We wanted to give you a full recap of our honeymoon trip to Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Hold tight everyone - this is a LONG one, but we wanted to make sure that you got the full break down and photos from our whole trip. We hope you enjoy it and if this area of the world is not on your bucketlist, get out your pen because it will need to be added!
Day One – July 13th
As we began our trip we flew from BWI to Toronto on Air Canada then from Toronto to Copenhagen. The plane we flew overseas was huge with three groups of seating with two aisles! We flew over night!
Day Two – July 14th
Copenhagen, Demark – Tivoli Hotel
We arrived in Denmark around 8:30 am. Our hotel was not ready for us to check-in so we dropped our bags and went on a self-guided tour of the city. We started at the train station to convert money and then proceeded to walk endlessly around the city. We stopped in a small local pizza place for lunch (Hikos).
Back at the hotel we met our tour guide, Peter, from Collette for the first time. We checked in to our room and got ready for our welcome dinner.
At dinner (Zeleste) we met our 40 other companions for the first time, we were the youngest couple by about 40 years but the crowd was thrilled when our guide announced that I won the trip on Wheel of Fortune. We sat with Max and Mergie, who quickly became some of our favorite people on the trip. After dinner we stayed out in Nyhavn (our favorite area in the city) for some drinks. It stays light out for very long hours in the summer, so although it was after 10:00 pm it still felt like day time.
Day Three – July 15th
Copenhagen, Denmark – Tivoli Hotel
We woke up and had a lovely breakfast in the hotel. Then we headed out on our bus for a motor coach tour of the city, seeing many of the big attractions for the city – The Little Mermaid statue, churches, fountains, the royal palace and quarters, and parliament. The history and beauty of this city was just crazy. The architecture and the colors – we kept calling it the Charleston of Denmark. We then went out of Copenhagen for an excursion to the Castle of Fredericksborg. On the way we stopped for lunch in a coastal village. We were able to taste a lot of the local far including herring (it was a pickled white fish) and Ryan hated it. We sat with our new Texan friends Martin and Linda.
We continued up the coast to the castle. This castle was absolutely breathtaking from the outside. Perfectly manicured gardens and just stunning. It previously was a private residence but now serves as a museum of Denmark’s history. Favorite part: the topiary gardens were shaped in the crest/monogram of the current queen from an aerial view (serious life goals). On the way home from the castle we were dropped back off in the city center area for the evening. We went to the Tivoli Beergarten and drank Cooper and Radler beers, which was funny because that is the names of the beer that we drink at OMB in Charlotte.
We took a canal tour to see the city by boat. It was an amazing weather day and a Saturday so the city was popping. After the canal tour we ate dinner at The Standard where we ate way too much bread and were served very small portions of food. We were warned that service and dinner was slow in Scandinavia, and they were right. Our dinner took hours but it was very enjoyable. We finished the night off with ice cream on the water.
Day Four – July 16th
Vaxjo, Sweden – PM &Vanner
We woke up early to travel to Sweden by bus. We made a stop at a café/gas station where they had Doritos (I actually gasped). Also the Swedish people have a major sweet tooth and there was candy everywhere and I was in heaven. We saw an IKEA on the drive, which I loved! We made a stop in Kosta to see a glass blowing factory. This place was amazing – everything was handmade – stemware, bowls, everything. Nothing was produced by a machine. We watched a demonstration from a master glass blower. There must not be any safety regulations in Sweden because the master was wearing shorts, no gloves, no eye protection etc. and he used his bare hands and a wet piece of newspaper to shape the molten hot glass. We ate lunch at the café at the glass blowing factory and then back on the road to Vaxjo.
Vaxjo is a very quiet local city but we enjoyed it greatly. The hotel was stunning and we had some of the best food so far (Kafe DeLuxe), we wanted to find a place to explore and grab a drink, but everything was closed on Sunday. We luckily found a grocery store and bought some Rose to enjoy – but we got back to our room and realized it was non-alcoholic!
