Sandhamn

Short motor to Sandhamn, in time to get there for a late baked salmon teriyake lunch. Had time to explore the holiday town: very quaint. A bit of shopping and mooching. Pizza in town. A relaxing day.

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Gandalf hosted a drinks party and we were welcomed on board by the glamorous hostess, Steve. 

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Sail to Malmakvarn

30 miles today, half of this under sail at about 6 knots. Lovely channels, some very narrow indeed.

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Nice!

Michael moored perfectly using a stern buoy for the first time.
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Time then for a beer and a swim in the swimming lake in town. Bbbrrr. But lovely.

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In the evening our yacht and Jason Keedy’s alongside had the first drinks at 6:30. Good fun but leaves the hosts rather the worse for wear. Photo from Liz:

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So, broke out the Swedish meatballs and lingon berries with pasta which was our easy meal. Also tried the 54% Aldi Rum. Not bad for €7.

Arrived at Gåshaga Marina, Stockholm

Adam booked us great seats in first class from Køpenhavn to Stockholm. Train to Malmö across the Øresund Bridge was impressive. Quick change and cup of tea at Malmö, then a good lunch on the train.

Took local trains and buses to get out to Gåshaga Marina on Lidingö Island. Weather here is really cold and overcast, bit of rain in the evening too. Bbbrrrr.

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Met up with Kevin and James who had sorted out our 46ft yacht Matilda. The holding tanks was being unblocked as we arrived.

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Fun meal in the evening at Bryggan Restaurant. Six boats from the S&CA eating there. Here starts our Baltic adventure, thanks to Sam and Mags!

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Den Røde Cottage

For my birthday meal, we took the train to Klampenborg, at the end of the line, north of Køpenhavn. We wandered for a while through beech woods, in smaller and smaller tracks and came to a small red house in the middle of the wood close to a beach. Great spot for Michelin starred restaurant. The restaurant was relaxed and small, so a great choice for our meal. We had a seven course meal with three little amuse bouche, and a matched seven course wine selection.  Menu below (we skipped the chocolate course).

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Highlights were numerous: the Lovage dish, and raw lobster were super. The pinot noir from Adelaide was great, and the Loire Mineral too.

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It was an amazing meal. The service was excellent too. Thanks Michael for a lovely meal and memory.

http://www.denroedecottage.dk

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København

We’re staying for a couple of nights at Andersen’s Boutique Hotel, close to the station. Warm reception from the check-in guy and then straight out to Tivoli Gardens. Michael and I had a go on the 100 year old old wooden rollercoaster, which was surprisingly fast: this is the oldest running wooden roller coaster in the world (built in 1914). We felt sorry for the guy sitting in the middle of the cars controlling the brake and wearing ear mufflers. Tivoli Gardens are beautiful and packed with people, creating a great atmosphere. We had a beer and eye-wateringly pricey packets of cheap crisps. Better value were some frankfurters shoved in a hole in a bun with some special Danish sauce, squeezed from an udder. We stayed till 10:45 to see the light show over the lake, which was pretty.

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Friday was my birthday and I had lovely cards from Adam, Barry and Michael.
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A meal at a secret location arranged for the evening. Michael and I had a heartier than normal breakfast of lovely cheese, hearing and black bread to set us up for a day cycling. We joined a group of 17 for a Køpenhaven city tour with Bike Mike Tours. Mike was quite a character, but a bit stuck in his humour about women. The tour took us through some interesting parts of town.

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The Parliament Buildings

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The Grey Brothers Square

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The Little Mermaid
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Old harbour streets
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Changing of the guard at the Royal Palaces
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Royal Yacht from the 1920s
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Library Gardens
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University Quad with Graduations

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We ended up finishing rather later than 1pm and dashing back to meet Adam and Barry for lunch. They had been well entertained by student graduations, watching the young guys strip off and dance in a fountain. After lunch we walked up the Rundetaarn (Round Tower, 1637) with a spiral walkway up the middle instead of steps, to the observatory. Highlights included the wooden privy.

