of quadruplets. One of them is the actual real Queen’s house. You can go right up to the door but I wouldn’t advise knocking on it.

The palaces are like architectural siblings, each trying to outdo the other in rococo elegance. The courtyard is an octagon, because, you know, rectangles were a bit mainstream. In the center stands “Bloke on a Horse” number 2 – Frederik V. Old Freddie Boy was responsible for the royals being here, after there was an unfortunate incident with a fire at their previous gaff. Anyway, back at that statue, and its octagonal courtyard, it’s like Freddie is saying, “Behold, peasants! I conquered symmetry!”

So from here we walked along the waterside through some extensive rebuilding works, and found ourselves Nordre Toldbod (Northern Tollbooth). There is a small harbour here, with a couple of cafes. We were ready for a break so we sat at a “shanty bar” belonging to a posh restaurant, and pretended we were somewhere tropical. The weather was tropical, and to be honest, the damn great cruise ship registered in Nassau added a bit to that. It was a grand spot to stop for a drink and a break. And to realise I’d walked straight past a couple of caches. Ami sat under a sunshade reafing here book while I walked back to get them.

The Citadel

Picture a pentagon, but not the kind you’d find in a maths textbook. No, this one has attitude. Five sides, five bastions. Rectangles are just so last century. The bastions? Each is a little different. One houses the powder store, one has a windmill and one a memorial. The other two are empty, apart from the grass. There are occasional cannons, for decoration.

King Christian IV was definitely going with the trend when this was built. There are loads of fortresses in this kind of shape across northern Europe. I believe the idea is that it allows cannons to be pointed in a full arc from each bastion. That means there’s nowhere on the perimeter that is away from line-of-sight of at least one cannon. So to get in, you’ve got to get over a moat and two layers of very steep earthen bank, whilst all the while being shot at by cannons and muskets. Where medieval castles are designed so that attackers can be killed once they get close to the walls, these star-shaped ones, from the age of the projectile weapon, are designed to stop attackers from getting anywhere near the walls.

Today, Kastellet hosts military shenanigans, but it’s also a public park. It also hosts yet more geocaches. They were easy enough.

A Little Letdown

The Little Mermaid is a tiny bronze disappointment perched on a rock in Copenhagen’s harbour just outside the Citadel. Imagine travelling a considerable distance to see this? I mean, she’s easy to find. Just go look for the crowd. But once you’ve found her, those same tourists make her difficult to see.

It’s packed because not only do all the tour buses come here, it’s also kind of close to the cruise port. That means that many people who get to escape their floating prisons/palaces for half a day get no further than here, which is a shame. I have to admit I feel much the same about the Mannekin Pis in Brussels. Famous, but I have no idea why. Still, we had to go there, ‘cos we’re tourists, innit? And there’s a cache there.

Cruising for a Bruising

Ami needed a bit of a rest, so she sat on a bench in the shade while I walked the length of the Langeliniekaj hunting for more caches. There were a few. By the time I got back from there is was most definitely ice cream o’clock. Thankfully, the Little Mermaid has some of that nearby too.

Whilst sitting with my ice cream I decided I’d check the exact details of the evening caching event that I was planning to go to. The first thing I noticed is that it wasn’t in the evening. It was at 4pm. It was already well after 3pm and the venue was 2km away and nowhere near any metro stations. So some hot-footing was needed.

Eventing

There’s a caching group in Copenhagen that meets every first Sunday of the month at 4pm in the same bar – The Taphouse on Lavendelstræde.

Turns out it’s the type of place I like for a caching event, especially if I don’t have to drive home. A wide selection of appetising-looking beers in a variety of styles. To be honest, after a day walking around in that heat, anything with “beer” in the name was a winner for me.

The event was very well attended – about 25-30 at this one. They reserve a whole room downstairs and generally talks geocaching and drink beer for well over the alloted hour. So a two hour break and some liquid muscle relaxer was very welcome.

And There’s More!

I hadn’t done anything like enough caches. Well, it was a lot, but it was only 6pm. We’d decided to eat dinner in the town, but 6pm is way too early for that. So we had some time to fill. We decided to wander north of where we were through the Copenhagen University area. There wasn’t much of a strategy, but there was some excellent architecture. The highlight was definitely the fantastic Rundetaarn. It’s a spiraling marvel that seems to defy logic. You have to pay to get in, and what you get for your money is a 7.5-turn helical ramp. It’s about 10 people wide, or maybe wide enough to drive a cart. White-painted walls and brick paviours all the way apart from the last tiny part. One wonders whether the architect was secretly moonlighting at the DNA design studio.

The view from the top was the best of the day, by some distance. A big chunk of the view is occupied by the distinctly Italian-looking Vor Frue Kirke. It’s not like we were short of walking on this day, but it was definitely worth the walk up and down.

My Feet Hurt

OK, so maybe that was enough. The day had cooled down a bit and we were both getting hungry now. We returned to Nyhavn and found ourselves and Italian restaurant. Ami had lasagne and I had a pizza. Some things always hit the spot.

The journey home included two short walks (to Kongens Nytorv and then back to the hotel), and both of those were a bit painful. Still, the hotel was still there and our stuff was still in the room. That had been a busy day.



Off to Denmark

Off to Denmark

The Planning

The start of a much anticipated week of holiday in which I planned to hit as many geocaches as I possibly could, but in a memorable setting and including some actual tourist things. Oh yes! Ami and me were off to Denmark.

When I first started thinking about it, I couldn’t decide where to go. I was toying with driving to The Netherlands for some much advertised big series of adventure labs. When I sat and thought about it, I hatched a different plan. It occured to me that I had a bunch of British Airways reward miles left, which meant I could fly somewhere essentially free.

In fact, I had enough air miles for two flights, and my chosen week coincided with older child coming back from university. She’s always up for a free holiday, so she joined me. From my perspective it wasn’t going to cost me extra in hotels, so Ami coming with me just neant double to food and train fares, but not a lot else. I was happy with that if it meant having someone to share a few walks.

