Today we got a chance to catch up on some sleep and do some last minute sight seeing in Copenhagen. The only two things planned was to go to Amelienborg Palace to watch the changing of the royal guard, and to make sure we boarded our cruise ship to Oslo at 4:30 pm.
We took a taxi to Amelienborg to watch the changing of the guard because it was so cold today. I thought coming from Wisconsin I could handle any cold winter weather that was thrown at me, but the bitter cold of the winter winds Denmark receives off the North Sea will take your breath away and freeze your toes! But seeing the changing of the guard at Amelienborg was worth a little chill in my bones.
Amelienborg Palace is the Queen of Denmarks residency, and every day at noon the Danish Royal Guard marches from Rosenborg Castle to Amelienborg for a change of shift. They march with a band and play music while marching, and then when they arrive at the palace they march around the square a bit and then do their ceremonial changing of the guard with music and marching, swords and guns. The changing of the guard was fascinating to me because it is hard to understand that these men, who are likely the same age as me, are employed to stand outside of their beloved Queen Margrethe’s house for 12 hour shifts to serve their Queen and their country. But nevertheless it was very interesting to watch and marvel at and so unique. This was one of my favorite excursions throughout the trip so far.
After watching the changing of the guard we toured Ameliengborg’s King Christian IX Palace which was set in the same way it was at his death in 1906. This was interesting to see because two of the castles we have toured are set in their traditional Renaissance period decor, and then we also saw Christiansborg which is so modern. It was refreshing to see a 20th century decorated castle and compare the three different time periods.
After seeing Amelienborg we stopped for lunch and then went back to the hotel where we packed up our suitcases and hopped on a giant bus to the port! Waiting to greet us at sea was a gorgeous cruise ship that was to take our group from Copenhagen to Oslo on an 18 hour cruise through the North Sea. I have never been on a cruise ship and had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised there was six restaurants, four bars, and two night clubs on the ship. As well as swimming pools, shops, a spa, and an arcade. I obviously spent most of my time in the bars enjoying my drinks with the gorgeous view of the sea and surrounding landscapes, but I also enjoyed hanging out on the deck watching the sunset into a beautiful orange and pink, and seeing Denmark shrink and shrink until it was no longer visible at all.
Catch up with me tomorrow as I wake up to watch the sunrise over the Norwegian fjords and I spend my first day in Oslo, Norway!!