We had a full day today. First we took the Metro into the City Center and took the Hop On Hop Off tour of Christiania.
Next we walked through Christiania Freetown. The settlement was created in the 70s when squatters took over an abandoned military base. Apparently the settlement has been run somewhat separately from the rest of Copenhagen since then. The bus tour narrative said that weed used to be sold freely but isn’t any more. But as we walked down Pusher Street we saw about twenty different guys selling quite openly. The aroma was very strong. As we left the area we saw a van full of police pull up and empty out heading towards the area we had just left. We decided to retrace our route. This time as we walked down Pusher Street their were lots of police and no one selling weed.
Our next stop was Our Savior’s Church. Duke and Valerie climbed to the top. Duke said the steps at the very top were so narrow that he wouldn’t fit.
We stopped far a coffee break. Right after we got our drinks it started to rain so we went inside.
Our last sightseeing stop was the Danish National Museum. The history and relics starting from the Stone Ages up to a the present were fascinating.
Finally we ate a great restaurant, P Eatery. Our last dinner with Valerie and Vicky,who fly home tomorrow, was special.
This morning we drove to Copenhagen. We are staying at a big modern hotel near the airport, AC Hotel Bella Sky. We dropped Vicky, Valerie and our bags off at the hotel. Then Duke and I returned our rental car, bought Metro passes and took the Metro back to the hotel.
After meeting back up with the girls we all took the Metro into Copenhagen. We really lucked out on the weather. Today was sunny with a high of 75. It was perfect weather to sit on top of the Hop on Hop off bus for our tour of the city.
When we took the boat tour it seemed like all of the people in Copenhagen were sitting out by the canals having a snack or a drink or just enjoying the day.
Between our bus tour and our boat tour we had snacks a a sidewalk cafe.
For dinner we had a fabulous meal at Palægad, a Michelin listed restaurant a few blocks from our Metro stop.
The breakfast at our hotel this morning was a work of art and it was as delicious as it looked. In addition to fruit, bread and cold cuts there were individual mini omelettes.
After breakfast we drove about twenty minutes south to Helsinger. There we visited the Maritime Museum and the Kronborg Castle.
The Maritime Museum is realatively new. It is built below ground into an old dry dock. I loved the architecture.
The Castle is strategically located. Originally it operated as a toll house to command the narrow straight between what is now Sweden and Denmark. It also played a significant roll in Danish Swedish wars. Perhaps it is most well known as the setting for Hamlet’s Elsinor Castle although Shakespeare was never here.
After we got back to Hornbæk we walked around the lake by our hotel
We walked to dinner and on the way home went down to the beach then stopped for ice cream.
Today was our longest driving day of this trip so far. We drove 150 miles from the eastern coast of central Jutland to the northeast coast of Zealand.
Before we left Aarhus we walked over to Dokk1. It is an indoor public space. It also contains the biggest library in Scandinavia. We explored the library and found all sorts of cool things. They have an amazing automatic sorting machine for books being returned. They had computers, video games, three-D printers and great reading and studying spaces.
Not far from our destination we stopped to explored the gardens around Fredensborg Castle. It is a grand palace where the Danish royals sometimes live.
Tonight we are staying in Hornbæk in a lovely hotel overlooking the lake with a view of the ocean to the north. From our window we can see Sweden across the water. We ate dinner in our hotel. This is the beef tenderloin that Duke and Vicky shared and the flødebolle that I had for desert.
Before I start this blog post I want to mention that I have a Google album with all the pictures we have taken in Denmark. There are a lot!! If you would like access to the album let me know and I will add you.
It rained all day today. But that didn’t stop us from exploring. We drove around the island across from our hotel and stopped at a small fishermans’ museum.
Next we went to Vestervig. The tourist guide we picked up at our hotel described the Vestervig Kirke as the grandest village church in Scandinavia. We weren’t quite sure why. It turns out it is big, beautiful, and has a very long history. The church is on the site of a former Iron Age settlement and Middle Ages monastery.
The cemeteries we have visited in Denmark are the most beautiful I have ever seen. Each grave is a miniature garden.
Across the road from the church was a small windmill.
Up the road we stopped at the Thy National Park and hiked through the dunes to get our first view of the North Sea.
For dinner in Aarhus we are at Kähler Spisesalon. I had Flounder and an appetizer. Duke and the girls shared a cheese plate and artistic tasty open faced sandwiches.
When we left Fredericia we headed northwest to the North Sea coast of Jutland. Going directly it would have taken us a couple of hours but we took back roads and took about six hours. It was a beautiful drive.
We learned a bit of trivia today that totally surprised me. The Bluetooth we have on our phones is named after a tenth century King of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth who is known for having unified warring tribes of Denmark and Norway. Who knew!?
Not long after leaving Fredericia we stopped at Jelling. According to our guidebook the town is the birthplace of the country of Denmark. It was the Royal seat of King Gorm the Old and his son Harald Bluetooth. They were the first in a long line of Danish monarchs that still continues today.
We visited the Jelling Kirk built around 1100 and saw the two rune stones erected by King Gorm and his son. On either side of the church are two big burial mounds. Back when it was a Viking settlement it was surrounded by a huge palisade.
The museum across the street from the church gave an excellent summary of Viking history and the archaeology of the area.
We spent the night in a wonderful small hotel on Thyholm island. There was a wedding party going on when we arrived.
The area and the hotel reminded me of the Northern California coast. After dinner we had a lovely walk along the water.