So the plan was cast in stone, and the booking were made. And today was the first day of that.

Still in Britain

Clearly, the first part of our trip was made whilst still in Britain. We had a mid-afternoon flight from Heathrow, so we set off just after lunchtime. The drive down was not troublesome apart from roadworks around Luton, so we were at Heathrow in good time. We’ve taken to using the “Meet and Greet” parking, for the simple reasons that it’s right by the terminal building and it’s not much more expensive than all the offsite places. It makes it much quicker to get in and out.

We were sufficiently early that they wouldn’t let us do a bag drop, so we grabbed a coffee and pastry in the departures hall to pass the time. When they were ready to check us in, it was quick and simple.

After a short trip through security we were still flush for time. By this point our flight was showing a 30 minute delay and they still hadn’t announced which gate we were on. So we settled down for a bit of a wait. We decided a chunk of time could be filled at Wagamama.

Where’s Our Plane?

All seemed still reasonable until we reached the point where they’d normally start boarding. They still hadn’t published which gate, so I fairly quickly concluded that the 30 minute delay was going to be longer.

It turned out to be much longer. At the time we were supposed to leave (the 30 minutes late) the inbound plane hadn’t arrived. Not that there were any announcements about is or updates on the scoreboard. Eventually we found an information desk and asked them. They confirmed they didn’t really know, but it would “probably” be gate A27, so we decided to go mooch around there for a while.

Eventually a plane came in and parked at that stand, and this is when they finally published it was our plane. Having just pulled up though, it was clearly going to take them another hour to turn it around, and that’s kind of where we ended up. Our 4pm flight actually left well after 6pm. It was full to the gunwhales, but at least we were on it.

One highlight – there are sets of adventure labs at Heathrow Airport, and both had geofences big enough to allow them to be completed from inside the T5 building. Might as well push the caching forwards while the chance was there.

Here we are

We eventually landed at Copenhagen Airport not long before 9pm local time. Exit from the airport was quick but because I hadn’t researched, and didn’t realise, I thought we should take a taxi to our hotel. It was all of 4 minutes away and the driver didn’t really get a good deal out of us.

Copenhagen Airport also has two sets of Adventure Labs and a virtual cache that can be done from the baggage hall. Cha-ching. Rack ’em up!

I’d booked a room at the Best Western Plus Airport. I’d mucked about with various hotels but concluded all the ones in the city centre were either bad, or too expensive. So I decided to take a punt on the metro trip to the centre being quick. More of that tomorrow.

Anyway, the room was functional. Not spectacular, but big enough, and warm. The beds were decent too.

Neither of us was mega hungry, so we took a trip next door to the Cafe Le Perr and grabbed something quick. Just as well. We only had 45 minutes before they closed.


Geocache Finds 2024-06-02

Denmark 2024

Denmark 2024

June 1st to 9th 2024

A week of intensive geocaching in Denmark and Sweden, because, why not?

Copenhagen is wall-to-wall geocaches as well as being a tidy, interesting and compact capital city.

Last time I’d been there was 1990. I could barely remember where I’d been.

Copenhagen Palaces

Roskilde

Amager Strand

Lund

Slotsholmen

Helsingør

Off to Denmark

The Planning

The start of a much anticipated week of holiday in which I planned to hit as many geocaches as I possibly could, but in a memorable setting and including some actual tourist things. Oh yes! Ami and me were off to Denmark.

When I first started thinking about it, I couldn’t decide where to go. I was toying with driving to The Netherlands for some much advertised big series of adventure labs. When I sat and thought about it, I hatched a different plan. It occured to me that I had a bunch of British Airways reward miles left, which meant I could fly somewhere essentially free.

In fact, I had enough air miles for two flights, and my chosen week coincided with older child coming back from university. She’s always up for a free holiday, so she joined me. From my perspective it wasn’t going to cost me extra in hotels, so Ami coming with me just neant double to food and train fares, but not a lot else. I was happy with that if it meant having someone to share a few walks.

So the plan was cast in stone, and the booking were made. And today was the first day of that.

Still in Britain

Clearly, the first part of our trip was made whilst still in Britain. We had a mid-afternoon flight from Heathrow, so we set off just after lunchtime. The drive down was not troublesome apart from roadworks around Luton, so we were at Heathrow in good time. We’ve taken to using the “Meet and Greet” parking, for the simple reasons that it’s right by the terminal building and it’s not much more expensive than all the offsite places. It makes it much quicker to get in and out.

We were sufficiently early that they wouldn’t let us do a bag drop, so we grabbed a coffee and pastry in the departures hall to pass the time. When they were ready to check us in, it was quick and simple.

After a short trip through security we were still flush for time. By this point our flight was showing a 30 minute delay and they still hadn’t announced which gate we were on. So we settled down for a bit of a wait. We decided a chunk of time could be filled at Wagamama.

Where’s Our Plane?

All seemed still reasonable until we reached the point where they’d normally start boarding. They still hadn’t published which gate, so I fairly quickly concluded that the 30 minute delay was going to be longer.

It turned out to be much longer. At the time we were supposed to leave (the 30 minutes late) the inbound plane hadn’t arrived. Not that there were any announcements about is or updates on the scoreboard. Eventually we found an information desk and asked them. They confirmed they didn’t really know, but it would “probably” be gate A27, so we decided to go mooch around there for a while.

Eventually a plane came in and parked at that stand, and this is when they finally published it was our plane. Having just pulled up though, it was clearly going to take them another hour to turn it around, and that’s kind of where we ended up. Our 4pm flight actually left well after 6pm. It was full to the gunwhales, but at least we were on it.

One highlight – there are sets of adventure labs at Heathrow Airport, and both had geofences big enough to allow them to be completed from inside the T5 building. Might as well push the caching forwards while the chance was there.

