Posts Tagged ‘Denmark’

Castles Of Old Zealand

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2013 at 8:52 am

When last I was in Denmark, I decided that I really needed to see some serious castles. What better place to do that than Denmark!! I was fortunate enough to be able to get on a guest tour called ‘Castles of Old Zealand’. This tour was SO much fun!!! It was also nice that our pro DJ from the ship (DJ Bad Beats, or Artie to us) was also on the tour so we went adventuring together!

Some summarizing bullet points for those of you who might not want to read all the way to the end (one of my shore excursion managers says my tour reviews are too long to read, so I always give him bullet points)
– Tour guide pretty much invented Denmark, she knew EVERYTHING about everyone that ever took a breath in or around or near to the country
– I love castles…
– We wandered away from the tour group and found the crazy dungeons under the Macbeth castle…very cool.
– Danish castles are better than Russian palaces because you get to touch things
– Lunch had lots of options!
Our tour guide (Pia) was an absolute gem, she told so many interesting stories that I stayed awake for most of them! Our first stop was at a lovely castle that was next to a darling marina. It was in fact the castle that Shakespeare set Macbeth in, which is super cool. We strayed from the group and went for a wander down in the dungeons and tunnels that used to house soldiers. Tip: If a sign tells you to grab a flashlight (aka a torch) before entering a dark tunnel, you might want to listen….we managed with our cell phones and camera flashes like a sketchy horror movie.
After that we stopped at the Danish Queen’s summer palace, not really very castle-y, but beautiful nonetheless. We didn’t get to go in or anything, but we could see the stables and the palace and we heard all about the Danish royal family. I like the Danish royals, they sound more down to earth than some of the other monarchs you hear about. Our tour guide was telling us that when they are in Denmark, they ride their horses through the fields and the towns and whatnot. Just as I imagine Kings and Queens doing. Just like a fairy tale.
Lunch was at an inn about 10 minutes away from the summer palace. They had a lovely buffet set out for us with a complementary beverage, as well as teas and coffees. The food was good, some of it was difficult to distinguish exactly what it was, but I was brave and tried everything (except the things covered in gluteny death). Next to the inn was a lovely cemetery that we took pictures in before returning to the bus.
After lunch we went to Fredrickbourg castle which was AMAZING!!!! So many rooms full of so many shiny things!! I loved that the castle wasn’t very crowded, unlike some of the Russian palaces, so it felt like we could really move at our own pace and explore the castle. Also unlike the Russian palaces, there weren’t big plexiglass coverings over all the walls. Russian palaces don’t let you touch ANYTHING…so paranoid. So I touched some artifacts, mostly just because I could. Our tour wasn’t scheduled to go out into the gardens, so Artie and I hustled out of the castle (got a little lost but made it in the end) and took ourselves out to the gardens before meeting the tour back at the bus. The gardens were brilliant, I’m so happy we checked them out.
On our way home we slowed down in front of a few other castles, I was kind of bus napping to be honest so I’m not sure which ones, but I know one has the crown jewels in it. What a wonderful day!!






Under the Bridge

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm

On this wonderful Baltic route, we have the pleasure of sailing under two really awesome bridges!!
The Great Belt Fixed Link (Danish: Storebæltsforbindelsen) runs between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen. It consists of a road suspension bridge and railway tunnel between Zealand and the island Sprogø, and a box girder bridge between Sprogø and Funen. The suspension bridge, known as the East Bridge, has the world’s third longest main span (1.6 km), the longest outside of Asia. It was designed by the Danish architectural practice Dissing+Weitling.
The East Bridge was built between 1991 and 1998. The East Bridge (Østbroen) is a suspension bridge between Halsskov and Sprogø. It is 6,790 metres (22,277 ft) long with a free span of 1,624 metres (5,328 ft), making it the world’s third-longest suspension bridge span, surpassed only by the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge and Xihoumen Bridge. The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge was opened two months earlier. The East Bridge had been planned to be completed in time to be the longest bridge, but it was delayed. The vertical clearance for ships is 65 metres (213 ft), meaning the world’s largest cruise ship just fits under.
At 254 metres (833 ft) above sea level, the two pylons of the East Bridge are the highest points on solid structures in Denmark. The only things that are taller are some radio masts, such as Tommerup transmitter.
To keep the main cables tensioned, an anchorage structure on each side of the span is placed below the road deck. Nineteen concrete pillars (12 on the Zealand side, seven by Sprogø), 193 metres (633 ft) apart, carry the road deck outside the span. It’s such an amazing structure, and sailing under it is breathtaing every time. We usually stand on deck 4 forward (the crew only area) and watch. Every time, as we sail under the bridge, an audible gasp can be heard from the guests standing on decks 10 and 11, as the bottom of the bridge is so close to their heads!

The other really amazing bridge that we go under is the one that connects Sweden and Denmark, but more on that later!

So often there’s stories from the Guest Services desk that I want to share but I don’t know if I should put them out there, but this bridge prompted one of the best phone calls that I’ve ever had, so I just have to share it.

Me: Good Evening, Guest Services, Erica speaking, how may I assist you?
Gst: So we’re going under this bridge that connects two islands tonight, right?
Me: Yes sir
Gst: Ok so what side of the ship do I have to be on to see it?
Me: We’ll be sailing underneath it, so either side.
Gst: Are you sure?
Me: Um, yes.

And on that note, I will leave you with that story, and this photo!