Friday, July 15, 2005

And we're off...

Another wonderful day. After breakfastr we set out exploring again. Danny's friend, Peter, from Copenhagen sent us his recommended walking tour. He was out of town or he would have taken us himself. His instructions and descriptions were excellent. We took a bus toward Osterport station. There are beautiful parks and water goes through several parts of the city. It makes for a very liveable city. We walked near the Citadel - there are still soldier's barracks. This is part of the old fortifications, which are now a park as well. We walked through and then down to the water and saw the Little Mermaid up close. A woman had a cart and was selling fresh peas. It made for a delicious snack as we walked. After passing a lovely garden, we got to the Gefion Fountain. Peter's e-mail explained that it embodies a legend of a mother who was promised as much land as she could plough out of Sweden in one night. She turned her 4 sons into exen, hitched them to a plough and dug up an area resembling Sealand, the island on which Copenhagen sits. We passed the English Church (St. Alban's), the Freedom Museum which tells the story of the Danish Resistance, to the square of Amalien Castle. The squares are a special part of Europe - gathering places, people places. From this square, a circle actually, you could see the Marmor Church (marble church) an imposing structure with a domed roof. On the square itself is the old opera house. We turned left and walked through the Amalie garden with its lovely fountain and then walked along the warterfront to Nyhavn. This was once a seedy area but it has become a tourist haven with cafes and upscale restaurants. We ate outside - more smoked salmon - and enjoyed people-watching for a while. Then we headed for the Kongens Nytorv (the king's square). There was an interesting monument - a core sample going back thousands of years. You could see remnants of the cultures that lived in different eras. From here we went to Stroget, the oldest pedestrian street in the world. Upscale stores (Armani, Georg Jensen...) rub shoulders with American fast food spots. We spent some time in one store that featured Scandinavian glassware and other housewares. I love to look at the clean lines of the pieces. This is really the household style I love the best. We decided to forego the Round Tower (hundreds of steps to walk to the top) and went instead to the square near the court house where we enjoyed good European coffee.

Back to the hotel and off to the ship. It is hard to imagine the size of the ship - long, high - like a piece of a city on water. It was even more overwhelming as we went inside. There are certainly many crew who directed us each step we went inside. Our stateroom, on Emerald deck is quite nice. We have a window with a "restricted view" which means there is a lifeboat outside and the top of it comes to the bottom of our window. We can still see out and it is certainly less claustrophic than being without a window. We do see daylight and daylight here is about 18 hours. The ship is a study in excess. I am a bit cowed by it. There are a lot of people and a constant push for people to spend money - in the shops, which spill out into some of the public spaces most of the day and evening, on photographs, drinks, the Internet, art work, at the spa.... You name it. We explored the ship a bit, went through the saftey lecture (what to do in an emergency, how to put on life jackets) and then went for dinner where we were seated with other people. We are definitely among the younger folks on the ship. There are some younger than us, as well, but many over 70s. June went out to watch the ship leave the harbour. I stayed and chatted with our table mates. I hope I get different people at the table this evening. I wandered the ship a bit looked at the swimming pools, found the walking / running track and then spent my life-savings using the Internet. June and I did not go to the show, but sat and chatted about our impressions


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it sure sounds like you two are having a great time. Lots to see and do. Glenn and I are well and glad to hear that you are also.
June, you will be happy to hear that I am finally starting to get a baby belly, not too much yet but pants are getting tight. Still feeling terrific with your grandchild. Hopefully they will be as good when they are born as they are right now.
Have a terrific remainder of your trip.

4:37 p.m.  

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