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ICE 37 from Hamburg to København

The train goes on a ferry to get from Germany to Denmark. Four carriages squeezed on with great efficiency. We travelled first class which was smart and had lots of room for the four of us. We had 45 mins on the ferry, as foot passengers, we couldn’t stay on the train. So had some dinner and Barry had a quick visit to duty free for gin.  Lovely scenery through Denmark, crossing the little islands on the approach to København.

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Hamburg

We’re staying at the elegant Hotel Eilenau which is roomy and grand, comprising two Art Nouveau buildings from the 1890‘s. It’s a couple of stops by train from the city centre. Breakfast was lovely, fish salads in mayonnaise, eggs with caviar, brown shrimps and so on.

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We followed a Telegraph walking tour through the Hafen old warehouse area from the beautiful Chile Haus, past canals and walkways to the harbour. Explored the harbour through a one hour tour (in German language) that took us through a lock gate and passed by container docks. Tried for lunch on an old fireboat, but left after about 10 mins and no attention for the waitress.

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Lovely lunch in a little cobbled street at Deichstrasse: currywurst was excellent and Michael has some pink sailors’ Labskaus mash. Some nouvelle cuisine matjes for Adam.

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Had a look at the grand Rathaus after lunch: inside matched the grandeur of the outside. Back to our hotel for a rest and a great sauna and steam forAdam, Michael and I, then a rest in the garden in the late afternoon sun to cool down.

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Walked along the river that runs along Eilenau, to reach the Außenalster lake. Great atmosphere in the sun and yachts there, along with numerous lake-side joggers. We headed over to Lange Reihe in St Georg for drinks and dinner in a lovely corner pub with a rainbow flag. St Georg is the understated gay area of Hamburg. I made a mistake in having the schweinhaxe, which was ½ a knuckle but still big, and Michael had a cordon-blu schnitzel. Barry had more pork, in a different way.  Good beer. We then moved over to the famous Reeperbahn in St Pauli, which was lively but not quite the red light district we’d imagined. We explored a couple of faded leather and sex shops.

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Thursday of to the Miniatur Wunderland http://www.miniatur-wunderland.de. 13 km of train track, 1,300 trains, pulling 14,500 wagons, 3,000 switches, 335,000 lights and 215,000 figurines. Estimated it took 580,000 hours to construct. There are 8 theme worlds, including operating air and sea ports, both impressive. Adam enjoyed the figurine diorama jokes (such as a guy photocopying his bum, and a porn shoot in one of the Hamburg Buildings). Lots of photos and a video of the impressive set up.

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Cologne

We’re staying at the Pullman Cologne, which is rather smart. We started the evening with a lovely sauna and steam with ice rubdowns and cups of herbal tea in the loungers. Both steam and sauna rooms were hot hot hot.

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After cooling down we had dinner in Brauhaus Sion with a few glasses of their home-brewed Kölsh.  Good traditional menu of hearty German food: sausages and knuckles of pork. We sat outside vaguely aware of the world cup on screens all round the neighbourhood.

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On Tuesday we started the day with a climb up the Dom. 533 steps to the top, where there is a cage running around the top of the tower to keep you in. It’s an impressive and airy tower, crawling with kids. The cathedral itself is imposing but heartless. The stained glass and sculpture were great though.

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We wandered over the railway bridge and explored the far side of the city, and stopped for lunch at Brauereiausschanks zum Pfaffen. Gorgeous modern stained glass in the cosy pub and we had a few kölsch here and a late lunch. Young herring was tasty and the schitzel with mushrooms good too. Lunches and dinners seem to be working out at €20 pp.

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Now on another train: this one a good value €18 for first class on the HKX Express from Cologne to Hamburg.

It took a while, but I managed to find this lock on the rail bridge, which was smothered in padlocks.

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Beer and Lunch in Brussels

We had three hours to have lunch in Brussels and a strong drive to avoid eating in Midi station (after previous experiences). Michael found us a nice art deco restaurant 15 mins away: La Porteuse d’Eau

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Which offered a lovely beer selection and a tasty lunch.

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We’re on our way to Cologne now on the ICE17.