Denmark, Roskilde Viking Museum, 4th August, 2012 pm

The Viking Ship Museum is also to be found in Roskilde. This working museum is on the shores of the fjord.  Over 60 vessels can be seen at the museum.

Some of them are very old including the wrecks of five Viking ships dating from the 11th Century.  These were found in the fjord near Skuldelev.  They were lovingly raised from the mud and are now preserved under cover at the museum.

The beautiful lines of a Viking ship    (P1000156 © DY of jtdytravels)


One of the five 11th Century Viking ships in the museum
(P1000154 © DY of jtdytravels)

The museum’s boatyard is the working part of the museum.

Modern-day craftsmen build wonderful wooden boats from old designs.

Replicas of Viking ships    (P1000165 © DY of jtdytravels)


Quietly tied up at the wharf   (P1000169 © DY of jtdytravels)


ship under construction    (P1000168 © DY of jtdytravels)


Oared and ready to go! (P1000175 © DY of jtdytravels)

In 2000, the museum started a major project to build an exact copy of a 30 metre long trading vessel, one of the five ships found in the mud not so far away.  This ship was originally built in Dublin in 1042, a fact that was established from the timbers used in its construction.  The wonders of modern science!

The new ship was christened the Sea Stallion of Glendalough, (Havhingsten fra Glendalough).  In June 2007, with a 65-man crew aboard, it successfully sailed back to Dublin.

We made one last stop before heading back to Copenhagen.  We stopped at a Viking orientated Outdoor Museum.  Here, families lived as the Vikings would have making clothes, cooking, dyeing and other activities for a ‘different’ weekend.

A Viking dwelling    (P1000177 © DY of jtdytravels)


New-age Vikings   (P1000180 © DY of jtdytravels)


Pots of old   (P1000181 © DY of jtdytravels)


This one is definitely not a sea-going boat   (P1000184 © DY of jtdytravels)


The simple interior of a Viking house   (P1000191 © DY of jtdytravels)

Just as we left the village, a heavy thunderstorm broke and followed us most of the way back to Copenhagen.  On arrival, however, the skies had cleared and we spent a lovely night at Tivoli having a meal overlooking an area through which many people strolled and kids played.

Next stop on our Viking Islands Adventure was to be The Shetlands… next musings    D

Denmark, Roskilde Cathedral, 4th August 2012 pm

We headed out of the city to Roskilde for lunch. You can check out this old town on .

Unfortunately for me this trip was in exactly the same direction as the train trip I took to get to the tram museum of a couple of days before!  In fact, Roskilde was one of the stations I could have gone to if I’d continued with that quest.

Roskilde is the former Medieval capital of Denmark.  Lying at the head of the Roskilde fjord, the city nestles on Zealand Island.  The population (1 January 2012) was 47,828.

The town centre is well preserved with many of its old buildings still in existence. One of these is the stately Roskilde Cathedral.

Side chapel, Roskilde Cathedral (P10001382 © DY of jtdytravels)

Roskilde Cathedral was the first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick.

It was constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Roskilde Cathedral     ( P1000132 © DY of jtdytravels)

The cathedral is a major tourist attraction, bringing in over 125,000 visitors annually.   Now, that should be 125,006 for 2012 – but the cathedral was closed when we visited because of a wedding. I understand that you have to be born in Roskilde to claim the right to be married in the cathedral.

Another facade of the Cathedral (P10001391 © DY of jtdytravels)

Since 1995, this Cathedral has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Danish monarchs have been interred in the Cathedral since the 15th Century.  As such it has been much altered over the centuries to accommodate newly needed burial chapels.

Another view of the Cathedral (P1000148 © DY of jtdytravels)


A view through the colonnades (P10001462 © DY of jtdytravels)


Old dwellings in Cathedral precinct (P1000133 © DY jtdytravels)

The area around the cathedral has some lovely old buildings, all well maintained and lived in.

Our next stop for the day, after lunch, was the Viking Museum – my next musings.   D

Denmark, Copenhagen, Canal Cruise, 4th August, 2012

The morning started off with a drive to the canal area near my last hotel.  It’s always pleasing to return to familiar territory when travelling, somehow it seems to act like a comfort blanket.  We had to wait for our open-top canal boat so a walk around the area filled in the time. Sonya was our local guide for the day.  She was very good.

