Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sunny Haven

Something's different. You feel it only marginally on the bridge, but it's there. FRAM has left home... we are not in Norway any more, where everybody knows and loves Hurtigruten. Now we are a foreign ship, about to call the port of Copenhagen, Denmark. That means being boarded by port authorities and custom officials. Paperwork. But all friendly, all very brief, all very welcoming. And so the arrival is official, and our guests are allowed to enter the "merchants haven", as the translation of the city's name would call it. 
And we are parked literally in the middle of it, so actually you can do extensive sightseeing from your armchair on deck 7. But a stroll through town is always good for surprises: It is Sunday, and in the inner court of the large citadel there is a vintage car convention, a feast for the eyes. If you like shiny chrome and wooden steering and white sidewall tires, that is. 
The weather is spoiling us, and so many are to be found in the numerous cafés around Nyhavn, the New Harbour, where beautiful old sailing ships are moored for eternity, as it will seem. but not everything is vintage, the modern opera house is sitting majestically on the other side of the strait, glistening in the afternoon sun, passed by legions of sightseeing barges - and our fearless Expedition Leader and Chief Purser who test-ran their new Kayaks. You don't keep a Norwegian away from the water...
But there is also the option to see everything from the waterfront by participating in the excursion Harbor Cruise and Christianborg Castle. Here you get extensive explanation about the history of the area, from the first middle age construction of the castle to the notorious tax-raising for passing ships to the yearly performances of Shakespeare's Hamlet, which partially does take place here.
After many hours of sunshine, photographing and enjoying, everybody returns on board and we sail into the dark, toward our next destination, Helsinki.