Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I’ve long been fascinated by Denmark: home of the Vikings, Lego, Hans Christian Andersen and the world’s oldest monarchy. None of the ship’s tours covered everything I wanted to see, so we opted to wander around on our own. The up side is that we got to see everything. The down side is that we had to walk for miles and miles and miles to do it (oh, my feet…)
After snapping the obligatory photo of the Little Mermaid statue, we made our way to Amalienborg Palace, the winter home of the Danish royal family, where we just happened to catch the changing of the guard (nice timing!) On the ground floor of the palace is a museum depicting the living quarters of former Danish kings, complete with family pictures and memorabilia. It also had a special exhibit of royal gowns and uniforms, which was pretty cool.
We also saw the royal theatre, the Danish parliament, the colorful Nyhavn harborfront, and Tivoli Gardens (the amusement park built in 1843 that inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland).
The real highlight of the day came just after lunch: Rosenborg Castle. What began as a country residence for Christian IV in the early 1600s is now a museum that houses a wealth of royal treasures, including the Danish crown jewels. It’s the first royal treasury I’ve ever been to that allows you to take photos — awesome.