Saturday, January 6, 2007

Scandinavian Capitals


This summer, Pat and I will be visiting Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway during the months of June and July. Our itinerary, and information about the places we'll be visiting follows:

· Thursday, 7/5 – Fly from San Francisco to Oslo. Leave SFO at 9:55am, and fly to Munich, Germany by 6:00pm. Leave Munich at 6:55pm, and arrive in Oslo at 9:10pm on Friday, July 6th. Take the high-speed railway to the Oslo Main railway station, and walk four blocks to the Rainbow Hotel Norrona. Sleep and reduce jet-lag.
· Saturday, 7/7 – At 9:30am, walk back to the railway station, and take the railway back to the airport. At 12:05pm, fly on Blue to Helsinki, Arrive 2:00pm. Take the special buses from the airport, or the public bus #615, to Helsinki, and walk to the Hotel Arthur. After checking into the hotel, walk a few blocks west to the Botanical Garden. Later, walk about eight blocks south to the restaurant district for dinner. Check out the Restaurant Torni for Finish fare, Stindberg Cafe for Continental, or the Ravintola Kappeli or Teatteri Ravintola for International.
· Sunday, 7/8 - Take the Walking Tour in the Frommer's "Scandinavia". Visit the Senate Square, Lutheran Cathedral, Library of the University of Helsinki, Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, Dawn, Finish State Archives, House of Scientific Studies, Bank of Finland, Official Residence of the Lord Mayor of Helsinki, House of the Nobility, and the Finish War College and Military Museum. In the afternoon, see the Presidential Palace and Uspenski Cathedral, and visit Senate Square and Eliel Saarinen's Central Railway Station. Before it's too late, stop by Stockmann Department store or walk along Pohjoisesplandi for a look at modern Finnish design in the store windows.Visit Helsinki, Things to do in Finland, Hotel at City Center
· Monday, 7/9 – Visit the Market Square, and the Mannerheim Museum, housed in the home of Baron Carl Gustav Mannerheim, Finland's former field marshal, and president. Go to the Olympic Stadium to see the controversial nude statue of the famous runner Paavo Nurmi, and visit Finlandia Hall, Helsinki's main concert hall, designed by Alvar Aalto. Go to the National Museum and stroll through Sibelius Park, with its monument to the famous composer. Finland Festivals, Architectural Tours, Hotel
· Tuesday, 7/10 – Either 1) Visit some of the attractions in the archipelago, including the Seurasaari Open Air Museum and Suomenlinna Fortress; 2) Head north to Ainola, the home of Jean Sibelius, in Jarvepaa. Explore the nearby town of Hameenlinna and see his birthplace. or 3) take an excursion to Porvoo, Finland's second-oldest town, 48km northeast of Helsinki. Dating back to 1346, the old town features cobblestone streets and charming red wooden buildings along the Porvoo River.Helsinki Expert Touring, Environmental, Social, and Political Issues, Hotel
· Wednesday, 7/11– Visit the area around Helsinki.
· Thursday, 7/12 – More Helsinki, then take ferry to Stockholm.

· Friday, 7/13 – Arrive in Stockholm, walkaround city center, and plan future travels. Take a walking tour of Gamla Stan (old town), and have dinner there. Stockholm Jazz Festival, Hotel
· Saturday, 7/14 – .Get up early and visit the Kaknastornet television tower for a panoramic view of the city and its archipelago. Go to the Museum of Nordic History for a review of 5 centuries of life in Sweden. After lunch, visit the Millesgarden of Lindingo, the sculpture garden and former home of Carl Milles, Sweden's most famous sculptor Visit the Stockholm Summer games, Hotel
· Sunday, 7/15 – Continuing exploring Stockholm.
· Monday, 7/16 – Take the second walking tour.
· Tuesday, 7/17 – Around noon, take the ScanRail to Copenhagen. Arrive at 5:30pm. Hotel at Absalon Hotel.

· Wednesday, 7/18 – Begin the day with a stroll along Stroger - the world's largest pedestrian street - then visiting Kongens Nytorv (King's New Square). Travel through Nyhavn, the cheerful canal district where Hans Christian Andersen once lived. This evening, have dinner at a restaurant in Tivoli Gardens, the amusement park that has enchanted visitors for 150 years. Creep through the Haunted House or ride the Flying Trunk.Visit Copenhagen, Hotel
· Thursday, 7/19 – Take a wlaking tour , and then spend the afternoon walking through Tivoli Copenhagen Dancing", and listening to music.Copenhagen by Lonely Planet", Hotel
· Friday, 7/20 – Visit the Christiansborg Palace, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Journey outside the capital to the open-air museum, Frilandsmuseer. Head to Roskilde for lunch, and visit the cathedral, the Viking Ship Museum, and the Iron Age Village at Lejre, Hotel
· Saturday, 7/21 – At 5pm, take the overnight ferry to Oslo.

