Baltic Sea Cruise: Copenhagen

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.
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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!
20150807_02103020150807_021522The guys got ahead of me because I stopped often to take pictures of unusual or unique things.

Copenhagen is a bike-friendly city - bike trails and bike lanes everywhere; no wonder there are so many bicyclists here! It's cheap, healthy and good for the environment!
Copenhagen is a bike-friendly city – bike trails and bike lanes everywhere; no wonder there are so many bicyclists here! It’s cheap, healthy and good for the environment!
Lego ninjas!
Lego ninjas!
Sidewalk opinion
Sidewalk opinion

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Ice cream flavors
Ice cream flavors

20150807_02263320150807_02275220150807_023019Dale grew impatient with this, but what was the hurry? We came to some open squares and fountains also.

20150807_023054  Interesting window displays:20150807_02343920150807_02452820150807_033743Look very closely at this boot ad. What do you notice is strange about it?

20150807_023349More ice cream – and this place has churros too!
20150807_024620We saw public art:

20150807_024816 20150807_02464920150807_024722 20150807_024801We 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:

20150807_033117

METADATA-START

This silver guy was friendly, but the quiet type....and very tolerant to put up with these two!
This silver guy was friendly, but the quiet type….and very tolerant to put up with these two!

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! .

20150807_032306 20150807_032403 20150807_032418 20150807_032455On 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:

View from our hotel room window
View from our hotel room window
On the second floor near the elevators was the collected luggage of the cruisers from that floor. Downstairs in the lobby, the amassed luggage took up nearly the entire space!
On the second floor near the elevators was the collected luggage of the cruisers from that floor. Downstairs in the lobby, the amassed luggage took up nearly the entire space!
Mermaids etched in glass on the hotel stairwell
Mermaids etched in glass on the hotel stairwell

Then I waited outside, enjoying the sunshine.

I took this picture lying on a bench and looking straight up at the clock tower on the city hall across the street and a copper statue in front of it.
I took this picture lying on a bench and looking straight up at the clock tower on the city hall across the street and a copper statue in front of it.

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.
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Our driver took the “scenic” route, driving past many landmarks which he told us about.

National Museum - the White Buses temporary exhibit was one I really wished to see. We'd have another day in Copenhagen at the end of the cruise to go see it!
National Museum – the White Buses temporary exhibit was one I really wished to see. We’d have another day in Copenhagen at the end of the cruise to go see it!

We got slowed down at one point by the changing of the queen’s guard – a line of uniformed men with tall black hats had emerged from the royal palace and was marching in the street in front of us.

Changing of the guard slowed traffic.
Changing of the guard slowed traffic.

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.

My first look at our cruise ship - my jaw dropped in awe at its massiveness!
My first look at our cruise ship – my jaw dropped in awe at its massiveness!

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…

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