Having felt that we’d seen enough of Copenhagen to be “happy,” Jack and I spent the remainder of our time in Denmark elsewhere. Our first field trip was to fjord country and the village of Roskilde. Another common misperception is that of the “fjord.” No, we did not see tall glacial peaks this far south; instead, blue tidal marsh areas that reminded us of our favorite places on Cape Cod.

The Roskilde Domkirke is home to the burial crypts of every Danish king since the 10th century. Construction was underway at the cathedral for the chapel and burial crypt locations of the current Danish Queen and Prince Consort, a little unnerving given that both royals are still living. Then again, we are American and not at all accustomed to royal protocols and planning.

 

 

 

Among the many magnificent crypts was that of Frederik VII, adorned with a gilded oak leaf wreath, given in gratitude by the women’s organizations for the inclusion of women in the Danish constitution in 1849.

 

 

The village of Roskilde was well worth our time spent exploring. Pleasant shops, happy people everywhere, and amazing Danish cheddar. Jack and I stopped at a local Ost & Delikatesser to have sandwiches prepared for our bicycle journey around the fjords; what is there not to love about cheese displayed by candlelight?  (For the record, Danish cows produce excellent Danish cheddar!)

Our bicycle ride from Roskilde took us past the Viking Museum.  Just dismiss in your mind whatever you may think about Vikings. As we learned, when not pillaging and plundering, “The Vikings were also fishermen.” Did you know, as well, that Viking trade routes stretched throughout the Rhine and Mosel valleys of Germany (wine), northern Poland (amber) and as far south as Constantinople?

The museum is also an active research facility, recreating Viking vessels, tracing known trade routes, and testing the seaworthiness of hand-hewn ships. Pretty cool stuff.
And just as the Viennese don’t seem too keen on the “There are no kangaroos in Austria” souvenir kitsch, the Danes aren’t big on the typical Viking stereotypes, either. There was little Viking souvenir tchotchke to be found.
Bicycling around and through the fjords rejuvenated our souls. Clearly we miss the seashore. Our D.C. home is but an hour-ish from the Chesapeake Bay; and we spoiled ourselves with a week on Cape Cod in the summer whenever possible. Our brief afternoon in the salty air of the Roskilde fjord was just the refresher we needed.

Our ride through the fjord country took us through small villages with charming thatched roof cottages, chickens scratching in yards, and yes, more happy people out and about.

 

The Danes know how to live.