Scandinavia, Estonia and Iceland 2018 travel blog


Had breakfast at 0730.....open face sandwiches, chocolate, numerous types of cereal and nuts, breads, yogurt, etc. Not much in the way of fruit. The bread was great.

Left the hotel at 0830 and went to a nearby school where we had a room and a local for a lecture of "Copenhagen past and present". it was interesting and the speaker was very good.

During the lecture I learned:

Denmark originally included a little piece of Sweden and Norway. Also Greenland and the Feror (Spelling) Islands. In the year 965 King Bluetooth (that was really his name) was the ruler. There is a "birth certificate of Denmark" on a large rock somewhere. Copenhagen means "the harbor of the merchants".

Bishop Epsilon was the founder of Copenhagen. In 1520, Sweden broke off from Norway and Denmark. There are beautiful tapestries that tell the story of Denmark.

All Danes have a "card" with their DOB and a random number. It is issued when you are born and you keep it with you always. Gets you into health care, libraries, etc.

King Christian the 4th was loved by the people. He was a very wealthy individual but lost everything eventually due to his lifestyle. He died in 1648 (believe she said he was gouged with a deer antler). He built many buildings, the yellow brick stock exchange, the Rosenburg (summer) castle, the round building (to ride his horse in as he did not want to walk up the top),. In 1648 his son (king Frederick the 3rd????) took over. He was an absolute king; only God was above him.

The Virgin Islands used to belong to Denmark; in 1917, the US bought for $25 million.

Denmark is a small country with a huge ego.

Became a democracy in 1849.

Denmark did not do well in wars; they lost to Sweden, Norway and Germany!

Denmark is famous for literary figures (HC Anderson), for design, and for others.

There is a status of a Little Mermaid near the docks; she is a character from Danish culture; a ballerina. Made by the son of the beer brewer, Carlsburg.

Maorsk is the largest employer from Denmark; they have shipping containers.

The town hall was built by Bishop (it is right across from our hotel).

80% of the couples get married in the town hall; very few go to the beautiful catherdals in the city.

In WW1, Denmark was neutral. In WW2, the germans occupied Denmark. the invasion occurred on 9 April 1940; Denmark surrendered about 30 minutes after they were invaded. The royal family stayed in Denmark during the war. The king rode his horse through town every day; he was well loved (don't know his name!). Denmark provided Germany with food during the war; they did not become "Nazi's". In 1943 there was a resistance movement and theyhelped to save many Jews. Believe she said 8000 were rescued on 29 Aug 1943. 95% were rescued; had been taken in boats to Sweden. 50 Danish Jews lost their lives on concentration camps.

1944, Allies forces attached a school and 82 kids and 18 adults died.

5 May 1945, German Soldiers left Denmark; Denmark was not bombed.

There are 650,000 people in Copenhagen. 1000 new inhabitants each year (seems low).

It's just 16 km across the water to Sweden.

Bicyles are very popular in Copenhagen! They are all over the place; all ride in their bike lanes.

The current queen is Margareth (spelling); she became the queen in 1972; is now 78 years old. She is pretty but looks stern. She became queen when her father died. Her husband (Henrick) died a few months ago. They have 2 sons; one is the prince (Frederick) who met/married a lady (Mary) during the Sidney Olympics. They have 2 girls and 2 boys (2 are twins). The family is well loved.

When the prince turned 50 he had a "run" with thousands of people in Denmark.

50% of electricity comes from the wind.

There is an incinerator building that will have a ski trail on the roof and side of the building! they are importing garbage from England. There are no mountains in Denmark!

We will be having many open faced sandwiches; called smorrebrod.

Victor Borgen was born in Copenhagen.

The Danish flag is one of the oldest in the world; during a war in Estonia, there was a flag that "fell from the sky" and it was the Danish flag.

There is a movie about a king and queen, called "A Royal Affair"....the queen had an affair with her physician. She was only 24.

Then off on a walk and a bus ride. Saw some of the sites, castles, famous places, homes, opera house, library, etc etc. Took lots of photos with the phone. I had turned off all systems/items that would drain the battery. I did use an external battery when my phone got down to 38%.

Went on a boat ride in the harbor and saw many more sites.

NEED TO WRITE ABOUT THE PLACES WE VISITED...…………………..

The French president is here for 2 days so that caused traffic to be a little heavy. Saw the palace horses going down the street and some black cars/vans which I'm sure contained the VIPs. Walked around to the palace and joy had her photo taken with a policeman and I had mine with a palace guard. The security seemed pretty low key around the palace. You can walk all around the area. The family flags were all up so the king, his wife and their 4 children were home. After the palace walk, we got on the harbor tour. THe tour ended a few blocks from the hotel. We are at the hotel now resting and getting ready for supper.

The group seems to be about the same age......many have been on numerous road scholar tours before. Have not talked to anyone who has gone on the antarctica trip; there is one lady who had gone on a Siberian train trip (maybe that will be the trip after the antartic).

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