Aarhus, Denmark – July 9, 2015
Early in the morning, while still at sea, we could feel the ship rolling. The wind whistled through our balcony doors. The wooden hangers in the closet banged against the closet wall.
When we awoke, we could tell the weather was not good. The ship approached the dock with two tugboats. That is unusual since the boat is ordinarily able to dock under its power. Over the intercom, the captain informed us that the tugboats were necessary since the winds were gale force (39-54 mph). Once we were off the ship, we felt the full power of those winds. It was uncomfortable to walk.
The ship docked in a cargo area of the port. I assume that was due to the draft of the vessel. To disembark, we had to get a bus ticket and wait in one of the dining rooms. When the crew called the range of numbers that included ours, we disembarked the ship and climbed onto a bus. A few minutes later, we got off the boat near a tourist information center.
That is when we found out the sites we wanted to visit were each at least an hour out of town. We decided to take our chances in town.
We set out on foot from the tourist information center. We had zero ideas where we were going or what we would do in town. Following the crowd from our bus seemed an excellent place to start. At one point, the group began to follow the Aarhus River. We opted to take a side street. On that side street were several ancient buildings. There did not seem to be a straight or plumb line on any part of the buildings.
Within a couple of blocks, we found the Aarhus Cathedral in the Latin Quarter; so had nearly all our shipmates. It was very crowded. The cathedral construction began in 1190, with additional expansion work from the mid-1400s to the early 1500s. From quite a distance away, one could not help but see the main spire. The tower is roughly as tall as the cathedral is long, at just over 300 feet. Once inside, I found it hard to believe that the cathedral can accommodate about 1,200 people. It seemed too narrow. That narrowness made the vaulted ceilings look even higher. Surprisingly, nearly every item hung on the walls, or every tomb marker had either a skull or skeleton prominently displayed. That seems out of the ordinary for a cathedral.
Leaving the cathedral, we wanted to find a refrigerator magnet from Aarhus. We only found run-of-the-mill shops and department stores. We ended up alongside a canal at the Ziggy Cafe. We sat outside, facing the channel so that we could watch the world. Luckily, the buildings provided an excellent windbreak. Even still, Leslie was cold. The cafe was prepared. Each outdoor seat had a fleece blanket folded on the back. Braced against the wind, we had a beer and shared some chicken nachos. The nachos were surprisingly good.
Walking back to the drop-off/pick-up point, I saw a building that intrigued me; rather, it was the sculpture on the second-floor landing. We walked to the building that turned out to be the public library. We got off the elevator on the second floor. The eagle “sculpture” was part of a children’s play area. A young boy “rode” the eagle as we arrived. We left via the stairs and braved the wind back to the bus.
Back on the ship, we found out our next port of call was not Warnemunde, Germany. The gale-force winds forced the closure of that port for boats the size of the Regal Princess. Our new port of call was Kiel, Germany, more on that in the next blog entry.