The Ultimate Travel Guide
This travel guide to the almost indescribable marvels of Scandinavia was
composed without ever having been to the countries described. Any resemblance to
actual persons and places in Scandinavia is purely coincidental.
Chapter 1: Denmark
Though Denmark is mostly pancake-flat, Himmel-bjeryet (Sky Mountain) rises to 18 feet above sea level, sometimes nineteen if you count a molehill. Eight more
feet were added in 1875 by King Frederick to thrill avid mountaineers.
The Little Mermaid keeps vigil on a rock across the harbor from Copenhagen. Once she lost
her pretty, little head to a handsome Swede, but she soon came to her senses, and now everything is back to normal in the kingdom.
Niels Juel, Denmark's great naval hero, borrowed the king's royal cabbage shredder and made cole slaw of the attacking Swedish fleet at Køge in 1677.
In Ringsted, the Church cannonized Knüd Lavard, who was the last Danish saint to apply for the honor while still living.
Svenborg, thanks to its diving board, is the jumping-off point to the many smaller isles in the south of Denmark.
Danish troops are trained experts in the latest techniques of modern warfare in case their carnivals are ever attacked.
The Port of Odense is known as the "Butterpat Capital" of the world. Here butter is
pressed into the 2000 lb. pat preferred by modern Danish housewives then shipped round the country's many islands.
From Praplyen restaurant in Copenhagen's famous Tivoli Gardens, parents can view an authentic restored Viking merry-go-round giving rides to their kiddies
The rich, fertile provinces of Schweswig and Holstein were a pretty big bone of contention between claimants
Denmark and Germany for several generations. In their grassy pastures the cows produced a lot of milk and butter and cheese. Now you know why they are so sensitive in that area. Who should have Schweswig and Holstein was a big deal, enough to start very messy conflicts, which were called "The Cow Wars. Why? Nobody knows for sure, and the local cows couldn't make any sense of it. To their thinking, anything but grass was a petty concern.
Egeskov Castle in Odense was built on big oak piles in the 16th century. Yes, oak piles! Why? Cement foundations were unknown back then and logs were plentiful. The only drawback, the logs moved about and the castle tended to rock 'n' roll during stormy weather and high winds.
The Little Belt Bridge links Funen and Jutland Islands, and whenever a big cruiseship needs to pass beneath the belt is tightened a notch or two to raise it higher.
The Goose Tower in King Atterdag's Castle stands 115 feet tall. The Golden Goose at the tower's top
commemorates a legend no sensible Dane believes, but it draws busloads of German and Japanese tourists wearing thick-soled Nikes and carrying thick guidebooks and camcorders. Once a century, but at no set date, the fabled goose is supposed to lay a solid golden egg. Some tourists camp out for weeks in tents hoping to see it happen and be first to run for it.
Christian IV, King of Denmark, created seven new chairs of higher learning, "Advanced Fireworks," "Pastries & Cream Tortes," "Cross Country Skiing,", et cet., at the University of Copenhagen, which he designed himself in the palace workshop with his royal skill saw (a present from the Queen for his birthday).
Of the Scandinavians, the Continental Danes are easily the most laid back in lifestyle. Cigars and SURFIN' USA sweatshirts MADE IN CHINA are "de rigeur" in much of Copenhagen's sophisticated cafe society.