August 18 and 19: We arrived at Copenhagen at approximately 9:00 AM on the 18th. Ginni and I had signed up for “Wonderful Copenhagen” tour which gave us a great overview of the city. Copenhagen is one of the oldest kingdoms in the world and dates back to the first Danish monarch, King “Gorm the Old” who established his reign in the 10th century. The first sight we were shown was the Little Mermaid, the bronze statue of one of Hans Christian Anderson’s storybook characters, which has graced the spot since 1913.
On our way to the Royal Amalienborg Palace, we saw the inner city’s Old Quarter. Once we arrived at the palace, the guide gave us a brief history of its origin; it is the winter home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard and in the center of the square is a monumental statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederick V. We finished up the tour by passing by Tivoli Gardens, Glyptotek Art Museum, City Hall, and the Stock Exchange.
After lunch on board the ship, I read for the rest of the afternoon. At 4:00, we met up with Anne, a friend of Ginni’s who resides in Stockholm. Anne took us on a canal boat tour where we saw many sights; the Theatre for Performing Arts, Stock Exchange with entwining dragon tails, sand sculptures and Stockholm’s Opera House.
Once the boat tour was completed, Anne walked us through a major shopping district on our way to Tivoli Gardens. The gardens, which opened in 1843, is a mixture of exotic architecture, beautiful gardens and scenery, theatres, open air stages, restaurants, shops, and 26 rides ranging from ones that twist and spin to very gentle ones. This amusement park is the third largest attraction of its kind in Europe.
We wandered in some of the shops and I found a Christmas present for granddaughter, Savanna. While in one of the stores, we came across a couple from the Wind Surf who told us there were two buses of people from the ship and the buses would return to the ship at 9:45 PM. We were able to locate one of the Wind Surf’s crew members who was agreeable to our “hitching” a ride back with them. We had a night cap in the Compass Rose where the duo was performing a vast variety of music which we both enjoyed. Went to bed with thought of getting some rest for another day in Copenhagen tomorrow.
August 19: After breakfast, we took the shuttle provided by the Wind Surf into Copenhagen in search of the Stroget shopping area. When we got off the shuttle, we made sure to write down the street we were on so location of the shuttle for the return to the Wind Surf would not be a problem later in the day. After taking a few wrong turns, we were able to find the major pedestrian walkway to all the shops. What fun it was with my finding more Christmas presents!! We had lunch at a restaurant wedged between two 18th century buildings; it was a nice day so it felt good to eat out in the open air but the service was quite poor because of 4 employees calling in sick.
After lunch, we made our way back to the shuttle and returned to the Wind Surf. Later in the afternoon, I teamed with three other passengers for Team Trivia in the Compass Rose; we did not do very good but it was still fun. The Wind Surf set sail around 5:00; with music playing, it is always invigorating pulling away from a port. Maureen and Rowy were in the Compass Rose having champagne provided by Windstar for signing up for another trip and they asked Ginni/myself to join them; we had dinner with them. Tomorrow we will dock at Skagen, Denmark.
August 20: This morning we docked at Skagen, the northernmost town of Denmark. It was a very picturesque area with low, yellow houses whose roofs were red tile. Port of Skagen is the largest fishing port in Denmark and a very popular yachting port attracting around 16,000 yachts and leisure boats every year. Ginni and I went on the “City Tour of Skagen” in which we visited Denmark’s most northerly point, Grenen, where the Baltic and North Seas meet. In order to get to the spit where we could view the point of meeting, we had to board a tractor trolley which drove us through the sand. While on the spit, we were able to see many of Skagen’s collection of lighthouses dating from 1627 to still active one built in 1858.
Upon leaving the spit, we journeyed to Skagens Art Museum. Between 1830 and 1930 a group of artists were drawn to Skagen for the very special light found only in its part of the country. These artists produced some of the finest works of Danish golden age paintings, most of which were on display in the museum. PS Kroyer, one of the best known, beloved, and undeniably the most colorful of the Skagen Painters, works were prominently displayed along with his wife’s, Marie. We then were shown one end of Skagen to the other, with the guide providing details of what we were seeing along the way.
At the completion of the tour, Ginni and I decided to stay in Skagen for lunch and shopping. We had lunch @ Casa Blanca Cafe; each of us ordered one of the local beers and we sat outside because it was a very nice, sunny day. We wandered the streets of Skagen and found that the shops had quality merchandise at a high price. What a delightful day we had in Skagen; it was a very good tour with an excellent guide and the exploration of the town was made easy by friendly local citizens. The ship departed Skagen around 4:00 PM and we were underway for Oslo, Norway. Ginni and I were invited to join the captain for dinner which we did along with 6 other women; as usual, the food and service was excellent but it was a long couple hours of forced conversation. Before going to my cabin, I decided to take a walk on the deck and saw the below sight.