Goddag from Denmark!
We arrived here via a train across the water from Sweden and have been calling Copenhagen our home base. We used our time here to visit Viking ships in a nearby town, eat a great deal of pastries, and see beautiful sites all over the city. It has been a delight visiting and to top it off the weather was perfect for sightseeing.
On our first afternoon in the city, we were surprised to find a crowd of people on the piers having an impromptu party. The group increased in size as the evening progressed, someone played music out of boombox-style speakers, and others were jumping into the water. It was dusk out and also not a hot temperature; but, these Danes would not be dissuaded from having a good time. They were dancing and enjoying their chilled Gudenå River plunges.
Outside of the city, we found some real delight in our visit to Roskilde. This small port city used to be a Viking base. Researchers have unearthed several sunken ships from the harbor. The ships' remains were displayed in the museum along with explanations of everything we have learned about Viking shipmaking from them. By studying the remnants, we can tell how the Vikings used different types of wood for different parts of the boat. The researchers explained how they have developed a deeper understanding of how the woods were hewn with hand tools because of what they found. Outside the museum, there was an exhibit with staff demonstrating the woodworking.
I was taken aback by the ship-building exhibit for children. Young ones (under ten years old) were given hammers and saws with raw wood and the opportunity to build their own boats. There were nails, wood clamps, and sharp objects for the children to work with. Back home these kids would have been lucky to build a paper boat with tape – but here they had the chance to practice with quality materials and real tools. This may seem normal to some people, and maybe it should be; but, it would be a walking liability risk at home – and so it caught Mr. Wanderer and I completely off guard.
One thing we took quite seriously during our time in Denmark, was our visits to the different bakeries. The bakery guild signs were easy to spot and we quickly located some of our favorites. One thing that surprised us in the bakery windows was that the pastry that Mr. Wanderer and I grew up calling “Danish” was called here “Weinerbrod”. Its origins stem from Viennese merchants who baked those pastries when they moved to Denmark.
Another thing we noticed while in Denmark, was the vast number of bicycles out and about. The bike parking at the train station was overflowing and cyclists were everywhere as we walked all over town. We had not seen so many two-wheeled friends since our visit to the Netherlands.
Denmark has been wonderful. The food, the people, the sights, and the weather have all made for a pleasant stay. We adored strolling along the canals, checking out the commune called Freetown Christiania, and so much more during our time here. But alas, our bags are packed and it is time to move on. The nation we are heading to next boasts of being the home of the first modern novel. Any guesses where we are off to next?