A few photo glimpses and words from a spontaneous road trip through Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
This post was originally published on Patreon about 2 weeks ago – as an early-access article to my patrons. Big THANKS to those fine folks’ continued support!
After Covid caught me (and I still don’t know where and how exactly) right before my flight to Germany, which forced me to push back my flight and cancel my trip to see my cousin in France and instead just see my family in Germany, I felt at first rather exhausted and then got some serious Reisefieber. Reisefieber is a German word for the intense desire to go on a trip. Literally, it translates to “Travel Fever”.
When a heat wave was starting to roll north through Europe, and that Reisefieber kept nagging at me, I very spontaneously and by the seat of our pants, went on a road trip with my BFF and brother-from-another-mother Erik, who provided the wheels. We headed north, and visited towns and countries along the Baltic Sea in a clockwise round road trip.
While I took lots of photos during my time in Germany – and as usual lots of nature photos around my childhood home where my parents still live. I thought for this post, I’d just present you with a little photo essay from this road trip, which ended up taking me to 3 countries, and had me travel by car, bike, boat, and eventually by train as I went to also see my friend Judith in Berlin… and we took another trip into the countryside south of the city.
Ready to get going and follow those geese north… And just like the geese, there was lots of loud sing-a-longs – and maybe even some honking!
Road Trip Stop 1: NordArt 2022, Germany
I’ve stopped posting people or personal photos on social media years ago. And I’m certainly not one to post selfies… until this week.
At the beginning of my Europe trip, I knew something needed to change in my work, volunteering, and creative life – at least a re-balancing and shift of focus. I decided to spend this time keeping my senses open to all forms of inspiration, guideposts, and visions of self – in hopes answers would float to the surface.
The most obvious things I see…
Something that might hold back many of us: a distorted and unloved vision of ourselves. Something that might inspire many of us: birds.
In these photos, I see a lot of what I wrestle with, what holds me back, and what inspires me, keeps me going. The answers aren’t all there – but they’re floating around.
The artist of the “Finding Dodo” sculptures is Liu Ruowang.
The woman with her masks is by Vasil Berelas
Road Trip Stop 2: Flensburg, Germany
Less birds, more shoes.
Lots of shoes strung along several lines in Flensburg on the road leading to Nordertor. Must not relate to drug dealing gang territories here 😉
Good reminder that not all knowledge and conventions apply the same way across time and space.
Road Trip Stop 3: Copenhagen, Denmark
We made it to Copenhagen!
… and even managed to snag an outdoor table at one of the Nyhavn restaurants for delicious Smørrebrød (soul food for a Northern girl) and colorful daylight and night time views.
Road Trip Stop 4: Fristaden Christiania
In the middle of Copenhagen is another town: the freetown Christiania, which started off as a squad in the early 1970s and today still follows its own rules and features some very cool DIY homes “in town” and throughout the woods along two side of the island canal. It’s very much frowned upon to take photos inside Christiania, probably not only because of the cannabis stands on Pusher St. When I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the fittingly semi-obscured street art by German artist @p.banause with its road trip mention, I was told “no photos”. Those guys though laughed and kept walking. Later when I tried to catch a moment of Erik with a Christiania-brewed beer, I got told off in Danish by one angry old lady. Gotta respect what this place is about.
While I took many more photos in Copenhagen that day and some bird photos in Christiania, this ultimately seems like the right one to capture this road trip stop. The red-yellow symbol on the left is the Christiania flag/emblem.
2nd Day at 3rd Stop of Road Trip (Copenhagen) took me back to Rosenborg Slot for the 2nd day in a row because it’s my favorite and offers a great backdrop for having a beer in the royal garden, pet carp, and let the sun set on another awesome road trip day with your Bester Freund.
Road Trip Stop 5: Malmö, Sweden
Took a quick turn to swing by Sweden – to check out the iconic dancing tower, and naturally, genuinely Swedish Ikea and H&M.
Until this spontaneous road trip, I had no idea you could just take a tunnel and a bridge (for a hefty fee) and drive from downtown Copenhagen, Denmark, to downtown Malmö, Sweden in less than 45 minutes. Mind-blown and another country visited. Of course, a Sweden visit had been long overdue with my sister-in-love Lotta and my nephew Linus both being pretty darn Swedish – and also pretty, of course. Yay, road trips!
Road Trip Stop 6 is a moving stop: the car ferry across the Baltic Sea from Denmark to Germany via the island Fehmarn.
Now there was probably plenty of rum to purchase in the duty free shop, but none of that behind this door. And I skipped the duty free shop for the fresh air, the birds, and random photo ops.
Road Trip Stop 7: Grömitz, Baltic Sea, Germany
Made it to the 3rd country in just one day. But during blue hour it’s too late to take a dive in this underwater elevator. At least that’s what I think it is. What do you think it is?
Road Trip Stop 8: Wismar, Germany
My first visit to Wismar in the former East Germany, which has so many buildings and streets older than this clock with its vintage Persil laundry detergent advertising. But I want to celebrate the thought that this German product advertisement survived the cultural changes of this part of Germany turning Eastern Block and then back to Western, with all the politics and economic theories and propaganda involved – yet this “reiner als rein” (cleaner than clean) product of our cultural and commercial identity survived. “fuer alle Waesche” (for all laundry)… in this world more connects us than separates us. And yes, in the US, I sometimes treat myself and my laundry to a little Persil when I want to breathe in extra happy memories and a sense of home.
Road / Train Trip Stop 9: Berlin
Only came through Berlin for a night and morning Tempelhofer Feld dog walk with Judith and her dog Nia.
Road / Train Trip Stop 10: Bestensee, Brandenburg
In the countryside around Berlin, there are all kinds of amazing nature and landscapes to explore and. Found all of this around just one village.
And then I took the train back via Hamburg to Wedel, where my dad picked me up and drove me back to my parents’ house where Erik had picked me up one week prior. Clockwise round trip completed.
What’s not completed is, of course, sorting through all the photos I took. And choosing which photos to share and move forward with is always a challenge. Here, for example, is an alternative for the tree photo from above: