It took me almost two weeks to recuperate from the trip. My sister and I worked really hard the whole time we were in Copenhagen. Then I had work to catch up. So, I'm finally ready to post about the trip. There was also an issue with my papers for returning to Canada. I'll put that in another post.
My mum's apartment is in a building that was probably built in the 1890s - no elevator. Luckily it's only on the 1st floor, by European standards, ground floor is 0. We had to sort stuff in the attic storage on the 5th floor and only accessible by the narrow, winding, kitchen stairs. Lots of stuff was covered in pigeon poop. Most of that just got thrown out. Then there was the basement storage, also only accessible by the kitchen stairs. There was a bit of stuff to keep there, but mostly it smelled of mildew, so it was useless. There was an old coke burning stove, an old tiled kitchen table, doors, and windows - all original to the apartment, and a ladder all of which we left for the new owner, except the antique stove which we managed to sell.
My sister found a company that would clear the junk and bring it to a dump. Denmark is little and doesn't have room for landfill, so there is a charge to put stuff at the dump. It cost about $2,000 to have those two storage areas cleared. We had to supervise. That meant climbing all those danged stairs.
My sister had cleared the apartment in August and put stuff in storage. She only had a week and had to have it empty for prospective buyers. We had to sort the stuff in storage. Some we shipped to L.A. and to Montreal. There were about 15 banker's boxes worth of papers. We got some movers to bring all the papers back to the apartment. OMG, I don't think my mum ever threw out a receipt. There were cash register receipts going back to 1969 when we bought the place. There were restaurant receipts going back to the 1950s. There were old photos, airline tickets, train tickets, bank statements, letters, money, etc., etc.
We bought a shredder and gave it to a friend when we left. OMG, that was so much sorting. So much shredding. I ran up and down the stairs carrying recycling and garbage to the court yard. I sorted while my sister ran around dealing with the bank and cashing bonds.
I also had to clean the nearly new gas range. My sister had let a friend stay in the apartment. She only stayed a few months and never paid any rent. The range was brand new when the friend moved in. This is what it the door looked like:
But, also notice that the glass in the oven door is removable! I managed to get the oven door clean.
And here is the water pan (for the oven's self-cleaning function). After soaking and hours of scrubbing with baking soda and with washing up liquid, I had to give up. Grrrr.
The same friend used a brand new Copco enamelled cast iron frying pan. This is what the back looked like:
See the black, burned on dirt and the rust. Grrrr.
We went out to supper with some of my sister's friends a few times. We managed to visit with my cousin, who lives on the fourth floor, no elevator. It was great to see her and meet her husband. They had the tiniest little bathroom. It was really cute. At one time it had a toilet and that's all. In that tiny space, the landlord had managed to put a tiny, modern toilet, and a sink and shower. Okay, the shower is basically the whole room and you do have to put the toilet paper where it won't get wet, but very useful when there was no shower or bath in the apartment before.
We also got went out for pastries (real Danish pastry - yum) and coffee with my uncle and his wife. I'm so glad we got to see them. They are both in their 80s and totally with it. My uncle volunteers at an old age home! He is now the last surviving of my mother's syblings. There were 12 of them.
We travelled with Air France. Even though every single flight was delayed, I would recommend them. They know how to put me back in a good mood: free booze, and they weren't stingy with it. We traveled "voyageur" (coach). The food was good. They also gave us food vouchers for while we waited for our flights. They put us up in a hotel in Paris including supper and breakfast, because the plane from Copenhagen was almost six hours late, so we missed our connecting flights. The food at the hotel was good. The coffee was wonderful. Too bad we didn't really have time to see any of Paris. It would have been doable if we were familiar with the public transit. My sister tried. She ended up somewhere useless and came back to the hotel.