Tag: Denmark

Finished Cruising

Finished Cruising

Copenhagen, Zealand, Denmark – July 18, 2015

We departed Nynäshamn, Sweden, on July 16, at about 20:00. The cruise schedule had us at sea all day on July 17, arriving in Copenhagen, Denmark at about 05:00 on July 18.
At various times throughout our cruise, Leslie took time to practice with about a dozen other passengers as the ship’s choir. All of the practice culminated with a performance on our last night at sea. When we arrived in the piazza area of the vessel, there was a string quartet playing. The same quartet played every evening.

String quartet.
String quartet detail.

When the quartet finished, a talent show began. The first act was two young gymnasts, a girl, and her brother. I believe they were Dutch. The emcee said the girl was aiming to perform at the 2020 Summer Olympics. She was good. Next was a young woman singer who had an absolutely beautiful voice. She reminded me of a singer one might hear in an animated Walt Disney movie. The final act was a brother and two sisters. The brother played the piano, and the sisters sang. They needed a bit more polish, but it was nice to see they at least tried.

Brother and sister gymnasts.
First talent show singer.
The singer with the golden voice.
The brother and sisters singers.

Following the talent show was the choir which sang several songs from The Sound of Music. They sounded good, but of course, Leslie was the best!

The highlight of the talent show…at least for me. The Regal Princess Choir.
Leslie hitting that note.
Fun “drinking” tea.

After the concert, we, minus Lorraine, went to the dining room for dinner. Lorraine was not feeling well. During dinner, we heard the captain on the public address system announce we would pass under the Storebæltsbroen (Great Belt Bridge) at about 20:00. Sure enough, shortly before 20:00, we saw the bridge looming on the horizon. We watched the sight from our balcony. Below us, on one of the main decks, we saw several other passengers gathering to watch the passage and take photographs of the bridge. The bridge connects the Danish islands of Funen and Zealand. Zealand is the island on which we find Copenhagen. The span really was a fantastic sight.

Leslie watching the approach to the Storebæltsbroen (Great Belt Bridge).
A portion of the Storebæltsbroen.
A line of wind turbines is visible just beyond the Storebæltsbroen.
Several passengers gather on one of the decks to photograph the Storebæltsbroen.
Passing under the Storebæltsbroen.
Looking back to the Storebæltsbroen.

We docked right on time.  Once at the Marriott, Lorraine and Arlene waited for a room while Leslie and I walked to the tourist information center to get our Copenhagen tourist cards. The cards ended up not being worth the price only because we did not make much use of them.  We ultimately used them for only one bus ride, one church, and one museum.

While we stood in the tourist information center, my name caught my eye; the Vice and Vesterbro Tour. Vesterbro is a district in Copenhagen.  We all know what vice is, so maybe we will try that tour on our next visit to Copenhagen.

With our cards in hand, we decided we would do the Strøget (stroll). The Strøget is a mile-long pedestrian thoroughfare, encompassing the streets of Frederiksberggade, Nygade, Vimmelskaftet, Amagertorv, and Østergade. It winds from Town Hall Square to the Nyhavn area. Along the way, shopping is a mix of tourist shops and very high-end shops and boutiques. We did not buy anything.
On Strøget, the streets came to life as we walked along. The people made it a great walk. I enjoyed capturing photographs of many people as they walked together. Some that stand out in my mind is the couple walking two huge dogs; a young toddler running around; a woman pulling a sausage cart; a juggler; and a street performer.

A view of the crowded Strøget pedestrian street. This is shortly after departing the Rådhuspladsen.
Another view of the Frederiksberggade portion of Strøget Pedestrian Street.
Walking the dogs along Nygade, a portion of the Strøget Pedestrian Street.
A woman pulling a Jens Kurts sausage cart along the Strøget Pedestrian Street.
A street performer along the Strøget Pedestrian Street.
A juggler in the Stork Fountain Square.

About two-thirds of the way through the Strøget, we discovered the Royal Copenhagen building. That is the primary outlet for Royal Copenhagen china. We went into the store. Beautiful china was displayed everywhere. It was all lovely but incredibly expensive. The only thing I took from the building were some photographs.

The storefront of the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory faces the Stork Fountain Square.
Porcelain in various stages of hand-painting at the Royal Copenhagen flagship store on the Strøget Pedestrian Street. The brand was founded in 1775.
Teapots on display.
View from one of the open windows in the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory.
A closer view of the storefront.

