I am on Viking Ocean Cruise's "Viking Homelands" cruise, and we are sailing into Copenhagen. The sun is just rising, and the sky is a beautiful pink. All around the harbor are windmills generating electricity for the city.
After breakfast, I board a tour bus to see some of the attractions of this lovely city. Just up from the ship is "The Little Mermaid" sculpture, one of the city's most iconic tourist attractions inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's famous fairy tale.
Our tour bus continues to Amalienborg where the changing of the guard is just beginning. Surrounding the palace square with its statue of King Frederik V from 1771 are four identical buildings. These are Christian VII's Palace, used as a guest residence; Frederik VIII's Palace, home of the Crown Prince's family; Christian IX's Palace, home of the Queen) and Christian VIII's Palace, which was once a guest palace for Prince Joachim and Princess Benedikte. Today it is the Amalienborg Museum.
Every day the changing of the guards takes place at noon. The guards march from their barracks in 100 Gothersgade by Rosenborg Castle through the streets of Copenhagen and end up at Amalienborg.
The small contingent marches to the posts, the guards are exchanged, and the ceremony is over.
We return to the bus and continue our tour at The Royal Danish Opera House. Copenhagen is known for its architecture. After viewing the guard changing, we first glimpsed the opera house across Sydhavnen River. Now we are front and center enjoying the modern feel of the facility.
The main stage of the opera seats an audience of 1,400. It totals 41,000 square meters. Five of the fourteen stories are subterranean. The Opera House features southern German Jura Gelb limestone, and the foyer features Sicilian Perlatino marble. The wall of the auditorium facing the lobby is maple wood, and the ceiling in the main hall features 105,000 sheets of 24-carat gold leaf, equivalent to 1.5 kilos of gold.
It is spectacular.
We continue our tour as the local guide explains what we see from important landmarks, buildings, and statues.
Our last stop was a shopping area where those who chose to stay could while others returned to the ship. I continued my exploration on foot.
Copenhagen offers 850 years of history. I experience a taste of its history and attractions.
I have a good reason to return.
For more information about this cruise and other Viking Ocean Cruises, click here.