Thursday, 15 June 2017

Thursday 15 June - Roskilde and Copenhagen

Where’s Bertie? He’s in a car park next to some lagoons to the SW of Copenhagen (in between the city and the Øresund Bridge, which links Denmark to Sweden). There are toilets here and bins (and, of course, picnic benches).

It was a relatively early start today and a pre-breakfast relocation to a free car park that sits next to the Viking Museum, 0.6km outside of the centre of Roskilde. The museum wasn't of sufficient interest to us to make is want to part with 120DKK each (last I saw, £1=8.4DKK), but I did want to look at the cathedral, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, apparently the best cathedral in Denmark.

As is so often the case, there was nowhere from which to get a good photo... here’s a photo of a model of the building

By virtue of its opening times not being as stated in our guidebook, we arrived a little early, so after a walk around outside and a bit of loitering, where were almost first through the door. Hot on our heels were a couple of coach trips, the clients of which seemed to have left their manners and common courtesy at home, making us feel repeatedly like we were in their way (look, if you want to take a photo of the thing I'm looking at, then just wait a few moments. Don't stand half an inch away from me and thrust your camera in front of me. I guess they must have all been on really short holidays, making time of the essence.). Aside from that gripe, it was an interesting place, mainly by virtue of not being comparable to any cathedral I've visited before. Being made of red brick was one feature that made it stand apart, but beyond the structure, the inside came across as more of a mausoleum for the royal family than as a place of worship. There are no side chapels full of relics and religious paraphernalia here, instead there are side chapels full of sarcophagi (37 kings and queens are laid to rest in the building, not to mention their offspring).

The cathedral has been evolving for 800 years and continues so to do, with one side chapel (the only one set out for worship) having been recently updated. I was unconvinced by this depiction of Christ with shroud draped over him...

...nor was I taken with the adjacent modern altarpiece:

The west entrance door to the main body of the cathedral was also modern, but I didn't mind that so much, even if I did reckon that the depiction just below centre on the right hand side was of a dementor performing the kiss (a Harry Potter thing):

Other elements were more traditional, like this impressive organ:

After a couple of hours we had explored everything, declaring our visit to have given reasonable value (as major cathedrals go) with the 60DKK per head entry fee including a comprehensive glossy guidebook.

The cathedral had been my only reason for wanting to go to Roskilde and, being rather hungry by the time we emerged, we didn't do much exploring of the rest of the town. In fact, we only made it as far as the first bakery we saw, treating ourselves to some pastries (Danish ones, you know...).

We might have had coffee with them and eaten them at the outside tables, but whilst I was prepared to splash out on pastries, I wasn't prepared to pay £4.50 each for coffee. Back through the park to Bertie we went.

Then it was off to Copenhagen, taking a bit of a detour on our way out of town to a Lidl for a restock of some essentials (i.e. ice cream). The detour was unnecessary - our chosen car park in Copenhagen has a Lidl almost opposite its entrance.

We've chosen to base ourselves where we have, just outside the city, on the basis of it being handy for a ParkRun on Saturday morning. Having walked the course this afternoon, it's rather a pleasant location - provided that it's not windy.

This view is ten yards away from us, but not visible from the car park

This view is visible from the car park, but if we parked in front of it we wouldn't be level. We've opted for a level parking spot rather than a sea view.

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