- Day 12 – Alborg ; Day 13 – Copenhagen ; Day 14 – Bornholm, all in Denmark
Perhaps you’re wondering if we’ve been eating well, since I haven’t posted any food pictures for this trip. Wow, have we ever! Steve wants to gain some weight, while I prefer to maintain my poundage (or kilograms here). With all the wonderful food aboard Viking Star, Steve is getting his wish; me, not so much 😦
There are five restaurants on Viking Star: 1) The Restaurant – main dining, 2) World Cafe – casual buffet style, 3) Manfredi’s – a high-end Italian restaurant, 4) The Chef’s Table – food and wine pairing and 5) the Pool and Grill Cafe – good food by the pool. On Viking Cruises there are no extra charges if one wishes to dine somewhere besides the main restaurant – just make a reservation. One day we gave The Chef’s Table a try.
This restaurant creates the perfect pairings of food and wine. There are three rotating set menus, and during a multi-course meal they pour select vintages and serve thoughtfully prepared dishes made for each other. Each dish is described by the server, along with the wine that will be poured. We reserved on the day they offered their “Asian Panorama”. I Hope you’re not hungry right now!
We enjoyed each and every course, with my favorite being the Lobster & Chicken Shu Mai. These tender dumplings were flavorful and served with a delicious sweet-and-sour dipping sauce. We gave two thumbs up to this menu concept, but the small portions didn’t fatten Steve up any.
As the ship approached Denmark’s fourth largest city we could tell we were in a unique country. There are no hills or mountains here, Denmark is flat.
Steve and I took separate tours on this stop. I joined the Old Town Walking Tour, while he followed the Danish Beer Walking Tour. I got to walked around Old Town to learn that it was founded by the Vikings in the late 900’s as a trading post.
The best-preserved Renaissance architecture, Jens Bang stone house is found here in the city.
Steve here – I signed up for the beer tour only because I wanted to keep my weight-gain goals on-track 🙂
The tour covered mostly the same part of town that Mona Liza’s group did, but I’m sure I had more fun as my group stopped at several Danish pubs along the way to learn about their history and to just get a feel for hanging out in a Danish pub.
Although Carlsberg and Tuborg are the famous beers here, I wanted to try something a bit different and tasted a porter (Limefjords Porter) that may be the best I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a few. I spent a couple of my tickets on that one because I knew I’d never see it again.
At the final pub we were served some yummy Smørrebrød, followed by a shot of Danish Aquavit – a powerful distilled spirit and not my favorite – I’ll stick with the beers. Fortunately the last pub was located right at the dock (a well organized tour!), and I was still able to select the correct ship and walk almost straight to it 😉
All capital cities have their classic sights – things you just must see and do – and Copenhagen is no different. We joined the usual included guided tour which first took us on a stroll along the harbor, then led us to some of Copenhagen’s most iconic attractions, historical landmarks and cool buildings. There are almost no modern skyscrapers here, but there are unique streets, parks and buildings that tourists like us come to admire:
Copenhagen was made the capital of the Kingdom of Denmark in the early 1400’s, and from then on it emerged as the political, economic, and cultural center of the nation.
On our own we jumped on the Viking shuttle bus to explore downtown Copenhagen, from colorful Nyhavn buildings to Strøget shopping and King’s New Square:
We only scratched the surface of this vibrant and colorful capital city, but that’s the life of a cruiser – so many places and things to discover, so little time!
This port stop on a tiny island in the Baltic Sea replaced another port of call that was cancelled due to someone’s invasion of Ukraine. We were only here for a half day as we took a scenic and relaxing motor coach ride around the island.
The village of Ronne is the largest town on the island, and we learned about this place that’s very advanced in their thinking – to the point of going carbon emissions-free by 2030 with wind power taking the lead. Electric cars abound here, and we got a sense of how committed they are to the cause.
Our tour took us along the coastline and to the abandoned clifftop fortress of Hammershus – the largest castle ruins in Northern Europe.
Along the way we learned that most of the rolling farmland we saw is used to raise crops that feed the 550,000 pigs which in turn feed only 40,000 residents.
We went through the Almindingen, one of Denmark’s largest forests, then on to the medieval Østerlars Church. The historic round structure displayed a whitewashed facade, and our 18-year-old guide advised us that she had been baptized there. After the tour she got a round of applause for her funny narration and knowledge of the island, and many generous tips!
Danes are consistently rated as among the happiest people on earth, and having visited three Danish cities – Aalborg, Copenhagen and Bornholm – we saw and heard what all the fuss is about and our three excellent local tour guides proudly mentioned it!
Next stop: Berlin, Germany