**PM+Vanner gave us some homemade cholates to celebrate our honeymoon
Day Five – July 17th
We woke up extra early and had breakfast at the hotel. P+M had the most amazing breakfast prepared including fresh pressed orange and apple juice. We traveled on the bus for 5-6 hours to Stockholm. We stopped at a small roadside café. We people watched a lot of small children and one even exclaimed “HEY” at us which we later learned was “hej” (Swedish for hello). Arriving in Stockholm we traveled to tour the City Hall, which was stunning and featured a full room of mosaic walls – 19 million mosaic pieces and 8 kilos of 24k gold. The City Hall is where the Nobel Peace prize and other Nobel prizes are presented – we became very humbled realizing the spectacular company of people that had once stood in this room. We then took a mini bus tour of the city and landed in Gamlastan (the old town) for a surprise Fika (coffee and dessert). After the Fika we checked-in to our hotel (The Grand Central Scandic) and then headed to dinner (FemSmaHus – which means Five Small Houses). This restaurant was originally owned by the first ever female restaurant owner in Stockholm. We had reindeer, salmon and veal for dinner along with some tasty champagne with blue berry liquor. We sat with Max and Mergie and Bob and Mary Ellen. After dinner we chose to walk home through old town on the pedestrian path. We stopped at the Hobo Hotel for a cocktail and then proceeded to an Irish pub (Lemrick).
Day Six – July 18th
Stockholm, Sweden – The Grand Central Scandic
First we went on a mini city tour and ended at the Vasa museum. The Vasa ship was built by the king and sunk 800 meters from its original location on its first voyage. It was meant to travel to Poland to show the King’s strength and power. It was found and raised from the sea around 1950. Because it was in brackish water instead of salt water, 95% of the boat was raised in its original condition. It was crazy that they could pick up the ship from the bottom of the sea mostly intact. The level of detail and the size of the ship was spectacular. Next we headed by bus and ferry on an archipelago tour.
We arrived on the island Vaxholm. This island town is basically a vacation home area, think the Hamptons/Nantucket etc. We went on a quick walking garden tour and then had some free time to explore the island. We had the best Swedish meatballs and relaxed in town. We then took a boat cruise tour back to Stockholm.
After arriving back in Stockholm we walked the city on our own and ended up in the SoFo neighborhood for an amazing overlook and ice cream. Once we realized how far we had walked from our hotel we figured out how to operate the Metro to get back to our side of the city. We relaxed for some time at the hotel and then went to a local dive bar and had some drinks and American food (which was necessary). It was a great day - very packed!
Day Seven – July 19th
Oslo, Norway – Hotel Bristol
We woke up in Stockholm and headed to the train station. It was about two blocks away from the hotel, but we had to take the motor coach because of the age and walkability of our tour friends. We were very excited to head to Norway because our guide said this was the best part of the trip. We were on the train for six hours through the small towns of Sweden. We caught up on some sleep (Ryan took pictures of me sleeping as usual). We arrived at Hotel Bristol and changed for dinner at Loise on the waterfront at Oslo (Aker Brygge). After dinner we walked around and explored the waterfront. We stopped at a bar right on the water (Lekter’n) and split a bottle of wine. It remained light even later than usual.
Day Eight – July 20th
Oslo, Norway – Hotel Bristol
We had breakfast at the hotel. We did a mini city tour of Oslo. During the tour we visited a Viking ship museum and Vigeland Park, which was a sculpture garden. The park was filled with statues (over 200) all by the same artist. All the people were depicted in the nude so that they were timeless and the most pure in form. The park was immaculately manicured with stunning lawns and roses. It took 13.5 years to complete the park. We arrived back at the hotel and then headed out to the town. We did some shopping first and then grabbed some lunch. In typical fashion, I started with an order of ice cream, Coke, and salt and vinegar chips while Ryan had a beer. We walked around the historic fortress with stunning views of the city and then toured the Resistance museum. Then we walked to the Royal Palace. It was the crown prince’s birthday so the castle had his crest flag hanging. In the evening we went on a three hour fjord cruise that included a prawn buffet. We met a fun couple from Sweden and a group of older women from Australia. It was our last night in Oslo and we loved this city.
Day Nine – July 21st
Flam, Norway – Fretheim Hotel
We had breakfast at the hotel then departed on the bus for Flam. We drove through the beautiful country side and began to understand why this was going to be the best part of the trip. During the ride we stopped off in some small towns/cafes. We had Chinese food, because we were craving it. We went through the longest road tunnel in the world (24.5 km). We stopped at a historic Stave church, an all wooden church dating back to the 1100’s when Christianity was forced on the Vikings. Almost all of the original wood was intact due to the fact that it was built on stone and covered in tar paint.
