Copenhagen and environs

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August 22nd 2016
Published: August 23rd 2016
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Moon shotMoon shotMoon shot

Dianne shot this through the window of the plane on our way to Dublin. I think we are going to like this new little camera.
The plane trip was pretty uneventful. We were flying on points and it turned out flying on a Thursday was the cheapest. It appears Air Canada flies to Copenhagen through Dublin that day and the taxes are less there than Heathrow, the other choice. Unfortunately, we had already fixed our itinerary for Denmark and Italy. It would have been nice to arrange a stopover of two or three days in Dublin. But I guess that will have to wait for another trip.

We were booked into an Airbnb apartment and received great instructions on how to get to the place. We took a train from the airport to Copenhagen Central station and then switched to the train going to Valby. We found this second train with no problem and jumped on just as the doors were closing. Nothing happened. After a couple of minutes the doors opened again and everyone got off as an announcement was made in Danish. This reminded us so much of China where, for no apparent reason, a train would stop and everyone would get off. The doors closed and the train left. Ten minutes later another train arrived and everybody got back on. This one
Ready to goReady to goReady to go

The intrepid explorers at the Victoria airport.
was slightly more crowded but we did get on along with what seemed like a thousand bicycles.

We found the Airbnb very close to the station and met our lovely hostess. Checked in and unpacked. Went for a walk to find groceries, had a light supper and crashed. Jet lag wasn’t too bad but we were certainly tired.


So, what was the first thing we did on our first day in Copenhagen? We got on a train and went somewhere else! Dianne had researched what kind of places we could travel to with our Copenhagen Card and Roskilde, a former capital of Denmark, was one of them. The two main attractions for us were the Cathedral and the Viking Museum.

The cathedral was quite different from most of the cathedrals we had visited in other countries because it was made of bricks (not Lego though). I read somewhere there were 2.5 million bricks used. When you see it you wonder if it could be made from so few bricks. The cathedral, its chapels and displays were really interesting.

A pleasant stroll through the park led us down to the harbour where the Viking Museum
Our home street in ValbyOur home street in ValbyOur home street in Valby

We took this picture so that if we got lost we could just show it to someone to get help because we certainly can't pronounce it.
awaited us.

The museum has the restored remains of five types of Viking boats that are 1,000 years old. Incredible to think they used these boats to go to North America as well as what is now Turkey. There are live demonstrations of rope and sail making, boat building and lots of hands-on stuff. A great place for kids. We watched the boat tours where you could join the crew of a Viking ship out in the harbour. Pretty hysterical watching people trying to coordinate the rowing.

Frederiksborg Slot

Today I discovered “slot” is the Danish word for “castle” but to me it should be ”palace” as my idea of a castle is somewhat different. The palace is described as Versailles North in some guide books. Not having seen the original I am looking forward to it as it will have to be impressive to beat this one. Like so many of these old places, it is heavily restored due to fires in years past but it is done well.

With her impressive research skills, Dianne had determined that Copenhagen cards would be worthwhile and so far the convenience alone makes them a great deal. Train,
Our placeOur placeOur place

We have the upper floor of the creamy coloured place in the middle of the picture. The train station is just off the picture to the left. Very convenient.
metro and bus travel as well as many attractions are included in the price of the card. In our first two days we have made extensive use of them. The train system is pretty decent. People are so helpful. We asked one chap about a bus we wanted to take. He said he was just a tourist himself but pulled out his phone and looked up the information we needed.

The Round Tower

Right in the centre of town, it no longer soars above all the buildings but you still get great 360° views of Copenhagen from all parts of the outside viewing platform. Built in the 1630s it was, and still is, used as an observatory. Access is by a 209 metre ramp that twists its way around the centre 7.5 times. Beats stairs.

It is currently housing a display of photos and stories of Danish missionaries from 1870-1970. Very interesting. There were pictures of experiences in Dalian and Dandong, two of the cities in China where we have spent some time.


