Tallinn to Copenhagen: 751 Nautical Miles
Local Information: Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and located on the Eastern Coast of Zealand. Almost 2 million people live in the Copenhagen Metro Area. The Øresund Bridge connects the city of Copenhagen to Malmo, a large city in Sweden.
A very nice day in Copenhagen, Denmark
We are both up early because we have all day tours today. Our tour day starts in the Celebrity Theater waiting for passengers to get their tickets and bus stickers.
Ellen at Tour Central – Celebrity Theater
I am on the “Copenhagen City Highlights and Castles of North Zealand” tour (my tour guide is Sofia, who speaks perfect English and is very pleasant).
The bus is comfortable and soon we are on our way out of Copenhagen and into the beautiful Danish countryside. There are many different types of homes in the suburbs but the ones that I found most interesting were those with the thatched roofs (they only need to be replaced every 60 years). Roofing companies would never allow that in the States.
Thatched Roof Home
Our route takes us along the the Øresund, (Sound) which separates Denmark and Sweden. At one point (below), the Sound narrows to the point where Sweden is clearly visible on the opposite shore.
Our first stop is Kronborg Castle located along the the Øresund, in Helsingør (Elsinore). The Renaissance Castle was built between From 1574 to 1585. The Castle was fortified and played a role in the levying of “Sound Dues” by Danish Kings on ships entering the waterway between the two countries (the other side then controlled by Denmark as well). In the late 18th Century, Kronborg was no longer a Royal Residence and in 1938, it was opened to the public. It’s major claim to fame is that it is the Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
The town is replete with beautiful gardens and statues and, as might be expected,the site of the Annual Hamlet Festival.
Park near Kronborg Castle
Approaching Kronborg Castle
Our tour is not scheduled to go into the Castle so we are given time to wander the grounds and take photos.
Another View of the Castle and Wall
Town of Helsingør and a Danish Swan
Entrance to the Castle
Cannons Guarding the Øresund
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio”.
Even though the Castles of North Zealand likely have majestic arches, the Golden Arches are also a familiar sight in this region.
We left the farthest tip of North Zealand for out next stop, the magnificent Frederiksborg Castle
Frederiksborg Castle was built by its namesake, Frederik II in 1560 but the Castle owes it’s architectural style to King Christian IV, who oversaw the construction of the present castle between 1602 and 1620. It is the largest Renaissance Castle in Scandinavia. After the death of Christian IV, the Castle was used for coronations (Note: It seems that Danish Kings were either named Christian or Frederik). The Castle is now a Museum of National History.
The Castle sits on three small islands in the middle of Castle Lake in the town of Hillerod.
Entering the Castle Courtyard
Water Separating the Islands of the Castle
Bridge to the Courtyard
Neptune’s Fountain (two above)
Above – the Central Courtyard of the Castle
Sofia – the Guide – Guiding
The Castle Chapel has been the site of Royal Coronations of all Danish Absolute Monarchs between 1671 and 1840 (with one exception).
Royal Chapel – Frederiksborg Castle
Sofia describes the life and times of the most famous of Danish Kings, Christian IV (below). Christian IV is shown in the painting.
Great Hall and Fireplace
The Castle is a Museum and one of the rooms had portraits of some famous Danes. Couldn’t help but take a picture of one of the most famous Danes, Hans Christian Andersen.
Many in the group were curious as to the current Danish Monarch. She is Queen Margrethe II. She was the first female Danish Monarch crowned under the new Laws of Succession.
Queen Margrethe II
One of the rooms in the Castle was the Marriage Bedroom – but this room was just for show and not used as a bedroom.
The Marriage Bedroom
Guarding one of the alcoves of the Castle was a knight (at least the armor) in full regalia (below)
The Castle Tour was very interesting. It was a challenge keeping everyone together and, because of the number of visitors and the ambient temperature, it was a bit warm in the Castle. Otherwise, very picturesque and informative. Bonus: Everyone was accounted for when we got back on the bus.
Our next stop was lunch. The Lunch venue was a restaurant in a condominium complex (more like a country club complex complete with golf course).
