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17. August 2009 10:21
by Rene Pallesen
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Manhatten of the Medievil - San Gemignano

17. August 2009 10:21 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

san gemignano


After Verona we drove to Tuscany to a small medievil town called San Gimignano. It is a very small town where in the medievil days they were competing who could build the most 'high-rises'. This means that today the town is full of all these tall towers (There used to be a lot more back in those days).

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The town is full of tourists during the daytime and at night the town is again taken over by the locals including the werewolves from the surrounding area.

We were staying inside the old city walls, so for the most part we were safe except for the odd werewolf.


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They also have the world champion in Gelato...normally I don't belive marketing gimmick like this, but I must admit that the gelato was very nice.

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At night time once the tourists were gone it was an amazing place. The towers are rising into the night sky and I had a lot of fun taking photos of the towers just using the ambient light.

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17. August 2009 10:18
by Rene Pallesen
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Verona and the Opera - Italy

17. August 2009 10:18 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

verona and the opera


We arrived to Milan in Italy from Copenhagen in the evening. The first thing we did after landing was to pick up our rental car which was a small Fiat Panda (Never, ever rent a large car in Italy...some streets only accomodate snall cars) and then drive to our Hotel. The Tom-Tom nagigator software on my mobile phone turned out to be exceptionally useful on our trip to find our way around.

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The next morning we drove towards Verona and at lunchtime we had a look at our map and noticed that we'd drive right past Lago di Gardia (Lake Garda). I asked Kim to plan a diversion somewhere for a lakeside lunch.

She chose Sirmione which is a long peninsula on the southern side of the lake.

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I used to stay at Lake Garda with my parents when I was a kid. The water is bright blue and it is a beautiful place.

We then continued to Verona early afternoon and found our bed and breakfast which is about a kilometer from the city centre. The road up there was very narrow and anything wider than the Panda would not have been able to get through.

As soon as we had gotten settled we walked down into the city centre.

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We had opera tickets for Aida in the old coloseum in Verona in the evening, but had to first pick up the tickets. The tickets were quite pricey so we had chosen to get ticket on the upper stairs with almost everyone else.

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It meant that it was a bit less confortable and that we would have to enter early to get a good seat. But it also meant that we were sitting up higher which is better for taking photos.

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The performance was amazing. There was approximately 500 actors on stage (and 4 horses) and ther used about a quarter of the coloseum as the stage.

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It was a beautiful and warm night with a brightly lit full moon.

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The performance finished around 1am at night and from there we walked to one of the squares of Verona and had some coffee (Places were still open).

The next morning we did a bit more exploration around Verona. Kim wanted to see the romantic balcony of Romeo and Juliet (Or Donald and Daffy Duck as I called them as they are just as real as the imaginary Romeo and Juliet)

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Since we were there we also had to rub the right breast of the Juliet statue there for good luck.

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In Daffy's house they also has a lot of interesting art work.

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Verona is an interesting city. They have a whale bone suspended from one of the gates...apparently the legend says that it will fall down upon the first 'Just' man who passes under it (and kills him??). Unfortunately (or fortunately) it didn't fall on neither Kim or I.

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The city is full of old buildings with interesting architecture


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17. August 2009 10:13
by Rene Pallesen
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Rosenborg - Denmark

17. August 2009 10:13 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

copenhagen denmark


On the last day in Denmark our flight wasn't leaving from Copenhagen to Milan until early evening, we therefore decided to head into the capital a bit earlier in the day and spend a couple of hours sightseeing with my parents.

We went to a place called Rosenborg (Rose Castle) which is where the Danish royals keep their crown jewels.

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It is also the place where they train the soldiers that protect the royals.

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Some of the jewels are absolutely stunning. There is lots of ivory, old weapons, saddles, gold etc. everything coverved with diamonds, perls, emeralds, rubys and other jewels.


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My mum and dad was waiting outside (half asleep) while we were inside looking at all the awsomeness.

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17. August 2009 10:12
by Rene Pallesen
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Knuthenborg Zoo - Denmark

17. August 2009 10:12 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

knuthenborg zoo


While we were in Denmark we went to the local zoo called Knuthenborg. It was created by the owner of one of the big farms who had a vision to create one of Europes larges open air zoos. What is so special about this particular zoo is that you drive around amongst the animals and in certain areas are allowed to leave the car and interact with the animals.

The first place we went was the monkey area. Here we were able to walk around some of the Lemurs (Half monkeys) from Madagascar.

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Driving around we also saw a number of other animals such as the asian water buffalo (which loves mud), zebras, Zobel Antelopes, Goats


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Kim even found a horse her own size

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We had a bit of fun with the camels. I don't know what they were thinking but they kept eating my hair and I think one of them was in love with me.

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They also have some more exotic animals there such as tigers and rhinos (The wouldn't allow us to get out of our car to pet these).

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17. August 2009 10:11
by Rene Pallesen
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Medieval Centre in Denmark

17. August 2009 10:11 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

midieval centre


Not far from where my parent live there is an open air museum displaying how people lived in the medieval time which in Denmark was the late 14th century.

For Kim and I it felt like we suddenly were a princess and a knight from that time.

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Besides from houses, ships and other buildings the place also displays various handicraft, weaponry and how people battles in those times.