We arrived in Flam and settled into the most beautiful hotel. We rode the Flamsbana train up and down the mountain. The views and water falls were absolutely incredible – pictures will never do it justice, we can only try to explain it. We had dinner at the hotel with the group and did some shopping. The hotel was directly on the fjord and just stunning; it previously was a private resort for aristocrats.
Day Ten – July 22nd
Loen, Norway – Alexandra Hotel
We had breakfast at the hotel in Flam and then got on the bus to drive to Loen. We stopped at a café at the bottom of a glacier. This was our first look at a glacier and the clear blue water in the lake below. We were stunned. The glacier was on top of the mountain - not coming out of the water. We took a ferry across the water and then continued the drive through the stunning country of Norway onto our next glacier. The views were too stunning, something constantly to be looking at – mountains, waterfalls, fjords. We arrived at Briksdal glacier park. We rode “troll cars” (John Deere gators) to the top of the mountain and took a short walk to the most amazing sight. There were many waterfalls on the ride, one that soaked us a little. We saw a glacier calving (breaking and falling into the waterfall). The water was super cold.
We then drove to our hotel (Alexandra) where we had an amazing buffet dinner and a night cap drink – an old fashioned and strawberry daiquiri. A great end to the most beautiful day yet.
Day Eleven – July 23rd
Loen, Norway – Alexandra Hotel
We had breakfast at the hotel and then headed out on the bus to tour the awesome scenery. After an hour we arrived at the ferry in Hellesylt. It was a vehicle and passenger ferry where we rode on the top to look at the views. It was incredibly foggy and hard to see the mountain tops, but apparently this is how the weather typically is in Norway. We have been very lucky with our weather, however, it was very cool to see it this way. On the ferry, we were able to see mountains waterfalls etc. on all sides of us. We got off at Geiranger and took switchback roads up the mountain with amazing views of the town and fjord below. We got to a point where we were finally above the fog and the blue skies were beautiful. We saw a pond (at 3,000 feet above sea level) that was a result of melted snow and ice. We then continued to climb the mountain (Ryan was just a little terrified) and climb more, until we reached Dalsnibba (elevation 1,500 meters above sea level). This overlook was the best view we have ever seen in our lifetime, just absolutely breath taking. Ryan was terrified but finally mustered up the courage to walk to the edge of the glass for a photo. On the way back to the hotel we stopped in Styrn and had pizza for lunch and did a little clothes shopping (Moods of Norway).
When we got back to Loen we walked to a little white church up on a hill (I am obsessed with little white churches if you didn’t know!) and passed orchards and strawberry fields. This church had a memorial for two tragic rock falls that had occurred in the town and killed a lot of the people with a giant wave. Hard to believe the same exact tragedy happened in the same town twice, maybe not a place to be looking into real estate. After the church visit, we attempted to rent a pedal boat to ride out on the fjord, but none were available so we ended up with a row boat that had broken oars and probably had not been used for years. The struggle was real. It was relaxing and hilarious but not at all what we originally had in mind. We had buffet dinner at the hotel and enjoyed a few drinks with Peter, our tour guide.
Day Twelve – July 24th
We traveled to Bergen for the majority of the day and arrived there in the evening and had some free time to explore. We walked around the markets in town, bought some reindeer and other novelty meats and then took the Floibanen train to the top of a mountain to see the whole city of Bergen. On the train ride up we met a Thai man with a ukulele who proceeded to sing us a “Happy Wedding to you” song that he wrote specifically for us, it was hilarious. At the top there was a small café where we got some drinks and enjoyed the view.
We had breakfast in the hotel and then had an extended walking tour of the city. After the walking tour we continued to explore the city on our own. There were many souvenir shops and Christmas shops that we explored. We also had a Skillingsbolle which is a traditional dessert similar to a cinnamon bun. We got a glass of wine at an old tavern that had completely slanted floors and walls. Many buildings in Bergen were slanted due to an explosion that occurred in the harbor in WWII. We had our farewell dinner with everyone we traveled with. It was sweet to talk about all of our favorite parts of the trip and exchange information to keep in touch in the future. We ended the night by getting dessert on the water and headed back to the hotel since we had a very early flight in the morning back to the US.