Wednesday July 21st
Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is east of the main landmass and is situated on Sjaelland [pronounced Zealand] the largest island belonging to Denmark.
The city is one of Europe`s oldest capitals and the Danish monarchy is the oldest in the World.
In 1167 a castle was built to protect the harbour and it soon developed into an important trading centre as it was ideally located at the entrance to the Baltic.
Denmark, like Norway, has its own currency, the Danish Krone and has a population of 1.7 million.
True to form, I was wide awake early again and went up to deck 10 at 6.00 am as the ship was travelling at crawling pace through some fantastic scenery. We were still miles away from Copenhagen where we docked at around 8.15 am.
It was very windy on the exposed deck but at least it was sunny and it looked like it was going to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
As we got closer to Copenhagen I noticed a huge offshore wind farm, their sails glistening in the early morning sunshine.
Soon after we docked, a local boys military band paraded along the quayside to welcome us to Denmark.
We had booked the “City & Harbour Tour” for today whereas our companions had opted for the “Castles of North Zealand Tour”, so after breakfast at Topsiders my DW and I went to Studio Sea on deck 4, our assembly point for the tour.
There we met Robert and Margaret [our other dining partners], who had booked the same tour along with their children, so we had some company for the day.
We boarded the bus at 9.45 am and our first stop was only a short distance away from where the ship had docked in order to “see” the Little Mermaid Statue which has become the symbol of Copenhagen.
I say “see” in inverted commas because actually the statue is on loan at an exhibition in Shanghai so they have set up a live video link so that folks can see the statue in China! This must be the first time that I have photographed something that isn`t there!
Once again most of my photographs had to be taken from the bus although our guide did an excellent job in explaining what we were viewing.
During the tour we passed by the “Nyboder” [new dwellings] quarter where we saw some very well preserved 17th century rows of terraced houses built for the sailors of the navy. In all, around 600 such houses were built, and the vast majority are still there today.
Our next stop was at Amalienburg Palace Square which is a huge plaza surrounded by the royal palaces and in the centre of the square is a huge statue of King Frederik V, an ancestor of the current royal family.
From here we were then driven to another central area where we all boarded a boat for a very scenic cruise along some of the numerous canals located in the heart of the city.
There were great photo opportunities at every turn as we passed by some fabulous buildings both old and new and at several areas there were loads of pleasure boats moored on both sides of the canals, some of which are houseboats which are lived in all of the time.
Care had to be taken on several occasions though as we all had to duck down as we passed beneath some very low bridges during the trip.
On leaving the boat we were all given a mug as a commemorative gift before we re-boarded the bus for the short drive back to the ship.
We arrived back on board at around 1.00 pm and after a snack lunch from the outlets on deck 9 we did a spot of sunbathing on deck 10 prior to the ship`s departure at 5.00 pm.
Over coffee at Cove Café where we met Doug & Michelle [again comparing notes on our respective tours], Pio mentioned that tonight the ship would be passing under the Oresund Bridge which is a site to behold. He then said that this event would take place around midnight, however we would pass under the bridge at a more convenient time later in the cruise…so more later!
As we were finishing dinner in Lumiére`s, Oppie [our server] brought a black guy to our table who joined us for his dessert course.
He was named Alfred, one half of “Alfred and Seymour”, who had just boarded the ship as they had been booked as a comedy/variety act due to appear at the Walt Disney Theatre and Rockin` Bar “D” during the cruise.
He was a really funny guy and great company to be with and he came down to Sessions for a “quick drink” with us after dinner where again we sat in our usual location, chatting to Tim and having a great time swapping jokes and innuendos with Alfred.
Although we intended this to be a “quick drink” as we had an early start the following day, the time simply flew by and before long it was 11.30 pm so we than called it a night.
On returning to our stateroom I could see the huge bridge on the horizon but a reckoned that we were still a good 30 minutes or so away from it so decided to delay the view as we passed under it until later in the cruise as Pio had suggested.
Tomorrow it`s Germany..don`t mention the war!