Roger the Conquerer

Dublin, March 2022

In September 2021 we went on a drive to Denmark to pick up belongings of one of our humans. Our second trip was scheduled for the first part of March 2022.

Just like the first time, we would be driving to Gilleleje, a small town north of Copenhagen and returning to Dublin. It would be a drive of 4,860 kilometers and we'd be visiting 7 countries including detours to Berlin and Paris.

Click each photo to enlarge


Part 1: From Dublin to Luxembourg.

Part 2: From Luxembourg to Gilleleje.


From Dublin to Luxembourg

Stenaline, The English Channel, Mar 2022

Just like on the first drive to Denmark, one of our humans had booked the Captain's Cabin on the ferry. Roger of course was delighted with conditions. McBear was busy emailing and checking the news.
"The internet connection could be better..." McBear sighed.
"Ah, McBear! That's a minor issue. You should enjoy our cabin.




Falaise, Normandy, Mar 2022

Having arrived Cherbourg in Normandy we went to Trouville and stayed at the Best Western. Next day we went to Falaise. Our humans wanted to visit the birthplace of William the Conquerer. His fortress has been rebuilt to look just like in old times - as much as possible.
Roger had bought a flag showing William the Conquerer's two lions.
"William the Conquerer was born in Viking times." Roger announced. "A thousand years on and a viking is back: Roger the Conquerer!"




Falaise, Normandy, Mar 2022

We also saw the exhibition incl. models of armour and weaponry used to besiege towns and castles in midieval times. McBear got very interested, in particular in the stone thrower.
"Maybe we should build one of those at home," McBear pondered. "If our humans don't hear the alarm clock, we could wake them up by throwing stones at the bedroom door..."
Pity the shop didn't have bear sized armourment like swords or shields." Roger said.
"I am quite sure our humans are delighted the shop didn't have anything like it." McBear replied. "We are here with an empty car, and it's supposed to stay empty until we reach Denmark."




Bayeux, Normandy, Mar 2022

We went to Bayeux to see the tapestry showing how William the Conquerer gathered an army and sailed with an invasion fleet to the south of England. Here, at the battle of Hastings in 1066, he defeated King Harold. The tapestry is an embroidery and is nearly 70 meters in length.

On the way back to the hotel, Roger felt very inspired. It was like he was in a different world. Suddenly he announced:
"I want a tapestry! If William can, so can I!
McBear and Tom looked at each other.
"But how are we going to make a 70 meter long tapestry?"
"Well... what was it you once said about the scale between bears and humans? Was it 1 to 8? That means our tapestry only needs to be around 9 meters." Roger stated.
"9 meters?" Tom calculated. "That means that if we stretch it out, we'll end up far down the hallway at the hotel. Wonder what other guests might say..."




Trouville, Normandy, Mar 2022

Roger had an idea. In the evening we gathered receipts from all the shopping we had done so far. Then we used tape to piece it all together. When we ran out of receipts, we started using Euro notes, and when we ran out of Euro notes, we used Danish notes. Roger believed his tapestry was far more colourful than William's... Roger's tapestry reached from our room, under the dorr and a good bit down the hallway.




Bruges, Belgium, Mar 2022

The next day we left Trouville (with 9 meters of tapestry taking up much space in the boot). Near Le Havre we crossed the Seine River and arrived Bruges in Belgium later in the day. It was with pleasure we arrived the Duke's Palace in Bruges.
"We're back...!" Roger said.




Bruges, Belgium, Mar 2022

We enjoyed afternoon tea and coffee in one of the lounges.
Roger was looking around among the fine interiors.
"Wonder what the girls in the reception would say if we hung up my tapestry..."
"I am sure it will be noticed by other guests," McBear replied, "...and I am sure we will receive an invitation to not coming back..."




Bruges, Belgium, Mar 2022

We didn't get the same room as the last time, so there was no reunion with the golden angel statue on the balcony. However, Roger was content with the choice of our humans - McBear's only concern was the bill...




Bruges, Belgium, Mar 2022

Next morning there was a photo shooting session planned for the bears. Roger got up early and enjoyed his bath.
"Scrummety Pom and popo Gom..." he was humming, "... and Seven Rhums on the Seven Seas!".




Rozenhoedkaai, Bruges, Belgium, Mar 2022

Our photographer was not happy with the photos he got in September 2021 at Rozenhoedkaai when we were here the first time. He complained about the dark light, the crowds and there was too much wind. The photo on our bear calendar 2022 was not perfect...
This time at least it was quiet, no wind to make waves on the canal and it was too early for the crowds to have come out...
"On the other hand, it's too early for the sun to have come up..." McBear whispered to his friends.




Luxembourg, Mar 2022

We left Bruges and headed southeast, passed Brussels and arrived Luxembourg later in the day. This was a new bear territory and we were excited to be exploring this tiny country of just around 2,000 square kilometers. Luxembourg has around 630,000 inhabitants and has its own language.




Luxembourg, Mar 2022

Now, we had expected to find Luxembourg's capitol a nice little town with quaint old houses. But no, when we reached the southern part of Luxembourg City, we found a very modern hotel in a very modern business park! Here we are in front of our hotel, InnSide Luxembourg.




Echternach, Luxembourg, Sep 2021

Next morning we got up early and went out the door as we wanted to see and learn about Luxembourg. On the way we stopped in Echternach. This small town with old houses was more of what had anticipated. We needed to refuel, first petrol and groceries, next and more important: have some coffee! Our humans realized they were low on cash.
"Can you not just take some notes from Roger's tapestry? Tom suggested.
Roger looked in horror as his tapestry got shorter...




Vianden, Luxembourg, Mar 2022

From Echternach we headed northwest to the village of Vianden. It has a large midieval fortress on top of a hilltop. It was built over several hundreds of years from the 11th to 14th century




Luxembourg, Mar 2022

A couple of times we went sightseeing in Luxembourg, the capital. Here we are in front of the Ducal palace in Luxembourg, Palais Grand-Ducal. Luxembourg is actually a duchy.




Germany, Mar 2022

We left Luxembourg and headed north on the German autobahns. There's no speedlimit on the German motorways, but the authorities recommend 130 km/h as a limit. We didn't find it necessary to go beyond 130, but we did stop at places to chill out and have some coffee...




Celle, Germany, Mar 2022

Late in the afternoon we arrived Celle for a stay at the Althoff Hotel F├╝rstenhof. The main building was built around 1680in baroque style.




Celle, Germany, Mar 2022

We enjoyed some well deserved coffee and tea with paistry in the fine lounge.
"It's a bit quiet here, isn't it?" Tom asked.
"Well, for a five star I would expect more staffers around", McBear agreed.




Celle Castle, Germany, Mar 2022

Last trip to Denmark we stopped in Celle on the way, however, we didn't have time to visit the white Celle Castle. This time we did. The castle has had some famous residents, among others the Danish queen, Caroline Matilda, when she was exiled from Denmark in 1772.




Read the second half of our trip.



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