Pining for the fjords?!

Trip Start Oct 20, 2010
Trip End May 03, 2011

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Flag of Denmark  , Zealand,
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Copenhagen is one of those places that I have actually been before (having been in Eastern Europe/Scandinavia for a while, it has been some time since I've hit one of these) and it was a semi recent visit too, being that I was here with dad during the summer of 2009. Part of me wanted to skip it to save time, but given that I had such a great time last time I thought I would pop in for a few days.

I didn't really have anything I wanted to see as such, besides a desire to take a trip to nearby Roskilde to see the Viking Ship Museum. I had hoped to go back to the Tivoli amusement park, or maybe even head out to Bakken, the oldest amusement park in the world, during my stay, but unfortunately both were opening for the year within the two weeks AFTER I left. Naturally. This is one of the perils of travelling at this time of year, though, of course. A lot of things have been shut for winter, or being repaired in the off season.

On the first night, I went out for a few drinks with a friend, before heading off to Roskilde the next day. Roskilde used to be the capital of Denmark, back during the Viking age. Along with the Sea Organ at Zadar, one of the things I had wanted to do most was visit a Viking Ship Museum. There was another one in Norway, but after I had to cull my trip somewhat, I was left with this as my only option.

The museum was excellent, with the remains of five Viking ships, small models showing reconstructions of what they might have looked like at the time and descriptions of the role of each boat and technical specifications (which were more than a bit over my head...) amongst other things.

There was also an interesting display about their attempts at reconstructing one of the vessels from scratch using techniques and materials from the time, including a video of their voyage from Roskilde fjord to Dublin and excerpts from the log. Finally, there was a pretty comprehensive overview of the history of the Vikings from their origins as scattered tribes, through their heyday to their decline after an increasing challenge to their murderous ways. Damn vikings.

The next day, I had another friend fly out to meet me. She had never been to Copenhagen before so I did a rudimentary job of showing her around (I am, it appears, a crap tourguide...) We went on the harbour boat trip (for the obligatory disappointing Little Mermaid sighting) which was very pleasant on such a clear day, and also out to Christiania.

For those of you who don't know, Christiania is a self declared pseudo-free state operating within Copenhagen. It is essentially a hippy commune which has very ..liberal policies on the use of light drugs. The government has cracked down a bit recently, but there were still people openly selling certain illegal substances on the main street. Not really my thing, but interesting to see nonetheless.

The next morning the time had come to leave Scandinavia behind, amid the dawning realisation that my trip was nearing its end (only 5 weeks left!) and would probably go like a rocket, I made my way south, in to Germany, where I will be for the next 3 weeks. I was really looking forward to this bit...
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