It was very pleasant being on the water seeing Copenhagen the way it would have been seen by the early settlers and visitors.  Old warehouses, now turned into expensive waterside apartments nestle beside modern buildings.

Old warehouses, new apartments   (P1000080 © DY of jtdytravels)


Little boxes, little apartments    (P1000081 © DY of jtdytravels)


Just which city am I in?    (P1000085 © DY of jtdytravels)


Modern architecture melds with the old    (P1000097 © DY of jtdytravels)


The spire on Christiansborg Slot   (P10001111 © DY of jtdytravels)

Havnerundfart  (P1000114 © DY of jtdytravels)

Wonderful old spires associated with significant buildings pierce the skyline as there aren’t all that many high rise buildings in Copenhagen.

Havnerundfart    (P1000116 DY © of jtdytravels)

After our canal cruise we boarded a bus and visited the Royal Palaces.  It’s amazing how close the public is allowed to get to the palaces considering the security in place in so many places.  Mind you, the royals tend to leave the capital during the summer when there are so many tourists around.  They were in London for the Olympics on the day we visited the complex.

Nyhavn Royal Palace complex and The Marble Church    (P1000124 © DY of jtdytravels)

Our visit to the current capital over, we set off to visit the old capital, Roskilde.  D

All Photography ©  DY of jtdytravels

Denmark, Copenhagen, 3rd August 2012

This was my rest day, the day that I moved to the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel.  My room there was bright and airy with a big king bed and hot and cold running water – so that was 4 days in a row! Luxury! The view looked out over a railway station to the city beyond.

View from my room at Radisson Blu Royal   (P1oooo68 © DY of jtdytravels)


I had left my old cargo pants in a bin in Africa, I wasn’t going to wash them again or get any more wear out of them.  So I needed to purchase a replacement pair in Copenhagen. I had noticed a Department store just near the station I had initially arrived at, so I navigated myself to the Mens Section where I bought a pair of LADIES cargo pants.  The very helpful guy said he sold more pairs to guys than women – but perhaps that was not unusual as I was in the Mens Department!  Tried them on, fitted OK; they have a zip and do up as I would expect.  So I again had three pairs of trousers in my ‘wardrobe’ to select from.

There was just one small problem. The length of the legs had to be determined by the purchaser.  Cotton, spare press studs etc. were supplied in a small plastic bag attached to the waist band, but no needle or scissors to cut off the excess leg material.  The needle problem was solved as I have a traveller’s ‘housewife’ kit in my bag.  But no scissors. So now I have a double thickness of material almost up to my knees on the inside of the legs!  At least it will be warm if it gets cold!  All that fussing and sewing and they cost me about $200 – but I should get $40 back through duty free at the airport on departure.  They are them the same price for an equivalent pair, of the same quality, at home – perhaps a tad more – but I just had to have a replacement pair for the ones left in the bin in Rwanda.

While sewing, I watched the news and on that I heard about the outbreak of Ebola Virus in Uganda – such a terrible thing. I was there but in a different part of the country!

As I waited for the arrival of the rest of the group, I snooped on the ‘net to see what time their plane would arrive.  What I found was a web site where you can punch in a flight number and get the live details of that flight, just as you do if you are on the actual flight and you’re following the Flight Path option on the in-flight entertainment. Amazing!  D


Denmark, Copenhagen, 2nd August 2012


Whilst in Copenhagen, I wanted to go to the Skjoldenæsholm Tram Museum which is run by the Danish Tramway Historical Society.  The museum, housed in a castle,  has a fleet of more than 100 vehicles which includes trams and buses. Many of the vehicles are operational, while others are being restored by members of the Society.

The museum’s web site is

Some of you might remember that, in 2005, the Victorian Government gave one of Melbourne’s iconic green and cream W class trams to Prince Frederick and ‘our Mary’ as a special gift. As there probably wasn’t quite enough room for a large tram at the Castle in Copenhagen, it is housed at the above museum which has a collection of trams from around the world. They now have one there from Australia, too. Fred and Mary own the tram and can take their kids to play on it any time they like. I hope they have better luck in getting to the museum than I did.