We are continuing our study to find the best cappuccinos in the world. We had a great one yesterday (see pictures)
Roskilde DomkirkeRoskilde DomkirkeRoskilde Domkirke

Huge brick building.
and another one just metres from our apartment on our way home later this afternoon. Our server was a very pleasant young woman from China!

Church Services

I spent a bunch of time Saturday night on the internet looking up appropriate church services in English. I carefully wrote down the instructions to a local church before checking their web page where I discovered it was Church of Denmark. Back to the internet where I found a suitable Catholic church “downtown” where we were planning to go Sunday anyway. Service at 11:30 in English. We took the train in to town and found the church although it was only 10:00. A woman at the entrance told us only people who were attending the Mass could enter but it was starting right away. So we went in and joined a small group of people in a huge cathedral-like church. This service was entirely in Danish and somewhat different from what we expected. After the service, we agreed that we had probably stumbled into the wrong church and had attended a Lutheran service. We’re pretty sure God didn’t mind.

Canal Cruise

We strolled through the centre of town down
Queen Margrete I Queen Margrete I Queen Margrete I

The tomb of Margrete I who was buried in the cathedral in 1413, the year after her death. Once the ruler of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. I thought the British kings were interesting. This lady's life was fascinating.
to the water and found the dock where they launch canal cruises. The hour long cruise takes you on a pretty interesting trip around the many canals in Copenhagen. Not quite the same as Venice but fun anyway. The guide spoke Danish, Spanish (we think) and English which made for an interesting trip. Especially when we went under some really low bridges and people were standing up in the boat.

Rosenborg Slot

Yet another palace built by Christian IV. He ruled for 59 years so I guess it isn’t surprising so many places bear his influence. This palace is in the middle of a park in the centre of town and, on a nice Sunday afternoon, the park was packed with people, Right across the street are the Botanical Gardens which were also full of people soaking up the sunshine. A very relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

Next up?

Another road trip. This time to Helsingor. It is better known to English speakers as Elsinore, the home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

To Be Continued

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 26


How soon we forgetHow soon we forget
How soon we forget

Some dude paid a lot of money to be buried in the cathedral and we just put a bench on his tomb.
Live actionLive action
Live action

These guys were building Viking boats just like the original vikings did. Same tools too. No saws involved. Can't imagine how they made those planks with just axes and other chopping tools.
Ocean linerOcean liner
Ocean liner

They showed a movie of a boat like this going to Ireland in a storm. I am not sure I would have enjoyed being on the boat with the camera, let alone this boat.

One of the partially restored boats recovered from the muck in a nearby fjord.
Cappuccinos and snackCappuccinos and snack
Cappuccinos and snack

These cappuccinos were so good we forgot to take the required picture until after we were finished. They were works of art as well as delicious.
Versailles North?Versailles North?
Versailles North?

Built by Christian IV to replace a palace built by Frederik II. Classic case of going his old man one better?

These places always seem to have fountains.

There is always a chapel and it is always spectacular.
Bed chamberBed chamber
Bed chamber

It is interesting to read that sleeping apart was a sign of status because it meant you could afford to heat multiple rooms. The poor slept with the whole family in the same bed for warmth.
Gardens with poolsGardens with pools
Gardens with pools

The walk around the gardens was very pleasant. There was an open air market with displays, cars for sale etc. Bet Christian didn't have that in his day.
The Bath HouseThe Bath House
The Bath House

Built by Frederik II, it isn't even on the tour although you can walk around the outside.
The Round TowerThe Round Tower
The Round Tower

Built by, Guess Who? Christian IV as a Church, Library and University. Reading about the privies was interesting, to say the least (see Wikipedia).
View from the topView from the top
View from the top

You still get a pretty good view of Copenhagen from the Round Tower. Once you catch your breath.
The Canal TourThe Canal Tour
The Canal Tour

The interesting boat tour lasted an hour; the guide spoke English.
The Canal Tour, continuedThe Canal Tour, continued
The Canal Tour, continued

Looking down one of the many side canals

24th August 2016

The photos are lovely; is the photographer a professional?

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