Trip Start May 26, 2010
15Trip End Jun 10, 2010
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This morning we woke up to the sounds of docking in Copenhagen. We docked at an industrial post southeast of the city center. It was cold and rainy when we arrived. The gloom was not welcome, obviously. The dock was loaded with produce to be loaded on the ship. This time we docked on the port side, so we had a great view of the city and port area.
We departed for our tour at 9:00 AM (0900). The tour was called Castles of North Zealand. The bus was new and quite nice
Denmark is as tidy a nation as you will ever see. Other than a little uncreative and unoffensive graffiti, everything is clean and orderly. The countryside is dotted with forests and farms. While the weather was not the best, the countryside was in full bloom. Lilacs are everywhere, and they were stunning in peak bloom. Trimmed and shaped apple trees and many other blooming trees were evident, but the lilacs put on the best show. Mustard is a popular crop, and they were in bloom in many farm fields.
Our first stop was Frederiksborg Castle. This castle is located inland on an island in a lake. The lake is a natural moat. The castle was built by a 17th century king to show off his wealth. It has not been lived in for centuries, and actually burned down in the 19th century but was restored by later monarchs. Today it is a museum. I'm going to try to post a picture of the exterior. It's obvious that we were not in America anymore! The interior is incredibly ornate and contains priceless art and tapestries. The castle is surrounded by carefully maintained gardens. It was raining when we arrived, but mercifully it stopped soon after our arrival. It remained cloudy all day, but there was no more rain
Our second stop was at Fredensborg Palace. This home was built much later than Frederiksborg, and is used by the current royal family. It is a mere shadow of a palace compared to Buckingham Palace in London. We could not go in because the royal family was in residence. We were lucky to arrive at high noon, just as the guard was changing. It was fun to watch, but once again a minor event compared to the English ritual. I'm going to try to post a picture of the guards.
Our last stop was at Kronborg Castle, located on the coast. It was built by a Swedish king when Sweden ruled Denmark centuries ago. The location is strategic, directly across a narrow channel separating Sweden and Denmark. The king used the castle to project military power while extorting mariners should they wish to pass. Good work if you can get it. We had a beautiful view of the channel and Sweden. This castle was much more utilitarian than the elaborate Frederiksborg. It is currently being renovated, so many of the exhibits were gone. It was interesting, none the less. Again, I will attempt to post a picture.
We traveled back to the ship on a beautiful coastal road
We arrived back at the ship at 2:45 PM (1445). I walked around the ship taking pictures of the area. We enjoyed another nice dinner at "our" table. Tonight we saw an outstanding magician and illusionist show. It's been a good day. Denmark is country 26 on our lifetime country visited list.
Tomorrow we are at sea. Our next stop is Tallinn, Estonia on Wednesday.