The Grounds at the Lunch Venue
Lunch consisted of a buffet containing a wide variety of food items. Although I was unable to identify the breaded fish by its description, I tried some of it with homemade tartar sauce. I also had two types of herring – one in standard wine sauce and one in a yellow sauce. They were both very good. Also available – along with various types of meats and cheeses – was a red cabbage salad (very good) and bread. Various drinks – sodas, beer, and wine – along with a very good cake completed the menu. All in all, a very good lunch.
After lunch, the tour proceeded back to Copenhagen. On the way, we only caught a glimpse through the window of the bus of the Fredensborg Palace. The Palace, which is the Royal Family’s Spring and Fall Residence, is the most used of the Royal Palaces. When we visited this Palace in 2001, we got as far as the front gate – this time, only the parking lot.
The ride to Copenhagen was relatively short. The architecture of Copenhagen is always interesting as seen below.
The route took us by a recreational lake, that can be used for ice skating when everything freezes over in the Winter.
At the far end of the lake, there was an interesting building, that, according to Sofia, was used as a place to warm up and drink hot chocolate after a skate. That was back in the day – now it is a Disco,
Hot Chocolate to Saturday Night Fever
We only caught the gate of famed Tivoli Gardens. The Amusement Park, opened in 1843, supposedly served as a partial inspiration for Disneyland (Walt Disney visited here before he opened his park). The two parks are quite different nowadays.
Copenhagen City Hall
Copenhagen’s most congested (people-wise) area has to be the Nyhavn (“New Harbor”). Wall to wall restaurants and wall to wall people make this the go to destination in the city. When we walked this area last, the food looked good but the fare was pricey. Still the views and people watching would be worth it.
Our next stop was the Amalienborg Palace, located near the Harbor. This Palace, completed in 1760, is the Winter Home of the Royal Family. Before heading over to the Palace, we got a nice look at the Royal Opera House (below).
The photos below are all of the Amalienborg Palace. There were no flags flying on the buildings indicating that members of the Royal Family were not at home.
The building below is the “Royal Kindergarten” – where all of the Royal cousins, etc. start their education.
King Frederik V was responsible for the development of the district now home to the Amalienborg Palace. A statue of the monarch on his horse recognizes this contribution.
King Frederick V
Physical evidence that I was really at the Palace is shown below.
After the Palace, I went back to the harbor. I thought the pillar below was interesting in a techno-art kind of way.
The gnome guarding the Gift Shop looked kind of familiar – we had seen his cousin when we cruised the Arctic Circle last year.
Moving through the harbor area, we passed the Gefion Fountain. Gefion is the Norse Goddess of Agriculture and Fertility, and usually associated with the plow. The mythological basis for the statue is related to a bet that Gefion made with the King of Sweden. The King said Gefion could have all the land she could plow in one night. Being a goddess, Gefion turned her four sons into bulls and they plowed the land that is now Zealand. Never mess with a goddess.
The Gefion Fountain
Our final stop would be the statue of the Little Mermaid found in Copenhagen Harbor. The Little Mermaid, an iconic figure since 1913 and based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen, sits quietly on a rock in the Harbor. The most amazing thing about this picture is the lack of people all over this poor little mermaid. Got lucky, I guess.
The Little Mermaid
There is another statue in the harbor area I like to call the Big Mermaid. She is shown below. She doesn’t get the publicity of her little sister perhaps due to her less than optimal location.
The Big Mermaid
It was then back to the ship. Bottom Line: A great tour.
Tonight is the last Formal Night so we are dressed up so we can get our Formal Night Photo. This may be the only picture of us together on this cruise.
Forman Night 3
The sail away was a bit dreary but the sunset later on was terrific.
Tonight’s Showtime was “The Land of Make Believe”, the third Production Show and a combination of Wicked and Alice in Wonderland. We have seen it before so we are spending this evening in the Library reading and relaxing.
Final Sea Day tomorrow…
Pedometer: 6840 steps; 3.2 miles; 377 calories; 1:13