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Friday, August 3, 2018

Filling the Bucket, Day 7 - Copenhagen

Port of Copenhagen, Denmark

This is a busy place.  With more bikes than people, transport in Copenhagen takes on a serious tone as you're driving down the street, a game of Frogger on a grander scale.  This is also actually far bigger place than a one day stop can give it justice, and if I ever come back to Europe, this would definitely be worth visiting again.  

While it's easy to appreciate the beauty of an old city (more on that in a moment), it's also worth remembering that this is still a western city, which means Circle K gas stations, more McDonald's that are probably necessary and, as we saw in Norway, 7-11 quickie-marts.  Then there is the basically ugly, more modern architecture...

(Apartments or military barracks?  You decide...)

...that we all know fills a need and is practical, but yet seems out of character in a beautiful city like Copenhagen. 

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, we did see some truly beautiful stuff today, most especially the Roskilde Cathedral of the Danish national church.  This building dates back to the 1100's; more information on it can be found HERE.

We also spent time at (another) Viking museum, this one also in Roskilde.  The chief attraction of this particular museum was the remnants of 5 Viking ships that were recovered and restored (well, what was left of them) from the inlets near Copenhagen.  

Of the five ships recovered, one was constructed in Norway, and another was constructed in Ireland.  The curators determined this based on the wood used for the ships.  Score two for science!

Finally, in service of the fact that it's just a cool picture, I caught a seaplane landing this morning not far from the ship.

A few observations:
  • Weather.  It's apparently been insanely hot and very dry in Denmark, far more so than usual.  What once was grass is now a tan carpet.  Like Norway, air conditioning in buildings isn't a thing here, so it was pretty easy to break a sweat this morning at 10am while I was looking for a "so I don't look like a slob on a ship full of well dressed older people" shirt.
  • Cars.  My brother Rich, who is interested in European cars, would love this place.  Between the Ford Ka and various other models, Denmark is full of vehicles which likely could fit in the bed of my Silverado.  For the record, I didn't see any pick-up trucks in Copenhagen.
  • Gas Prices.  Speaking of cars and the lack of pick-up trucks, for the benefit of the curious, gas costs about 16 Danish Krone per liter, or about $2.67.  Converting that to how we measure liquids in the United States, it works out to about $6.46/gallon.  That may seem like a lot, but when you're driving a car that's getting 35+ mpg in combined city/highway driving, it's on par overall than what it costs to run the above referenced Silverado (which I average about 17 mpg and which would be also horrible at dodging bicycles).  Diesel is actually cheaper here per liter, likely because of it's greater use as a passenger vehicle fuel.
  • Internet.  Ship-board internet service can best be described as being somewhere between "horrible" and "non-existent".  That's not such a bad thing by the way.  Having less connectivity sometimes is good for the soul.  Besides, all I need is enough bandwidth to post this stuff and a few pictures to the Facebooks.
Tomorrow we arrive in Germany for the day.  I'll try and remember a few words from Jr. High German class.

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A word about pictures:  I'm posting additional pictures on Facebook, for non-public view.  Let's connect if I know you in real life and you'd like to see these photos.

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