My attempt to get to the Danish Tram museum had to be aborted!  I took a bus from the hotel to the railway station, all in good time, waited for my train on the right platform at the right time and along it came.  No problems, so far.  Got off at the right station, Borup, and waited for the museum bus.  It never came!  I asked at a nearby chemist if they knew anything about THE BUS, they didn’t and to make matters worse they gave me a bum steer by saying that one of the local buses would take me there, just ask the driver!  I tried that suggestion but one driver either didn’t or wouldn’t speak to me in English and the other wasn’t interested but didn’t go there anyway.

Along came the next bus which was driven by a nice lady driver who said another guy had asked her exactly the same question yesterday.  She knew something about the museum and explained that the Museum didn’t have the money necessary to buy the fuel to run the buses so I would have to get back on the train and go one more station along the line or get back on the train heading to Copenhagen and go one station back in that direction.  I seemed to be in no-mans land where I was.  From either of those stations I could get a local bus that would take me to within about 2km of the museum!  The walking distance was no real problem for me.  But she offered yet another  choice.  If I got onto her bus, she would take me to a place where I could wait a further 50 minutes to catch another bus and so on.  There seemed to be too many difficulties and if there was no fuel to run the buses to get people to the Museum, what else wouldn’t be working, even if I eventually got there?

I decided to cut my loses and head back to Copenhagen on the next available train.  I had blogs to do, didn’t I?   While waiting at Borup Station, I looked around, and found a couple of ‘weeds’ to photograph.


Chicory with insects (P1000062 © DY of jtdytravels)


“Bees to the honey pot!” (P1000065 © DY of jtdytravels)

Even weeds can be beautiful. A weed is really just a plant out of place.

I think it was a bit after 13h00 when I walked in the door of my room after a 130km trip.  However, I did see a bit of Denmark I wouldn’t have otherwise seen.  Must say, what I did see wasn’t very exciting.

It was 3o’clock in no time at all and that meant ‘free’ afternoon tea time, so I took my newly acquired decent sized mug with me and found out that it can hold 3x cappuccinos as dispensed from the machine.  This provided a much better result than one push of the button that filled the piddly little cups provided.   I just had to hit the button three times in a row and hey presto! – a MUG of coffee worth attacking.

Some hours later;  that canary was singing again – for the second night in a row!  And people were clapping!!!!!!  So she kept singing!!!!  Heaven help me!!!!!  D

Denmark, Copenhagen, 1st August 2012

My first day in Copenhagen was Wednesday 1 August  – the day that all thoroughbred horses in Australia are deemed to be one year older.   Why?  So that horses can be standardized for age related races and other competitions, all horses turn a year older every year on the same day no matter what their actual birthdate – but you all knew that anyway. But did you know that in the northern hemisphere the date for horses to enjoy a birthday cake is 1st January?  I didn’t either!

So what did I do on 1st August 2012? I walked for 3½ hours around the city of Copenhagen on a sightseeing and fact finding mission.

Tall masts (P1000018 © DY of jtdytravels)


Along the docks (P1000042 © DY of jtdytravels)

A quayside building   (P1000052 © DY of jtdytravels)

While I was out and about on my wanderings,  I found out all about the tram museum I hoped to visit and bought a pre-purchased train ticket to use the next day.  I had to work out which trains are met by a bus from the museum.  There are a number of trains and buses so I knew that something would work.  I also found the Radisson Blu Royal where I had to move to on Friday.  It’s a good half hour walk from my Clarion Hotel but as I would have around two hours to kill between checking out and checking in, that was OK.

The day was beautifully warm and sunny  – forgot my hat as it wasn’t sunny when I set out. Camera performed beautifully, as would be expected.  I had my free afternoon cup of coffee so I settled down and see if I could upload some African ‘dymusings’.

My hotel was the Clarion Collection Hotel Neptun, at Sankt Annae Plads 14-20, Copenhagen.  I found it on Wotif.  It’s a 250 year old brothel!  Now that may take some explaining but nothing compared to what would be required should it still be a practicing brothel!  I believe the place is quite legitimate – rooms are charged for by the night, not by the hour!

It was not a particularly up-market hotel but very adequate and as they serve breakfast, afternoon tea and a light dinner, it makes for a very convenient place to stay, and not having to bother about food, makes it even more so!  And all that is included in the very reasonable tariff.