Here we are

We eventually landed at Copenhagen Airport not long before 9pm local time. Exit from the airport was quick but because I hadn’t researched, and didn’t realise, I thought we should take a taxi to our hotel. It was all of 4 minutes away and the driver didn’t really get a good deal out of us.

Copenhagen Airport also has two sets of Adventure Labs and a virtual cache that can be done from the baggage hall. Cha-ching. Rack ’em up!

I’d booked a room at the Best Western Plus Airport. I’d mucked about with various hotels but concluded all the ones in the city centre were either bad, or too expensive. So I decided to take a punt on the metro trip to the centre being quick. More of that tomorrow.

Anyway, the room was functional. Not spectacular, but big enough, and warm. The beds were decent too.

Neither of us was mega hungry, so we took a trip next door to the Cafe Le Perr and grabbed something quick. Just as well. We only had 45 minutes before they closed.


The Citadel

The Sketch

Our first full day in Copenhagen. Our plan was to take the metro up the city and then head generally north and east past rolyal palaces, touristy high;lights and the citadel (or Kastellet).

The day began, however, by testing the hotel’s breakfast. We got up around 8am and headed down. It was a fairly decent hotel buffet, with a few hot items, meats and cheeses in the continental style, fruits, cereals, pastries, breads, juices and warm drinks. It was good, and the hotel rate I’d booked included this breakfast every day for us both.

Up the Toon

To get up to the city, the obvious route was to take the metro from the nearby Kastrup Station to Kongens Nytorv. The previous night I wasn’t really sure how far Kastrup Station was from the hotel, so we got a taxi from the airport. That was a waste. It was about 300m away at most.

On the way we attempted a multi-cache that I’d got a solution for. Either it was an incorrect solution or it was a missing cache. We didn’t linger, as there were plenty more to come. In fact, we didn’t re-try this one, despite being in Denmark for a whole week after this first attempt.

The Metro proved to be a not-especially-burdensome 10 minute ride through about 7 stations.

Kongens Nytorv (literally “The King’s New Square”) is the central hub of the spangly Copenhagen Metro – the only station that all four lines pass through. That’s not as magnificent as it sounds, really, because the M1 and M2 share a pair of tracks and so do the M3 and M4 lines. So there’s actually only four platforms, each of which is only about half the length of a London Underground platform. Don’t let that sound like a criticism, though. The Metro covers 120 million passenger journeys a year. The trains are fast, clean, spacious and frequent. We’d decided to buy the “small” Copenhagen City Pass, which was probably excessive but the journeys weren’t really planned in detail and the City Pass is very easy to buy online in advance.

New History

Above the metro station is, well, the actual torv that was commissioned by the Kong and which was at some point “ny”. I guess it’s significantly more new than the castle at Newcastle, but nevertheless, you’d have thought after more than 350 years they could drop the “Ny” part……

The square is surrounded by a bunch of quite impressive buildings in a distinctly Scandinavian style, and has a big statue of King Christian V in the middle. That statue was the subject of our first caching experience.

My plan for caching was to basically try do do “area clearance” by zigging and zagging along all the streets in a particular area to find everything possible. In Copenhagen (as in all cities) it gets a bit messy because there are multiple sets of adventure labs to fit in, and some of them are linear, so you have to do the five elements in a particular order. I don’t like doing those because they can result in sub-optimal walking routes when you’re trying to clear an area. The first one we found was a part of one of these. The series is called “Helt til Hest”. That means “Perfect for Horses”, but it became known to me as “Bloke on a Horse” or occasionally “King on a Horse”. The first in the series is Christian V, in the middle of Kongens Nytorv.

Beginning The Walk

Meanwhile, back at the plot, my plan was to try to clear the area north and east of the Square. This would include Nyhavn (“Newhaven” or “Newport”) and the Amalienborg Palaces on our way to The Citadel and the Little Mermaid statue. It’s not a massive-looking area on the map, but I estimated up to 60 caches could be available. So we better get on with it. Anyway, there was a plan to go to a caching event on the other side of the city centre in the evening. I thought that was at 6pm, but when we checked in the middle of the afternoon the event was actualy at 4pm.

Initially we walked north from the square around Palægade doing a few bits of labs and then eventually came back to the square at the top end of Nyhavn.

Nyhavn, is probably the most iconic location in the city for the Scandinavian residential architecture. It’s a street where the houses dress like they’re attending a carnival. Two rows of similar but slightly different rows of houses that all have colourfully painted walls and typical pitched rooves with dorma windows. The north side of the square is now lined completely with cafes and bars that spill out onto the cobblestones. I should probably mention the weather at this point, too. It was beautiful, and way warmer than forecast. I was immediately regretting that I hadn’t packed any shorts.

Palace Time

Time to pass through the place where Danish royalty resides. Four identical palaces, standing in a circle like a well-behaved set of quadruplets. One of them is the actual real Queen’s house. You can go right up to the door but I wouldn’t advise knocking on it.

The palaces are like architectural siblings, each trying to outdo the other in rococo elegance. The courtyard is an octagon, because, you know, rectangles were a bit mainstream. In the center stands “Bloke on a Horse” number 2 – Frederik V. Old Freddie Boy was responsible for the royals being here, after there was an unfortunate incident with a fire at their previous gaff. Anyway, back at that statue, and its octagonal courtyard, it’s like Freddie is saying, “Behold, peasants! I conquered symmetry!”

So from here we walked along the waterside through some extensive rebuilding works, and found ourselves Nordre Toldbod (Northern Tollbooth). There is a small harbour here, with a couple of cafes. We were ready for a break so we sat at a “shanty bar” belonging to a posh restaurant, and pretended we were somewhere tropical. The weather was tropical, and to be honest, the damn great cruise ship registered in Nassau added a bit to that. It was a grand spot to stop for a drink and a break. And to realise I’d walked straight past a couple of caches. Ami sat under a sunshade reafing here book while I walked back to get them.