The Strøget ultimately deposited us at the Kongens Nytorv Plaza. From there we walked the short distance to Nyhavn where we had lunch at a beautiful place, Nyhavns Frergekro. I tried a traditional Dutch open-faced sandwich known as Smørrebrød. It was roast beef with a remoulade sauce and gherkin pickles. I thought it tasted excellent. I also had the Nyhavn Dark Ale, which had a real smooth taste. Leslie ordered the Danish meatballs and some fried brie cheese.

Ready to enjoy our lunch in the Nyhavn district.
A family stopping to rest and enjoy a beer in the Nyhavn district.

When we finished lunch, we caught a bus, which took us near our hotel. We walked the last few blocks. All totaled, we put in about 3.5 miles that day.
Lorraine stayed in the room all day with Arlene. They were both getting sicker.
On this return trip to Copenhagen, I found it surprising once again how many swimmers, and sunbathers changed from clothing to swimwear and back again in public. I guess I am too shy to try such a stunt. Oh, and there is no way I am flexible enough to get dressed or undressed while covering up with a towel.

Bathers along Sydhavnen Canal.

The next day, Lorraine and Arlene were to depart. Leslie stayed with them while I went on a walk. I wandered into the Christianshavn area. It is a small island. The canal scenes and the colorful buildings were striking.
I took some stairs to get up to the street level of the drawbridge which crossed over the canal. It was easy to see how much this city favors bicycles. On every set of public stairs, there was a steel track installed. The track was wide enough to allow for any size of a bicycle tire. It will enable a bicyclist to walk up the stairs while rolling the bicycle up or down alongside.

A bicycle wheel rail on the stairs to Hans Christian Andersens Boulevard.
View from a bridge to bicycles parked below.

I ended up at the Our Savior Church. It dates from the 1680s, known for its massive spire with a winding staircase on the exterior. On a whim, I decided to go up. The climb inside the spire was impressive. One needed to be like a mountain goat to make it up some of the steeper sections. I did not count the stairs, but it had to be close to 200. Finally, one exits the interior stairs through a very narrow door. At that point, a narrow platform rings the spire. The views of Copenhagen were stunning.
On one side of the spire, copper-covered stairs began to ascend, winding around the spire to the very top. Supposedly, there are 150 steps there. Even though there is a sturdy railing, I had several mental battles about whether or not I should continue the assent or give in to my newfound fear of heights. Ultimately, I did not continue to the top.

A unicorn on the corner of the building housing the Christianshavn Apothocary seems to be pointing to the top of the steeple of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour).
Another view of the steeple of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour).
Detail of the steeple of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour). One can see the handrail spiraling around the steeple.
Cityscape view from the steeple of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour) looking toward the Marriott Hotel.
Cityscape view from the steeple of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour) looking toward the dome of Frederiks Kirke.
Cityscape view from the steeple of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour) looking toward the Christiansborg Palace.
Cityscape view from the steeple of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour) looking toward the cruise ship port area.
This sticker was on the handrail on the exterior of the steeple at the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour). It is German for “love for all.”
Cityscape view from the steeple of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour) looking toward the Øresund Bridge.

Getting back down was also an adventure. The stairs accommodate two-way traffic, even though they are only wide enough for one person at many points. I felt like kissing the ground when I finally made it down.
Back at the hotel, we got Lorraine and Arlene a taxi for the airport. Once they were gone, Leslie and I took a cab to the Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark). We had lunch when we arrived. Then we spent a couple of hours touring the museum. I saw several paintings by Edvard Munch, an artist I am familiar with, but I have never personally seen any of his works. I was also happy to see a couple of works from my favorite Spanish artist, Picasso.

