Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Sunny Day in Aarhus, Denmark

During dinner on Thursday night we heard an announcement of a medical emergency in the dining room. We later learned that an elderly man had collapsed at his dinner table and that he was being given CPR. A further announcement advised that everyone was to stay indoors and off the outer decks as an emergency evacuation by helicopter was to occur. The ship was at sea at this point. About 15-20 minutes later as we were still eating we could see the helicopter arrive and begin circling the ship trying to land n the helipad at the bow. It made about 12 attempts before it was able to achieve success and get the patient aboard. Our cabin attendant said that 1-2 people die every cruise. I guess there are worse ways to go!

The morning of Friday May 4th was overcast but not raining (thank God). The cruise director referred to today as “Star Wars Day” because of the phrase “May the fourth be with you” - yes a very bad pun worthy of our friend Lance. Today we are in port in Aarhus, Denmark. We got off the ship and walked into the city. The Vikings first created a settlement in this location around 770AD. Aarhus is Denmark’s second largest city with a population of 325,000 and its own university.

We watched a family of ducks with little ducklings in the canal. Suddenly a large seagull swooped down, grabbed one of the babies and flew up to a nearby roof where another gull (his mate?) waited. A collected gasp went through the people walking by. The adult ducks were obviously very upset. (Note from John - Kimberly loves eating duck but apparently finds it upsetting when others get the chance).

We walked along a canal lined with restaurants, cafes and bars on our way to the city hall passing an adorable pig fountain. 

The Danes are very artistic. There are many interesting sculptures and art galleries around. 

The ARoS Art Museum with its rainbow walkway circling the roof of the building was easy to spot. We also walked around a concert venue and the city hall that was constructed with grey marble.

It was around this time that the sun came out. 

From city hall we walked to Den Gamle By which is an outdoor Old Town Museum....something like our Pioneer Village but covers buildings, history, and exhibits from Viking times to the 1970s. There were buildings you could walk through and costumed interpreters from the mid 1800s. 

At one point, a period costumed man walked out onto the street and a big goose came running towards him, flapping its wings and honking. I said to the guy that the goose seemed to be looking for breakfast and the guy said, “No, he wants to be cuddled”. Sure enough, when he bent down the goose jumped into his lap and nuzzled in. So cute.

We explored the homes and apartments on a street from the 1970s. I recognized many things from my childhood including a blue fold up lawn bed.

There was a wonderful display of the Queen of Denmark’s gowns which I found very interesting. Unfortunately, my guys didn’t share my interest so I had to move quickly while they sat on a bench outside.

We also explored a street from the 1920s, a time travel building which took you from Aarhus Viking days to present, a toy museum, an antique car display, numerous types of gardens and more.

This interactive museum was excellent and I could have spent all day there but there were still more things we wanted to see in Aarhus.

The nearby beautiful botanical gardens were our next stop. I loved the butterfly pavilion with its high treehouse lookout and the pond with gigantic South American lily pads and piranhas.

John next went to the ARoS Museum with its rainbow panorama that you can walk through on its roof and interesting pieces of art inside. The most famous is the gigantic Boy statue. 

Meanwhile, Graham and I explored the cobblestone streets of the Latin Quarter which is the oldest district in Aarhus. This area was filled with lovely buildings, shops and outdoor cafes.

We also explored The Church of Our Lady (1250AD). Under the church in the crypt was a second church dating back to 1060AD. The crucifix had a distinct Viking look to it.

We walked through the Mollestein area which was lined with quaint little old houses.

We ended our day looking at the beautiful buildings around the Aarhus Cathedral including the theatre before going into the 800 year old cathedral which is the largest church in Denmark.

Too soon, it was time to return to the ship.

The sunset was gorgeous. After supper, we had a wonderful view of it from a quiet lounge at the back of the ship. It was also really interesting when our ship passed under a large bridge which connects mainland Denmark to Copenhagen. The top of our ship came so close to the bottom of the bridge.

John and Graham went and had a game of chess in the Colony Club while I played a music trivia game in the Schooners Bar. My team won - the prize was a pen! Meanwhile John and Graham had moved onto playing a game of pool, the boat rocked a bit too much, causing the balls to roll back and forth across the table which made for an interesting game. 

The night ended with a 70s disco dance party in the Centrum- the main atrium in the centre of the ship- of course John and I joined in with the dancing. 

Saturday May 5th was a day at sea. Once again we rooted ourselves on deck chairs in the solarium, wrote in our diaries,  read books and ate. It’s a beautiful sunny day and the Baltic Sea is almost completely flat as a mirror with just a few ripples. 

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