The Citadel

Picture a pentagon, but not the kind you’d find in a maths textbook. No, this one has attitude. Five sides, five bastions. Rectangles are just so last century. The bastions? Each is a little different. One houses the powder store, one has a windmill and one a memorial. The other two are empty, apart from the grass. There are occasional cannons, for decoration.

King Christian IV was definitely going with the trend when this was built. There are loads of fortresses in this kind of shape across northern Europe. I believe the idea is that it allows cannons to be pointed in a full arc from each bastion. That means there’s nowhere on the perimeter that is away from line-of-sight of at least one cannon. So to get in, you’ve got to get over a moat and two layers of very steep earthen bank, whilst all the while being shot at by cannons and muskets. Where medieval castles are designed so that attackers can be killed once they get close to the walls, these star-shaped ones, from the age of the projectile weapon, are designed to stop attackers from getting anywhere near the walls.

Today, Kastellet hosts military shenanigans, but it’s also a public park. It also hosts yet more geocaches. They were easy enough.

A Little Letdown

The Little Mermaid is a tiny bronze disappointment perched on a rock in Copenhagen’s harbour just outside the Citadel. Imagine travelling a considerable distance to see this? I mean, she’s easy to find. Just go look for the crowd. But once you’ve found her, those same tourists make her difficult to see.

It’s packed because not only do all the tour buses come here, it’s also kind of close to the cruise port. That means that many people who get to escape their floating prisons/palaces for half a day get no further than here, which is a shame. I have to admit I feel much the same about the Mannekin Pis in Brussels. Famous, but I have no idea why. Still, we had to go there, ‘cos we’re tourists, innit? And there’s a cache there.

Cruising for a Bruising

Ami needed a bit of a rest, so she sat on a bench in the shade while I walked the length of the Langeliniekaj hunting for more caches. There were a few. By the time I got back from there is was most definitely ice cream o’clock. Thankfully, the Little Mermaid has some of that nearby too.

Whilst sitting with my ice cream I decided I’d check the exact details of the evening caching event that I was planning to go to. The first thing I noticed is that it wasn’t in the evening. It was at 4pm. It was already well after 3pm and the venue was 2km away and nowhere near any metro stations. So some hot-footing was needed.

Eventing

There’s a caching group in Copenhagen that meets every first Sunday of the month at 4pm in the same bar – The Taphouse on Lavendelstræde.

Turns out it’s the type of place I like for a caching event, especially if I don’t have to drive home. A wide selection of appetising-looking beers in a variety of styles. To be honest, after a day walking around in that heat, anything with “beer” in the name was a winner for me.

The event was very well attended – about 25-30 at this one. They reserve a whole room downstairs and generally talks geocaching and drink beer for well over the alloted hour. So a two hour break and some liquid muscle relaxer was very welcome.

And There’s More!

I hadn’t done anything like enough caches. Well, it was a lot, but it was only 6pm. We’d decided to eat dinner in the town, but 6pm is way too early for that. So we had some time to fill. We decided to wander north of where we were through the Copenhagen University area. There wasn’t much of a strategy, but there was some excellent architecture. The highlight was definitely the fantastic Rundetaarn. It’s a spiraling marvel that seems to defy logic. You have to pay to get in, and what you get for your money is a 7.5-turn helical ramp. It’s about 10 people wide, or maybe wide enough to drive a cart. White-painted walls and brick paviours all the way apart from the last tiny part. One wonders whether the architect was secretly moonlighting at the DNA design studio.

The view from the top was the best of the day, by some distance. A big chunk of the view is occupied by the distinctly Italian-looking Vor Frue Kirke. It’s not like we were short of walking on this day, but it was definitely worth the walk up and down.

My Feet Hurt

OK, so maybe that was enough. The day had cooled down a bit and we were both getting hungry now. We returned to Nyhavn and found ourselves and Italian restaurant. Ami had lasagne and I had a pizza. Some things always hit the spot.

The journey home included two short walks (to Kongens Nytorv and then back to the hotel), and both of those were a bit painful. Still, the hotel was still there and our stuff was still in the room. That had been a busy day.



Roskilde

The Plan

When sketching out the week I decided we should set up a couple of events of our own. Keen cachers do this when they visit new countries because it means you can claim a new icon type in a country without having to find someone else’s event. As it turns out, events are not exactly hard to find in Copenhagen, so we needn’t have bothered. But anyway, we decided to do our own ones, and chose to do one each at the cathedrals of Roskilde and Lund. Hosting your own event means you’re kind of obliged to go to a place on the day you planned, regardless of the weather or anything else. So this was our day in Roskilde.

The plan was to cache as much as possible and then fill time with a trip to the cathedral. Our event was set for 6pm. After the event we planned to have dinner in Roskilde before taking the train home, just for variety.

Getting There

So after breakfast it was time to test the Danish railway system. It wasn’t exactly much of a challenge, but it was our first time. The plan was a direct train from Copenhagen Airport to Roskilde. I had researched the Copenhagen City Pass and found we could go the Roskilde with a “City Pass – Large”, so I got them on my phone and off we went.

The metro journey from our nearest station (Kastrup) to the Airport must have taken 30 seconds. Then a walk along a couple of concourses before reaching the ticket hall for the main station. We didn’t really know what to do (mainly because we didn’t know which train to get on), so I asked an assistant and was told I need to get on a train for Slagelse. And if you run, there’s one in 4 minutes.
“Do you need a ticket sir?”
“No thanks, I have a City Pass”
Cue peculiar look.
“I have the Large City Pass.”
“Oh, OK, that covers it.”
So “Cheers, Big Ears” and off we hopped to Platform 2.

The direct train takes under 30 minutes, partly because it doesn’t go through Copenhagen Central Station. So cool, here we are then.

A Most Peculiar Raceway

Our first few caches were south of the station at the Roskilde Ring. This is an old motor racing circuit that hosted some Formula 1 races in the early sixties. Stirling Moss described it as peculiar because it was built inside an old gravel pit. It consisted of multiple steeply banked curves and no real straights, and had a total circuit length of under a mile.

