Homelands Cruise – Denmark

  • 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 😦

Steve’s breakfast drinks: milk, green juice, water, tomato juice and coffee.

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.

AAlborg, Denmark

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.

Aalborg harbor viewed from the ship’s Explorer Lounge

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.

Utzon Center for Architecture and Design – Utzon also designed the Sydney Opera House

The best-preserved Renaissance architecture, Jens Bang stone house is found here in the city.

Jens Bang’s stone house is originally a home but now holds businesses and residences.
 Drag arrow left – Jen Bangs house in 1624, Right the house today

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 😉

Copenhagen

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:

This is the spot from which Danish immigrants departed for the U.S in the late 1800’s – including Steve’s great grandmother

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:

Colorful and captivating Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen’s most iconic sights, the buildings not the model

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!

Bornholm HIghlights

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.

The village of Ronne on Bornholm Island

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!

Port stops are never long enough, but the Viking Star awaits – let’s cruise!

Next stop: Berlin, Germany

8 comments

  1. Very informative and good photos! BTW “Approx. 90 percent of the pork production is exported and is thereby essential to the Danish economy. Danish pig meat is exported to more than 140 countries, and the largest markets in terms of volume are Germany, UK, Poland, China, Japan, Italy, Russia and Sweden.”

  2. Haha, you with the troll doll!!! I had one of those strange little dolls but didn’t know (or didn’t remember) that it originated in Denmark. I hope you bought that troll hair hat. 🙂

    The colorful buildings along the harbor are beautiful, and how cool that you stood in the same place where Steve’s great grandmother left to come to the U.S. Did your guides tell you why they’re the happiest people in the world? I’m guessing it has something to do with their high standard of living. And plenty of bacon, LOL.

    • I should have elaborated about why they are happy 🙂 They claimed it their satisfaction with the way one’s life is going plus their social security nets, free education and healthcare and prosperous and more

  3. Thanks for the wonderful tour of Denmark from your cruise. One never goes hungry on a cruise ship but all the touring and walking eats up calories quickly. Splitting tours again gives you both what you want from new town. I love a good Porter. I love the color variation on the buildings. I’ve never seen so many windows on buildings before. Love the cute redheaded Troll you found!!!

  4. The colorful buildings are certainly pretty, but I don’t know if I could be one of the happiest people with all that flatness. As Laurel said, maybe the bacon would make up for that! 😀

  5. My paternal grandmother came from Aalborg as an 18 year old. Denmark is a wonderful country! So glad you got a little taste of it.

  6. Mona Liza and You are amazing in posting your blogs. What makes it so special is your summary about each place that you have visited with pictures. Thank You very much for sharing. We have been to Copenhagen many years ago. It is very lovely city.

  7. We love Denmark … so much to see and do … great public transportation to get you where you want to go. We had a delightful lunch in Nyhavn the first time we visited … the second time around, we had some of their excellet hot dogs at one of the nearvy squares.

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