Day 0 - Boston - Amsterdam - Copenhagen (airports, canal cruise)

We planned this trip with our friends, Norm & Mary Lou. A few weeks later we discovered two other friends, Jim & Sondra, had coincidentally booked the same cruise! We flew the red eye from Boston to Amsterdam, and then on to Copenhagen where we would start our cruise the next day. We arranged to meet Jim & Sondra on the boat, the Norwegian Star.


Check-in at Logan Airport.


Norm & Mary Lou ready to board the plane.


Nancy sending a last minute email before we turn our phones off for the trip.


Six hours into our 7 hour flight.


After crossing the Atlantic all night, an early morning layover at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Waiting for the flight to Copenhagen. (Picked up an Amsterdam coffee mug at Starbucks.)


The in-flight snack to Copenhagen was a very humane chicken sandwich, of which the Dutch are obviously very proud.


Landng in Copenhagen, we took a taxi to our hotel in the city center. It was mid-morning, so our rooms weren't ready - which we had anticipated. Left our bags in a secure room the hotel provided, and took an exploratory walk around the city. This building was one of the first things we saw. Nancy & I have a new friend in Newport named Ilana Katz Katz. Took this picture for her.


There are many canals and waterways in Copenhagen, and historical buildings are prevalent in the city center.


The stark Danish architecture was especially dramatic against the dark, threatening skies.


Nikolaj Church - Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center. The tower building is all that remains of the original church from 1580 - as most of the church building was destroyed by the catastrophic fires that razed Copenhagen in June 1795.


Absalon, by Wilhelm Bissen (1902).


The statue of Absalon, by Wilhelm Bissen, was erected on Højbro Plads in 1902 - and symbolically the monument faces Christiansborg Castle - and The Danish Parliament - where Bishop Absalon (1128-1201) - built his castle on the little island called “Slotsholmen” near the city harbour around 1167. Here he also founded the city of Copenhagen (København) on the east coast of Zealand.


We arrived at the canal boat dock and bought tickets for the hour-long ride. The canal boats are built low and wide so they can go under the low hanging bridges of the city.


Our boat was not very full, probably because rain appeared imminent. Norm & Mary Lou wer undeterred.


Statue of King Frederik VII, whom the people of Denmark held in great favor, at Christiansborgs Slotsplads (Palace Square). By the time he acceded to the throne in 1848, the old form of authoritarian rule had become highly unpopular. On 21 March 1848, 10,000 demonstrators marched on the Palace to demand a new government and constitution. The King agreed right away, and on 5 June 1849 signed the Danish Constitution to restrict the power of the monarch and introduce democracy.


Børsen (The Stock Exchange) was built by Christian IV in 1619–1640 and is the oldest stock exchange in Denmark. It is known for its Dragon Spire, shaped as the tails of four dragons twined together, reaching a height of 56 metres.


Our Danish tour guide.


The Danish Architecture Centre, DAC, a communication and development centre for architecture in Copenhagen, based in Gammel Dok, a 19th-century former warehouse where it operates an exhibition space which puts on temporary exhibitions about architecture, urban planning and sustainable development.


The canal boats are a great way to see the buildings of Copenhagen.


Nordatlantens Brygge (North Atlantic House), a cultural center dedicated to preserve, promote and communicate culture and art from the North Atlantic area. A cooperative between Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, it also houses the Icelandic embassy.


Looking up one of the many side canals from the main channel.


The Copenhagen Opera House is the national opera house of Denmark, and among the most modern opera houses in the world. It is also one of the most expensive opera houses ever built, with construction costs well over 500 million dollars.


Another small side-canal.


Canal apartments.


Former shipyard converted to apartments.


Georg Stage, a sailing ship that serves as a training-platform for sailors in Denmark.


HDMS Peder Skram (F352) was a Peder Skram class frigate in the Royal Danish Navy which was in use until 1990. It is now docked at Holmen in Copenhagen where it serves as a privately operated museum ship


Baby submarine.


Holmen, a water-bound neighbourhood in Copenhagen, occupying the former grounds of the Royal Naval Base and Dockyards, today characterized by a mixture of residential developments, creative businesses and educational institutions and remaining military activities.


And finally, the "must see" bronze statue of the Little Mermaid by Edvard Eriksen, seen here from the canal boat, hence the posterior view. Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913.


Off in the distance (but up close to my zoom lens) is the Copenhagen cruise port. Tomorrow we will embark on our 9-day Baltic Capitals cruise there - but not on this boat.


Getting back to the center of town, there are a number of art pieces along the waterway for pedestrians to enjoy.


Lifesize reproduction of Da Vinci's David.



More Danish architecture along the canals.


A closer look.


Frederiks Kirke - The Marble Church - was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1740 and was intended to commemorate the 300 years jubilee of the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg. Frederick's Church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31m. The dome rests on 12 columns. The inspiration was probably St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.


Boats along the canal.


We're actually about to squeeze through this narrow canal and under yonder bridge.


Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirke) is a baroque church, most famous for its corkscrew spire with an external winding staircase that can be climbed to the top, offering extensive views over central Copenhagen. It is also noted for its carillon, which is the largest in northern Europe.



Wedding reception, viewed from our canal boat. Congratulations!




Back on dry land from the canal tour. Bicycles are ubiquitous.


After a quick lunch we wander back to our hotel through the center of town. Lots of open space and few cars found here.


Bachelorette party in the square. Don't know how she got talked into this get-up.



Sweet tooth vendor. Yum yum!


Norm checking out the guy floating in mid-air.



A quiet side street.


Back at our hotel. Our rooms are ready. We're all fried from traveling and no sleep. Time for a quick nap and a little more sightseeing before a good night's rest.


See the pics of Tivoli Gardens on Day 0 (following our nap). Or return to the Main Menu to see something else.