Keukenhof Gardens and Scandinavia travel blog

Fountain of Neptune

The Royal Chapel...1614 organ at the end

The 1614 organ

The Great Hall

The astrological globe

Along N75

Oldenhove


We spent the evening wandering around the old historic center of Roskilde. We had discovered our hotel was right in the middle of the historical of the city. It was too late to enter the sights but we were able to at least see them. We found the ruins of St. Lawrence Church with its fountain and gardens. Further along we found an open square with a huge old yellow building. We think that it with its 3 large urns was the Lutzhofts Merchant House. Off to one side was a walled garden with a red bricked conference center ....At this point we turned around.

Back along the street we went discovering little outside bars...that were serving drinks only. We wanted food. We found a restaurant serving burgers only but went on. Just past our hotel we found a huge outdoor restaurant called Vivaldi. Here with a red wine we had an excellent plank steak meal with mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and t-bone steak without the bone. And all at a reasonable price.

We decided to see the Domkirke the next day. But that was not to be. It opened at 11am and we had planned to be close to Germany that evening so....the GPS took us along narrow back country lanes through farming areas, little villages and finally to Hillerod and into the town center to the front of Frederiksborg Castle. We parked and walked across a moat to a red brick walled set of buildings...the old stables. Across another bridge over a bricked winding lane with close buildings on both sides found us going over more water to another walled area. This opened to a courtyard with the large Neptune fountain.

This fountain is in 3 parts with figures around the lower and top part holding rods spurting water. The sun sparkles through this Fountain of Neptune.

The castle catches your attention next with its large turrets and stepped facade. We bought our tickets, were given a map and went into the Rose Room or Knights Room. This large room to me seemed dark. This long room is decorated as it was at the height of power.

We next went up stairs to the Royal Chapel...opulent...It dates from 1617 when it was built for Christian IV. The walls are filled with Coats of Arms. At one end is an old organ built of exotic woods in 1614 for a cousin of the king and given to the king when the chapel was finished.

From here we viewed the king's chambers, the Great Hall with its historical tapestries and paintings. Ceilings too are frescoed and painted. We saw the Queen's chambers with its canopied bed. The castle houses Denmark's museum of history from the 15th century to now.

Gord found a way of contacting Renault to let them know we would return the car. We met a 17 yr. old...Cornelius...who went to great pains to find someone...a lady in administration at the castle....to lend her personal phone to call Amsterdam for a moment.

Lunch we had at a small Indian restaurant...a spicy interesting tomato soup and a curried chicken sandwich.

With Val driving we headed off down the freeway changing from one to another till we were on E47 to Rodby. We drove through gently rolling hills to marshlands and flat plains. We passed truck after truck travelling at 90-100 kms per hour while cars travelled at up to 130 kph...and some faster still. We saw the occasional town in the distance.

By 4pm we were close to Rodbyhaven where the ferry leaves for Germany. What a surprise! We stopped for the night at the Danhotel.

The Danhotel....like the village of Rodby has seen better days. Room numbers were written on a piece of paper tacped to the wall by the doors. It was clean and comfortable with an adequate breakfast.

There are only 2 pizza parlors and 2 bars. We stopped on our way to the grocers at Overfarten...a bar with lots of locals...found a seat and ordered a drink. We talked to 2 men attempting to sail to Sweden...but there was little wind so....others kibitzed. After we picked up 2 salads for dinner.

The next day at breakfast we talked to a father and son...both with grey hair who had flown over from Yorkshire to stay at this hotel....reliving another trip. They were on their way to Texel, Netherlands and then home.

we explored the port area finding news of a tunnel to be built soon. We caught the 9.15a ferry to Germany.

We were amazed at the number of Swedes and Danish that were shopping as prices are cheaper. As one explained Lubek ia a nice outing and Midsummer is coming....a celebration.

Once off the ferry we headed along the busy A1 by Lubeck skirting Hamburg and on to Bremen. Just before we tried to find the Fraleck Museum. The GPS took us off the autobahn onto country roads through frequent little towns with high pointed roofed buildings to Scheebel. We could not find what the GPS saw. So N75 took us back to the autobahn just east of Bremen and all its construction.

We wound through the construction following directions and were soon off on A7 on our way to Bad Weschans, Netherlands. Here we spent the night above a quiet country pub after an excellent schnitzal meal talking to the owner, his son, and some of their friends. It was a warm summer evening so we sat outside.

After a quiet night and a good breakfast, we said our good-byes and went on our way. We stopped at Winshoten just 14 kms away to see it. While driving around through the picturesque town he went over a sharp concrete curb and puntured a tire. We were directed a short distance to the Kwick Fit, a tire shop were an international call to Renault could not be made...no one had an international phone. Soooo we bought a tire as they had one in stock and are now dealing with insurance. An adventure. In a short time we were on our way again.

We stopped at Leeuwarden and found a parking space in the old center. We toured the Oldehove...a red brick tower badly leaning to one side...with a curve as well. It was to be a tower for an extension to St. Vitus Church. But at 10m high it developed a lean...so construction was continued perpendicular to the tilting bottom. It was started in 1529 and discontinued in 1533. Climbing the narrow tilting stairwell to 40m is unnerving. I continually wondered if maybe it might tilt some more. But it didn't.

After we had lunch on the square then walked the narrow streets to the canal where lots of little shops and restaurants greet visitors. At a cheese shop we talked to a Dutch couple who suggested we visit Harlingen.

So here we are! In a delightful little village on a canal in a hotel 365 years old. There are many old high roofed houses around. Last night we walked down a street of rides....there is a festival on. We found a delicious meal of calf's liver, mushrooms and onions and bacon. We had a red wine.

The hotel owner is young, about to become a dad...and excited. He and his wife are well travelled...and interesting to talk to.

Tomorrow we will drive to Amsterdam, stay at the Airport Ibis...Schipol. Sat. We fly home....far too soon. There is so much to see.



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