The light dinner was a lovely spread: a soupy thing (thick), rice cooked to perfection with a topping of very finely chopped herbs, 3 or 4 different FRESH breads, (a novelty after Africa), salads, pestos, peanuts, savoury biscuits and 3 or 4 different cheeses and sliced cold meats. And of course, there are all the pickled things that Scandinavians like.  More than adequate!  There were beers on offer, 2 Australian wines and a Californian Zinfandel at the equivalent of $10 a glass.  Probably much the same as at home!  I had a glass of the Zinfandel as I can have the Peter Lehmann at home anytime.

I’m afraid my mind did not stay easily on the writing/ blogging job at hand.  There was some soprano warbling somewhere within my earshot – far, far too close for my comfort.  She was still going an hour and 20 mins after she started!  If there was a pharmacy close by I would have bought their entire stock of pain relief medication and offered it to her as she must have been in extreme pain to be uttering such sounds!She’s still going, an hour and 20 mins after she started! I hoped that guests might all be spared the agony on the next night as her throat would hopefully be too sore to perform – I fear not though.    D

Photography Copyright © DY of jtdytravels

Abu Dhabi to Copenhagen, 31 July 2012

I was only in Abu Dhabi for about 8 hours but decided that that was too long to spend at the airport particularly as those 8 hours were my normal sleeping hours!  A hotel was called for.  At around 20h00 it was not a busy time on the roads so the trip downtown was quite quick.  My next flight was at 08h35 so I enquired at Reception as to what time I should leave to get to the airport in plenty of time.  I was told it would take 2 hours for the return journey!

I queried this. I would be travelling before 06h00.  Would the traffic be so bad that it would take 2 hours for the trip?  It was explained that, as it was Ramadan, many taxis would not be running at that hour because the drivers would be spending extra time on their prayers.  I agreed to a comprise time of leaving at 05h30. Therefore could I have a wake-up call at 05h00?

I didn’t need a wake-up call!  The muezzin did it for me, at 04h45.  I got up, got ready and was down at Reception before my booked wake-up call.  I had pre-paid everything I wandered out onto the street and hailed a taxi straight away.  There were lots available – so much for all the praying!

It took just 30 minutes to get back to the airport so I had plenty of time to search for a new camera. The two I had brought with me, I managed to fill up with dust in Africa. And I had time to have a croissant and cappuccino in the Etihad lounge before I had to board my 5hr flight to Dusseldorf.

I arrived in Dusseldorf without hassle some 20 minutes early which was good but it just prolonged the already 5 hour lay-over.  airberlin do not have a lounge at the airport except for a screened off glass area.  There was a coffee machine, which I didn’t investigate as you have to pay for a cup, not a problem per se, but I hadn’t the Euro coins needed.  Even if I had, the number of Euros that I would have fed into the machine would have had little impact on the number of Euros the Germans need to bail out all those defaulting E U countries!

The loos were outside and I wasn’t sure whether I could get back into this little hideaway if I left…  I had to talk to a very impersonal microphone to be allowed in.  I would have to find out as no doubt I’d have to use the loo at some stage during my 5+ hour lay-over!

There was no Internet but that gave me the chance to finish off all my notes for Africa and even choose the photos I wanted to use in the blog.

airberlin flew me to Copenhagen where  I arrived at 20h00 – still in broad daylight.  I decided to tackle the Metro and took it to the nearest station to the hotel.  A very helpful lady at the ticket office told me which station to get off at.  (I’m always being told where to get off!)  Emerging back into daylight a helpful taxi driver told me that my hotel was only a ten minute walk away.  He happily gave me directions.  I bailed up another guy along the way just to make sure and headed blindly onwards dragging my bag behind me.  Oh, how it clattered over the little square cobble stones of that street!

Clickerty-clack cobble stones (P1000051 © DY of jtdytravels)

Lo and behold the street I needed came up and I was soon installed in my room with a complimentary ham, cheese and salad croissant.  I had just missed the ‘free’ light evening meal.  What more could I possibly need except to try the whisky I bought on arrival in Abu Dhabi the night before  – only the night before?  It seemed like a week ago!

At 21h30 it was still fairly bright outside. The streets were wet so a shower or two must have passed recently.  It certainly wasn’t cold enough to put on a jumper.

But it was time to have that ham croissant and a sip of my Glenlivet, then a much needed shower and some shut eye.  It was quite a long time since 04h45 that morning, particularly when I had to add 2 hours somewhere along the way.  I looked forward to a good sleep in a good bed!   D

Photography  Copyright © DY of jtdytravels