Friday, July 05, 2024

2024 Viking Homelands - Day #13 - Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen by Foot

Landmarks and History of Denmark’s Capital City

Explore the landmarks of Copenhagen and learn about the city’s history during a walking excursion.

With a local guide, you will stop to see the Little Mermaid statue sitting serenely in the harbor at Langelinie and visit the courtyard at the 18th-century Amalienborg Palace. Continue to Copenhagen’s largest monument, the Gefion Fountain, followed by Amalienborg Palace, the winter residence of the Queen of Denmark, the sovereign of one of the world’s oldest monarchies. Here, admire the royal rococo buildings and square, plus the stunning Marble Church, New Opera House and flourishing Amaliehaven (Amalie Garden) with its geometrical layout, colorful plants and centerpiece fountain. En route back to your ship, walk through the 17th-century Citadel—one of Europe’s best-preserved fortresses surrounded by eight moats, tall ramparts and cannon bastions.
Copenhagen Canal Cruise

View the Magnificent Skyline from the Waters

Embark on a leisurely cruise across the extensive harbor and the Christianshavn and Frederiksholm Canals.

After boarding your boat, settle in for a narrated overview of the city, an intriguing blend of pioneering modern architecture, historic landmarks and recreational quays. Pass the Christiansborg Palace, home of the Danish Parliament, and admire the distinctive spire of entwined dragon tails atop the old Stock Exchange. Pass the colorful Nyhavn Canal, lined with 500-year-old gabled houses; this neighborhood was once home to Hans Christian Andersen. You will also see Amalienborg Palace, the royal winter residence, and the 17th-century fortress of Kastellet. After pausing at the famous Little Mermaid statue, continue to the old naval base of Holmen. You will also see the Royal Library, nicknamed the “Black Diamond,” the Copenhagen Opera House and the Royal Danish Playhouse.
The ship docked in Copenhagen at 7:00 am.

Setting an alarm for 6:00 am, we had breakfast in Mamsen’s. We both had oatmeal.

In a smart move, Sharon switched our morning excursion from 10:00 am to 8:30 am. It paid dividends later in the day; it essentially bought us an extra hour and a half in the middle of short day.

The excursion for the morning was a walking tour. We wandered from the ship to the Amalienborg Palace and back. We covered three and a half miles in just under three hours. Sites along the way included: the Little Mermaid, the Amalienborg Palace, the Marble Church and the Kastellet. When we reached the middle of the walk near the downtown, a number of people dropped from tour. By the time we got back to the ship, the guide had lost almost half of the group.

After the walking tour, we ran back to the room and then caught the shuttle into downtown. After some teeth gnashing looking for somewhere to eat, we found a very nice restaurant for lunch. The Maven was located in the side of an old church. We ordered a few small plate from the SMØRREBRØD menu. We split FISH CAKES (Potato salad, radishes, pickles & chives); CHICKEN SALAD (Roasted oyster mushrooms, celery, mustard & bacon ventrèche); BUTTER-FRIED FISH FILET (Lingonberries, lemon & remoulade), and; HOME-SMOKED FAROESE SALMON (Egg yolk cream, red currants, hand-peeled Danish peas & lemon mayo). I rarely rave about meals, but this was a very good Nordic lunch.

After lunch, we explored the Chrisitianborg Chapel and Palace.

Catching the shuttle bus back to the ship, we did an afternoon canal cruise. I was surprised by the small canals lined with a variety of boats and the low bridges. It reminded me a little of Amsterdam. We got a chance to see a couple of neighborhoods that we hadn't seen.

Getting cleaned up, we went to an early dinner at The Restaurant. We were seated at a common table, but when no one showed up for 10 or 15 minutes, we switched to a table by ourselves.

I had the DESTINATION MENU including: Gin Cured Salmon (pickled cucumber, granny smith apple, avocado mousse; dill mayonnaise); Herb Crusted Roasted Pork Loin (apple purée, braised onions, peppercorn sauce), and; Koldskäl med Kammerjunker (cold buttermilk soup, vanilla, strawberries; lemon and cardamom biscuit). Sharon had a pumpkin salad, a New York steak and crepe suzette.

The ship left port at 8 pm. After dinner, we wandered up to the Explorer’s Lounge to watch the ship sail out of Copenhagen. We sailed past the the Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden. It's actually a combined bridge and tunnel route, rather than just one structure.

We didn’t have enough time in Copenhagen to do it justice. Like Istanbul last year, we could have spent several days exploring the city. I doubt that we will ever be back…

With a very early start planned for. Saturday, we crashed about 9:30 pm.

A footnote. I wrote the first draft of this blog entry on the train to Berlin. I finished and published it on the train back to the ship from Berlin.

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