Denmark, Travels


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2002/09/29/copenhagen/

As it was Sunday, the tourist office was closed. I found the hotel where I was to meet the family on the map, and started on my way. They were finishing up a group tour, and I was to meet them in Copenhagen, after which they’d rent a car, and we’d spend a few days together in the Danish countryside. Just around the corner from the train station I saw a big ol’ tour bus emblazoned with the name of the company that was running their tour. The bus was empty, and I wondered if it was headed to the train station to pick them up, or something.

The company could quite possibly be running more than one tour through Copenhagen. I stayed on my course towards the hotel, following the most likely route of the potentially full tour bus back to the hotel. Were it to pass by me, I am hardly an inconspicuous character.

Strolling across a small plaza, I had that feeling you get when you think someone’s calling your name from afar. Since I had been travelling alone for some time, I was inclined to discard this sensation. Then I saw Uncle John, and then I figured out that Grandma had been calling out to me, from her seat within the tour bus, which had stopped for a brief photo break.

Mom was a few metres off, taking a picture of something, unaware of my presence. Uncle John suggested that I board the bus at the rear and surprise her when she returned to her seat. I opted to stay where I was to get a picture of Mom getting a picture of whatever it was, when she turned, saw me, and charged, her arms spread wide to hug her son. That made a better picture.

Mom Charges Toward her Son

I was allowed on the tour bus to see The Little Mermaid, and the four castles of the Danish royal family. Then it was back to the hotel for a shower while Mom and Grandma took an optional tour to the country.

I was invited to join the tour group for a tasty Danish Christmas Dinner, which they were to share for their final night together. I was the youngest person there. It was good.

Feedback Welcome

Denmark, Travels

Copenhagen, Christiana

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2002/09/30/copenhagen-christiana/

Breakfast at the hotel. We took a relaxing boat tour through Copenhagen’s canals, then we walked over and checked out the ruins of Copenhagen’s original castles, in the basement of the Danish parliament, which had been built upon the same site. Then we noticed that, being Monday, most of the other museums were closed.

We went to pick up the car. While the main party returned it to the hotel, I enjoyed a nice walk through town. I visited Christiana, which is a “Free State” — formerly an abandonned military base, since taken over by long-haired types. It had a nice, anarchic feel. One of the first things I saw was a kid spraying a picture on a wall. The primary economic activity seemed to be the sale of hash, in such quantities that they looked to me like blocks of chocolate, set out on tables in the street. The marijuana in Amsterdam is distributed in modest baggies, that sit behind the counter.

Crooked Orange Building
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

Grandma encouraged me to take a picture of this building, which is pretty, and obviously very old.

Copenhagen Train Station
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

I really liked this Copenhagen train station because it is tightly-packed with activity, and everything, notably the train cars, seem smaller, and cute … you’d think that this is the country that invented Legos. (It is!)

[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

Taken near Christiana, I just really like this picture.

Crowded Canal Scene
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

Copenhagen’s canals are tightly packed with activity as well.

The rest of the place was low-key. Lots of gardens and art and dirt paths between buildings, dogs following their owners around. I got the impression that there was more going on below the surface. Were I not jamming all over the place with family, I’d be inclined to arrange ahead for a guided tour. As it was, I wandered on my way, leaving the enigmatic “Free State” behind me.

Copenhagen has lots of cafes, and posters for dance events. It seems like a pretty nice scene.

1 Comment

Denmark, Travels


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2002/10/01/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
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

A beautiful cathedral where Denmark keeps its former royalty in Roskilde.

Mom digs the Dom Kirke
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

I caught Mom having a good time.

Preserved Viking Ship
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

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
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

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
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

Bucket seats they aren’t.

Life on a Viking Ship
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

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
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

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
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

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.

Feedback Welcome

Denmark, Travels

Haarslev, Odense

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2002/10/02/haarslev-odense/

We drove over to Haarslev this morning. Grandmother’s Grandfather was from this little town. We arrived in the morning, through spookily foggy weater, to see a church surrounded by a cemetary where the evergreen shrubbery was tinseled in glistening cobwebs. The place felt eerie, and somewhat familiar. Perhaps it felt like the Northern parts of America, like the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where Danish and Swedish ancestors would have felt at home in the new world. Part of us is from this mysterious little town. Ancestors worshipped in this modest little church.

We spoke with the Priest about finding records from that era, but she explained that records of such age would be found at the archives back in Odense.

Foggy Morning
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

The family makes its way out of the car. We know we are somewhere special, and we can feel it in the air.

Brick and Mortar Facade
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

The sun comes out a bit, and shines on the church.

Very Old Tombstone
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

The church yard and cemetery are well-kept, but that in places you can see that things are old.

Uncle John inside the Church
[640×400] [800×600] [Full Size]

Uncle John studies the interior of the church.

We returned to Odense, not to review nineteenth century Danish paperwork, but for Uncle John and me to visit the train museum while Mom and Grandma visited the Hans Christian Andersen Museum.


Denmark, Travels


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2002/10/02/rodby/

After that, Uncle John navigated us down the islands of Denmark to a little town called Rodby. A ferry runs from Rodby to Germany. The advertised rate was 3€ for a pedestrian. That is a lot better than the 60€ I had to pay to get to Copenhagen a few days prior.

There was little else in town besides a hotel named Dan. As it was getting dark, Mom decided that they would stay there for the night. We splurged for dinner at the hotel’s expensive restaurant, as the alternatives were a diner with no seats, and an Italian restaurant populated only by its staff. We tried the next town over, where I ventured into a pub and asked for a restaurant, and after much frustrated grunting, was referred to the aforementioned hotel back where we had come from.

Splurging was excusable as it was our last night in Denmark; I was to ferry over to Germany, and the family were driving back to Copenhagen the next day to catch a flight back to the States.

Dinner lasted some time. We derived no small amusement from the fact that the one hotel employee we dealt with was working not only at the reception on the ground floor, but as the restaurant’s sole waiter upstairs. He was, understandably, a bit high-strung, kind of like Basil Fawlty. “Can we smoke?” “In Denmark, we smoke just about anywhere, so yes you can smoke.”

Uncle John wanted to chill the four-pack of beers that he had purchased, but there were no refridgerators in their rooms, so he asked the waiter about ice. The waiter explained that, however lamentably, the ice machine had broken, so that the ice cube in our water pitcher was the last in the entire hotel. Hoewever, in Denmark the water was safe to drink so it was not in any way necessary to boil the water.


The ferry ran every half hour, all night long. Walking over to the ferry, we drank the beer that had been chilled slightly in the restaurant’s freezer. On the ferry itself, nobody ever charged me any money but then what’s 3€ between friends?

Trucks Unload at the Ferry Terminal
Trucks unload at the ferry terminal, as I leave my family in Denmark to make my way to my next adventures in Deutschland . . .

Feedback Welcome

Site Archive