Anyway, drivers didn’t like it, so “big” races didn’t last long there. New housing in the area meant residents didn’t like it either, and it was closed in 1969. It’s since been parkified, and hence suitable for hosting geocaches. There were a couple of “real” ones that required some bush-whacking to get to, and a set of labs. There’s a path around the outside at the top of the banking, and you can tell the race circuit must have been very steep on the corners.

Ziggy-Zaggy

After the Roskilde Ring, we headed back into town to begin the day’s “area clearance” exercise. That was the plan, anyway. As ever, it didn’t quite work out that way.

In between the station and the cathedral there are 2-3 streets running east-west. Our caches were laid out so we could zig-zag along those to clear most of the area south of the cathedral. It proved to be pretty fast going here. There wasn’t really a lot to see, and our speed over the ground was faster than yesterday, if only because it was about 10 degrees cooler and distinctly rainy-looking.

At the end of this zigging and zagging we were ready for a drink and a short rest. We’d missed a couple of caches due to inaccessibility or just not being able to find them, but we’d still reached a decent tally. We stopped at a local coffee shop for a 15 minute break.

Big, Innit

After coffee, our paths took us past the cathedral for the first time. This was very much of a walk-past though, as we were in the caching zone, and planned to come back later for a proper walk round later. Our path took us to the west edge of the inner ring-road for a couple, but we were finding we were missing a lot of the caches.

There was one particular series where we pretty much could only find half. That was disappointing, both because it means fewer finds and it means wasted time. It turned out eventually that we weren’t really short of time, but it makes the game feel slow if you walk for something and then ultimately don’t find it.

Moving on, our path took us downhill through Byparken and past a couple of old monastery sites. We were continuing to miss most of the cahes in the day’s “Moby Dick” series. By this stage, I was so irritated with that particular series that I just moved on if we didn’t find it in a minute or so. Better things to do.

Roskilde Fjord

The harbour at Roskilde is on the banks of the Roskilde Fjord. In my mind, the word “fjord” conjures images of deep glacial valleys with waterfalls. I guess my mind is pre-occupied with Slartibartfast. In any case, Roskilde Fjord is not at all like that. There’s no waterfalls or cliffs or rocky outcrops. It’s kind of a bay. So clearly the word has a meaning that is broader than the average English person would imagine. It’s still quite pretty though.

The harbour had a cafe, and Ami was done with walking for a bit. It was only about 2pm, so she was happy to sit there with a drink and read her book while I continued caching. There was a series of labs in the harbour and then another to the west at the site of the old pyschiatric hospital. It was 2-3km round but I figured we had plenty of time. All was well aside from (again) that there were two physical caches I couldn’t find. That slowed me down a bit but we weren’t short of time, so I wasn’t too bothered. The walk gained me 11 finds in an hour, so not too bad.

Ami was where I left her, which is always good. So I say with an ice cream for 10 minutes and then we started to walk back into town. It looked like we’d have plenty of time for a nosey round the cathedral.

Roskilde Cathedral

We arrived at just after 4pm and they closed at 6. Convenient, because our event was right outside and started at 6. So anyway, if you’re used to the medieval cathedrals of England, then Roskilde Cathedral is a surprise. It has a similar shape, although the spires are particularly pointy, but the very obvious difference it that it’s entirely made of bricks. The style is apparently known a Brick Gothic. The fact that it was mainly built in the 13th and 14th centuries makes you wonder what levels of diligence were applied and what tools were available to build such a massive structure out of bricks without having things off level or off vertical. They did a decent job.

The inside is also brick, but it’s mainly painted white, with decoration at the topes of the pillars. This contrasts well with the wooden furniture and interior fittings. I guess big windows and white walls make it feel light even in the depths of a Scandinavian winter.

Last Resting Place of the Danish Kings and Queens

The cathedral is home to many of the tombs of Danish royalty. Most of them since Harald Bluetooth (who invented wi-fi more than a thousand years before mobile phones were invented) are in Roskilde somewhere. The actual presence of Harald is debated though. If he is there, they don’t quite know where.

Every nook and cranny in this rather large structure is occupied by ceremonial tombs. Where most cathedrals would have private chapels and other religious functions in all the knobbly bits off the nave, Roskilde has tombs. They are generaly grouped with the wife and immediate descendants of the king in the same space. Note none of them are buried. Most are housed in their own very ornate stone sarcophagus. There are underground crypts containing more royals, as well as a few prominent none-royals. I wondered whether they would at some point have to add extensions to the cathedral to accomodate more tombs. A quick read of wikipedia confirmed that’s exactly what they do. The latest addition was made in the 1920’s, although they have also already set aside some space for former Queen Margrethe II, ready for when she needs it.

Upstairs at Frederick’s

Another strange feature is that there’s an upper gallery made of wood than can be accessed. So you get to see the inside from the normal floor level but can also from the different perspective of being halfway up.

We spent maybe 75 minutes inside the cathedral, and it was most welcome as the first bit of tourism rather than caching that we’d done. It’s well worth a visit.

An Uneventful Event

At 6pm we had to dash outside for our caching event. When I checked the phone we’d only actually got a promise from one other cacher. She duly arrived not long after 6. She explained that rather unfortunately a caching group from about 20km away had released their own event on the same day and at 5pm, which meant they couldn’t do both even if they wanted to. Well, bum to them then. It was a quiet event and we eventually just gave up at 6:20, because it was clear nobody else was coming.

And so to Dinner

We didn’t stray far from the central square for dinner. We found a nice-looking and friendly restaurant where we grabbed a quick meal before heading back to the railway station.

It was past 8pm when we got to the station and that meant it was nearing 9pm when we eventually made it back to the hotel. It had been a decent day of caching, with a good interlude for one of Denmark’s most popular tourist locations.



