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Denmark, Travels

Roskilde

We drove off to Roskilde, where I bought a durable little pocket-sized notebook with some Danish cartoon character on it. The existing small notebook was nearing capacity. In addition to a small notebook, I also keep a larger notebook for journalling. This new notebook fits in the back pocket of my slacks, where its predecessor did not, not to mention the souvenir quality of a weird little Danish cartoon bear.

There is a cathedral in Roskilde, the Dom Kirke, which is filled with the bodies of Danish royalty. Far more fascinating is the Viking Ship Museum, which holds the restored remains of a half dozen Viking ships. A film, which runs alternately in Danish, English, and German, described the resource-intensive labour of love that it took to recover, re-assemble and prepare the ships for display: twenty years, a great deal of ingenuity, and a lot of loving patience.

Outside, they run a modern-day Viking shipyard, where they build Viking ships based on the archeological clues offered by the remains inside the museum. As the Vikings did, they use hatchets to cleave wood along the grain, resulting in stronger, lighter planks than modern sawmill techniques. The result is that Viking ships were actually far more sophisticated than historians had previously been inclined to believe.

Inside the Dom Kirke
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A beautiful cathedral where Denmark keeps its former royalty in Roskilde.

Mom digs the Dom Kirke
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I caught Mom having a good time.

Preserved Viking Ship
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Once upon a time, Viking men sailed this ship in the North Sea. Now, the painstakingly recovered pieces have been reassembled, preserved, and presented for us to gawk at.

Modern Vessel
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I know nothing about this vessel, although it looks like a descendant of Viking ships. I really like the quality of this picture.

Viking Seating
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Bucket seats they aren’t.

Life on a Viking Ship
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A curator’s view of what life might look like on a Viking ship, minus the Vikings. I’m partial to the polar bear skin, myself.

Cute Little Ship
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It aint Vikings, but this little craft is cute as a button. That’s about half the ship. The life of a Danish fisherman!

Viking Ship Construction
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Meanwhile, history marches forward. The Danes are building new Viking ships!

One of the clues to Viking ship-building techniques is found in the Bayeaux Tapestry, that I had skipped just three days before. Live and learn.

We spent the night in a gay little hotel in the gay little town of Odense. I ate Danish haggis. Not bad.

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Categories: Denmark, Travels