Today we were in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is our last port on the cruise. We fly out of Copenhagen to London tomorrow.
We began our day by doing a MeMover tour. MeMovers are kinda like a mobile elliptical, but not. I can’t really describe it, so I’ll post a picture that our guide took when we were parked in front of a water feature. Our guide had virtually perfect English and his son, Otto, who made the caboose of our caravan, had terrific English also.
I’m not going to try and describe everything we saw in order, but I will tell you about the things I remember.
- We went to the Queen’s palace and took some pictures. I’m sure it is interesting to someone, but I didn’t. It was pretty, but I’ve seen so many pretty buildings lately.
- We went to the sculpture of the Little Mermaid. It is very little. I’m not sure what the fuss is about it, but it’s apparently the #1 thing to see in Copenhagen so now it’s checked off my todo list.
- We went through some really pretty streets and got to know the town better.
- At one point, we stopped in front of an art museum (that’s where the picture of the MeMovers was taken). The fountain was neat because anyone could go in it. I went and sat on one of the chairs in the middle of the fountain.
I liked the tour as it really gave me a feel for the city. Copenhagen seems to be fairly livable and, like all of the places we’ve been so far, was clean and just overall nice.
After our tour, another guide came to take us to the Viking Museum. We walked down to the train station and rode ~25 minutes to another island close to Copenhagen. We then walked ~20 minutes to the Viking Museum. On our way, we passed a church where most of the Danish kings are buried. We also walked through a nice park.
The Viking Museum was built to display five Viking ships that were sunk in the bay as a blockade. There were three navigable routes and the Vikings in the settlement barricaded two of them. One of them with these boats and the other with wooden spikes. The third one is difficult to navigate and was left open. The ships that were sunk were preserved in the cold depths of the bay and were pulled up in 1962. The boats had been underwater for nearly a millennia.
The Viking Museum itself is very cool. Outside, they had a lot of hands on stuff geared towards younger kids but they also had a lot of neat things for adults. The museum also actively reconstructs the Viking boats using technology available to the Vikings in that period. We got to see one of these reconstructions sailing out in the bay. The reconstructed ships have even made a journey to Ireland and back. They made this trip because the wood from one of the ships was from Ireland.
There was a guided tour by one of the museum staff and we listened in. The guide spent a while talking about the Viking age in general which was very informative. Here are a few things that I took away from this part of the tour:
- The Vikings didn’t wear hats with horns. In fact nobody has ever found a hat with horns on it.
- The Vikings who built ships were expert sea men (oh wait I have to be PC: sea people). They were the richest and most skilled people in their communities and as such were the only people with enough time to build a boat.
- The Viking age came to an end gradually (as most ages do) as the Vikings found it to be more profitable to trade than to loot. The introduction of Christianity to the Vikings also made them less likely to want to go around killing each other.
The boats themselves are one of the prime archeological sources for the construction of Viking ships. Until these boats were discovered, nobody really knew what a Viking ship looked like or how it was constructed.
After the tour, we stopped to get some ice cream and then walk back to the train station. Unfortunately, the train was cancelled and we had to wait 20 minutes for another. It did come, but it was very crowded. By the time we got back to the train station and got a cab to the boat, it was 17:15. We decided to get ready and go to dinner so that we could say goodbye to our waiters and table mates.
The evening was much the same as the past few evenings so I’ll not describe it here.