You must think of …. Vikings when you think about the North Atlantic! Actually, I’m thinking of Licorice and then NATO and then Vikings, and now nudie saunas, in that order.) We haven’t done many Viking activities on this trip, mainly because we were thwarted in Oslo by construction and didn’t want to get caught in fjord tourist traps. Rhett wished to do something Viking-related, so we visited the second-best museum of Viking ships in Roskilde. If the best museum is closed at the moment, does that mean the one in Roskilde has the “best” title?
Roskilde can be reached by train in about 30 minutes from Copenhagen. It takes an hour to get from our accommodation because we need to travel into Copenhagen and then out west. The train route was a bit strange, and I only wished that we had a vehicle on this trip. The local trains are at least nice, even if they’re always late.
Roskilde is a charming, smaller city. We walked to the Viking Ship Museum through a beautiful park with ducks and ponds. Google Maps only led us to a closed parking lot due to construction once, but that was a small mistake.
Ducks on a pond!
Byparken is the Danish name for “the city park.”
Roskilde, a trading center for the Vikings in the 12th century, was attacked and raided repeatedly over the years. Ships were scuttled in order to divert attackers away from the town and block their entry into the bay.
After 700 years, the ships have been rediscovered and are now in a museum. Tourists with Copenhagen City Card can enter for free. Boop! It’s time for some history and boats, and I hope there are outfits that I can wear.
Please, have some outfits. Please.
Five ships were dug out of the sea using experimental techniques during the 1960s. The museum took care to preserve the ships and prevent further decay or damage once they were removed from the cold bay waters. The museum displays the pieces of the ship, and they also show a short film about the process of unearthing or unwatering. The short film about unearthing (unwatering?)
There are more warships.
Rebuilt trading boat
The museum has a variety of boats on display, including some for trading and others for attack (because of Vikings). There are examples of goods traded, Viking weaponry, and outfits that you can wear. YES! Fashion!
Rhett’s fashion is a sight to behold
A cloak? Cape? Cloak.
The museum has also rebuilt Viking vessels in its harbor using tools and techniques that were available at the time. You can see a woodshop outside and exhibits that show how to split wood, use the different parts of trees, and make a boat. One of the boats was even sailed to Ireland and returned in order to test its seaworthiness. Docked ships are open for you to explore at your leisure.
The ship traveled all the way to Dublin from Roskilde
A smaller boat!
We are now on the ship
You can also go on a boat ride in the bay when the wind isn’t too strong. Today was windy, and I’ve learned from past experience that wind + boat = misery for half our group. They would have been very barfy, poor Vikings.
The museum cafe served a tasty lunch, and I discovered that my favorite pukka is available in the country. I order some for lunch and then make a mental note of where I can find it for the rest of our trip. I’m running out, and the thought of importing it is making me weep.
You will be in boxes, my sweet child.
We stopped at the cathedral on our way back to the station after lunch. The cathedral was built in the early 1800s and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also one of Scandinavia’s first brick buildings. This church was built in the 1200s by our boy Absalon, founder of Copenhagen (see previous post).
It’s now the final resting spot of the Danish monarchy. Over the years, it has been expanded as different monarchs deemed fit. The church’s interior is a little chaotic, but it doesn’t make it any less beautiful. In their chapels, you can see the royal sarcophagi up close. As in many cathedrals of grandeur, the cathedral’s floor is buried with the remains of wealthy people. If there was a zombie revolt, this would be the most dangerous place to be.
Was this joke made the last time I wrote a blog about visiting a Cathedral? Most likely, yes. I’m just too lazy.
The museum is in Danish. Duolingo still hasn’t taught me any church or history words, and the mobile signal is bad, so I can’t use Google Translate. The collection was mainly interesting dresses, models of the church over the years, and the pipe organ. It is worth a visit just for the upstairs view.
The interior of the church
We took advantage of one of the free boat rides included in our Copenhagen City Pass on our way back. It has many canals because King Christians or Fredericks wanted to make the city look like Amsterdam to tempt the Dutch to spend their money in Copenhagen.
The plan worked out in the end, even though it was a dumb idea. The tour took us to the back of the little sculpture of a mermaid, which was rated as the second-most disappointing tourist attraction in Europe. You can make of it what you want (jk, although I really like Copenhagen, why is this statue the symbol of the City??? ).
The pedestrian bridge in the shape of a ship
The Royal Yacht
The back of the Little Mermaid
The Most Expensive Homes
IDK, I only liked the red houses
It’s a nice way to get a feel for the city without having to do too much walking.
Our last full day is fast approaching. Soon, our last day will be here