We Enter Scandinavia - Copenhagen, Denmark

Trip Start Aug 06, 2012
Trip End Aug 27, 2012

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Where I stayed
Raddison Blu Hotel, Copenhagen

Flag of Denmark  , Zealand,
Friday, August 10, 2012

Today we set off from Berlin at 8:30am to head towards Copenhagen, Denmark. In many ways it was sad to be leaving Berlin.  There was much we loved about the place and infact, there was still much we have not seen.  We did however have a good taste of the city and what it had to offer.  One thing we never new about the city was, while we knew ther was an east and west Berlin throughout the cold war, we both thought that the city was split in two by the wall (Iron Curtain) right on the border between east and west Germany.  In fact, west Berlin was fully surrounded by a large wall and it actually was positioned in the middle of East Germany, well away from West Germany.

As I stated above, we set course in a generally northerly direction by bus along the autobahn towards Denmark Friday morning.  It was quite an interesting drive through mainly agriculture land.  In many ways, it looked very much like rural Australia.  Cropping of wheat etc., lucerne being made into large Econ Rolls and mixed farming.  The land was remarkably flat.

Another thing to note is that they are right into renewable energy solutions.  We saw hundreds of power wind mills, along with one large solar farm in a paddock containing rows and rows of solar panels. 

We arrived at Rostock at about 12:30pm to meet a ferry to cross across to Denmark.  We loaded the whole bus onto the ferry and set sale at around 1pm.  The trip across the water leading to Denmark took the ferry approx. 1.5hours.  We landed at a small town called Gedser with a population of around 500 people.  The first thing we noted was that the houses were quite small - a little like dolls houses.  Our guide indicated that in Denmark it is not fashionable to be wealthy and have large houses etc.  Infact, if you are rich, there are very high taxes which takes away any incentive to build any wealth.

We drove for another couple of hours or so  and arrived in Copenhagen at around 5pm.  One thing of note on the journey is that the land is much more undulating than in Germany.  There were once again a considerable number of wind farms for energy generation.  There was also a paddock full of solar panels as per in Northerm Germany.

When approaching Copenhagen, even though very light, I noted that all vehicles had there lights on which was interesting.  This is particularly so as it gets light around 3am and dark at around 11pm in the middle of summer.  At the moment it gets light around 4am and dark around 9:30pm.   I don't know whether It is law to have the lights on after a certain time of the day. The traffic on the Autobahn was also very heavy leaving the city as ve travelled in.

Once we arrived at Copenhagen, we were taken straight to Tivoli Gardens, which is a large entertainment park.  There are numerous rides for kids (some very scary ones) and others that were quite tame.  After looking around that for an hour or so, we went to one of the little restaurants within the Tivoli site.  We left to go to our hotel at around 7pm, after which time Claire and I went for a walk form the Hotel Radisson Blu to the river and along it for the good of our health!!!!  We have done a lot of sitting over recent days!!!

Today, Saturday 11 August 2012, we undertook a guided tour of the key sites around the city of Copenhagen, including
-  the Copenhagen Catherdral where Price Frederic and Princess Mary were married,
-  the Christiansborg Palace(where Prince Frederic and Princess Mary lived for the first 5 years of their marriage (while a section of the Amalienborg Castle was renovated), and
-  the Amalienborg Castle (where Prince Frederic and Princess Mary now live).  Everyone hoped we would run into Mary!!, hoever she is in the UK at the moment. 

This afternoon we visited the summer residence of the Royal Family called the Fredensborg Palace (only looked at the outside), and then the Fredriksborg Castle (or Hunting Palace) in the North Zealand, Denmark.  This is an incredible palace.  It has all of the original furniture from the 14th and 15th centuries and loads of paintings (potraits of the whole range of kings and queens etc.) and tapestries from that time.  It was an incredible site to visit and look through.  Even Aussi Princess Mary is feature with he personal Coat of Arm etc.

One thing for sure is that the Danes love their royalty; Queen Margareta and our Princess Mary.  They speak very warmly of Mary.

The Danish Royal family has been far more influential than we ever realised.  They have been functional since the Viking times and have in fact had parts of their family either directly ruling over, or married into the royal families of countries such as Greece, Russia, France, the United Kingdom etc.  Most of these royal families have links back to the Danish Royal family.

This evening we went to a small restaurant in the centre of Copenhagen to have a Traditional Danish Christmas dinner.  You may well say "a Christmas Dinner in August" ?!!  The tour arranged this to give us a feel for what the typical Christmas Dinner is in Denmark is like.  It was an excellent meal with many of the Danish treats.
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