The main entrance to the Statens Museum for Kunst also known as SMK (State Museum for Art) in the City Center area.
The counter at the cafe in SMK.
A delicious lunch, and of course wine, at the cafe at SMK.
Seating in the cafe portion of SMK.
An art patron stopping for lunch at SMK.
In a Roman Osteria by Carl Bloch (1866).
A photographer among the sculptures at SMK.
The Shadow by Niels Hansen Jacobsen (1897-1898).
Evening Talk by Edvard Munch (1889).
Workers on Their Way Home by Edvard Munch (1914).
Lady in Black by Edvard Munch (1891).
Samson and the Philistines by Carl Bloch (1863).
A String of Horses Outside an Inn by Otto Bache (1878).
Sculpture of a woman.
Danish Landscape by Harald Slott-Meller (1891).
The Panther Hunter by Jens Adolf Jerichau (1845-46).
The photographer in the red shirt captured again four rooms away at SMK.
Alexander the Great on his Sickbed by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1806).
Mendel Levin Nathanson’s Elder Daughters, Bella, and Hanna by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1820).
Still Life with Door, Guitar, and Bottles by Pablo Picasso (1916).
Glass with Lemon Slice by Pablo Picasso (1913).
Two Nude Figures by Pablo Picasso (1909).
The Green Blouse by Henri Matisse (1936).
Interior with a Violin by Henri Matisse (1918).
Portrait of Madame Matisse, The Green Line by Henri Matisse (1905).
Woman with a Vase by Fernand Léger (1924).
Portrait of the Venetian Painter Giovanni Bellini (?) by Tizian (1511-12).
Calvary by Jan de Beer (1510).
The Archangel Michael with the Dragon by Unknown (1500).
Dominican Friar by Peter Paul Rubens (after 1628).
The Judgement of Solomon by Peter Paul Rubens (1617).
Matthaeus Yrsselius (1541-1629), Abbot of Saint Michael’s Abbey in Antwerp by Peter Paul Rubens (1624).
The Holy Women at the Sepulcher by Ferdinand Bol (1644).
Christ on the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens (1592-1633).
A perspective box by Unknown (1650).
A woman sitting on a bench outside the SMK.

We departed Copenhagen on July 20. At the Copenhagen airport, we decided to get a wheelchair for Leslie. Once we made it through security, we sat in a very comfortable waiting area set aside expressly for those passengers needing additional help. Everyone who helped us was extremely friendly.
When we arrived in Dubai, we also had a wheelchair waiting. However, they took us to the land-of-broken-people. It was not nearly as courteous or friendly as what we experienced in Copenhagen. Regardless, we only had a three-hour flight ahead of us.
As we approached Islamabad, it was cloudy and rainy. I do not believe Islamabad has a precision approach capability, so I began to get nervous as we circled. I was hoping we would not be diverted to Karachi or Lahore. I did not feel like dealing with that. However, nearly 30-minutes late, we landed in Islamabad. We were at home.

