Day 10, Copenhagen, Denmark (September 30, 2016)
As the song goes: “Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcCnKTSmcFQ) That silly song played in my mind the whole time we were there.
Copenhagen is the capitol, and largest city in Denmark.
Today’s tour was called “A Tour of two Kingdoms – Denmark to Sweden” – it was an all day tour. We started out on our coach and only went a very short distance before our first stop – The “Little Mermaid” statue, made famous by Hans Christian Anderson.
We then hopped back on the coach for another very short hop over to view the Gefion fountain.
According to an ancient legend, Gefion was the goddess who ploughed the island of Zealand out of Sweden. The Swedish king Gylfe offered the goddess Gefion as much land as she was capable of ploughing within one day and one night. Gefion received help only from four oxen. She had transformed her four sons into immensely powerful oxen and had them plough so deeply in the ground that they raised the land and pulled it into the sea. This is how the island of Zealand was created.
After the fountain, we needed to head to Amalienborg Palace for the Changing of the Guard. Here is some of the scenery we encountered on the way there…
After the fountain, we went to Amalienborg Palace just in time for the “Changing of the Guard.” It was interesting to watch them change out the guards, but they are not quite as stoic as the ones in England – the guards would speak to tourists and answer questions.
Amalienborg is the home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical classical palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard (Danish: Amalienborg Slotsplads); in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederick V.
Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace burned on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces.
After our visit to the Palace, we hopped back on the coach for a long ride across the border into Sweden and a visit to Lund Cathedral. Adam was disappointed because they had crypts under the cathedral that were supposed to be open, but they were closed. The reason he wanted to see the crypts is due to a local legend we were told about – about a Troll named Finn who helped build the Cathedral. He made a deal with Saint Lars – that as payment for his help to build the cathedral, Saint Lars must pluck out his eyes when it was complete. If he was able to tell the giant his name, however, he would be spared from plucking out his eyes. The Saint tried every name he could think of, and the giant kept telling him he was wrong – one day, when the building was almost complete – the Saint was walking in the nearby woods – knowing that he may soon lose his eyes, wanted to take in the sights – when he heard singing – it was the giant’s wife singing to their children that soon they would have a gift when their father, Finn was done building the cathedral – the Saint ran to the site of the building and shouted “Finn is your name” and the giant was so angry he ran down to the crypt to break the support pillars and suddenly lost all this strength and turned to stone. And he can be seen in the crypt wrapped around one of the pillars. Well, we didn’t get to see Finn, but we did see the lovely alter, and were treated to the music played by the astronomical clock (which was animated) before we left.
After our visit to the cathedral, we took the coach over to a city named Malmo. We were given some free time to explore the central square, and to get lunch. We decided to continue our ‘tradition’ of eating at Burger King in far off exotic places. It was basic fast food, nothing special.
After our lunch stop, our guide showed us interesting architecture in Malmo and then we headed back to the ship.
Day 11, Day at Sea (October 1, 2016)
We enjoyed another relaxing day at sea. We had some ship-board credit to spend, so we spent some time shopping in the on-board shops, and after dinner we enjoyed a nice show that was put on by the members of the crew.