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Posts posted by carolinacaniac

  1. Hello again everyone!


    So there are two more culture based updates that I will be posting, and then we will get into the meat and potatoes of the TPR Scandinavia Trip, the different parks that we visited! For now, here is the next part of the cultural updates.....


    Day 2.4: Christiansborg Palace, Part 2-The Ruins and Royal Stables


    In the previous update, Jeff and I had done the first of three different exhibits at Christiansborg Palace, the Royal State Rooms. In this update you will see the other two exhibits, the Ruins and the Royal Stables. The Ruins are the remains and artifacts from the previous palaces that had once been built on the same piece of land that the current Christiansborg Palace stands. Ranging from pieces of décor to old foundations and walls of the previous palaces. In the Royal Stables, you can see the royal horses as well as the royal carriages that have been utilized when the royal family makes appearances throughout Copenhagen. So let's take a look around!


    Next stop, the Ruins of Christiansborg Palace


    This exhibit gets two thumbs up!


    When you get to the exhibit underneath the palace, you can take a look at the layout of the exhibit and even see where the current palace sits in relation to your location.


    A little bit of history about the different palaces of Denmark. My recollection is that they kind of alternated from the location of the current Christiansborg palace to another location then back to the current location then to another location then back to the current location again. Repeating until we get to the present day Christiansborg Palace. Most of the previous palaces that stood on this spot had been destroyed by fires, thus necessitating a new one.


    And here is some rubble from one of the previous palaces.


    And this was a part of the old sewage system of a previous palace.


    .....That's right, there had been a few royal flushes through this.


    a part of an old foundation from a previous palace.


    Pieces of different bricks that have been used by the different palaces over time.


    Another wall from one of the old palaces.



    "Yeah Bob, just shift it closer to me. Doesn't look quite level yet. If we're going to intimidate our enemies, then we are going to do so the right way!"


    Ye olde buckets!


    So as mentioned before, most of the previous palaces on this site suffered the same fate...burning to the ground.


    Jeff finds the way to the second part.


    "I do say Robert, the leveling is very well done! This will surely be an effective deterrent!


    Here you can see previous palaces of the Royal Family


    This one looks very similar to the current palace


    Some of them had a more unique layout


    The most common feature being the tall tower on one side, as seen in the current palace.


    A piece of one of the former palaces


    I assume that this was decoration of the exterior of one of the palaces


    Here you can find old wood that was used in previous palace construction


    Really large tooth picks maybe?


    More palace decor


    Jeff doesn't seem to mind getting into tight spaces ;)


    Here you can see more rubble from palaces past


    This was kind of neat to see a comparison of traditional foundations of previous palaces compared to the modern foundation supports of the current palace. Although this is probably more for the purpose of this exhibit. Still cool though.


    And this is an old well that was once utilized in a previous palace.


    So as you move on to the next exhibit, again you can kind of see the similarity between the current palace to the previous ones.


    And this statue is symbolic of our next exhibit...


    ...The Royal Stables. Home of the horses of the Danish Royal Family


    These horses are used for appearances of the royal family like that shown in the picture. One of the biggest events with their utilization is on New Years Day when the Royal Family rides from their residence at Amalienborg Palace to Christiansborg Palace, and they greet officials of the Danish Parliament, and in return the members of Parliament can offer their best wishes to the Royal Family for the new year.


    Here is some of the equipment that has been utilized for the royal horses


    And old saddle


    Clothing of the royal mounted military as well as the royal coachmen


    An older royal carriage. This one utilized back just before the turn of the 19th century.


    And here we go into the stables


    A bit of information about the horses.


    And here is one of the royal horses. To my knowledge, the Danish Royal Family has always used white horses.


    The stalls in which the royal horses are bathed


    One of the open-air royal carriages...


    ...and an enclosed one.


    They have quite a collection of carriages. I don't recall which, if any, of them are still in use and which are retired.


    They also offer other colors as well.



    A look at the set up for the royal carriage with the bridles and the coachman on top of a carriage. Would be really neat to have seen an actual royal ride in person, but this was still very cool!


    And a look back towards the stables where the horses are kept.


    What is neat is that just outside the stable, but still within the palace grounds in an open area where the horses are able to exercise. Not a bad view od the palace either.


    And as you exit the other side of the palace, you walk above the canal that was part of the canal tour. More specifically, there is the tight squeeze tunnel.


    And that concludes our visit to Christansborg Palace. I hope you all enjoyed it and look forward to one more cultural update...Mine and Jeff's visit to Carlsberg Brewery. Following that update will be the first of the park updates that are a part of the 2014 Theme Park Review Scandinavia Tour. Thanks again everyone for checking it out and your feedback thus far!

  2. Hello Again Everyone,


    So I realize that it has been about two months since I last updated this, so it's time for another one....


    Day 2.3: Christiansborg Palace, Part 1-The Royal State Rooms


    So after getting to see the Royal Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace, Jeff and I made our way to Christiansborg Palace, which is the current home of the Danish Parliament. When you go to visit Christiansborg, they have three different attractions to visit, which include the ruins of previous palaces that had once stood on the same spot of the current palace, the Royal Stables where the Royal Horses are kept, and our first stop at the palace, the Royal Staterooms. On this self-guided tour you see the current throne of the Royal Family that is used when they greet official guests of the nation as well as the doorway to the balcony where members of the royal family would be presented to the people of Denmark (Such as if a new baby was born, or a new king/queen was coroneted). So let's go check the palace out!


    So here we are again in the neighborhood of Christiansborg Palace, but this time we are going to go inside and look around!


    It's always a good sign that you can enter if they have the door open for you.


    The entry hallway


    I love the architecture of this palace.



    A look towards the middle of the palace.


    Good thing the Danish have Jeff on hand to guard the palace!


    Although I am not Danish, I am ready to stand guard for it!


    And this door leads to the first stop of our tour of the palace....the Royal State Rooms


    The welcome sign.


    The ticket to the state room. Each corner can be removed based on which of their three attractions you are visiting. (All of these are covered with the Copenhagen Card.)


    We had to wear these little booties for this part of the tour, but it sure helped to keep the staterooms clean!


    One of the hallways that lead to the different rooms


    The first of the state rooms we would see. This one used for social gatherings of officials and heads of state.


    Royal dishes.


    Another angle of the room


    Here you could see out into the courtyard in the middle of the palace grounds.


    A picture of the room in use


    Another look.






    I was also a fan of the elegance of the stairways that went from floor to floor.


    As you can see, my booties are helping to keep the carpet clean!




    One of the grand dinning rooms where they host state dinners. If I am not mistaken, I think there was a picture somewhere from a time that President George W. Bush along with Laura Bush had dinner with the royal family here.


    This room had a number of quilts hung on the walls, and in some ways it reminded me of the murals that were on display in the National Palace in Mexico City.


    Many of the quilts depicted different aspects of Danish History, and the boarder contained the images of people who played a significant part of Danish History.


    A closer look at the people in the boarders





    Another assembly room


    The room in use



    The palace also had some very large paintings as well.


    Here is a look at the family tree of the Danish Royal Family



    And by going through this doorway, you are lead to the current royal Throne of Denmark.


    Another angle of the Throne Room


    Closer look at the throne


    This door leads to the balcony in which the royal family would be presented to the people of Denmark


    A look through another window of the view from this side of the palace.



    This room is the highest room that is directly underneath the large tower on the top of the palace.


    They have this piano here. Almost tempting to play "Great Balls of Fire" on it, but there was one problem.....I don't know how to play piano


    And thus we come towards the end of the tour of the State Rooms


    A grand stairway for our return to the ground floor.


    I felt so regal as I made my way down the steps!


    A suggestive statue, or so it seemed to me :)


    A famous soldier of the Danish military


    And these columns were very neat.


    One of the places in which the royal family would make appearances as shown in this image


    And here Jeff does his best impersonation of the statue. Next up we have a visit to the Ruins of the former palaces on the grounds of Christiansborg Palace, along with the Royal Stables. Then will be the final update of the cultural portion of this report, a visit to Carlsberg Brewery. Thanks for checking this update out everyone! Hope you will come back for more!

  3. Welcome back to another update of the pre-tour culture before the 2014 Scandinavia Tour! This time I bring to you...


    Day 2.2: The Royal Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace


    If you remember from one of the previous updates, Amalienborg Palace is the residence of the Royal Family of Denmark. Because of this, there are guards on duty at all times to protect the palace. Every day at Noon they have the full changing of the guard, and this is what we would be viewing. Many people are familiar with the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London as it is a very large event. The one in Copenhagen is not quite as large, but is similar and also been a tradition of the nation for many years. So let's take a look at what happened!



    Here we are again at Amalienborg Palace waiting for the Changing of the Guard


    As you can see, the guards are still fulfilling their duty of guarding the palace.


    Much like the previous day, there were one or two guards at each station.


    Getting a picture with one of the guards!


    It looks like something is about to happen soon


    Here the crowd has gathered to watch the changing of the guard.


    The guard standing at ease.


    Now he is at attention, it must signify something is about to happen


    Out comes the rest of the old guard, whom will be replaced.




    Here we have the old guard who will be replaced with the new guard once the change is complete




    As the clock strikes 12, it is time for the guard to change.


    And down the street comes the new guard with the military band towards Amalienborg Palace



    And the new guard has arrived to the courtyard.


    More of the band


    Drum corps.


    And here is the new guard who will take the place of the old.





    Here is the full company that just arrived to the courtyard.


    The new guard who will assume the task of guarding the palace


    and the band.


    Now begins the "Change" in the Changing of the Guard


    The old guard and new guard now swap places


    The new guard assumes the duty of guarding the palace....


    ... and the old guard now joins the band that accompanied the new guard


    Now the new guard is on duty


    Here is the completed full change of the guard.





    Here is a clip that I shot of one of the songs the band played during the changing of the guard


    I believe they also played the Danish National Anthem after that song


    Take a bow!


    Here comes what I believe is the rest of the old guard


    From that room, they would go on the walk to the other side of the courtyard




    And right through the crowd


    Afterwards, the old guard exits with the band



    That's the end of their duty for now.


    And thus we are left with half of the new guard on one side....


    ...and half on the other, thus they would eventually go on to replace each guard at each station just as they had the night before.


    And that completes this update of the cultural portion of the pre-tour activities. Up next, Jeff and I would go on to Christiansborg Palace to see different exhibits such as the Royal State Rooms, The Palace Ruins and the Royal Stables. Thanks for checking it out! More to come soon!

  4. Alright, time to get this Photo TR rolling again with the next update...


    Day 2.1: Copenhagen Canal Tour


    So the second day of sight seeing before the official TPR tour began was another day of visiting landmarks and attractions of Copenhagen. After having gone to the Viking Ship Museum, The Round Tower, Rosenborg Palace, Nyhavn and the Little Mermaid Statue the day before, it was time to take a Canal Tour of Copenhagen to start day 2. Jeff and I would also go to see the full Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace, Christansborg Palace and Carlsberg Brewery. This next update is focused on the Canal Tour, and what a beautiful day it was for a boat ride! Just take a look below!


    As we begin our day, we make our way to Gammel Strand, where we can use our Copenhagen Cards for a canal tour of the city.


    And this is the company that gives the tours. If you are in Copenhagen, I strongly suggest the tour! It is a nice way to see many historical buildings, and tours are available in several languages including English.


    And here is the dock where we would board our boat for the tour.


    Across the canal is Christiansborg Palace, the building that houses Denmark's Parliament, as well as the royal state rooms where the Danish Monarchy receive guests such as other world leaders. Jeff and I would visit this palace later in the day as there were several exhibits to enjoy there.


    The canal that circles around Christianborg is popular for small boats and kayaks.


    There were also a few swans, including a baby swan (Never seen a baby swan before).


    And here was our boat for the tour, the H.C. Andersen, named after the one and only Hans Christian Andersen


    And away we go!



    This was our tour guide, who's name eludes me right now, but he was very informative, and could offer the tour in about three or four languages!


    While I don't recall the use of this building, I do remember they referred to it as the Dragon Tower, because the sculpture on top was that of dragons with their tails spiraling around each other.


    See the dragons?



    Taking a look back at Christianborg as we head out to the main part of the canal.



    After going under this bridge, we were out into the main part of the canal that would lead to the sea.


    And here we are in the main canal.


    Awesome to see so many sailboats in Copenhagen


    And right there is the end of Nyhavn.


    Looking right into the canal that Nyhavn sits along.


    On the other side of the canal again is the Copenhagen Opera House. I would imagine that some evenings would be great at you could enjoy the night right on the canal after taking in the show.


    So we then went into a smaller side canal for some more sites.


    I still love this city!


    Down this was more of a residential area where people could live and store their boats right in the water.


    This building was really cool....


    ....Because you could literally drive you boat into it!


    These buildings were old barracks for the Danish Navy when they used to house their naval training center in this area.


    A bit of a fixer upper, but having a place right on the water can't be too bad :)


    On the other side is Chistiana, an area known for it's hippie population.


    The hippies just started to move to the area some time ago and they made their own little neighborhood. Might have to check it out sometime.


    And here we see a naval ship at port.


    Across the water, you could see one of our future stops of the day, Amalienborg Palace.


    Another canal tour boat passing by.




    Another view of Danish Naval Ships


    This is the Royal Yacht.....Not too shaby!


    As you can see, the royal yacht crew is working to keep it cleaned and maintained.


    I'll bet that would be a nice boat to go into the sea with.


    A Danish Military Academy if I remember right. I know it was a military facility


    Another view


    And another.


    Now this is one of the reasons why I was glad that Jeff and I went to see the Little Mermaid Statue the day before in the evening....


    ...Look at the crowd! Granted it isn't a lot in total, but it still would not be as easy to move around the statue to take pictures from multiple angles.


    What is neat is that the Canal Tour Boats will stop for a bit to take pictures from the other side.


    To steal a line from my role with Disney at the Jungle Cruise...."And here it is folks, the moment you have been waiting for.....the backside of mermaid!!"


    As you can see, the Little Mermaid Statue is a popular stop for visitors of Copenhagen.


    So now we start to head back towards Gammel Strand, but there was still more to see on the way.


    The Royal Yacht and Opera House again.


    I still love places with waterfronts like this!


    These buildings add a lot of character to the canal.


    Another sailboat


    Another look at Amalienborg Palace, which would be visited later


    So we went down another side canal to see more of the residential areas of Copenhagen, this side I believe is one of the more modern areas.


    Another area to park your boats.


    So many boats!


    The spiral tower here is that of the Church of Our Saviour. You can walk to the top of it by the staircase that is in the spiral.


    Sure is a nice to sit and enjoy the weather along the canal. I certainly wouldn't mind it.


    I like how many of the bridges here would tell you what year they were built.


    Another look at the tower of the church.


    And this, as the tour guide called it, is the most photographed tree in all of Copenhagen. As the boat comes out from the previous bridge, people would try to take pictures of the church like previous one, but because they wait too long to take it, they end up with a picture of this tree instead. A neat little anecdote from the guide.


    I cannot say it enough how much I love the architecture of this city!


    We would be visiting their brewery later in the day.



    A look back at where we were.


    As I mentioned, this is the more modern part of Copenhagen



    And that building strait ahead and on the other side of the main canal....


    ...that is the Royal Library of Denmark. While some might think it an odd design for a library, it reminded my a little bit of the main branch of the Seattle Public Library in Downtown Seattle.


    And this bubble I seem to recall was a sort of greenhouse type exhibit of a natatorium.


    So now we start to wind down on the tour and begin heading back to the dock, but we still get to go around Christainsborg Palace and see a few more sites.



    Another large boat.


    If you wanted to know, that is what it is called.


    So many low bridges, I guess it is a good thing the canal tour boats are short :)


    Many of the bridges had artwork likes this built into them as well.


    Ahead would be the most challenging bridge for our boat driver.


    This is the name of it.


    And this is why....that is one tiny hole....(That's what he said!)


    This is uncomfortably close!!!!


    And when you get out to the other side, you have to try and get this long boat to make a sharp turn....notice the tires on the wall there.....I think a few boats didn't make it!


    Luckily we had a good driver and he kept us afloat!





    Hello again Christiansborg!


    And we made it back to the dock!


    If you ever have an opportunity to visit Copenhagen, I strongly suggest taking in a canal tour by these guys. Definitely worth it!


    And this was our boat, the H.C. Andersen!


    Thank you Canal Tours Copenhagen for an enjoyable ride!


    And thank you TPR readers for checking out this update! There will be more cultural updates to follow, and then some great Scandinavian parks as we join fellow TPR travelers.

  5. Well Bill, I just so happen to have more here for you and everyone else to check out....


    Day 1.4: Nyhavn and the Little Mermaid Statue


    So the first day of cultural exploring of Copenhagen before the theme park portion of this trip included a visit to the Nyhavn area near the canal and to see the Little Mermaid Statue, one of the best known symbols of Copenhagen. So let's take a look at what we saw....


    Had a chance to meet one of the locals while strolling along to Nyhavn :)


    This was a pretty cool thing we saw on one of the construction walls near Nyhavn. It was called the Happy Wall and you could flip panels to create words or symbols on the wall.


    And here we have Nyhavn, or "New Haven" if you went with the English version


    The buildings date back as far as the 1600's, and sit right along the canal.


    As you walk down the path along the canal, you find many options for dinning.


    A look at the canal and the other side, which wasn't quite as "busy" if you will.


    Anytime I saw a sign that had the word "Fart" in it, I giggled like a 8 year old kid :)


    The canal had a lot of nice older ships and boats....


    ....and some that are not as nice to look at.


    Where we decided to have dinner for the night. This would create an opportunity to do something that I had not yet done in this country....


    ...try their Pizza!!! A little pricey (around $20), but it was pretty good and filling!


    As we walked further down, we saw this nice ice cream shop that Jeff and I would come back to later on in the evening after seeing the Little Mermaid


    Another look back at Nyhavn


    Off in the distance you could see one of the churches of Copenhagen on the other side of the main canal. I don't remember the denomination though.


    There was also a nice park right on the main canal and across the canal you could see the Opera House


    I see you retired submarine!


    And little did we know that we would actually be going to that large warehouse on the other side as that is where they had the extreme ropes course we would take on after our day at Bakken.


    And there she is, the Little Mermaid. I believe this statue was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen, who was one of the founders of the brewery that would become Carlsberg.


    Here you can find out more information about her.


    As you can see, there were not too many people here. We would see another time just how busy this place could get.


    Another look.


    Across the canal in the background.


    And a side view. Now that we have seen this symbol of the city, let's head back.


    Another church. While I am not entirely a very religious person, I still appreciate the architecture of some cathedrals and churches


    This was a rather fascinating fountain. and very elaborate.


    Not sure if I understand what was going on here, but.....


    ...this one was pretty easy to understand....he spits :)


    So as we headed back towards Nyhavn en route to go back to the hotel for the night, we walked down this street, and it led us to see something really neat that is part of the tradition of the Royal Army.


    The street would lead us to Amalienborg Palace, which is the royal residence of Queen Margrethe II.


    Here they have guards on duty at all times to protect the Queen.


    Every two hours they have smaller guard changes, and at noon each day they have the complete changing of the guard, complete with the royal army marching band. Since this was night time it was not the full fledged changing of the guard, but still neat to watch.


    Here are the new guards that will replace the old ones.


    So here is what they did at each guard station. The commander stops the company...


    ....one guard steps out of the formation towards the station...


    ...He then faces the guard he will replace (sometimes one would be left at the station even when two were there)....


    .....they swap places....


    ...the old guards join the company...


    ....they begin to march....


    ...and head for the next station.


    Here the officer has replaced all of the old guards.


    The commanding officer then goes on to replace the commanding officer of the old guards.


    And here we have all of the old gaurds


    That leaves one thing to do....


    Peace out!!!! We came back the next day to see the main changing of the guard as you will see in a later update.


    I found it rather interesting that they had a monument to Franklin D. Roosevelt in Copenhagen. Although they may attribute him to being part of the success in defeating the Germans in Europe during World War II.


    So as we made our ice cream stop, we had a chance to see this place at night, which was quite a pretty place.




    And just at the beginning of this place was this large anchor.


    Somehow I am wondering if Ross was here at the Happy Wall :)


    And we wrap up this update with a little tribute to the main reason why many of us came here. Thanks for checking out this update! Day two will be coming up next!

  6. Hey Everyone,


    After taking some time to get a few other things handled, I had some time tonight to prepare some pictures of the on-going exploration of Copenhagen before the TPR Scandinavia Tour began, so let's go on with our next update:


    Day 1.3: Rosenborg Palace


    Rosenborg Palace was originally built in 1606 as a summertime home of Christian IV and came to it's present state in 1626. It was used as the royal residence until the year 1710, and was used only twice more for the royal family to reside. When visiting Rosenborg, there are two parts of the palace to visit. The top three floors which include many pieces of furniture, portraits and the thrones of the palace make up one part, and the basement/cellar with pieces of weaponry and the crowns of the royal family of the era make up the second part. So let's check it out!


    The next stop of our exploration of Copenhagen would be Rosenborg Palace


    Like Cinderella's Castle in Florida, this one also has a moat! Only there were likely never any swan boats that rode around it.


    Let's head across and check it out!


    Before going into the castle, you have to stop here to leave bags and pay for admission (included with our Copenhagen Cards)


    As you can see, the Danish Military still places guard at this palace.


    Upon entering, you find many of the rooms to be like this one with some nice open space and many portraits all over.


    I believe if you push his head back, there is a red button that you can press to open a bookcase to go to the Batcave


    Royal possessions.


    This castle is bigger than the one at Disneyland, no?


    Royal clothing.


    And in here we will find....


    ....The royal toilet!


    The different rooms also had many pieces of beautiful trip that appeared to be hand carved.


    Very nice craftsmanship to be seen.


    Another room. Each floor probably had around 3-5 large rooms and an additional 3-5 smaller rooms on the side.


    More portraits, there were so many of them in the palace!


    Spiral stairs to go up!


    Many of the rooms had larger open space.


    More portraits


    Couldn't you just see a group of guys watching a football game here? They even have individual tables for chips and dip :)


    A better look at one of the portraits


    Some additional artifacts. I thought the helmet here was rather neat.


    When you go up to the third floor.....


    ...you come to where you will find the royal throne


    These lion statues look as though they are there to protect the king and queen.


    Another look at the royal throne.


    As you can see to the other side, this room was rather large, and there was an additional throne on the other side.


    I am not sure why there was only one here, but I thought that perhaps this may have been the throne if only the king or the queen was still alive.


    And again, you see wonderful craftsmanship on the molding on the ceiling.


    Such beautiful work


    And of course, an occasional pair of boobs.....you just have to look :)


    So after checking out the three floors above ground, we came back outside, and caught a changing of the guard at Rosenborg.


    It was rather fascinating to see this, and it would not be the only one we would see.


    When it was through, it was time to check out below ground.


    "Shhh....be quiet so they don't catch us in here"


    The basement featured items like swards.....


    ....and guns....


    ...and kegs!


    Jeff was more of a fan of the wine cellar.


    The weaponry was neat to see, and I was really fascinated by this armour


    Especially the elephant shoulder guards.


    They even had a few cannons


    As you go further down, you start getting into more valuable items. How can you tell?.....


    .....Well, I assumed the vault door may be a clue. So what is in here?


    Well, they have a royal staff....


    ...and several crowns.


    A closer look at this crown.


    And this update ends with another pair of crowns! The next update will end the first day of exploring Copenhagen as Jeff and I took a stroll around Nyhavn and visit the Little Mermaid Statue. Thanks for checking out the report, and I hope you all will come back for the next update!

  7. ^I think that was more like me falling over on my ass than taking a break, ha ha!


    Today I am happy to bring another culture update to this trip report.....


    Day 1.2: Wondering Around Copenhagen!


    So in the last update, Jeff and I had just visited the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, and since we had a good bit of time left in the day, we decided to venture over towards Rosenborg Palace and to make a visit to the round tower. Rosenborg Palace will be the next update, which this one will be more about the tower and the walk over to the palace. So let's go see what Copenhagen has to offer!


    After a 30 minute train ride we were back at Copenhagen Central Station, and ready to wonder over to see what the city has to offer.


    As you exit one side of the station, Tivoli Gardens is right there to welcome you! We would be there in a couple days, so let's see what else there is here.


    As a history fan, I absolutely loved seeing older buildings like this, especially with a very unique architecture compared to ours.


    Fountain outside of the building.


    VIKING BALL!!!!!!!!! (If I had more money I so would have bought this!)


    Walking through a courtyard of Copenhagen


    What was nice about this city was that there were some streets designated just for pedestrians to walk.


    Gave you a chance to see buildings from the middle of the street.


    Copenhagen also had its share of street performers. This guy was basically scaring the crap out of people as the walked by, and he had a squeaking device in his mouth so that he would have a squeaky voice when ever he spoke.


    One of the churches of Copenhagen.


    Again, I absolutely love the architecture of this city!


    Down the street was Christiansborg Palace. This is the current home of the Danish Parliament and government offices. We checked it out the next day.


    And here was the Round Tower. It is part of another church in Copenhagen.


    Another look before we head in.


    The information sign about the Round Tower


    This tower was really neat in that the walkway up was a round spiraling hallway. Almost like a spiral staircase without stairs.


    Old time latrine...I hope no one left any floaters!


    A glimpse outside of the tower


    Somehow I seem to find myself in uncomfortable situations from time to time.


    More information.


    And when you reach the top, you get some great views of the city!



    Christiansborg Palace


    Another church I believe?


    Hello Tivoli! I see you!


    A Stadium in the distance


    Cruise ship!




    Again, I absolutely loved the architecture of these buildings, and the sights of the city! But there is more to see, so let's head back down.


    But before we leave, you could actually enter the bell loft of the church.


    Some artifacts from the loft.


    This was further in, but you had to look through a window.


    More artifacts


    Again, this tower was really cool! This was one of Jeff's suggestions, and I am really glad that we did it!


    More Copenhagen buildings, perhaps of the residential variety.


    One thing I also thought was fascinating about Copenhagen was not just how bike-friendly the place was (Designated paths and traffic lights just for cyclists), but the fact that you would just leave your bike unlocked, and it would be perfectly fine. You would never see this in the U.S.


    Before going to Rosenborg, we took a stroll though this garden that was in front of the palace.


    A nice pathway that leads to a statue that tributes one of Copenhagen's most famous writers....


    ....one Hans Christian Andersen.


    Yep, if you are sick and tired of hearing the song "Let It Go", then the blame begins with this guy as he wrote the Snow Queen, which Frozen was based off of. He was also the writer of the Little Mermaid as well.


    And in the park was also one of the strangest statues I have ever seen. Plus if you get it at just the right angle......


    ......yep, it looks soooooo dirty!!!!!


    But alas, we end this update with a preview of the next update.....A visit to Rosenborg Palace. Thanks for checking it out and I hope you enjoyed it!


    In one of the little notches on the side was no ordinary emergency faucet...


    This looked like something out of Alice in Wonderland....nice touch guys!

  8. Since I still had some time today, I went ahead and got everything ready to do the next update, so here it is......


    Day 1.1: Roskilde and the Viking Ship Museum


    So one of my goals when signing up for this trip was that I wanted to make some additional cultural visits along with the wealth of awesome parks that would be a part of the tour. I spent a lot of time looking up different things to do in Copenhagen, and the Viking Ship Museum was one of the most anticipated cultural stops I wanted to make.


    This museum was created back in the 1960's when scientists discovered that there were five ships that had been sunken in the Fjord near Roskilde, and upon their discovery they excavated them, preserved them and rebuilt them. What remains of them now sit in the museum building The ships are also believed to be almost 1000 years old, as they have dated them to the year 1050 AD! They also theorize that the Vikings sank these ships intentionally so that it would block enemy ships from approaching their capital, which sat in present day Roskilde.


    There is also an outdoor section of the museum where they build replica Viking ships and, depending on the time of the year, will take passengers out into the Fjord on them. The rest of the town of Roskilde was very beautiful and quiet compared to that of Copenhagen. So let's take a look and see what Roskilde and the Viking Ship Museum have to offer!


    After a train ride from the airport, we find ourselves in the middle of Copenhagen. The awesome thing about the first hotel of the tour was that it was literally down the street from Tivoli Gardens!


    And here we meet Jeff! Jeff is leading us back to Copenhagen Central Station so that we can ride the train to Roskilde.


    Already loving the site of these older buildings. There are only a few places in the U.S. where you will find buildings that are anywhere near the same age as these.


    Upon arrival, it is always a good idea to see where to go.


    Luckily for us, they have signs to tell you how to get to the Viking Ship Museum.


    Roskilde, a nice little town!


    Jeff meets one of the locals.


    If I remember right, I believe this was the town hall.


    A nice little courtyard with one of the churches of Roskilde


    Walking through the neighborhood to get to the Fjord where the museum is found.


    Along the way, we found this replica of Roskilde


    A closer look.


    And here is the building that houses the indoor portion of the Viking Ship Museum. Not the largest museum, but it was worth checking out!


    Just before entering.


    And here are the Viking ships!


    More ships! The metal bands show the shape that the ship would have had if it was in perfect condition.


    This picture shows how the ships were found, as they believe they were set up as a blockade of enemy ships.


    Here you can see a picture from the excavation process. They drained the water from that middle section, and carefully removed the pieces of the ships.


    A front piece of one of the ships


    More ship pieces


    The first ship is a trading ship.


    The large width made it ideal for carrying different cargo from place to place. They would have planks on top of items that sat on the bottom so they could store more cargo on top.


    Close-up of the trading ship.


    Here is the second ship, which is a little long ship. I don't recall it's purpose, but longer and narrower ships typically were used for transportation of passengers.


    Another side view


    A look at the inside.


    The third ship was another trade ship.


    Side view of another trade ship.



    The fourth ship was the longest ship. This was a warship used to transport soldiers.


    A model of what the ship would have looked like back then


    And here is the smallest ship.


    How Viking warriors dressed.


    More artifacts


    This station demonstrated how the Vikings would make their sails, which I was fascinated to learn were made from wool.


    More about the sail making process.


    I cannot tell you how much I loved coming to this place! As a fan of history, this ranked right up there with going to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan in Mexico.


    Well, you know what they say...."When in Scandinavia, do as the Vikings do!"


    I could totally pull of being a Viking!


    One of the coolest refrigerator magnets I have seen!


    Now that we have seen the real ships, let's check out the outdoor section and see the replicas being built and completed replicas in the harbor.


    Here is one of the ships being worked on.


    A look at how they build the ships.


    These guys go for authenticity....no using power tools like a wussy, but rather hack away with an axe like a real Viking Man!!!


    The ship they are working on.


    In the harbor they had this little pool with miniature toy Viking ships


    The kids enjoy playing with them.


    "One day, I wanna grow up to be a real Viking ship!!!!"


    Here is a replica of the warrior ship.


    And here is her name.....no idea what it means.


    Jeff enjoying the Viking ship.


    A closer look at the ship


    Let's hop aboard shall we?


    As you can see, the soldiers would have sat on the cross beams, and they would have used oars to paddle the boat in there was not enough wind to sail.


    Another view of the long boat.


    Here was one of the smaller boats


    A view of the harbor heading towards the fjord


    Two more replicas


    A replica of the large trade ship.


    Looking back at where they build the ships.


    Another vessel.


    A look further down along the fjord


    This was really cool to see out in the fjord....a giant message in a giant bottle.....I wonder what it said?


    But now, was shall say bye to the Viking Ship Museum. I really enjoyed this place! If you are in Copenhagen, it is worth the ride over.


    Heading back to the train station, we took a walk through the park, and it sure was nice. This was a rather neat water feature that created the creek that went all the way through the park.


    More sights from the park


    And here you could see the church near the central part of town.


    Almost there


    This looked like an old stable.


    More Roskilde buildings


    And as we got back to town, we saw a few amusing things.


    Frozen Yogurt Is.......?


    Always like a good "Slut" sign.


    Oh good, I am not sure if I would want bagels if they were not to eat.


    This was a rather interesting way of cooking sausage as the hanging grill would actually swing around over the fire. It must help to cook everything more evenly.


    And we arrive back to the train station, so let's go back to Copenhagen. Hope you all enjoyed the update! Next will be our exploration of Copenhagen!

  9. Hello everyone!


    Welcome to my trip report of the 2014 Scandinavia Tour from Theme Park Review. This tour was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had, and am glad that I was able to be a part of it. Robb and Elissa have never failed to do an amazing job of putting together amazing trips. If you ever consider planning a trip similar to this of your own, I would bet that they may have some great tips and information to make the most of it, as they have shown an excellence in trip planning over the years.


    Now for this trip, this was my first time leaving the North American Continent (other than a trip to Hawai'i in 1996, but that is just the Tropical U.S. if you will), and so being a former social studies teacher and a fan of many disciplines of social studies, I was really looking forward to this trip! I had intentionally added a couple days before the TPR Tour began and an extra day after to explore both Copenhagen and Helsinki a little bit more. So the first few updates will focus in large part on these cultural adventures that were had with my tour roommate, Jeff.


    But like any other trip, you have to get there first, so let us start with the beginning:


    Day Zero: Journey to Copenhagen


    We first begin in a little place called Florida......


    Got my bags all packed and ready to head to Orlando International!


    The first flight will take us to Washington-Dulles airport....yeah new airport credit!!!


    Ready to fly!


    Were we are now.....


    ...and about half-way up the east coast is where we will go!


    Taking off


    Time to say bye to Orlando! see you again in about three weeks!


    First time in the Washington DC area in about 3 years, and I see that they have this...if only Dulles wasn't such a pain to get back to from the city, this would have been a nice way to kill the 6-hour layover.


    These have got to be the most bizarre things I have ever seen to be used to transport people around an airport.


    It's like they took subway cars and made monster trucks with them!


    But what visit to Washington DC would be complete without a visit to a shop with presidential gifts?


    I approve of this t-shirt!


    Just so happened that as I was at the airport, so were members of the DC United soccer team on their way to a road match.


    Walking through the international departures hall, you will find flags for many nations of the world, including one on this tour....Germany


    I also found three more of the flags representing our tour destinations. Norway, Sweden and Denmark (unfortunately they did not have a flag for Finland).


    And this is where we are going first!


    But as the time draws near for this flight, it's time to say bye to my home nation for a while....so long America.


    How true that statement is for meat this time....but we have some time to kill here in Dulles so let's wonder.


    Back at the gate, and ready to go to Copenhagen! This would be the longest flight I have ever taken, but at 7.5 hours, it is only a bit more than my previous longest (Boston to Seattle in 6 hours).


    The Scandinavian Airlines plane that will take us to Copenhagen.


    And my seat for the duration of the journey. Glad I picked an aisle seat as I didn't really care to sit for long periods of time when I wasn't napping.


    So here we are, about to take off from Dulles...


    ...and this is where we will be going.


    Yep, that is our destination


    And away we go! This was actually a really cool feature on the plane, where they had a camera on the bottom of the plane so you could see outside even without a window seat.


    They also had a front camera as well, which really didn't show much of anything for most of the flight until the end as you will see later.


    And here we have one last look at American Soil. Pretty soon it would just be clouds or water for a while on the bottom camera view.


    So two hours into this flight, and still excited!!!!


    ....three hours, and starting to loose the excitement a bit...


    ....after four hours I started to get a little stir crazy......


    ....but five hours it comes back!!!!......Okay, so those were really a span of about a minute and a half after about two hours on the flight, but hey, you have to keep yourself entertained somehow, right? :)


    And now, for the great intercontinental leap...A good time for a nap.


    Couple hours of shut eye later, and we are almost across the Atlantic.


    By this point already, I am sure this is further from home than I have been before.


    A look as the sun begins to rise. I love these kinds of views from onboard a plane.


    And now we are over land again....


    Hello Scotland! I hope to come and see you sometime in the future!


    And this is where the excitement really starts, as we are about to land and I can take my first steps on a new continent!


    The view below the plane.


    Hello Denmark! I can't wait to explore you!


    Another view of a small Danish town.


    And here we begin our final approach.


    I sure hope the pilot doesn't cut it short! I didn't bring my swim shorts with me!


    Getting closer........


    ......and we made it!!


    Pulling up to the terminal.....


    and just like that, I can proclaim....."Holy S**t!!! I am in Europe!!"


    And after a brief question and a stamp, I am legally granted access to Denmark!


    Thank you Carlsberg for the greeting!!!


    So I saw Carlsberg signs everywhere, which leads me to believe that Carlsberg is to Denmark what Budweiser is the United States, only Carlsberg isn't melted yellow snow.


    Next stop after customs was to pick up my Copenhagen Card, which included admission to several museums and attractions, as well as the use of their public transportation.


    So now that we have arrived, it's time to hop on the train and head for Copenhagen Central. On the next update, we will catch up with Jeff and head over to Roskilde to visit the Viking Ship Museum!!

  10. This and the Orlando Eye projects make me feel kind of like they are starting to turn I-Drive into a family-friendly version of the Strip in Vegas. Sure it isn't quite as BIG as the hotels in Vegas, but the "Entertainment Districts" that were mentioned earlier seem fairly similar to what multiple hotels on the strip have. You add these two places with the Pointe, and I-Drive is building up a fairly decent collection of these districts.


    On a another thought, sure it sucks to see the demise of the old time mini-golf and FEC places, but in a place like Orlando with Disney and Universal (Which now both have mini-golf on site), it is very hard for those places to attract customers away from the big boys. The benefit that these newer places on I-Drive will have is they will feature very large attractions that are not at either Universal or Disney (That being the Orlando Eye wheel and the Skyscraper coaster).


    As far as how good the coaster will be, if it is anything like El Loco at Adventuredome, I can only imagine how awesome it would be to do such things, but over 400 feet up!

  11. And the funny thing is that people will loose their minds when the $100 barrier is crossed. They will swear NEVER to come to the park ever again!!!!!.....and yet they will still come. In all reality as other have already mentioned, when you compare the amount of a one day pass at Disney to other forms of entertainment, it isn't so bad. When I was looking for Book of Mormon tickets back at the time they were touring in Orlando, you could find seats over $120. That is only for a two and a half hour show. (A great one, but still a short time compared to the 8-12 hours you can spend at a Disney Park).

  12. I am sure this will do just fine. You have to consider that Washington DC is one of the most visited cities in the country, and not just by Americans, but people from all over the world. Those who have already been will like doing it since they haven't seen D.C. this way before. Seattle has one right on Elliot Bay on one of the piers, and it had a significantly long line one of the days that I was there visiting around Christmas time.


    I think the placement in National Harbor will be fine as well, because as mentioned before, there are not a lot of sky scrapers to block your view when you are at the top. Plus Washington DC really isn't that big of a city in total area (I think around 8 square miles, compared to 48 or so for the Walt Disney World Resort), so I would imagine you could see some of the more historic buildings from there pretty well.


    Not to mention that while you may not have repeat customers in the sense of coming to ride it once a month, or once a year, or even every single trip. I could see a scenario though where someone may visit with friends, and ride it. A couple years later they meet their significant other and when they go for a trip to DC, they decide to ride it as one of them had done it before. Then fast forward sometime after that when they have kids and they bring them with to Washington DC, they may bring them to the Giant Wheel as well.

  13. Hey everyone!


    So I recently returned to Florida from visiting family in the Seattle area for Christmas and New Years, and on my return trip, my connection was through Minneapolis. Little did I know when the flights were booked that there is a light rail train that connects the airport to the Mall of America. As it would turn out, I had about a 4 hour layover, and thus I made an unplanned stop to the park for a few rides.


    I had previously been to the park when we moved from Washington to North Carolina, and my brother Kellen and I did multiple laps between the Ripsaw (now the Orange Streak) and the log ride. That was nearly 15 years ago, so there were a few new things to check out! I didn't have enough time to hit as many of the rides as I wanted to since I only gave myself about an hour and a half in the park, plus it was a bit busier with it being a Friday afternoon, but I was able to score two new credits with the Fairly Odd Coaster and Spoungebob coaster. Avatar was closed for maintenance, so I also took a lap on the Orange Streak and tried out the newer Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ride, which I had never seen before, but thought it was a fun ride.


    Off the bat, this place is kind of hard to get as many good views for pictures of individual rides as they are pretty much built on top of each other and with little space between. I also was going off of limited time since I wanted to get a few new credits and have enough time to ride back to the airport for my flight home. This was also my first time using my new DSLR camera that I got for Christmas before going to Seattle at a theme park, so please feel free to let me know how you think the pictures turned out as I am still kind of getting the hang of using a more advanced camera.


    Thank you all for checking out this short update of my layover visit to Nickelodeon Universe!


    After arriving in Minneapolis, I made my way right to the light rail to head to the Mall of America. I think this is pretty awesome that Minneapolis has set this up! I will definitely take advantage of it next time I have a longer layover here.


    And here comes the train to the Mall of America! These trains cannot be very old, and they were very clean too (Other than the floors from the salt tracks people brought from walking on roads and sidewalks).


    The one thing I also noticed.....it was really cold in here! At the time we landed it was 18 degrees F, and this tunnel felt like a freezer because of it, but no worries......


    .....I still was able to dress warmly since I had been visiting Seattle.


    Yeay! I got to see snow again....although I am okay with it staying up north.


    After about a 12 minute ride, we were to the Mall of America!


    We have arrived.


    After exiting the train, you head through here, walk up the stairs/escalator, go through a few doors, and after a short walk through the mall.......


    ......you are at Nickelodeon Universe!


    So my first ride as a spin on the Fairly Odd Coaster.


    Same layout as the Spinning Dragons at Worlds of Fun which I had just ridden for the first time back in June, but felt quite different because of the surroundings.


    My car got a good amount of spinning in the second half of the ride


    Going up......




    After the midcourse you go for a nice little dive.


    In general, I do really like Eurofighters. While I would pick Mystery Mine over this one, I think the ceiling definitely adds to the thrill of this ride.


    I really like the way this coaster pretty much covers the entire park as you go from end to end.





    So before this visit, I had no idea that this ride existed. I guess I just didn't keep up to date with this park as well as others once the conversion to Nickelodeon Universe was done.


    Since it was unlike anything I had ever seen, I felt compelled to give it a spin.


    There were some folks who were spinning like crazy completing barrel roll after barrel roll. I think it would have made me sick if I had pulled that off.



    Overall I did really like this ride. It would be cool to see more of these built.


    Thank you again Minneapolis for being awesome and having this system in place!


    A nice little moment of air.


    Next I rode the Spoungebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge. I was really looking forward to this one especially, just to see how the ride was given the surroundings and to compare it to Mystery Mine at Dollywood and Untamed at Canobie Lake.


    One thing that I thought was awesome was just how close you come to the ceiling. Especially since you are higher than the bottom of the support structure of the roof when you hit the top.


    Past-vertical drops are always good


    Loop lovers.....rejoice!!!!!!


    Next up was the Pepsi Orange Streak. This was the one coaster I had already been on from my previous visit back in 1999.


    Certainly not the most intense ride, but a fun ride that gives you a great tour of the park.


    The theming of the ride is pretty well done too, having the control panel made to look like a pizza cart.


    With moving side to side and pointing the wings in different directions, it helps you spin. Too bad I don't have a good weight distribution, although it did make for a few moments of hanging upside down which was a bit of a rush at times.


    And to wrap it up, I would like leave you with a thought from Spoungebob.....Think Happy! Even if I still have two credits to go, I was happy to have had the chance to come here and spend a decent chunk of my layover riding rides and taking pictures rather than sitting around an airport. I am glad you all checked out my Photo Trip Report, and hope you enjoyed it!

  14. All those additions sound "nice", but to be honest, quite boring. I am not a fan of all those chain restaurants. I mean, If I am travelling from far away, why would I want to go to a place that I can find at any mall/strip center in anywhere USA? Why not put in a wallymart too while they are at it ? It all sounds very generic to me. Give me local and/or unique anyday over a chain place.


    I'm with you on that. When I travel I try to avoid the chain restaurants because I can go there anytime. I like the more local ones. But when you are marketing a project the big names draw attention. Maybe after this thing gets started local places will start popping up.


    People are creatures of habit. 9/10 times they'll gravitate towards the places they are familiar with instead of taking the risk of trying a new place while on vacation.


    I have seen it first hand with my part-time side job at Flippers, a local pizza chain here in Orlando. We have had customers come in and say they were looking for Pizza Hut. I too prefer to try out local places, especially when it comes to pizza, but in the tourist areas of Orlando you certainly have a multitude of chain restaurants, and they seem to do pretty well as they provide that level of familiarity that Joey mentioned.


    Also, if They owners are charging a premium price to rent out the space in their facility, the chains may be more likely to have the resources to be able to start a new location there than a start-up.

  15. I see people wearing Hershey shirts all the time when in the parks here in Florida. When I am at work at Flippers, people are surprised when I tell them how much I really like the park. Seems like many people would think that 'locals' would only like the parks here in Florida.


    Good to see the addition of more family rides, plus the new credit gives the kids that first coaster experience if Hersheypark is the only park they visit.


    -Gary T.

  16. I'm against pay rides at POP parks. Honestly Go Karts, Sling Shots, Skyscrapers and Sky Coasters make a park look tacky IMO. Your already paying at least $40 to go to the park and drop another $15 for a 3 minute ride?

    Upcharges like sky coasters, games, and go karts are a noticable portion of a park's income. Would you rather pay more to get into the park?



    Yeah. I would rather pay $60.00 to have about 40 free rides than $50.00 for 35 free rides. Parks were fine for years without upcharge rides and then around 1995, Sky Coasters, Go Karts, Slingshots, And pay rides starting showing up.


    The thing about it though is that if you go to places where you pay for rides individually, the attractions that are mentioned here are still typically priced higher than most of the other rides that would be in the same park. Take the Fun Spot parks here in Central Florida for example. The Sky Coaster is priced at $40 per ride if you go solo, where as the big coasters (White Lightning, Rockstar Spinning Coaster) are priced at $9 per ride.


    I don't see anything wrong with them having rides that you pay extra for as it is an experience people will pay for, which gives the parks more revenue, which means more things are added and improved to the park. If you really don't like having to pay for such things, then don't do it (Just like how if you don't like how much the food costs in the park, then eat outside the park). Plus could you imagine how horribly long a line would be for a sky coaster if it was included in the price of admission?


    -Gary T.

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