11 May 2014, 11:01 pm

Roadtrip2014 : Destination Scandinavia – the final stats

As there have been some basic stats throughout the journey, I thought to conclude I would list a few more along with the final distance and duration.

9,105.2 miles – Final roadtrip distance.
216:00 hours – Final roadtrip driving duration.
53.3mpg – Average fuel economy.
30 days – Roadtrip duration.
-4oC – Lowest maximum daytime high (Honningsvåg, Nordkapp, Norway).
24oC – Highest maximum daytime high (Kalmar, southern Sweden).
71° 02′ 19″N, 25° 47′ 23″E – furthest point north visited.
4 – Number of times I accidentally drove on the wrong side of the road.
0 – Number of accidents due to the above!
4 – Number of Reindeer encountered (including one herd standing in the road!).
2 – Number of Mooooose encountered!
2 – Number of blizzards driven through.
1 – Number of British registered vehicles spotted near the top of Norway (a Fiat Panda!).

11 May 2014, 10:31 pm

Bruges, Belgium (Day 30)

My final roadtrip destination, another extra deviation as I was nearly back at the ferry terminal and had 5 hours spare.

What a good choice – Bruges, it has a relatively compact city centre but with some impressive architecture. The main square – the Markt, with its impressive Belfry towering above everything surrounding it is a good place to stop and take in the ambiance of the city. There are a selection of restaurants along one side of the square with a restaurant specialising in potatoes on the corner – I, of course made a bee-line for the chips!

Wandering further east, the buildings are archetypal Flemish in design with tall pointed gable ends and rather than just one or two remaining, there are street after street of them. To the south of the Markt is the Church of Our Lady with a particularly spectacular brick spire. It is definitely somewhere you could happily visit to relax and take in the atmosphere, possibly on one of the many horse drawn carriage tours or just sitting on one of the city squares being entertained by one of the street musicians. I shall have to return to visit the “Friet” Museum located here one day to learn all about the humble chip – alas it was closed!

Category: Belgium

11 May 2014, 9:59 pm

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Day 30)

An extra destination as I had some spare time on my return.

So Amsterdam, I happened to be in the city centre at 0700hrs on a Sunday morning for a wander. First off, good news for the frugal motorist – the city has free on-street parking every Sunday! As for the city, well, wow – the residents of Amsterdam clearly party hard on Saturday nights. The streets around and including Dam Square have litter strewn everywhere and the street sweepers are hard at work jet washing the streets, with a myriad of sweeper machines working away. It is impressive to see the process of sanitising the city centre and the speed in which order is restored – by 0900hrs, the city is ready to open for business again.

Museum-wise, I chose the Amsterdam Museum – a history of the city. It was a good choice, with interactive displays activated by QR code squares. Worth a visit for newcomers to city.

As for the architecture, it is pretty impressive – the city hall on Dam Square, Amsterdam Central railway station (the building itself rather than the station platform roof behind which is a little plain in comparison) as examples.

So to the stats:-

Distance since Hillerød, Denmark – 890 miles (8815 miles total)
Driving duration since Hillerød, Denmark – 12:39 hours (204:32 hours total)
Fuel economy – 53.1 mpg average

Category: Netherlands

5 May 2014, 11:31 pm

Frederiksborg Slot, Hillerød, Denmark (Day 29)

Following my disappointment at the previous location, I headed to Hillerød around 30 miles north to have a look at Frederiksborg Slot – a former royal castle / stately home.

Amazingly, the grounds were still open to the public at 1900hrs so I went for a wander. The building itself is spectacular with such ornate detail to be observed throughout. The gardens – particularly the formal Baroque garden were also impressive.

Category: Denmark

5 May 2014, 11:10 pm

Copenhagen, Denmark (Day 29)

I left this for the return journey rather than exploring at the start of the road trip. As for my thoughts…

Well, on arrival at the little mermaid statue (“little” being an apt descriptive word) it was possible to hear a certain British traveller mutter “Bl#%dy tourists, they’re everywhere”. Indeed they were. It can only be described as an infestation, people grasping cameras wandering from one sculpture to the next, taking photos seemingly for the sake of it regardless of what the object actually was!

I was really disappointed by the city to be honest. For me, the city itself isn’t entirely the attraction to see, although that said, the architecture was impressive. What I like to observe is how the locals interact with, and use the city. That is the culture which is in my opinion what truly makes a city. Here though, tourism has been promoted so extensively that it didn’t feel possible to connect with the locals – there simply are too many tourists… everywhere. Half a day was all I could take so I returned to the car and headed elsewhere.

So to the stats:-

Distance – 7925 miles total
Driving duration – 191:53 hours total
Fuel economy – 53.1 mpg average

Category: Denmark

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