A building on the street side of the Rosenborg Castle.
Bicycles are everywhere in the City Center.
A bridal store in the City Center.
Bicycles across from the entry to the Tivoli Amusement Park.
The underside of the over-the-ocean observation deck.
A mural at a beer garden near the Tivoli Amusement Park.
Jazz Jazz.
North entrance to the Tivoli Amusement Park on Vesterbrogade.
Approaching the north side of the Town Hall.
Pedestrians crossing the road from the Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall Square).
The north facade of the Town Hall.
Goodbye Serious.
The Zero Kilometer Stone is in the middle of the city center of Copenhagen. All distances are measured from that point.
The Copenhagen Town Hall.
The Lego Store on Vimmelskaftet, part of the Strøget Pedestrian Street. Legos are a Danish product.
Buildings facing Gammeltorv Square. It is the oldest square in Copenhagen.
The fountain in Gammeltorv Square.
Looking along the Amagertorv portion of the Strøget Pedestrian Street. The steeple in the distance is the Nikolaj Kunsthal Contemporary Art Center.
Part of the Strøget Pedestrian Street across from the Helligaandskirken, a church dating from the 13th Century.
Final Sale
A man monitoring his young son along Strøget Pedestrian Street.
Run like the wind!
People listening to some musicians along Strøget Pedestrian Street.
A busy mom with her children on Strøget Pedestrian Street.
Approaching the Stork Fountain Square on Strøget Pedestrian Street.
People at the Stork Fountain in the square.
The Stork Fountain dates from 1894.
Patek Philipe and pedestrians along the Strøget Pedestrian Street.
Antique shopping in front of a wonky mirror at Kongens Nytorv (Kings New Square).
A building across from Kongens Nytorv (The Kings New Square).
Artwork at buses at Kongens Nytorv.
The Thott Palace in Kongens Nytorv dates from 1683. It is now the French Embassy.
Storefronts and chairs in the Nyhavn district.
The Royal Danish Theater dates from 1874. It is across from Kongens Nytorv.
The flagship store of Magasin du Nord, a chain of Danish department stores.
Walking along Bernstorffsgade Street.
A family walking along Bernstorffsgade Street.
The queue at the Bernstorffsgade Street entry to Tivoli Amusement Park.
Birdhouses along Bernstorffsgade Street.
Birdhouses and bicycles along Bernstorffsgade Street.
A very red Porsche.
Boat traffic on Sydhavnen Canal.
Looking across the Sydhavnen Canal along Njalsgade Street.
Kayakers playing in the Sydhavnen Canal.
The Cultural Center fronts onto the Sydhavnen Canal.
Sign for Hans Christian Andersens Boulevard.
Entry to the Langebro drawbridge control tower. The metal is copper.
The Søren Kierkegaards Plads and the Black Diamond Library.
The Langebro drawbridge control tower.
The Stadsgraven Canal with the Radisson Hotel in the background.
Flowers beside the Stadsgraven Canal.
Buildings across Stadsgraven Canal.
View of Christians Kirke across a canal.
View across Kobenhavns Canal. The Black Diamond Library extends to the left. The steeple of the Christiansborg Palace is visible in the background.
A canal tour boat in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
This is not an entry point for vehicles in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
A Jupiter bicycle secured to a park fence.
The Cafe Rabes Have building looks a little worn.
Graffiti on a transformer.
A sculpture in a small park in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
Looking northeast along a canal in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
Brøste’s Gaard is known as the Potter House after Thomas Potter. It was completed in 1785. It is located in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
Some colorful buildings in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
A wooden boat in a canal in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
An office building facing a canal at Overgaden Neden Vandet 11 in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
Boats lined up along a canal in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
View to the northwest along Torvegade Street. The tall steeple in the background is the Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center.
Some graffiti behind the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour).
The tomb of Pastor Hans Peter Borresen in the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour).
A very small car outside the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour).
A very busy canal in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
View back to the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour) along Sankt Annæ Gade.
Bicyclists spin by at breakfast time at the Café Oven Vande at the corner of Sankt Annæ Gade and Overgaden Oven Vandet.
An old home at Overgaden Neden Vandet 37 in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
View southwest along Overgaden Neden Vandet in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
A row of colorful buildings along Torvegade in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
Another view of the row of colorful buildings along Torvegade in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
This building along Torvegade in the Christianshavn and Holmen area is the least plumb, yet still occupied, building I think I have ever seen.
A parting view of the row of colorful buildings along Torvegade in the Christianshavn and Holmen area.
Looking southwest along Strandgade toward Christians Kirke.
The Christians Kirke is visible behind some buildings fronting onto a canal.
Stairs lead to the roof of the Universitets-Jubilæets Danske Samfund building.
A red boat on a canal in desperate need of paint. The steeple of the Town Hall is in the background.
The red boat.
A boat on a canal in the City Center area.
Waiting for the dog in the City Center area.
A tour boat passes by the Horse Guard barracks in the City Center area.
Looking northwest along a canal toward the buildings on Nybrogade. It appears the tour boat will barely fit under the bridge.
This yellow house at Ny Kongensgade 5 in the City Center area also seems to be a bit out of plumb.
Detail of the yellow house.
A few issues with this white house too.
A woman riding along Hans Christian Andersens Boulevard.
An Aston Martin outside the hotel.


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.

The Birgit Knutsen on a very choppy Baltic Sea.
The Birgit Knutsen on a very choppy Baltic Sea…view II.

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.

Detail of one of the tugboats.
Another tugboat assisting the cruise ship.
A tugboat pulling against the Regal Princess.

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.

Cargo cranes and two ships at the Aarhus port.

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.

Following many shipmates along the Aarhus River into the town of Aarhus.
A family riding on the streets of Aarhus.
I am not sure of the age of the building, but it does seem to have some old-age sagging…
This older building seems to be a bit more plumb.

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.

