We thought Cuddles should see the Little Mermaid, so we bundled her up in her tote bag, with a plastic bag/Raincoat in case the weather report (constantly partly cloudy with showers) is correct. Last night it rained but there were Marina scene patches of blue sky as we boarded the S train to the Osterport station.
From the station one walks around another big moated fortification with high earthen ramparts over pointed bastions: the Castellet. Then down to the yacht harbor and there is Den Lille Havfrue -- The Little Mermaid. The sculpture, based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, is really a beautiful work of art -- a graceful pose that is quite unforgettable. The sun was shining brightly just as we got there.
We waited for a group of first-graders to eat their morning snack near the statue, and then took some photographs. Of course you can't hold a teddy bear up to look at a mermaid without attracting a certain amount of attention, and we did.
As we took pictures of Cuddles looking at The Little Mermaid, another Cuddles and the mermaid couple was taking pictures, also. We grinned and it turned out the man spoke excellent English. He had been to California to visit a 90-year old friend in San Jose, and had been to Solvang. "Plastic," he said definitively.
On the train back, another woman smiled at Cuddles who was ensconced on Bob's lap. After hearing the story she said a special good-bye to the bear, and waved from the station.
Speaking of Cuddles, please let us know if you'd be interested in taking Cuddles with you on some of your travels. She's very sweet and quiet, doesn't eat a lot, and makes lots of new friends for you. Send us an email!
Next we caught the train to Roskilde, about 20 miles west of Copenhagen, to see the cathedral with the tombs of 38 Danish kings and queens, starting with Queen Margarete I who died in 1412. That doesn't count all the Princes and Royal columns Princesses, either. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site. You wouldn't be able to remember all their names except they use numbers instead.
We didn't find a tourist information office near the train station (first time) so we guessed which way to go. We guessed right, and walked down the main shopping street to the center of town. Roskilde is also home of a Viking Ship Museum, an old palatial mansion, and a living history museum, all of which are now closed for the winter. It started to rain, and soon umbrellas were everywhere. We stopped for lunch at a Danish chain restaurant, Jensen's Bofhus where we were provided with an English-language menu and tasty steaks and fried potatoes.
With Cuddles snugly enclosed in her plastic we headed soggily off to the Cathedral. You have to enter by the side door because the large front door is opened only for royal funerals. We were treated to organ practice as we walked around.
As you might imagine, there are tombs everywhere: behind the altar, in Tomb of Frederick basement crypts, and in numerous side chapels added on to hold more sarcophagi.
They vary greatly, first the oldest tombs including Harald Bluetooth (940--986), Svein Forkbeard (986-1014) Svein Estridson (1047-1074), then a gap of about three hundred years to Queen Margrete I who died in 1412. Christian IV was quite a builder, leaving many royal buildings around Copenhagen, and his tomb is one of the fanciest, with an extra life-size statue by the sculptor Bertel Throvaldsen and a copy of a painting we saw in Fredericksborg Slot. Did we tell you Christian IV was fat? He was.
We remember from a visit to Norway that Denmark was often conquering Norway and ruling the place for a while. So it was not surprising to see many of these tombs inscribed King of Norway as well. Also King of Sweden, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, and Count of this and that. They got around.