During the Viking period in the 9th-11th centuries, Denmark was a great power with its base in Jutland, the Island of Zealand and the southern part of what is now Sweden. In the early 11th century, King Canute the Great ruled Denmark and England for 30 years. In the Middle Ages, the Kalmar Union was formed, in which three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under a single monarch and Denmark played a dominant role. In 1523, Sweden left the Union to become independent, which led to the struggle between Denmark and Sweden for about 300 years, however, Norway remained in the Union until 1814. In 1814, Denmark was forced to cede most of the Kingdom of Norway to Sweden by the Treaty of Kiel concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdom of Denmark and Norway (Denmark-Norway) on the other side. As a result, the Kalmar Union which lasted more than 400 years was resolved. But some parts of the Norwegian territories such as Greenland and Iceland and the Faroe Islands which remained in the personal union with Denmark were kept under the Danish rule. The Danish liberal movement gained momentum in 1830’s, and Denmark peacefully became a constitutional monarchy in 1849. After the war with Prussia and Austria in 1864, Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia and adopted a policy of neutrality. Denmark kept the neutral stance during World War I. In World War II, Denmark was invaded by the Germans in 1940. During the Nazi Germany’s occupation, Denmark helped anti-Nazi activities and the resistance movement arose later. Denmark was liberated by the Allied forces in May 1945. After the war, Denmark became one of the charter members of the United Nations and NATO. Denmark has the most flexible labor market in Europe and the world’s lowest level of income inequality. Denmark is also well known for its highest level of social welfare and education.
Just before arriving at the port early in the morning, I saw 20 windmills for wind power generation erected in the sea. It seemed to me that the scenery symbolized the eco-conscious Denmark.
The weather today went from cloudy to rain and it rained all day. I went sightseeing in a rain.
Speaking of Denmark, most of us cannot think of it without thinking the Andersen Fairy Tale and the statue of the Little Mermaid. As the site of the statue of the Little Mermaid was near the port, I went there as soon as I landed on the port. But oh my goodness! The statue of the Little Mermaid had been sent to Beijing for the 2010 Beijing World Expo. There was only a monitor airing live image of the Little Mermaid from the site of Beijing Expo.
*DMC-ZS10/TZ20 records images in max.14-megapixel and DMC-ZS7/TZ10 in max.12-megapixel.
After viewing the Little Mermaid on the monitor, I strolled around the city. As it was early in the morning, the city looked half-deserted, but I felt the stone-made buildings in the Northern Europe style lining along the street were fashionable in colors.
I walked around the town for about one hour, but it was too early for visiting the sightseeing spots. I took a rest at a coffee shop out of need.
Turning the disappointed mood around, I headed for Rosenborg Castle in a rain to visit a museum as well as to watch the royal guards marching from the barrack to Rosemborg Castle for change at 11:30 am. The treasures of the Royal Collections exhibited in the museum were all glittering. They were so glittering that I finally came to think ”Are ruby-like red stones encrusting on this necklace glass balls? They can’t be rubies. They are too many and too big for real rubies.” As the time of changing the Guards was closing in, I left the museum for the barrack.
I followed the Guards departing to Amalienborg Palace. It was a 30-minute march from Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg Palace. Thirteen Guards were matching on a road as ordinary people. Of course they marched on the right side of the road following the traffic rule. They marched in perfect order, faster than I expected. While I took pictures and took in the buildings, I was left behind by them . On the way, I also met little children marching.
Amalienborg palace complex was located at a place with a good view and did not seem like a palace. Actually, it was once nobilities’ mansions and acquired by the king because the royal residence palace was burnt down by a fire.
The Christian VIII's Palace, one of the palace complex, was open to the public as a museum. Paintings, all of which was done by one artist were exhibited in a room in the museum. Some were painted in a novel style and some were in a classical style. I enjoyed the exhibit very much seeing one side of Denmark as a nation being good at creating attractive designs.
I went to a restaurant for lunch. I chose it by chance but it displayed two stars of Michelin! It was comfortable for its small size. Food was served on a Royal Copenhagen-like plate (or genuine Royal Copenhagen?) offering Copenhagen atmosphere.
As it did not appear to stop raining, I went shopping to Stroget. Prices were almost same or higher in Denmark compared to France, so I was not motivated to buy things. But goods were so cute and so well designed. I looked around various shops just like appreciating the art works.
I found that three hours had already passed, and the time to return to our ship was closing in. By taxi, I would be able to go back to the ship in plenty of time for the time limit, but I was keen to ride a train. So I headed for Copenhagen station. It was larger than I expected with many platforms in it. I could manage to find the train bounded for the port. I was surprised to find bicycles boarded on the train. They provided a train car exclusive for passengers with bicycles. Was it one of the examples of eco-conscious policies?
After getting off the train, I still looked around the street on the way to the ship with lingering affection for the city. I could mange to go back to the ship just in time. Thinking back on today, I might be crazier about shopping than sightseeing. I wish I could visit Copenhagen again when the statue of the Little Mermaid is on its original site.