Amager Strand

The Sketch

Our third full day in Denmark, and time for a slight change of pace. Both days so far had been all urban caching – pounding city streets backwards and forwards. The change of scenery was to head to the seaside. OK, it wasn’t very far away. This was the only day where we didn’t use the Metro on the way out. But it was the seaside nevertheless. Our plan was to walk along Amager Strand.

For the uninitiated, Amager is an island immediately to the south of Copenhagen. In fact, the southern end of Copenhagen is on Amager. The northern part is on the much larger island of Sjælland. So Amager contains the southern part of Copenhagen, 2-3 suburban towns/districts and an airport. It also contains on its western side an area of reclaimed land that was never good enough for architecture, but is now the hub for new large buildings. It sticks out in much the same way that Canary Wharf does when you’re in London. Only more so. Amager is also the most densely populated island in Denmark.

On its eastern side, Amager has the Amager Strandpark – a waterside location that’s been a public park for 90 years and which had an artificial island added 20 years ago. That island was the main focus of our walk.

Getting There

From our hotel, the bottom end of Amager Strand was about 2km away. It wasn’t wasted walking though, because we were able to plot a route that passed a bunch of geocaches. So that’s what we did. When we eventually reached the waterside we at at Kastrup Marina – a nice little facility surrounded by concrete piers, some of which had geocaches hidden on them.

From here we picked our way north to the very bottom end of Amager Strand. A small incident befell me there, where I somehow managed to get a splinter in my right thumb. It hurt quite a lot and, what’s worse, we didn’t even find the cache I was seacrhing for at the time. We lost a few minutes here while I got some tweezers out of my bag and both of us tried to gently wiggle the splinter out. Ami was ultimately successful, but I’d like to think I played some part in it too.

Kastrup Fort

Last year there’d been a mega event in Copenhagen, and it was actually held near to the beach here inside Kastrup Fort. The fort itself is somewhat less developed than The Citadel or many others round here, but it’s the same general sentiment. At this one, there’s an encircling wall, two big humps in the middle, and a couple of buried buildings that were probably barracks and/or explosives stores.

For the event they’d filled up the area with new Adventure Labs as well as adding to the existing number of “proper” caches. Some of the labs have their stages laid out in the shape of a heart, but I’m not sure why because you can’t see the individual stages in many apps, so the effect is probably lost. However, all of these could be done from inside the fort. When I realised this, it saved 2-3km of walking round the actual locations. Some of them were over water, so “swimming round” was avoided too. The hour we spent in the fort moved the caching numebrs on greatly, and that made up for the fact that the place was crawling with schoolkids. I mean, hundreds of them.

So in the fort I think I found 26 lab stages and two more traditional caches. Cool.

Time for a Break

We’d been going for 3 hours by this point and it was a sunny day again. It wasn’t as warm as it had been on Sunday, but it was warm enough.

We left Kastrup Fort and meandered onto the artificial island. Where we walked on, there’s a watersports centre that sells drinks and snacks and which has an outdoor seating area. So we grabbed drinks and then I offered Ami the opportunity to sit and read for a bit whle I walked around the southern tip of the island clearing up all the caches. There were 11 to do, I think, and I was thinking it wouldn’t bode well for later in the day if Ami came round that bit. So she sat with her book and I went for a walk. I didn’t re-try the splinter-giving cache, but I found all the others easily enough.

When I got back to meet Ami I say for a few more minutes to give my own legs a little rest, before we headed off up the beach.

Stranded

From the watersports centre we had maybe 2km more to walk to the top end of the artificial island. That would be 2km of “as the crow flies”, and of course we are famously not crows. So our route was closer to 4km as we zigged and zagged our way from side to side of the island, halfway over bridges, and generally all over the place.

Along this stretch was a mix of traditional caches, some letterboxes (Woo-hoo! A new icon) and two more sets of 10 labs that belonged to that previous year’s mega event. Most were easy and coule be accessed easily from the concrete path / bicycle route that runs up the island. A couple required venturing into the dunes. Pretty much all were easily found until we reached the top end, where there was a not-a-Scooby job. There also wasn’t a cafe at the top end, which was a shame. We were both ready for another break.

I’d got it into my mind that this could easily be a 100-finds day, but at the top end of the beach I started to think my legs wouldn’t hold out. We were somewhere up in the 70’s, but getting the extras looked like more walking than I was going to manage. So anyway, we walked off the beach towards some busy streets, assuming there’d be a cafe. There was indeed a cafe, so we sat inside and had a decent sandwich each.

Meh!

Ultimately I decided that rather than pushing to exhaustion, I’d just stop. It had been a good enough day anyway, and Ami didn’t look like she wanted to walk any more. Plus if we’d continued it would just be trudging around suburban streets. So we decided not to bother.

Instead we made the relatively short walk to Øresund Metro Station and then caught a metro three stops home to Kastrup.

We’d both had enough, so we in fact just crashed on the beds for three hours before getting cleaned up and then popping next door to Cafe Le Perr again for dinner.

By the standards of Sunday and Monday it had been a short day, but we’d still walked a considerable distance and found a tidy heap of caches.



Lund

The Sketch

Our fourth full day in Denmark, so it was about time we went to Sweden instead. I’d created another event at 6pm over in Lund. I toyed with where to go in Sweden because none of the urban centres with easy access was exactly lush with caches. Malmö has quite a few, but it’s a big city and we wouldn’t have a car. That could lead to frustration.

So I checked around a bit and had a look at Lund. It’s a medium-sized town with a big cathedral, a little like Roskilde. That seemed good enough because I reckoned if we had a good day we could get upper 40s of finds possibly. That looked harder in Malmö, so I didn’t fancy it.

So the decision was made, and the plans were set.

Getting There

From our hotel in Kastrup, getting to Sweden is very easy. It hadn’t used to be, but then in 2000 the Øresund Bridge opened and it was possible to get from Copenhagen to Lund in about 30 minutes by train. So that’s what we did. We had another entertaining discussion with an assistant at the airport station about what tickets to buy and which train to catch. This time, the fun related to whether we wanted to come back or not. Clearly we did. Anyway, all done in the best possible taste, and the next train was arriving sufficiently soon that we ran down the steps to get on it.

