From Shanghai to Switzerland to Scandinavia and Back

Five flights...ten car...countless trams and subways...lots of smiles


Six Countries, Two Boys, and Twenty-Two Thousand Kilometers: An Epic Adventure

At the end of September and the beginning of October 2009 we had a grand adventure. The idea for the trip began long ago when Audrey and I discussed taking Grant to Legoland in Denmark. Grant loves building with legos. He's truly a chip off the old lego to speak! So this spring we began looking into planning the trip for the time right around Grant's birthday in October. We hunted quite awhile for a reasonable air fare into Europe. At last we found one from Shanghai to Zurich, Switzerland. Before we knew it, the trip grew and encompassed many countries stretching from Switzerland to Sweden. Not too many weeks before we left I convinced my dad to meet us in Sweden where we could explore our family history together there. Both he and I had never been to Sweden before. In all, the trip went very smoothly. We had a few fevers and colds to deal with along the way but both boys traveled wonderfully.  We saw many beautiful places that Audrey and I had never been to before and we met up with some old friends along the way.  So go grab yourself a cup of coffee (I've had many putting the photos together) and enjoy the show!



Zurich, Switzerland

Part One: We flew from Shanghai to Zurich and then took a train into town. At once we felt like we really had arrived at a place that was steeped in history and is certainly full of beauty. See the beginnings of our trip here.





Zurich, Switzerland

Part Two: Can you have adventure in Zurich? Certainly! See the 'Soaked Shoe' incident in this set of photos.   From Zurich we took a train to Munich, through the beautiful Swiss and Bavarian countryside. Our journey continues here.





Munich, Germany

Part One: We arrived in Munich by train an immediately set out to enjoy what this large Bavarian city has to offer. And as you may know, this time of year in Munich means Oktoberfest! See all the fun here.





Munich, Germany

Part Two: We continue with Oktoberfest and seeing the sights in Munich. One great place that Audrey found for us to visit was the Deutsches Museum...which is the largest museum of Science and Technology in the world! They had every technology based thing imaginable including plenty of planes and spacecraft. See the various feats of engineering  here.





Innsbruck, Austria

We planned that while we were in Munich we would take a day-trip down to Innsbruck. I had wanted to see the Alps and so Innsbruck seemed the perfect reachable spot from Munich. We were not disappointed...Innsbruck and the Alps were one of the most beautiful places we saw on our entire trip and the weather was perfect.  See the Alps here.





Nuremberg, Germany

One of the great things about this trip is that we were able to meet up with our friends along the way. After Munich we took a train to Nuremberg to see our friends Thomas and Corinna. They are old friends of ours from Shanghai and they moved back to Germany earlier in the year. See our fantastic reunion here.





Copenhagen, Denmark

Part One: From Nuremberg we flew to Copenhagen. Since we met with our first rainy and cold weather of the trip we did not venture too far and were able to relax a bit. The part of town we stayed in was beautiful so it was a pleasure just to stay around the hotel. See our Copenhagen environs here.





Copenhagen and Hillerod, Denmark

Part Two:  Also in Denmark we were able to meet up with some old friends. We first met Brian and Maria when we were living in Yonezawa, Japan a long time ago. We kept up with them over the years and since we were coming to Denmark they invited us to their house. They live in a town called Hillerod which is north of Copenhagen. Maria made a sumptuous feast for us and we had a great time reconnecting. See the photos here.





Legoland, Denmark

This was the BIG event. The moment Grant had waited for for many months! And it was also Grant's 6th birthday! We took a train from Copenhagen to Billund where Legoland is located. We quickly checked in at the Legoland Hotel and ventured out into the park. Grant was SO excited to see all the things made from Legos and ran from place to place pointing things out. He had a blast! We all did. See all the Birthday Fun here.





From Oslo, Norway driving into Värmland, Sweden

This was one of the most exciting parts of the trip for me...finally being able to travel into Sweden where my family is from on my Dad's side and then getting to share the experience of finding our roots with Audrey, the boys, and my Dad all at the same time! From Billund we flew into Oslo, Norway where I picked up a rental car. We drove into a part of southern Sweden called Värmland and met up with my dad in the city of Karlstad. The next day (on my birthday!) we drove back west of Karlstad to the little town of Sillebotten where my great-grandfather was born. Simply amazing! See where the Nords are from here.





Stockholm, Sweden and Home to Shanghai

After Sillebotten we all drove across Sweden to Stockholm which is the capital city on the east coast. It is a gorgeous city and our favorite of the big cities that we visited on the trip (although all were beautiful). We spent one more day with Dad in Stockholm and then left back for Shanghai the next day. We were exhausted when we got home but we had a trip full of good memories and experiences that we will never forget! See the last days of our epic journey here.









 All images Copyright © 2009 Thomas Nord