|'Wonderful, wonderful CO-penhagen...!'|
|Nyhaven on a balmy evening|
|The Roskilde Cathedral. Exterior view only.|
|Skeletal Viking longboat|
I can report that Roskilde has a very nice & cosy basement restaurant where you can get authentic Danish pickled herrings, should you so wish; and clearly a repeat visit is necessary to see the inside of the famous Cathedral, and see what else the Viking Museum has to offer - it seems that you can actually learn to sail a Viking longboat, which sounds like fun. Meanwhile, to tide me over, my gift-shop purchase was an amusing magazine publication called 'The Viking Invader' - I'll give you a taste of the front page story:
DANES FIGHT CHICKEN SLUR
Cowardice claim causes concern
Members of the Viking Standards Association met yesterday to decide what to do about Denmark. The emergency meeting was called after appalled Norsemen learned that the Danes had given up pillaging. Instead, they were accepting money (known as Danegeld) to stay at home.
'Not true Vikings'
|Beautiful colours in Roskilde|
The whole publication is in this vein, and even descends to lines like "Let's loot again, like we did last summer" and "A sure-fire hit. This one will rune and rune". If you like this humour, buy your own copy here. However, although I was in Copenhagen for only one weekend, I suspect this is not Danish-style humour. In fact, I suspect it was written by Brits. But that's just a suspicion.
On the subject of Vikings, you must admit that having them as part of your deep history could be a teensy bit challenging. Yes, they were powerful and dominant and ruled, or at least occupied, large swathes of the known world in their time. However, they are also famous for a great deal of raping and pillaging. Did I detect a note of defensiveness in the interpretative signs in The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, displayed alongside hoards of silver and golden amulets and such-like collected by the Vikings? The sign read:
In several European monastery chronicles we find accounts of the attacks by Vikings on monasteries - for example on the English island Lindisfarne: "...the harrying of the heathen miserably destroyed God's church in Lindisfarne by rapine and slaughter." The accounts give the impression that the Vikings were brutal warriors or disorganised pirates...However, the accounts are not quite fair. The Vikings also established a network of flourishing towns in northern Europe.
|What a lovely thing: The Gundestrup Cauldron|
I last visited Copenhagen as long ago as 1993, and my memory is understandably misty. However, three things stand out: Hans Christian Andersen, Tivoli and Danish hotdogs. I report, sadly, that the Danish hotdog I loved is no longer available around town, and Tivoli has modernised itself to the point of characterlessness; but The Little Mermaid remains perched on her rock by the harbour (having lost her head numerous times, it is presently back in place. Who would decapitate The Little Mermaid? A Viking?)
|Tivoli Pleasure Gardens: still looks inviting....|
|'The Black Diamond'|
And here I've written a whole post about Denmark and haven't once mentioned Princess Mary, wife of Danish Crown Prince Frederick, known to we Tasmanians as "Our Mary". The flags were flying at the Amalienborg Palace, indicating that the Royal couple was in residence. That made two Tasmanians in Copenhagen that weekend.