The Aarhus Cathedral.
People walking along the street at the rear of the Aarhus Cathedral.
A side chapel in the Aarhus Cathedral.
The long, narrow main aisle of the Aarhus Cathedral.
This fresco dates between 1470 and 1520. It depicts St. George slaying the dragon.
A plaque commemorating a person who died in 1669. Note the skull in the center.
A model of the ship Unity hanging in the Aarhus Cathedral. The model dates from 1720. The Cathedral is named after St. Clement, the patron saint of sailors.
The altar of the Aarhus Cathedral.  The gold is real 24k gold.
The base of the altar of the Aarhus Cathedral.
Detail of the Aarhus Cathedral altar.
Detail of the altar in the Aarhus Cathedral.
This plaque commemorates a person who died in 1587.
An ancient fresco in the Aarhus Cathedral.
A tourist stopping for a photograph of the clock.
The clock above the entrance to the chapter house in the Aarhus Cathedral.  I am not quite certain how one tells the time with this clock…
Detail of the end of a pew.
Another of the ancient frescoes. This one is partially covered by a plaque commemorating a death from 1690.
This stone was laid on the floor, presumably to cover a burial. Note the full skeleton in this motif.
Another commemorative plaque from 1667. Note the skulls at the base.
The chapter house in the Aarhus Cathedral.
Some paintings and a commemorative plaque in the chapter house of the Aarhus 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.

The Royal Hotel.
People in the plaza in front of the Aarhus Cathedral.
Pedestrians near the Aarhus Cathedral.
Some flowers near the Aarhus Cathedral.
The Aarhus River passes through the central business district.
A busy pedestrian street in Aarhus.
Kissing a gull…a mural on a building in the central business district of Aarhus.
Looking back toward the Aarhus Cathedral spire.
Tourists taking a group photo on a bridge over the Aarhus River.
Typical buildings facing the Aarhus River.
A very old building on the edge of the central business district.

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.

The play area at the library.
Coming down the steps of the library building.

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.

View from the cruise ship back toward Aarhus.
A ferry departing the port of Aarhus.
Denmark Arrival

Denmark Arrival

Copenhagen, Denmark – July 4, 2015

The beginning of our R&R trip was neither restful nor relaxing. After all, it was midnight when we departed. We arrived at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, just outside Islamabad, with plenty of time to make our flight check-in arrangements. Before leaving the check-in counter, we made sure our luggage tags read CPH. We wanted to reunite with our stuff when we arrived in Copenhagen.

After going through security, we seated ourselves in the waiting area near the boarding gate.  When I stopped to look around at the other passengers, I saw a ten to one ratio of men and women. There were men everywhere, but very few women passengers.  I am not sure if that is the norm or if it just happened that way the time we were there.

The waiting area at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

Two hours later, we went down the boarding ramp to the waiting bus. It was a short bus ride to the side of the plane. We climbed the stairs and found our seats quickly.

The plane departed for Dubai about ten minutes early.

Our flight from Islamabad to Dubai was a short two hours. We landed in Dubai at about 05:30 local time. Even at that hour, it was a toasty 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

We climbed down the stairs and boarded a bus for the ride to the terminal building. I thought the driver was going to take us directly to Copenhagen by bus. It seemed the journey would never end.

The multi-story water fountain in the Dubai International Airport.
Stores and people in the duty-free area of the Dubai International Airport.
The Gucci store in the duty-free area of the Dubai International Airport.
A pause for McDonald’s coffee in the Dubai International Airport.

Our flight from Dubai to Copenhagen was uneventful. We collected our luggage and hailed a taxi. The taxi ride lasted about 20 minutes and cost 300 Kroner, about $40. It was 14:30 when we arrived at the Marriott.
As soon as we checked in, we made a beeline to the terrace facing the canal. Leslie and I enjoyed white wine. The channel was incredibly busy because it was such a beautiful day. It appears many people use the canal for swimming and water sports. In front of the Marriott is a wooden bridge-like structure, used as a beach. There were numerous sunbathers, swimmers, skateboarders, walkers, and bikers using the structure. People packed the opposite side of the canal from the Marriott. In general, it was a day for doing nothing more than worshiping the sun and enjoying the pleasant weather.

Ready for R&R in Copenhagen, Denmark.

We saw wide, flatboats full of tourists going back and forth in the canal. They were the recipients of canal tours. We also saw larger, yellow boats going back and forth. Those were waterbuses.

