Viking Ships and Viking Food

While we had a great time in Berlin, we were certainly ready to head back to Copenhagen right away. I t’s not that Berlin wasn’t great, it just wasn’t cosy like Denmark.

Oh I don’t think I’ve mentioned “cosy” … from what I could tell, if there was one “thing” the Danes would want a tourist to say about their country it’s that it was “cosy.” You can take my word for it, the food, the atmosphere, the people, were certainly cosy.

On our first day back we grabbed some pastries and took a train out to a small town to see a Viking ship museum. The ship museum is focused around 7 viking ships that were found sunk together off the coast. They were able to salvage enough of the ships to preserve and piece back together. It was a very modern, beautiful museum all around right along the water. In the summertime you can take a ride on a ship that was built how the vikings built their ships, so I will be back for that experience one day.


This is the side of the ship you can ride on in the summer: DSC_2699 DSC_2702 DSC_2705 DSC_2711 DSC_2713 DSC_2714 DSC_2717 DSC_2722 DSC_2733 DSC_2746The highlight of the museum was a room full of Viking clothing and some props. Thankfully, being there in the “off season” we had the space to ourselves to really explore our inner Viking. 
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There was a beautiful restaurant outside of the ship museum, in full coziness they had fur blankets for the chairs and beautiful, natural candle-filled centerpieces. The food was unbelievable as well – take a look at Kyle’s pork sandwich. DM_Ships1 DM_Ships2Yes, my salmon (which was equally delicious) looked a little sad next to that sandwich.

After that big meal (and after all of the coffee I drank) we burned off some energy by chasing ducks around the park.

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DSC_2870And how cool is this tree? It’s an actual tree, carved to look like this. We found it in a cemetery and I could not get over how interesting it was.

Ok, I think I have one more post in me from our trip, then I’ll start to get up to speed on our other adventure photos since then!


So, There Was this Big Wall in Germany…

Like the museums in DC, the Berlin museums close right before dinner time, so unfortunately we didn’t have too much time to hit up more than 1 on Day 2 (thanks to the late night we had). Going off of some recommendations we chose to visit the DDR (GDR) Museum, which is dedicated to the life of the people in the dictatorship.  

We didn’t take too many photos in the museum, mostly because it contained a lot of reading and a significant amount of deep thought (which was painful, given the hangovers we still  had). This first photo is a “window” into the Berlin Wall divide, what it looked like between the wall and West Berlin.

DSC_2501We had never learned this piece of history in class – ever. Sure, we talked a little about the Cold War, and when the Berlin Wall fell what that symbolized, however the Wall itself was never actually explained. The entire time we were in the museum Kyle and I were in shock, “WHAT!” we kept saying, and “HOW?” was a consistent question brought up. Take for example the photos below, these were part of an explanation on how the East Berliners were able to go on vacations. The government set them up to travel to other communist locations (Russia) – and ONLY these locations. So they’d go to their DDR-approved beach, and because there was no use for a bathing suit inside the Wall they just didn’t have them, they went naked. Thankfully the DDR Museum covered this nudity in 3-D, just in case the whole wall of photos wasn’t enough.

BerlinWallMuseumNudesDay 3 in Berlin was finally sunny for us. We were dying to see more of the city and of course see this big Wall we’d been hearing so much about, so we rented bikes to take around. If you’re ever in Berlin I highly recommend biking along where the Wall was to see this park. It not only contained large pieces of the Berlin Wall, but it had these poles along the way through that explained exactly what happened at that point and included photos. Just like the day before, we stayed in a constant state of “HOW!?” as we read accounts of families split apart by the Wall, and the general acceptance of the Wall around the world (it was up for almost 30 years).

photo 4 DSC_2516 DSC_2525photo 1 DSC_2531 DSC_2532This area used to be between the Walls separating East and West:

DSC_2534 Showing both sides of the Wall: DSC_2552 DSC_2553DSC_2527 DSC_2515After getting through the park we biked through the city with a goal of reaching the Berlin Victory Column. We passed down a street that was in the process of being closed off, and saw a lot of police standing around the area. I guess being DC residents we don’t bat an eye for street closures, but eventually we came upon what looked to be a large palace with a motorcade out front. “This looks familiar” … thankfully we had our Google-machines on this trip and looked up more detail that we were, in fact, in front of the German President’s palace: Bellevue Palace.

We were about to move on to find that Victory Column when the doors opened up and people started coming out. Kyle was a paparazzi  in another life and was beyond thrilled to have a reason to pull out the 20 pound super-zoom lens we are borrowing from his dad (“see, this is why I bring it!”). Noticing right away these clearly were not Germans on their way out the door we went back to the Google-machine to investigate what was really going on today at the palace.

This is where the entire blog post comes full-circle: 

South Korean President Park Geun Hye was visiting with German leaders to gain insight into reunification.  It was at that moment we realized the streets were all lined with alternating South Korea flags.

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And here is the Berlin Victory Column:


It would be safe to say one of our most favorite parts of Berlin, after the intense public transit systems, is the food vendors setup underneath the train tracks. After our bike ride we grabbed a couple currywursts (these things were cheap and EVERYWHERE) before heading back to the hotel and on to the airport. photo 3photo 4It’s like a hot dog, but different, pre-cut and covered in a thick ketchup-ey sauce.  I imagine it tastes better with or after a big ‘ol German beer… after a day long bike ride though, it was a little tough to stomach.