Day 3 - Copenhagen, Denmark
|Monday, November 4, 2013: After a rough night that finally required some Dramamine for Debbie, we awoke to seas that were still a little rougher than usual.
|As Commodore Cabin occupants, breakfast in the Commodore dining room was complimentary.
|Breakfast was a large array of Scandinavian and more British/American foods. Scrambled eggs and baked beans were served in individual glasses, but we opted only for the eggs.
|The passage got very narrow at Helsingør as we passed beautiful Kronborg Castle.
|One wall of our cabin featured a large map, and at this point, the map on the television matched the map on the wall. As map fanatics, we thought this was quite awesome.
|Debbie was busy so Tom took this photo welcoming us to the Port of Copenhagen. What he didn't realize is that he got the only photo of a Maersk container during our brief stay in the land of Maersk (look closely at the upper right corner). By no means was this our only photo of Maersk, though -- there are plenty of pictures coming right up.
|We pulled into Copenhagen about 40 minutes late due to the rough seas the night before.
|A free shuttle bus (route 20E) takes passengers to the city center, ...
|... conveniently dropping us off at Kongens Nytorv in front of Magasin du Nord.
|Kongens Nytorv is the large traffic circle located at the end of famous Nyhavn waterfront. From here, it was just a couple blocks walk to Hotel Bethel.
|The hotel is housed in a beautiful old building and we were lucky to get early check-in to our large corner room.
|The view out of our front row of windows was of the scene shown in every travel magazine of Copenhagen: the colorful buildings lining Nyhavn.
|Since we were running a little late, we changed quickly and set out for our day. We started with a quick lunch at a restaurant right across the street from our hotel.
|The indoor portion of the restaurant is situated a couple of steps below street level.
|Debbie had a shrimp plate, doing her best to get tired of shrimp before the trip ended.
|Tom's chicken sandwich was a tower of food, so he had to eat it with a knife and fork, which is probably the local custom anyway.
|Here's a look at the restaurant itself.
|We had to get going because we had a very important date. We walked quickly past the Swedish Embassy ...
|... lured by the pretty blue Maersk flag in the distance.
|Just before 1:00 PM, we arrived at the mother ship: the headquarters of A.P. Møller - Mærsk.
|We had an appointment, so we headed to the entrance straight ahead, ...
|... checked in at the front desk, put on our Visitor badges, and met our hosts, Anna and Henning.
|We got our umbrellas and walked to this building on the right, located just in front of the headquarters, ...
|... and entered this locked, unmarked door.
|Inside is located the amazing A.P. Møller - Mærsk museum. It isn't open to the public and is normally opened only for employees and clients, so we were thrilled to be there.
|Henning is the Maersk historian, so he gave us a tour of the museum, starting with an overview of the Møller and Mærsk families.
|This room is a reproduction of A.P. Møller's office, including original items on a reproduction of his desk. The original desk was used by his son, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, and is now used by his granddaughter, Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla.
|Henning explained the history of the company and about how the company grew from its early days.
|All of the ship models are built in the same scale, so it's easy to tell how small the early ships were compared to the Triple-E ships of today.
|Here's a model of the Regina Maersk, ...
|... and the gigantic Emma Maersk, which was the largest container ship in the world when she was delivered in 2006.
|Maersk Oil was represented by this model of the Dan Field, the first oil field in the North Sea.
|This is a model of the Odense Steel Shipyard where many Maersk ships were built.
|Here's what the controls look like at a container port. We could have spent another hour looking at everything up close, but our tour time had ended and our brains and hearts were full, so we headed back to the headquarters.
|We thanked Henning for his time and wonderful tour, then Anna took us to see one last thing: this amazing model of the Emma Maersk located just downstairs from the main entrance.
|She took this photo of us, then we thanked her and said our goodbyes. Anna was a gracious, generous host and we were so grateful to her for allowing us to visit.
|We bundled back up and headed out to do some sightseeing. We passed the Gefion Fountain, featuring the Norse goddess Gefjun and a very cool snake wrapped around one side.