Pedestrians approaching.
A couple contemplating the canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The canal was overflowing with sunbathers in Copenhagen, Denmark.
There was no shortage of things to look at while at the canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A “waterbus” on the canal.
A sightseeing boat goes by the Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A bicyclist crossing a bridge over a canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Riding very near a canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A storage area for kayaks under this structure in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Two girls playing on an apparatus near the Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Swimmers in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Rowing on a canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Sunset over Copenhagen, Denmark.  The tower on the right is at the Tivoli Amusement Park.

Leslie was keen to get her haircut. Hotel staff directed us to the mall on the canal, Fisketorvet Byens, a little more than one-half mile from the hotel. One of the odd things we saw while walking to the mall was a round houseboat. It was strange because of its shape, but mostly because of its location. Moored to a pier directly in front of a commercial building, alongside a bustling pedestrian and bicycle path, it just seemed out of place.
Our path to the shopping mall included many unique examples of architecture; people enjoying the day, and boats.

A circular home on a canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The opposite side of the roundhouse on the canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A couple of couples sitting along a canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Sunbathers along a canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A very large spiral staircase in this atrium in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A skyline with the Fisketorvet Shopping Mall.
The area around the Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A “tubby” boat on a canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Pedestrians walking along a canal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A woman walking her dog near the mall.
At the bridge deck, a total weight of 3.5 tons is allowed.
One can launch off this ramp with a kayak if one so desires…

The other oddity we found was a bride and groom taking wedding photos in front of the brick wall of the mall. We assumed they had been staying at the hotel across from the mall. For some reason, they must have liked the background. For all we know, that may be where they met.

A couple posing for wedding photographs outside the Fisketorvet Shopping Mall in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In the mall, we stumbled upon the salon, Simply the Beth. The owner, Beth, had time to cut Leslie’s hair. She shared that the name of the salon was a play on the Tina Turner lyric, “simply the best.”

The haircut in Copenhagen.
The Grand View???  I took this quickly because of the juxtaposition as we entered the shopping mall.
A sculpture of a shoal of fish in the Fisketorvet Shopping Mall.

Back at the hotel, we went to a happy hour in the Executive Lounge. I saw a beer in a bottle that appealed to me. I wanted to be able to place the label in my journal. As I took a sip or two, I could tell the beer tasted funny by my standards. Although I am illiterate with Danish, I saw the word on the label that clued me into the odd reaction of my liver, “alkoholfri.” That is Danish for “alcohol-free.” I sat that down and got a lager instead. It tasted much better, and my liver was much relieved.
For dinner that night, we opted to stay in, dining at the Midtown Grill in the hotel. It is a steakhouse. For starters, Leslie chose the smoked blue cheese salad while I selected the hand-salted smoked salmon. The salmon came with lemon wedges, roe, and greens. The salmon was delicious but very rich. Leslie and I decided on the main courses of tenderloin and porterhouse steaks respectively. We thoroughly enjoyed the steaks. As good as the meal was, nothing could have possibly prepared us for dessert, sea buckthorn creme brulee. It was the best creme brulee I have had anywhere on this planet.
The sea buckthorn berry is orange in color and somewhat tart. The berries were pureed in the bottom of the bowl, creme brulee on top of that, and then the very crusty sugar top. The combination of tastes and textures was incredible.
The next morning, Sunday, we began with a coffee on the terrace, overlooking the canal. When we finished, we took a very leisurely stroll to the Rådus, the Copenhagen City Hall.

The knife-edge of the Under Krystallen building in Copenhagen.
Reflection on a fountain near the Under Krystallen building in Copenhagen.
Tourists on a bridge structure near the Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen.
A flower the likes of which I have never seen in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Bicyclists on H. C. Andersens Boulevard in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Statues in front of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Fine Art Museum of Sculpture and Painting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The flowers planted along the south side of the building were very colorful and beautiful. The building is an imposing brick building, dating from the turn of the 20th century. A tower of nearly 350 feet dominates the redbrick building. The tower has a beautiful clock on all four faces. Above the west entry door is a gilded statue of Bishop Absalon, a 12th Century archbishop from Denmark. It is awe-inspiring because of its size and detail.