Turn it Down a Bit

There’s a virtual cache on one of the footbridges at Lund Station which was easy enough to do, but that particular bridge was clad in a mix of yellow and orange glass. It may have been temporary while some work was being done, but the effect was kind of disturbing.

There was another cache just off the station, and then we started heading south to get on with it.

Lund had a number of sets of adventure labs, and most of them in Lund are sequential. I don’t tend to like that because it forces your walking direction and can cause a lot of wasted walking. That was one of the reasons also why Malmö didn’t look interesting. At least in Lund they could all be walked.

Stadsparken

We worked our way south from the station towards Stadsparken. This had one set of labs and a couple of others. They proved to be a bit irritating to do. Two had answers that had to be googled. One wasn’t there and the CO had given the answer in the question. One was just incorrect and had to be guessed. So all-in-all a slightly disappointing start, but at least we found the bonus.

By this time we were rerady for a rest. We’d set off a bit later than other days and it was well after 10am when we arrived. So it was pretty much lunchtime.

One redeeming feature of Stadsparken is that it had a nice cafe that did some industrial-grade nice cakes.

Hitting the Town

From the park we headed northwards towards the town centre. We had a couple of misses round here, which added to a general sense that it was going slowly. But finally we made it up to the cathedral. I asked Ami if she wanted to wait here while I went to clear up a few caches north of the centre. She was happy. The cathedral is free to walk around and the weather was reasonable again, so she was happy to keep herself occupied.

One source of entertainment on this day was that the town centre had a regular convoy of graduating schoolkids doing laps in the backs of lorries. They were all wearing blue suits or white dresses and sailor hats. No idea why. But anyway, it’s a local high school tradition. They were very keen and very noisy.

Those caches to the north involved another set of labs with bonuses arounf the rather cute university site, plus a couple of others. They took me about an hour. Ami was where I’d left her, although she had apparently been inside the cathedral for a while.

Botanicals

It was still quite early in the afternoon. Next up was a walk over to the Botanical Gardens. There was another set of labs over there. Before that though, we made use of their cafe. It was basic, but they had nice drinks and outdoor seats.

The labs took a bit of backwards and forwards but were easy enough, and the gardens were very pleasant. One of them was also irritating because we couldn’t find the information. Thankfully it was possible to guess it. Or we were lucky. The bonus for the labs required walking to the opposite end again and rummaging at the bottom of a couple of trees, but at least we found it.

What Now?

So by this time it was after 4pm but our event wasn’t until after 6pm. Realistically, I’d found all of the caches I was likely to find, so we had a bit of a gap. After some wandering around we decided to get dinner early so that we could make a faster exit afterwards.

We found a decent place in the main square to grab a pizza. I politely declined their offer of £10 for a 40cl beer. I’d quite forgotten how expensive it is to buy beer in Sweden when you’re out. It would have been nice, but seriously, £10? Never mind.

Eventing

The event we set up was much better attended than the one in Roskilde on Monday. About 6 others came. Most were other Swedish cachers. A couple were local to Lund and the others were from Gothenburg. They were down this way because there was going to be a big event in Malmö on the day after, and that event was reputedly going to publish upwards of 200 new caches. That kind of thing is usually enough to draw a crowd.

So anyway, quite a healthy crowd of us stood in the square outside the cathedral talking about geocaching, events, travel experiences and then latterly some politics. We overran the 45 minutes of event by some way, so it was a good thing that Ami and me had already eaten dinner. That meant when the event was done we could walk straight back to the station and jump on a train home. Except there was a delay on the railway and we had to stand there for 20 minutes.

Once we were on our train, the half hour trip home passed by unnoticed, and we made the epic one-station trip back on the metro and walked home. I think we were back around 9:30pm. That was enough for the day, to be honest. We’d got a potential monster of a day planned for Thursday, so we just packed it in and grabbed some zzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.



Slotsholmen

The Sketch

Our fifth full day in Denmark, and time to return to the centre of Copenhagen for a bit more geocaching action. The central focus of today was the island of Slotsholmen (literally “The Castle Island”, I think). It’s home to some iconic Copenhagen buildings including the Christiansborg Palace and the Borsen. More of those later.

Setting Off

We made our usual start to the morning with some breakfast and then a metro up to Kongens Nytorv. It’s kinda quick and we thought we should walk from there because the centre of Copenhagen is so compact that there’s little point in taking extra metros.

The plan was to clear out the area to the south and west of Kongens Nytorv, including Slotsholmen and as far across as the Central Station.

First up was a lab cache in Kongens Nytorv that I somehow missed on Sunday, and a bit of mooching about in that area covering things we didn’t walk past or couldn’t find last time.

Gammelholm

The “Old Island” lies south-east of KN down the side of Nyhavn. We walked through the middle of it to Tordenskjoldsgade, where there were two caches. One of those was a high terrain traditional. It turned out that this was about 3.5m up in the top of a street sign. It looked like a hooked piece of wire with the cache container down the inside of the pole. We couldn’t quite reach it. My magnet-on-a-stick was about 20cm too short and I can no longer support Ami on my back. Especially not after four solid days of walking. So we grumped our way towards Inderhavnsbroen to walk around the coast of this island.

At the final one on this part Ami spotted some loose sticks lying around on the floor, and we had the thought we might use those to extend our reach at that high-terrain one. To achieve that we would need to fasten the stick to the magnet-on-a-stick. We achieved that using the lanyard from Ami’s student ID. Any port in a storm. It worked well, and the the wire on the cache was magnetic, so that made it really easy to replace. That was a bit of a result.

Slotsholmen

On the next area of interest was the Holmen Kirke, followed by a wander over the bridge onto Slotsholmen.

