Prior to embarking on our Holland America ship for a Craft Cruise with many fellow knitters, the Commander and I flew into Copenhagen and joined up with the rest of our little group from Texas who had flown over earlier. We wanted to have several days to get over our jet lag and to explore a bit of Copenhagen and the surrounding areas.
The very first thing we noticed was everyone in town seems to get around on bicycles. There are dedicated bicycle lanes everywhere and watch out! It is so easy for an unsuspecting tourist to wander into one of those lanes. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Three of our friends rented bicycles and did their own biking in town. Wow, I didn’t dare. Have you ever seen movies with bicycle messengers darting around through NYC? Gosh, it appeared to me like they took the whole population of Copenhagen and said, “You are now bike messengers. Have at it!”
The next thing I noticed was that it didn’t get very dark at night. This was the view from our hotel window around 12:30 a.m. Luckily, we had nice blackout curtains so we were able to sleep.
We found a nice bakery just down the street from our hotel and we tended to eat our breakfasts and lunches there. It was fast, easy to navigate and not too expensive. (By the way, I think my friend took this picture. I was too busy eating.
On our last night before the cruise, we found a brewery nearby and had a nice hamburger with fries. Yes, we did. It was nice to have a familiar meal that wasn’t sushi or seafood, neither of which floats my boat.
On one of our days in town, we took a tour out to the Viking Ship Museum. The boat in the background is a replica of one of the long boats recovered in the water nearby. They built a seaworthy vessel based on ship ruins and actually sailed this from Denmark to the coast of Ireland. Can you imagine that?
Our tour then drove through the Danish countryside and it was just awesome. I could feel myself relaxing with every kilometer we went through the area and away from the congested city. What can I say? I’m a country girl. You’ll notice that the grass is pretty yellow. Denmark and Germany have been in a drought and it was very dry when we were there.
Our tour, which is with Viator, called “In the Footsteps of the Vikings” (highly recommend this one), included a stop at an ancient burial site hollowed out of rock. No one is buried there today so we were able to go into it. Well, we were able to CRAWL into it. It was quite a feat to just get in there. The entrance was low and ran about six feet before you could get inside. I duck-walked in and thought my legs would collapse. The Commander crawled on his hands and knees.
Once inside, our tour guide handed us little battery-operated lanterns and this is what we saw. It was eerie, awesome, and unforgettable.
Additional stops on this tour included the Roskilde Cathedral and Lejre Museum where we were able to see artifacts found in various Viking graves and also taste mead, made from the historical recipes. It was good.
The next day we took a tour to Malmö, Sweden. This is a view of an architectural area that had been part of an international expo some years ago. Now the homes are owned by private citizens. In the background you can see a building called the Turning Torso. It doesn’t actually turn but the way it is constructed gives it the illusion of turning.
From Malmö, we motored on to the medieval town of Lund, Sweden where we visited the university and Lund Cathedral. The picture above is from the catacomb area under the cathedral.
The cathedral was lovely but I found the earlier-era catacombs to be just stunning in their simplicity.
Before it was time to board our ship, we walked over to a restaurant near Tivoli. Most of our friends went into Tivoli Gardens while in Copenhagen but I had already seen them when I was there in my 20’s and frankly, my feet hurt. I was happy to let them explore and I’d just head back to the bakery while anticipating boarding our ship. Stay tuned. Norway was our first stop on the cruise. I’ll be telling you about our continuing adventures.
In the meantime, if you want to get a feel for Malmö, the Inspector Anita Sundström mysteries written by Torquil MacLeod will give you a feel for that area of Sweden.