A bicycle by the Københavns Rådhus.
Enjoying the sights of Copenhagen.
A flower bed beside the Københavns Rådhus.
More flowers beside the Københavns Rådhus.
A bicycle by the Københavns Rådhus.
A statue at one of the corners of the Københavns Rådhus.
A bay window on the south side of the Københavns Rådhus.
Sun and moon detail on the south side of the Københavns Rådhus.
Another view of the Københavns Rådhus and Rådhuspladsen.
The Bishop Absalon relief is prominent above the entrance to the Københavns Rådhus.
Detail of the Bishop Absalon relief on the Københavns Rådhus.
This relief on the Københavns Rådhus is directly above the Bishop Absalon relief.
A large flower planter in front of the Københavns Rådhus.
Getting just the right photo of some flowers at the Københavns Rådhus (Copenhagen City Hall).
Two odd-looking statues outside Københavns Rådhus (Copenhagen City Hall).
The clock tower on the north side of Københavns Rådhus (Copenhagen City Hall).

At the corner of the Town Hall is a giant statue of Hans Christian Andersen, one of Denmark’s sons. A crowd of tourists swarmed the area, vying for their chance to have a photograph made with the statue. Many of them posed as though they had just found a long-lost cousin.

A tourist posing with Hans Christian Andersen beside the Københavns Rådhus.

City Hall plaza is on the west side of the Radus. That morning, there was a flea market in full swing. It appeared to be specialized in antiques.  Leslie found a topaz necklace that she decided to buy.

The Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square).
Some of the vendor booths at the flea market.
Shoppers at a flea market at the Rådhuspladsen (Copenhagen City Hall Square).
A lot of signage on the building across from the Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

By the time we left the plaza, it still was not quite 10:00. Many of the stores on Frederiksberggade Strøget were not open, and there were not a lot of people around. Within about a half-block, we saw a store with a unique mannequin display of several older men in their underwear. The sign read, “Just let the men stay naked, as long as we girls can shop.”

An odd display… “Just let the men stay naked, as long as we girls can shop.”
The Grand Movie Theater on Mikkel Bryggers Gade in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Strøget in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The intersection of H. C. Andersens Boulevard and Vesterbrogade in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Two people at a sidewalk cafe in front of the Scandic Palace Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark.
An eclectic collection of graffiti and posters on two transformers in Copenhagen, Denmark.

As we poked around, looking for a place to have a coffee and wait for things to open, we stumbled across the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus stop. We decided to take the bus, opting to travel the entire route, seeing all 16 stops. Then we could choose where we would like to get off and explore in more depth. The sights we saw included the Liberty Column, the Tivoli Amusement Park, the Christianborg Palace, the Nyhavn District, the Nyborder District, the Trekroner Fort, and the Gefion Fountain.

The Frihedsstøtten (Liberty Column) in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Sculptures at the base of the Frihedsstøtten (Liberty Column) in Copenhagen, Denmark. Construction began in 1792, completed in 1797.
The crowd for Tivoli waiting for the security gates to roll up.
People waiting to enter the Tivoli Amusement Park in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Traffic and bicyclists at an intersection in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Some protest banners on the roundabout in front of Christianborg Palace. The first reads, “Peace is Possible.” The second reads, “War is Terror.”
A group of Segway tourists in the Nyhavn district.
Two colorful bicycles in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Walking onto the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus.
Sightseeing ticket kiosk in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A statue of Bishop Absalon in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The blue-shirt group. I never did figure out who they represented.
The Nyhavn district.
Tourists on the bridge over the canal in the Nyhavn district.
Bicyclists riding on Øster Voldgade crossing Kronprinsessegade in the Nyborder District in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Trekroner Fort in Copenhagen harbor.
The approach of a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus as seen from the bus on which we were riding.
The Gefionspringvandet (Gefion Fountain) in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Nyhavn district as seen from the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. Note the Pissoir.
Posters at a construction site across from the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, Denmark.
An entry drive to Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Copenhagen is definitely a bicycle culture!
Pedestrians, shops, and bicycles.
Taking a break at the sandwich shop.
Pedestrians crossing the street near the art museum.
Restaurant Shanghai.
A random statue as seen from the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus.
A second random statue as seen from the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus.

We decided to get off in the Nyhavn (pronounced New-Hawn) area for further exploration. Because of bus computer problems, we decided to get off a couple of stops early and walk to Nyhavn. We got turned around once, but we ultimately made it to our destination. The canal from which the area takes its name came into being in the 1670s. For much of its existence, the area played host to drinking establishments, sailors, and prostitutes. On this particular day, there were crowds of tourists enjoying the beautiful weather and the Nyhavn venue for the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. That festival has been an annual occurrence since 1979.
The beauty of Nyhavn is quite striking. On either side of the canal are buildings painted in bright pastels. Each one is three and one-half to four stories high, facing the channel. Above the ground floor businesses are townhome or condo-like residences. I understand the addresses are some of the most sought after and expensive in the city. Peppered throughout the canal are some old boats, adding another layer of character to the scene.

