After retiring early last night we woke up around 3:45 a.m. And did yesterday's journal. Today we are right on schedule so let's begin. Headed down to breakfast around 6:30 a,m, Really good choices at the buffet-bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, cereals,Danish, cheeses, cold cuts, fruit, etc,etc.Hopped on the bus at 8:oo a.m. For a fascinating (?) tour of the iconic sights of Copenhagen(tour book speak). We went past the TivoliGardens amusement park which was opened in 1843 by Hans Christian Andersen. The purpose was to make people happy. It is pretty cool though. We learned that Copenhagen is approximately 800 years old and Denmark consists of 406 islands and covers 43,000 square kilometers (about the size of Switzerland). The population is 81% Protestant or Lutheran, 5% Catholic and the rest is up for grabs.Absolom was the founder of Copenhagen and of course there is a statue of him in town.
We toured the queen's residence (from the outside) built in 1739 and Prince Frederick'sresidence (from the outside), We were lucky enough to be there when the queen's yacht sailed in-the royal yacht having been constructed in 1942 an it still floats today.
Data dump: Cars are a luxury in Denmark and are taxed ant 150% unless it is a car for work ( not driving to work) then no extra tax: Denmark is the oldest country and has the oldest flag in the world (or so they say)., wind turbines provide 42% of Denmark's energy, 452 cruise ships arrive each summer and each ship carries 2,o00 to 5,000 passengers; 1,000 people a month move to Copenhagen; Denmark joined the EU in 1972 but has not adopted the euro-7.5 Danish kroner to one euro; Copehagen has an underground metro system that it is currently being expanded and the excavated dirt is used to enlarge the land area around the harbor-the system has no human driver and arrives every two to three minutes; there are 350 kilometers of bike trails in Copenhagen; in winter the sun rises at 10:00 a.m.and sets at 2:30 p.m.; all three branches of government are located in one building and the little mermaid is little.We did visit the site of the little mermaid. She has been at the entrance of the harbor since 1913 except in 2010 she was loaned to the world exhibition for six months. She has been beheaded twice and lost an arm but she keeps coming back stronger than ever.We saw a few more sights then returned to the hotel for an optional tour-what were we thinking? We departed for the quaint scenery of the Danish Riviera's conservation heritage route and passed through ancient fishing villages and modern marinas. We stopped at the Fredensborg Palace for a view but did not go in but did hit a local bakery and ice cream store. Continuing on we stopped at the magnificent 17th century Frederiksborg Castle and toured it to include the State apartments and the Coronation chapel. We then drove back to the hotel around 3:15 p.m. We decided to walk to the round tower and we ascended to the top for magnificent 360 degree views of Copenhagen. We then walked to Nyhavn which is the old part of Copenhagen and has many old buildings and outdoor cafes. We started back to the hotel to meet our 5:15 tour but we were running late so we grabbed a quick cab to the hotel and just made it to the bus on time. Our next tour was to the fairytale village of Dragon with thatched cottages and a pretty working harbor. We had dinner there which consisted of traditional Danish dishes like pork with crackling fat and fish. We then returned to Copenhagen for an hour-long cruise along the canals and had great views of the city from the harbor. After the cruise was over we were given a shot of aquavit to celebrate the birthdays of two of our tour members and then bussed back to the hotel to end the evening. See you tomorrow!!