· Sunday, 7/22 – Arrive at the Oslo Ferry terminal at 9:30am, and catch the bus to Fagernes (9:40am). Arrive at Fagernes at 12:45pm. Hotel at the Quality Hotel.
· Monday, 7/23 – Rent a car there, and visit the farms in the Valdres Valley and Vang. Drive back to Fagernes to the hotel.
· Tuesday, 7/24 – Hotel
· Wednesday, 7/25 –
· Thursday, 7/26 - Visit the Valdres FolkeMuseum , Drive up E16 to Vang. Visit the Soine, Lajord, and Kattevold Farms, and drive around lake to visit Leine and Heen farms on the north side of the lake. Visit the Valdres Valley. Return to Fagernes.
· Friday, 7/27 - Drive up #51 to Gudbrandsdal, and visit the area.
· Saturday, 7/28 - Valdres Folk Festival? Is this really happening?.
More visiting in the Valdres Valley. More visits to the farms of my relatives, or visit the Gardnos Crator, near Fagernes, Valdres.
· Sunday, 7/29 - More visits to farms.
· Monday, 7/30 - 12:15pm - Take the Ost-Vest ekspressen to Flam.
Overnight at the Fretheim Hotel in Flåm including dinner.
· Tuesday, 7/31 - There is ample time to relax or enjoy a stroll along the fjord before boarding the early afternoon express boat to Balestrand at 3:30 PM. Arrival at 4:55 PM in time for dinner and overnight at the charming Historic Kvikne's Hotel, or Balestrand Hotel ($100 cheaper).
· Wednesday, 8/1 - Enjoy Balestrand and perhaps visit the Viking Ship Museum, Glacier Center, and the English Church before boarding the boat at 4:55 PM for a cruise on the Sognefjord to Bergen. Arrival at the Strandkaiterminalen is scheduled for 8:40 PM. Due to the long summer nights, it will be light all the way. Bryggen, a medieval wharf designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its gabled wooden shopfronts still bustle with activity today. Visit the fish market and sample a local delicacy - smoked salmon. Explore the aquarium, meet the seals, penguins, and catsharks that inhabit the North Sea. Then glide to the summit of Mount Floyen on a funicular for impressive views of Bergen and its harbor. Take a virtual tour of the ports north of Bergen.
· Thursday, 8/2 – Hiking in Bergen
· Friday, 8/3 – Train to Oslo. Check into Hotel in Oslo, and continue visit of city.
· Saturday, 8/4 – Forde Folke Music Festival" or Check out the online scene in Oslo, Hotel: Thon Hotel More exploring of Oslo.
· Sunday, 8/5 – In the morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Oslo. Tour starts with a visit to the beautiful Frogner Park with the lifetime work of Gustav Vigeland, Norway’s greatest sculptor. Vigeland Sculpture Park, an 80-acre garden teeming with 212 life-size human sculptures. See the International Museum of Children's Art before testing your skills on the ski jump simulator at Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of Oslo. Climb to the top of the ski jump tower and imagine soaring through the air on skis as a crowd of 50,000 watch you. Proceed to the island of Bygdøy for a visit to the impressive Viking Ship Museum, see the ornate burial of a Viking queen, where you will find authentic 1,000 year-old Viking ships and archeological finds from Viking times. The Vikings buried their leaders in ships filled with weapons, tools and jewelry, and even the dead person's pets! Discover 4,000 years of skiing history with skis from the time of the Vikings, and polar equipment used on expeditions. View other historic crafts at the Fram Polar Ship Museum. Time free to take a harbor cruise or stroll along the main street, Karl Johan. Visit the Kon-Tiki Museum. Enjoy the evening at leisure in Oslo. Travel to Telemark and Skien on the south coast.
· Monday, 8/6 – Continue coastal visit, and return to Oslo.
· Tuesday, 8/7 – Flight from Oslo (2:20pm) to Frankfurt, then at 4:25pm, fly to San Francisco. Arrive at 8:00pm.