They have working Trebuchets there to throw massive stones (or dead animals and burning tar) accurately for distances of more than several hundred metres.

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Every day they show people how they work and hurl massive stones into the water.


We tried some of the weapons. I used to be fairly alright with a bow and arrow when I was a kid. I tried the bow and arrow here and it was a total disaster.

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Obviously Kim went straigh for the shoes and the furs (I am not a fur person myself):

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They also had a knights tournament on while we were there. Two knights would fight using their lances which would shatter on the impact against the shields.


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17. August 2009 10:09
by Rene Pallesen
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Sailing in Denmark

17. August 2009 10:09 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

sailing


On one of the days in Denmark we had a really nice and relatively calm day. This was perfect for us to go sailing and bring my mum along.

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First we had to get my mum onboard. The Sailing clum has a crane for removing masts from the boats. This is perfect for lifting her in a specially designed harness from her wheelchair to the boat.

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The water between the two islands (Lolland and Falster...the island I grew up on) is fairly narrow and long and we spent time sailing north for a couple of hours, had some lunch whereafter we turned back again. It was a beautiful day and my mum really enjoyed it as well.

We managed to take some really nice family photos on the trip.


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On the same evening we had a beautiful sunset.


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17. August 2009 09:39
by Rene Pallesen
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Denmark 2009

17. August 2009 09:39 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

denmark


When Kim and i got married last year we promised my mum that we would come to Denmark this summer (European) and have a little party with her as she was unable to attend.

Our journey there didn't start well. A five hour delay from Sydney meant that we missed our flight in London. British Airways told us that we wouldn't be able to get on a flight until next day but we insisted that they get get on us a flight the same day. They waitlisted us on a couple of flight and eventually we managed to get to Copenhagen late the same evening. Thanks to modern technology my parents were updated with the flight details so they didn't have to wait around and they arrived to the airport just before we arrived.
It took our luggage another two days to catch up with us, this meant that we had to do some essential clothes shopping.


The first couple of day we spent with my parent, cooking for them, taking my mum to the forest, the beach as well as going sailing. It is summer time in Denmark at the moment, so the weather was a lot more pleasant than the last time we were there and there was more people at the beach etc.

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It was a bit weird visiting this time. My mum and dad are no longer living together and they had sold the house week before we arrived. This meant that we were staying in my dads apartment (Which used to be my brothers) and visiting my mum during the day. My mum has got a really nice little apartment in a facility where there are people around to assist her whenever she needs help.

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My mum has also still got the car, so it is easier to take her to places as it has got a lift and special belts to secure the wheelchair.

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At the end of the week my dad had organised a party for my family and friends. It was in the middle of the holiday season, so a lot of cousins and other family members were unable to join.

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It was especially good to see my grandma (who is 89).

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We were in Denmark a total of 10 days before then heading to Italy.

7. July 2009 09:44
by Rene Pallesen
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Kims Birthday Party

7. July 2009 09:44 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

kims birthday party


Kim likes to have a lot of parties (Pre-Party, Party and Post Party) when it is her birthday. This weekend we had a big group of her friends over for a BBQ.

It is currently winter here, but it was nice and sunny, so the backyard was still warm in the mid twenty degrees so we were able to sit outside.



Kim had baked cupcakes the night before and used the cupcake stand from our wedding to present them and it looked fantastic.

Baking cupcakes

Kims Cupcakes



Kims Cupcakes

28. June 2009 09:20
by Rene Pallesen
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Kims Birthday & Blue Mountains

28. June 2009 09:20 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

kims birthday blue mountains


Last year I took Kim to Hunter Valley for her birthday. This year we decided to head up to the cold Blue Mountains.

We hired a cabin that we stayed in a couple of years ago. It is a nice little self contained cottage in the Blue Mountains...loads of privacy and a nice little woodfire and spa.

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It was cold up there so the wood fire was very convenient.

Saturday morning we had booked a round of golf at Leura golf course. The first thing you notice here is that everyone plays really slowly. We got let through two groups but still managed to complete the round in less than 4 hours. It is a beautiful course and it was one of the most enjoyable rounds of golf I'd played for a long time.

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And as you can tell Kim was very relaxed too.

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And here showing the latest in golf fashion.

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In the afternoon we had a look at Leura (Kim had the munchies for scones) and we had a look at the local shops.


In the evening it was time to celebrate her Birthday so I took her out to dinner at Echos Point Restaurant. Food was ok, but overprices compared to many really good Sydney restaurants. But there was plenty of food so we skipped the desert...and had a really nice and romantic evening, so Kim was very happy.

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Next morning we woke up early to have a look at a few shops and gardens around the place. First we went to a garden called Everglades...nice, but would have been nicer once the flowers are out in late winter (It is winter here in Oz now) . After that we went to Mount Tomah botanical gardens. These are very nice, there was plenty of flowers and the layout of the gardens is really nice.

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I bought a new tripod for photography last week so we decided to have some fun around the place with jump shots.

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14. June 2009 07:40
by Rene Pallesen
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Vivid Sydney

14. June 2009 07:40 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

vivid sydney


This year Sydney has put on a fantastic lightshow in the city centre. Purpose is to draw people into the city here at winter time.

One evening after having dinner with a couple of friends, Kim and I went in there to take some photos of some of the light shows....and here are the results.

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