We focused our search for a lunch restaurant on the north side of the canal, the sunny side. The tables and umbrellas along the canal just blended from one business to the next. The only way to tell when one was at a different establishment was to look at the facade of the buildings to see when the paint color changed.
We sat down at a restaurant named 17 Nyhavn. We began with a tall amber beer. In the heat of the day, 82 degrees Fahrenheit, the beer helped quench our thirst. Leslie opted for an avocado salad while I selected the club sandwich and French fries. It was a delightful lunch. That was not necessarily due to the food, but rather the company, the setting, and the jazz tunes lilting through.

A panorama of a tour boat in the Nyhavn district.
A panorama of the Nyhavn district of Copenhagen, Denmark.
The canal in the Nyhavn district.
Tour boats plying the canal in the Nyhavn district.
A public toilet in the Nyhavn district.
Walking by Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square) on the way to the Nyhavn district.
A very small coffee vendor in the Nyhavn district.
The sidewalk cafes seem to never end in the Nyhavn district.
On the Sunny Side.
Pedestrians and diners along the canal in the Nyhavn district.
A large red boat in the Nyhavn district.
Making a selfie of the ice cream cone in the Nyhavn district.
Sitting for a rest in the Nyhavn district.
People sitting along the canal in the Nyhavn district.
Locks placed by lovers on the bridge over the canal in the Nyhavn district.
A sailboat docked in the Nyhavn district of Copenhagen, Denmark.
A Lamborghini in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Pedestrians looking at Nyhavn from the bridge over the canal.
Bicyclists stopped for a red light in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A woman walking her dog in Copenhagen, Denmark.

After lunch, we decided it was time to go back to the hotel. To get to the bus stop on the other side of the canal, we crossed the short drawbridge. On the bridge, there were several padlocks from lovers pledging themselves to one another. We have seen that in several places throughout Europe.
We caught the bus across the street from the apartment building in which Hans Christian Andersen lived for nearly 20 years. As we waited, we spotted a sign for Lycamoblile, ironically touting an excellent rate to call to Pakistan.

An apartment building in the Nyhavn district in which Hans Christian Andersen once lived.
Inexpensive calls to Pakistan…

A few stops later, the bus stopped for a break at the Little Mermaid statue. It is a very famous statue. I decided to get off and take a photograph while Leslie opted to stay on board. The icon is tiny and unimposing. That lends more credence to why the guide books say many people see the statue and claim, “Is that all there is?” Much like the Hans Christian Andersen statue, there were crowds of tourists vying to have their picture made with her. Regardless of her impact, I did get a refrigerator magnet to remind us of our trip there.

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Tourists flocking around the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A tourist trinket vendor near the Little Mermaid statue.

We got off the bus directly in front of our hotel. We immediately went inside for a nap. We were both more worn out than we thought.
Leslie’s mom and aunt arrived in Copenhagen on Monday. Before they arrived, we walked back to the mall to do some shopping. Just before the mall is a bridge strictly for bicycles, it is known as Cykelslangen or Cycle Snake. It is a curvy, fun way for cyclists to cross the canals.

The Cykelslangen in Copenhagen.
A woman riding on the Cykelslangen in Copenhagen.
A woman walking under the Cykelslangen in Copenhagen.

On Tuesday afternoon, we all boarded the Regal Princess cruise ship for our Baltic cruise. Leslie and I booked a suite with a balcony. We were delighted with our accommodations.

The Danish flag flying on the Regal Princess.
One of the hallways to the cabins on the Regal Princess.
The yet-to-open casino on the Regal Princess.
A ship being assisted by tug boats in the Copenhagen harbor.
A Danish naval patrol boat.
A yacht flying a Norwegian flag passing the Regal Princess.
The Brilliance of Seas cruise ship approaches.
The Brilliance of the Seas cruise ship in the Copenhagen harbor.
The Brilliance of the Seas.
The Brilliance of the Seas departing Copenhagen harbor.
Walking over the edge of the Regal Princess.