The biggest and most obvious building on Slotsholmen is the Christiansborg Palace – a place where Danish politics, majestic horses, and tourists collide like a chaotic game of musical chairs. It’s home to the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the King’s state rooms. That all feels a bit “conflict of interest” to me. It clearly used to be completely royal in nature, and hence the surrounding horses. And, of course, the tourists.

If you have a few minutes to queue, you can grab a lift halfway up the central tower and take a pretty good view over the centre of Copenhagen. It’s free, but you might have to queue for a while. It was worth the trip up though, even though I was moaning about the apparent lack of service when we first joined the queue.

Outside of the palace to the west is a large central square, and to the south is a garden area. That was signposted to contain a cafe, but we couldn’t find it. Thankfully, there were still plenty of caches getting ticked off the list. So we kept going.

Taking Stock

At this point though, the sky started to look a bit dodgy. By the time we’d walked out towards Børsen the sky was looking suspect. There was a lab cache there I couldn’t figure out. We walked quickly back to Holmen Kirke to do part of a sequential lab. And then it started to rain properly, so we walked north a bit to find a cafe for lunch.

What we actually found was a rather posh restaurant. It did, however, do nice drinks and had a snacks menu as well as a “proper” lunch menu. So we availed ourselves of some of that whilst waiting for the rain to stop. While we were in there the sun came out again.

Afternoon

After lunch we headed back down past Børsen towards the waterfront and turned west. This lead us along to Langebro and then back up to the west side of Slotsholmen. It was typical city stuff we’d found in Copenhagen so far. Physical caches tended to be magnetic ones stuck to the backs of electrical switch boxes in the street. One on the far side of Langebro was a magentic stuck onto a steel sculture representation of Noah’s Ark. That was probably the most notable.

As with previous days, we were missing quite a few finds, and losing time because of that. By this point in the day we’d probably failed at half a dozen or so. This trend continued as we walked past the National Museum of Denmark.

Time for Fun

Next up was the Tivoli Gardens – a whimsical blend of rollercoasters, roses, and enchantment. Wooden rides mingle with concerts under starlit skies, and dinners in fairy-lit gazebos. None of which we actually went for. Well, Ami thought it sounded a bit naff, and anyway it was way too early in the day to stop.

So we walked round the outside. And then we walked back again because I missed not one, but two lab stages that were all placed on top of each other. So back we went.

Continuing west we crossed over the railway lines for a couple before deciding it was time for another break. By this stage it was about 4pm.

Choo-Choo

The Central Station is a grand brick-built affair. Not big compared to London’s main hubs, but big enough to be busy. It’s strangely uncomplicated though. There’s a single concourse filled with shops and cafes, and then just one route down onto each of 7 platforms supporting 13 sets of tracks. A London station with that many platforms would be twice as big, with all of the extra space used for extra fast food outlets. Copenhagen Station serves a purpose.

You can, of course, go to quite a few nice places from here. As well as the multi-coloured S-Trains covering the suburban area, you get the Danish InterCity and some German trains heading across the islands and then south, plus there are the orange and grey Øresundståg trains running from Helsingør through Copenhagen, across the bridge and up through Sweden as far as Gothenburg.

If you go down to a platform there’s a constant trickle of trains going through. Up on the concourse there’s lots of people. We managed to find an unoccupied slot inside a coffee shop and had a break. Ami stayed there for a while so I could go complete the caches actually inside the station. These were easy enough apart from one virtual where the object to be found was significantly smaller than I imagined.

Rådhuspladsen

Not far from the station is Rådhuspladsen. It’s a large and entirely paved square with the City Hall on one side. It was a pleasant evening and the square was fairly busy.

From my perspective, there was an entire set of labs, plus odd others, and both a trad and a virtual relating to a statue of Hans Christian Andersen. Another statue of HCA. There’s a lot of it about. All of the caches were easy, including one which required ducking into the metro station.

Too Early to Give Up

We sat in the corner of the square for a while and contemplated what to do. We’d cleared the whole area around Slotsholmen and towards the station, but it was a bit early for having dinner. We also didn’t want to go back to the hotel for dinner. We both sort of fancied an Indian. There were a few around, so we agreed to do a bit more caching until we were beaten, and then retire to the nearest.

The extra caches were north of us, alongside Ørstedsparken and up to Nørreport.

Heading back south, we decided eventually to stop caching and get some dinner. It was probably 8pm by this time, so we’d had a long day. The restaurant we tried was Bombay Bistro on Fiolstræde. It was small and very empty. The menu was very limited compared to an average English equivalent. It was definitely a cafe rather than a restaurant. The food we had was pretty good though. So we took our time and enjoyed it.

We didn’t bother with more caches after the restaurant – I’d had enough. We walked as fast as I could manage back along the main shopping street and just north of Slotsholmen. Back at Kongens Nytorv we jumped onboard for the painful 10 minute metro ride home. It had been a long day.



Helsingør

The Sketch

Our sixth full day in Denmark, and this time we planned to go see a bit of history as well as do a load more caches. Our target was the town of Helsingør – the home of Hamlet’s Castle and the closest point to Sweden.

Getting There

This proved to be the more troublesome trip of the holiday. Well, it wasn’t really troublesome, but it took much longer. A part of that was poor route selection on my part. I had in my mind that there would be direct trains to Helsingør from Copenhagen Airport. There may well be sometimes, but when we arrived there, there weren’t.

So we caught a train from the airport that took us to Copenhagen Central Station. Here we ahd to jump off the train and change platforms to get on a train heading for Helsingør. That one took an hour, so the total journey took us slightly under 2 hours. That meant it was 11am by the time we arrived. It turned out to be plenty of time though.

The Old Town

The town centre could be straight out of a fairytale. Colourful houses line cobblestone streets, and the majestic castle looms over the town from many angles. It’s a place so enchanting that even Shakespeare couldn’t resist. Although, one wonders whether he ever went there, or just made a mental image based on things he’d read about. Maybe the latter.

Anyway, as we left the station we were confronted by a little market square and our first



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