Travels with Papillon




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At Helsingborg, Sweden we boarded the Motor Vessel "Hamlet" for the 20 minute ride to Helsingor, Denmark.


There we were greeted by a castle known as "Elsinore"

Here, Shakespeare's Prince Hamlet avenged the death of his father.


The Danes know the structure as Kronborg Slot







Judy's mother, Edith, was born in Bridgeport, CT. but resettled back to Copenhagen at age 5.  She returned to the US, alone, just prior to WWII, where she was unable to contact her family for 6 years until the end of the war.  With the collapse of her marriage she took Judy to live in Copenhagen when Judy was 4.  The girls stayed a year, during which time Judy forgot most of her English.

During that year Judy's number one playmate was her cousin, Svend Aage and Anny's younger daughter, Birthe.  They have been close ever since.



Four Generations of Nielsen's


Judy, on the right,  joins her Aunt Anny and Birthe on the couch.  Standing, from the right, are Birthe's 3 children: Sanja, Troels and Karina.  Karina's 2 children are Anna Mae (seated) and Anine (standing on the coach).  Karina's husband Peter rounds out the portrait.

Svend Aage - 1981

pronounced "Sven O"







The Great downtown Park

For a Century and a half it has entertained the Danes and the World.  The forerunner (and inspiration) to Disney and park designers the world over.


Duck House

Dragon Fly's - white lit at night


The Great Peacock Theater 

The Harlequin's Dance

Filled with amusements, 22 restaurants, bandstands, food booths and Street entertainers, you can spend a fun day in the heart of the city.  Exit and back privileges all day long.






Bike World


The photo on the left is something you generally would not see in America.  It is a women peddling her bicycle out of an elevator.  She is now at a suburban train station where she will take her bike down an escalator and onto a subway type train for a ride into Copenhagen.

Welcome to Bicycle World

Copenhagen, and Denmark, has one of the highest per capita usage rates for bicycles in the world.  They ride them everywhere.

And you can get killed out there.  The bike lanes are everywhere and they seem to have the legal Right of Way in just about every situation.  And the riders are not bashful about asserting those rights.  And they will clip along at 20 miles per, and if you do not look both ways twice - once for the autos and a second time for the bikes - you can get run over.

Rush Hour

Parking Lot Full - Subway Station



With Hans Christian Andersen




Two Mandatory Photographs

while in Denmark



With the Little Mermaid






The Baroque Palace of Christian IV begun in the 1640's, today it houses the State Treasury

The repository for the Crown Jewels and the state Ivory, Gold and Firearms collections



Engraved set of Colt Revolving Pistols.  Gift of President Abraham Lincoln to King Frederik VII.

The King's Fowling Pieces

As good as we have seen anywhere


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New Harbor



Built by King Christian V in the 1670s, it supplemented the old harbor.  Most structures around the harbor date from the early 18th century.  It was long noted as the home of the communities sailor population.

After the war the area rightfully gained the reputation as "The Worlds Longest Bar", and had become rather seedy.  Then it was discovered a few decades ago and today it is full tilt "Yuppiefied" with trendy and/or touristy cafes and restaurants.

If you sit at a table you are expected to purchase something.  But if you sit on the quayside you can bring your Tuborg from a 7-11 and save really good money.  And your companions each day will be a wildly diversified group of quay sitters where "Suits" and Bohemians can mix and mingle.

The other side of the harbor in always in the shade and it is seriously ignored



Often in European restaurants your nearby dining

companion will have a tail.



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The Church of Not To Be


Vor Frelsers Kirke

Church of Our Savior

In March of 2001 we went to the church in order to climb the 400 steps to the top of the 300 foot tall spiral steeple.   It did not open for the season until April 1.

In September 2007 the web site said the church was undergoing restoration but that the steeple was open.  Upon our arrival workers informed us that the steeple had been closed a week ago.

(Yes the top stairs are on the outside.)

Maybe next time.



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The mirrors of Dragor

The old fishing village of Dragor, southeast of the airport, has seen an  influx of tourists, mostly Danes, over the past few years and today it is a charming area of cafes and some upscale shops - but on a limited basis.

Much of the joy is to just walk about observing the village life and the architecture, especially the thatched roof cottages.  In addition, the good folks of Dragor often sit by their windows and observe the passing scene - both coming and going.  And it would just not do to have someone creep up on you from your blind side.







Roskilde, Denmark

Forty five minutes west of Copenhagen lies the old Danish Capital city of Roskilde.  Situated at the end of a 30 mile fiord, the city is home to the unofficial Danish National Cathedral (where most former kings and queens are buried).  The major tourist draw, however is the Viking Ship Museum on the edge of the fiord.

The Museum showcases a number of Viking era ships that were excavated from the water and mud of the area.  A number of small work boats were found underneath where the museum now stands.  But the high point of the exhibition are the 5 ships found 20 kilometers north, near Skuldelev, in a concentration that was once part of the port's defenses.

At a choke point the Danes of the late 1000's established a line of piles to block the southern part of the fiord.  In the middle of this miles long barricade was an opening for vessels that could be closed by sinking vessels there when danger approached.  That danger was in the form of raiding Vikings from Norway.

When sunk those ships forced the raiders to disembark miles from the town and it gave the locals time to rally to a defensive posture.  The five ships were apparently sunk circa 1100 in order to close the barricade.

The 5 vessels were a mixed bag to say the least.  #1, an ocean trader at 16 meters, #2 a small Long Ship at 17 meters, #3 a fishing boat, #4 a coastal trader at 14 meters, and the Great Long Ship at nearly 100 feet.  All were sunk in the opening of the piles and were almost one on top of each other.  Two of the vessels were constructed in Denmark and the other 3 elsewhere.  This determination was based on the study of the wood used and especially through tree ring analysis.  The ocean trader and the fishing vessel were built in western Norway.  The Long Ship was built in Dublin, Ireland in the year 1060.

The Normans construct their ships for the English Invasion

Detail from the Bayeux Tapestry - dated 1070

The Museum is one of the major research facilities in the world for the study of Medieval ship construction.  As well as preservation, the complex has a shipyard for the construction of replica vessels using tools and techniques from the Viking age.  One of the most useful and accurate tools at their disposal was the section of the Bayeux Tapestry (located in France) which showed William the Conquerors shipwrights at work.  Specifically, the graphic showing of the tools and techniques used are much copied here.





Shapes and Images


Big baroque spires

Frederiksborg Slot

The 4 Twisted Dragons Tails-Stock Exchange

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New Friends

From the 4 corners of the globe they come

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East Bloc Street kids trying to make a Buck

Russian guys running a 3 Card Monty

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Drainpipes and Speedy







A very Distinctive Formation

It isn't often that you will see a marching formation such as this. 

 Here we see a squad of troops enroot to the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Royal Palace at Amalienborg in Copenhagen.

Notice how close ranks numbered 2 and 4 are to the line ahead of them.  Their feet intertwine.  This is a difficult movement.

Their march from barracks is over a mile long through downtown Copenhagen.    


They carry assault rifles.




They stop at red lights.

There is just something about a Shako that really sets off a military uniform.


Next - Germany

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