United Kingdom (May 19th to May 29, 2015)
We flew into Manchester and spent a few days in Lytham before taking a short side trip to the Yorkshire Dales. We drove down to Warwickshire so Joan could visit her brother, Dick, who was in hospital at the time. This turned out to be the last time she saw him, as he passed away a few weeks later, after we had returned to the United States.
We also had dinner one evening with John, Sharon and Dan.
Dinner in Lytham with John. Sharon, Dan and Joan
Copenhagen (May 29 to June 1)
We flew to Copenhagen where we checked into the Kong Arthur Hotel.
It was an older hotel but had been recently renovated and expanded and turned out to be very comfortable.
The weather was overcast and rather chilly with rain in the air and it was very windy the first day.
Our first stop was the local market. for breakfast.
Strawberries were obviously in season
Copenhagen has excellent public transportation, which perhaps explains why so many people ride bicycles. This was bike parking outside the subway station.
Then on to serious sightseeing, on foot and by boat. The older streets and squares are almost all pedestrianized.
The Stork Fountain in the center of Copenhagen. You can tell the weather was less than perfect.
Although the weather remained cool, it did brighten up by the time we arrived at Nyhaven. Nyhaven was once a major port for the city but is now a popular tourist area and departure point for tourist boats.
We took a cruise of the harbor and the surrounding canals.
This is the Copenhagen Opera House, which is also the Danish National Opera House. It opened in 2005 costing $500 million to construct.
Frederik's Church or The Marble Church, which was finally opened in 1894 has the largest dome in Scandinavia.
The twisted spire of The Church of our Saviour. The spire (is actually a stairway) was completed in 1752.
In the afternoon, we walked through the grounds of The Rosenborg Castle, the summer home of Christian IV in the 17th century.
Leaving the park, we crossed the road to the National Gallery of Denmark, the Statens Museum for Kunst
We didn't find the collection to our taste, although some of the modern pieces were fairly bizarre! This installation was definitely creepy but was it art ?
Daddy long-legs perhaps ?
The next day, we started at the Christiansborg Palace. The Royal Family no longer live there, but it is still used for state events.
As you might expect, the rooms are huge and extravagantly decorated.
Sometimes, it's the smallest details, painted on a door or a frame which are the most fun:
The largest and apparently the most important room, the Great Hall of the Royal Reception rooms, is lined with very modern, Picasso inspired tapestries of important events in Danish history. They were created by the Danish artist Bjørn Nørgaard in 2000 as a present to the Queen.
This is one of twelve.
Next day, we went back to the Rosenberg Castle, which we had seen from the outside. Again, very impressive rooms filled with priceless art and furniture.
This is the throne room at the top of the castle.
One of three silver lions guarding the thrones.
One of many reception rooms. The ceiling is spectacular.
A spectacular clock with all kinds of moving figures
An ivory model ship
Finally, we walked through the Grand Royal Park to find the iconic statue of The Little Mermaid
Leaving the Little Mermaid, we passed St Albans Church, built by and for the English community in Copenhagen.
That evening, we visited our final "attraction" in Copenhagen - the famous "Tivoli Gardens"
However, the weather had turned cool again and we thought it might rain (see picture above) so we didn't stay very long.
The older part of the "the Gardens" was very pretty and very traditional.
The Peacock Theatre
The Nimb Hotel
The Gardens, with a modern roller coaster ("The Daemon") in the background.
These self steering cars apparently are very famous. Everyone who visited Copenhagen as a child seems to have a photograph with them "driving" a car. Apparently, it opened in 1959.
And then there are the newer, faster, noisier roller coasters and rides, like this one.
And like this one - the Dive Bomber.
The Pirate Ship Restaurant.
That was the end of our stay in Copenhagen. The next morning, we boarded our cruise ship for the next part of our trip.