Aug. 7, 2015
After breakfast in the Scandic Palace Hotel dining room this morning (buffet style – yummy breads, pastries, cold cuts, eggs, bacon, yogurt, etc. – and great European coffee!), Dale, Elmer and I walked the pedestrian streets. We wanted to try to get the international phone cards and were told “Fona”, a big electronics store, would have them. Stores don’t open here until 10 am so we walked around a lot first.
We stopped at Lagkagehuset and bought four pastries (after all, we’re in Denmark – where else to get great “Danish”?), which got a bit squished in Dale’s bag but we didn’t expect to eat them until we were on board the ship. I’d heard of this place from a friend who was in Copenhagen a few months ago. I highly recommend it – there are several of these pastry/coffee shops around town. They have a large variety of different pastries – it’s hard to choose only a couple!
The guys got ahead of me because I stopped often to take pictures of unusual or unique things.
We got back to Fona just as they were opening the gate and walked in along with several others. No luck on the phone cards – we could either get one for Denmark only or for Europe only, but NOT the U.S. Very frustrating! For anyone reading this, if you go to Europe and just have to have a phone, your best bet may be to buy a Vodafone (a temporary phone that allows you to make international calls) and rely on WiFi hotspots for your Internet fix!
On the way back, we made some new friends:
We came to a Lego store (Legos, you may recall, originate in Denmark), where we admired the amazing Lego creations, including animals, bicyclists, a snake-like dragon twisting up toward the ceiling, and even an entire wall mural made of Legos! .
On our return to the hotel, Dale and Elmer went back to their rooms – I had no reason to go back upstairs because everything not consigned to the ship line was in my bag that I had with me. I had taken a shower earlier and changed into a clean shirt.
So I took some photos inside the hotel:
Then I waited outside, enjoying the sunshine.
Those guests going on the cruise (most of the hotel guests, it seemed) had been told to gather at 11:15 in front of the hotel or in the lobby so we could start boarding buses by 11:30. This took longer than expected, of course – the mountain of luggage had to be loaded first and it also took a long time to get all passengers on the buses and make sure all were accounted for.
Every single chair and table in front of the hotel was full by the time I went outside, so I sat on a bench. Gradually the tables in front of the hotel emptied as bus numbers were called. By the time the others joined me, we had more comfortable seats at a table to wait. Our bus, #3 of 4, finally was called for loading at around noon.
Our driver took the “scenic” route, driving past many landmarks which he told us about.
When the bus pulled up at Terminal 2, I saw our ship for the first time – it was enormously long – kind of like a stretch limo for ships! – with Holland America Line and Eurodam emblazoned on the side in white letters against the black hull of the ship. This being my first cruise, I’d never seen a large cruise ship up close and its massiveness was amazing to me.
For the first several days on the cruise, I got excited every time I saw a cruise ship and tried to determine its size compared to the Eurodam.
To be continued…