Copenhagen Day 4

Tuesday 17 September

I woke to light rain but luckily it cleared sufficiently by 8 am to enable me to get out on a walk; there was even some sunshine for this outing. I headed to the sunny side of the Lakes and headed north noting how delightful this side of the lakes is with lovely cafes to enjoy your morning coffee whilst looking out over the water. This would have been an obvious morning walk coffee stop had I been with a walking buddy.

The forecast for the day have been for rain and, shortly after I got back from my walk, down it tumbled. I actually had to wait until 11 am before there was a break in the weather and I could head outside.

Given the forecast I had planned indoor activities for today: The National Museum and the Christiansborg Palace. First stop for the day was the National Museum and, as luck would have it, I arrived just before the start of a free, one-hour guided Viking tour. This was a great way to learn about Viking history and key points of interest for me are outlined below:

  • Viking age: From 800-1015 AD; just after the Iron Age.
  • Written Info only available from only from Monks who they pillaged and from Viking writing of runestones.
  • Viking means : sea warrior
  • Only about 10% of Vikings were battle warriors; most were merchants peasants etc.
  • Vikings developed sails hence were great sea farers.
  • Their craftsmanship meant the timber in their boats had flex and therefore fared better in variable weather conditions. Being shallow meant they were fast and could easily reach land.
  • Vikings reached North America 500 years before Columbus!
  • There is absolutely no evidence of Vikings wearing horned helmets!
  • There is little historical evidence of Vikings as they primarily burned their dead. Only wealthy Vikings were buried.
  • There is more historical evidence from the prior Iron Age as they buried their dead!
  • The period circa 1800 saw romantic recollection of Vikings and the modern day images we have grown up with were confected then. There is no evidence of how they dressed or what they looked like!
  • Chieftain has swords. Other Vikings had axes.
  • Harold Gormsinn ‘Bluetooth’: origin of symbol rune. He was the first king of Denmark. He enforced Christianity.
  • By 1500 Christianity dominated and the Viking era ended. This began the period known as the Middle Ages. It was thought that fear of crusades from southern European countries was reason for conversion to Christianity.
  • There were female Vikings: Shield Maidens.

It was about 1.30 pm by the time I finished looking around the Museum and then headed over to Christiansborg Palace. Christiansborg Palace is the Queen’s palace and a government building and is the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court of Denmark.

My ticket gave me entry to The Royal Reception Rooms, The Archaeological ruins under the Palace, the Kitchen and the Stables. It was an interesting experience but, whilst grand, it lacked some of the opulence of on display at yesterday’s Rosenborg Palace.

I spent about 2 1/2 hours exploring all these areas and then headed back to Hobro Plods to check out some of the shops before winding my way home. I’d been lucky all day dodging the rain but I had to bring out the umbrella on the way up to the food markets. having not had lunch and being rather hungry I decided to grab a bite to eat at Torvehallerne that would satisfy lunch and dinner. I opted for my, now, usual mushroom dish and a craft beer before heading home. It had been a fairly full day on my feet and I was tired.

 


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