|From there, it was a short walk to the cove where the Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid lies.
|First, something orange in the water caught our eye -- a lion's mane jellyfish, last spotted in Alaska a year earlier.
|This swan was swimming nearby, not minding the light rain.
|Here she is -- the famous Little Mermaid statue by Edvard Eriksen. She's been keeping her eyes on the Danish shore since 1913. Our little friend, Orchy, got his picture taken with her.
|On our walk back to the hotel, we passed the fountain again, and ...
|... got a picture of one of the five pointed edges of the star fortress of Kastellet.
|We approached the Maersk headquarters again and got a shot of the museum relative to the main buildings. We know what's in there and now you do too.
|Along the side of the main building that faces the Esplanade, these four Maersk ship models are displayed in glass. They included Regina Maersk, Emma Maersk, Hans Maersk, ...
|... and Maersk Promoter, shown here. Big thanks to Debbie's brother who found these on his family's trip to Denmark in 2008 and told us about them.
|Here's some art along the Esplanade with the Copenhagen Opera House across the harbor. Henning and Anna had joked earlier that Copenhagen has two seasons: green winter and white winter, and we were glad that we were still in green winter this day.
|Here's a view from Amaliehaven past the central fountain and the mansions of Amalienborg all the way to the beautiful dome of the Marble Church (Frederik's Church).
|We returned to our pretty little hotel and changed clothes again quickly to get to our next adventure.
|We walked the short distance back to Kongens Nytorv to catch bus 999 across the street from Magasin du Nord.
|Bus 999 makes a 2.5 hour circle route through Copenhagen and Malmö, and at the 3:20 departure from Kongens Nytorv, the bus was nearly empty. Our bus driver warned us that the last bus back from Malmö was only an hour after we'd arrive, but we explained that we were staying on the bus for the entire route.
|With the rain picking up, sitting on a warm, dry bus was becoming even more appealing. Here's the best photo we got of a Danish McDonald's.
|Here's a pretty Danish building.
|We think this is some sort of movie theater.
|The famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park was closed until the Christmas season, so this is the closest we got to seeing it.
|The route continued past DONG Energy and past the airport, and then finally ...
|... boom! We were in the tunnel leading to Malmö. This was the entire point of this bus ride -- to experience the tunnel/bridge combination that links Denmark to Sweden.
|Less than three minutes later, we were out again.
|We resurfaced on the artificial island built to shorten the distance needed for tunnels and bridges between the two cities.
|A couple of minutes later, we were on the bridge portion of the crossing.
|Three minutes later, we were on Swedish soil. Total crossing time: nine minutes.
|On the Sweden side, we went through this toll booth and stopped for a while to be interviewed by Swedish customs officers. We explained that we were entering Sweden just long enough to ride the bus back across the bridge and tunnel. They did not seem surprised by this news.
|Ooooh, what a pretty parking garage for the brand new Emporia mall.
|Here's an interesting round building in Malmö.
|At this point, the bus was starting to fill up with people who had spent the day in Malmö and were now heading back to Copenhagen.
|As we headed back from Sweden, the lights of Copenhagen were visible across the water.
|We returned to Kongens Nytorv about 15 minutes late due to the traffic in Malmö.
|Our dinner goal was to find a pølser stand, and there was one right in front of the McDonald's on Kongens Nytorv.
|We studied the menu carefully, trying to understand the differences between the different offerings.
|Bread (pølsebrød) was sold separately and was apparently served separately as well. Tom opted for medister (on the left) and Debbie had the rød knaekker (on the right). We ate huddled under the eaves at Magasin du Nord.
|If we had more time or energy, shopping might have been fun, but we were exhausted and looking forward to a relaxing evening in our pretty hotel room.
|We examined the wonderful gifts that Anna had given us at the end of our visit to Maersk, including two decks of Maersk playing cards, a Maersk-branded souvenir book about Denmark, and a gorgeous volume of "Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller: The Danish Shipping Magnate."
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy