Sunday, June 16, 2013

Roskilde


heading out - the residential road in front of our cottage
When the annual rock festival isn’t on, the big draw to Roskilde is the Viking ship museum and the Domkirke which is the Westminster Abby of Denmark – a church from the middle ages where Danish kings and queens are buried. The draw for me to Roskilde was the idea that it would be a nice bike ride from Solrød Strand. I talked to Bo and Charlotte about the distance, the terrain (there are no hills in Denmark), and whether or not it was a good idea – Bo was a little skeptical about the distance (about 15 km) but Charlotte thought it would a very nice ride and drew me a map of how to get there on the bike trails. So Susan, Chuck, and I set out in the morning on our trusty bikes and had a really nice ride to the town.
on the way to Roskilde
Susan and Chuck went into the Viking ship museum but I couldn’t muster enough interest in recreated and excavated Viking vessels (I just kept thinking of Far Side cartoons) so I sat out in the sunshine with my book while they looked around for about an hour. Then we rode to the Domkirke which Chuck, having been there before, said is quite phenomenal, but we couldn’t get in because guests were arriving for a very formal wedding taking place there. I can’t imagine that the inside of the church was more spectacular than some of the gowns we saw on the ladies, and having been in old churches all over Europe, I really didn’t mind missing the interior; European churches eventually all look alike, with the possible exception of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona which might be the only one which has made a real impression on me (don’t get me wrong, Notre Dame is a site to behold and the cathedral in Salisbury is pretty cool, I’m not a complete Philistine), but like I said, the real event for me was the bike ride. Until we started for home. And it began to rain. And rain. And the wind began to blow. Gale force. Possibly an exaggeration but the slight inclines which we should have been able to coast down became a struggle in first gear. We sat out the worst of the storm under a bus shelter for about 20 minutes and then continued on, peddling and dripping until we got home. It was still a nice day though and it was even a nice bike ride. The bike paths here are fantastic – there’s practically nowhere you can’t get to on a paved path, which is either completely off the road or clearly designated along-side the road. And while the ride home was in a way quite awful, it never really crossed over to painful. I think the photos show that it was in fact a delightful day.