2013.11.09 - Denmark

40th wedding anniversary, bike race and a snappy trip to Denmark

Time flies and it's been a full month since I last updated the web site. Been busy for the same reasons as always, but on top of that we went back to Denmark for a week at the end of October there was no real schedule or reason for the visit other than ... to visit, so it actually ended up being a very relaxing trip. Minus the jet lag of course.

We flew Finnair, so first stop was a night in Seoul. We had not booked a hotel, so when we reached Incheon Airport we headed straight for the information desk. The very helpful lady behind the desk started phoning around, but apparently the hotels were either all full or couldn't bother with new guests at 11 o*clock at night. Paula started getting nervous around the tenth phone call but at the 15th we stroke luck. 10 minutes later the owner of Elvis Bed& Breakfast pulled up in front of the terminal for our free transfer. Together with his wife they had a small apartment in their house which they rented out. They were both very friendly and Elvis'y !

Early next morning to the terminal, board, stop in Helsinki and arrival in Denmark (makes it sound easy ... why all the jet lag??). Train to Malmö and then pretty much directly in a taxi to Tom and Noelia's place. Even though only 3 months had passed, the kids had really grown up. As always ... great company, our friends Tomcito and Noe!

Next morning we met up with Heini, Spencer and Jackie at Trianglen. Sebastian had fallen sick that morning, so Tue had to stay home with him. Didn't get to see him unfortunately, but at least we got a chance to eat lunch with Shirley and Svend before catching the train to Denmark.

While we were on Fyn with my parents, the biggest storm in 10 years hit Denmark. As if that wasn't enough, it rained pretty much every day that we were there. What else could we do but but stay indoors with lots of Danish pastry ?!? My sister Inge was there from Belgium with the kids and Tamas and my other sister Merete visited our parents and made it back to her place before the storm hit, so there was nothing wrong with a lock-in. Next day Paula and I walked down to the village supermarket (it's a small place) and assessed the damage along the way. We only saw three trees down. A couple of days later we drove to Odense and here the situation was different. Plenty of trees had dropped - a few of them obviously having blocked the road. 3 people lost their lives as a result of the storm - nothing compared a south-east Asian typhoon but quite dramatic for Danish standards.

Gathered around the dinner table once again

Inge's homemade pastries

Tamas and Merete digging into some delicious Belgian chocolate

Miklós digging into some delicious Danish yogurt

Sofie massaging the physiotherapist. She does wicked massages!

Tamas in the driver's seat - and it's not in his new car !

The forest looked brilliant in a sudden burst of sun rays

Miklós - although not a avid walker - did good.

Until Grandma got us all lost. She had taken off in her half-running speed and when our ways crossed again, she persuaded us to turn around as that should have been the shortest route back to the house (the kids needed a bathroom). It wasn't!

Visiting Vanda in Juelsminde

The girls ...

With my cousin Ingerlise, Matthias and Lisa in Copenhagen before returning to Ulsan.

Other than the trip to Denmark I have basically only two stories to tell: On October 19th Nicola's parents had been married for 40 years. Nicola and Ruaraidh decorated the apartment and invited some friends over for a surprise afternoon party. It was a nice surprise for them.

40 red balloons

Paula, Marlene and Brian

Asli had done a great job with the icing

Asli, Erkan, Neris and myself

Charlotte and Brian cutting the cake

On October 13th I joined my first bike race. Well, we thought it was a race but after we finished we were told that it was just a social event ! In any case - we had fun. It wasn't the best route as it turned out to be all road or fire access roads. One long steep climb and one very fast descent .... full of hikers. The hikers made for an interesting last half of the 20km, but I managed not to kill anybody. Not sure about my finish position but I made it just below 2 hours - I guess 20 other riders may have crossed the line before me, as the finish area was pretty empty. Two foreigners were there before me; Mike who came second in 1:42 and Simon who passed me on the last third of the monster climb, when I was running out of steam. He looked very fresh and came in 5 minutes before me. Was only passed by two or three riders, so glad that at least one of them was a foreigner! Met a few expats at the race but have only hooked up for more riding with Simon. He has joined a couple of night rides together with the usual 3-4 riders.

890 people for the national hymn. 10 foreigners who were a little out of place.

Dan O'neil

Lunch was surprisingly good

One weekend I went exploring around Mount Muryong. The views of Ulsan are good.

I was looking for the dedicated downhill trail, but failed to find it. After 30 minutes of searching and requesting help from Mike, I picked the trail which had a sign withs a bike on it, There was also a big red cross on top of the bike ... wonder what that means ?!? In any case, I hope it wasn't the trail as it was bollocks ! Here so steep that my rear wheel overtook my front wheel many times. Not healthy!

Tomorrow I have another race. This time we have ensured that it actually is a race and Mike is at the top of his game ... there USD500 to be earned!

Mike, Web, Michal and I scouted the race circuit today. Nice ride but I think I will suffer tomorrow. I feel Thursday's squash game in the legs today and I guess I will feel today's ride tomorrow.

In October we were invited to Paola's birthday at the clubhouse. Somehow we always end up with invitations for children birthday parties. This was a French/Mexican one, so great food !

Company double-birthday dinner at Harmony.Jonny here is leaving the project but joining the crew. Will probably do first rotation in Korea and the home stays in Spain. Lucky bugger !

Menu ??? Danish roast pork !

Visiting Sunilda and Jose in Haeundae - turns out that they live next door to Leif Idar - my colleague. Suni and Jose have recently returned to Korea - Paula know Suni from years back.