Week 2 Family Sailing Denmark

16th July - 21st July

150713 5 Katherine in Samso Squeeze.jpg150713 13 Dinner at Samso Restaurant Serious Crab Claw.jpg

Week 2 of family onboard saw us move north to the harbour of Ballin on the island of Samso. Samso is an island located 15 kilometres off the mainland of Jutland with a population of around 3700 people that swells dramatically during summer. A definite holiday island we wanted the family to experience the “madness” of rafting in a busy summer harbour, Ballin certainly delivered. On arrival we were allocated a space alongside a pontoon where normally a local 80 foot power boat would reside. To our right sat another power boat around 65 feet. Well much to the amazement of everyone (except those of us who have experienced this before) within minutes of our arrival an X362 squeezed its way in between us. By the end of the evening we had a wall of boats in front of us and the harbour was well and truly racked and stacked. The following day the owner of our berth arrived home early necessitating a shuffle of boats that saw us backed in between the nose of the two power boats and rafted to a Dutch power boat. We have to say the harbour master in Ballin did an amazing job of manipulating the parking of so many boats until the harbour truly was filled to capacity. 

150714 4 Turistfart Bus Samso.jpg

Our first night on Samso we dined at the Skipperly Restaurant located at the end of the harbour. The seafood dishes here were simply exquisite both in presentation and taste and made for a special birthday dinner for Lee. The following night we dined at Saks and though more casual then the previous nights restaurant there were no complaints about the Saks Hamburgers. We had been told that the kartofflers (potatoes) on Samso are the best in Denmark. Well having had them two nights in a row we would have to agree. As the Turistfart - the 2 hour island tour bus - was booked out Andrew and I opted to use our tour day to cycle to the neighbouring town of Tranebjerg, Chris and Scott hit the beach (not the water) and Shan and Ian checked out the island via the local bus.

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Samso Racked and Stacked 

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From Samso it was a long days sail to Gilleleje, the most northern town on the island of Zealand, listed as the oldest fishing port in Denmark today it holds the ranking of the 5th largest harbour. On our arrival it was full of both fishing and cruising boats. People overflowed from the local fish and chip shop and children once more lined the waters edge catching and racing crabs, a summer tradition in every Danish harbour. 

150716 6 On deck sailing Helsingor Ian Shan Scott and Chris.jpg

We overnighted here before making the short hop onto Helsingor, a familiar harbour that we had last visited in 2013. The “over 50 feet” harbour has the advantage of being uncrowded, close to town and with a backdrop of both the Culture Centre and Kronborg Castle. 

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A busy tourist day on the Friday for the boys last day was planned in Helsingor. First stop Kronborg Castle, a dominant castle perched on the seaside looking out to Sweden. Built in the 15th century by Erik of Pomerania it was later refurbished by Frederick the II in a Renaissance Style. In 1629 the castle was razed by fire with only the chapel remaining untouched. Christian IV then set about rebuilding the castle and modernised it in the Baroque style. In 1658 it was attacked by the Swedes and during this time many of the castles prized possessions including Fredericks IV’s ornamental Fountain and a Table Canopy were looted and taken back to Sweden as spoils of war. This table canopy was kept in Swedish stores as it could not be used in Sweden as it was simply too Danish, a saving grace as it is now one of only 2 Table Canopies left in the world. For a short period of time whilst the National Museum of Stockholm is undergoing renovation Kronborg Castle has had the 426 year old canopy returned. Unfortunately for the Danes the canopy must be returned. 

150717 22 Kronborg Slot The Table Tapestry one of only 2 left in existence.jpg150717 17 Kronborg Slot The Chapel 1582.jpg

The castle was no longer used as a residence after 1690 and in the 1700 became army barracks. After the army left in 1923 the castle was renovated by the crown back to the way it was in the days of Frederick II and Christian IV. It took several hours for us to wander through the many impressive rooms including The Royal Chambers, The Great Hall or Ballroom, once the longest hall in Europe being 62m long to the Small Hall where seven of an original 40 tapestries  commissioned by Frederick II in 1580 were on display. The 40 tapestries portrayed the 100 kings in the history of Scandinavia and what we found most interesting was that some of the descriptions were rather humorous if not derogative towards some of the Kings. One in particular was obviously not the most liked as the script basically indicated if you are fool, do not take advise then you and your people will be poor. The Chapel which survived the fire of 1629 had its original altar, oak benches and organ from the early 18th century intact and gave an insight into the regalness that the castle must have exuded in the days of Frederick II and Christian IV.

150717 30 The National Maritime Museum Old Dockyard now cafe.jpg

The last area of the castle to be investigated were The Casemates, “Home in Darkness'. The Casemates were situated in the Castles four protruding bastions and were where the soldiers would live for extended periods of time during sieges and bombardments. The damp smell that hung in the air as we stumbled through the maze of the Casemates by torch light made you appreciate the mental strength and loyalty it must have taken to stay down there for your King. 

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Lunch was a short walk away to “The Hole” - literally a hole that was once the dry dock of the harbour prior to its conversion to the Danish Maritime Museum in 2012.

The Maritime Museum prior to the redevelopment of the dock yards was housed in Kronborg Castle. Now it lives within a beautifully designed building beneath the ground between the dramatic Culture Centre and Kronberg Castle. Unlike any other museum we have visited the exhibits of both past and present were totally interactive. You could not only read the scripts of past letters but you could hold an old ear peace and listen, shipping ropes lay around for you to feel, boat hulls actually said “sit on me”, it was easy to lose time in this very informative and interesting building. 

150717 36 Chris Birthday tshirts.jpg

Our last night on board with Chris and Scott we took the opportunity to celebrate upcoming birthdays. July for the Boller’s is rather celebratory and we had managed a belated birthday for Shan, marked Ian’s 50th, Lee’s 52nd almost made Andrew’s (52nd) and within the next two weeks we would have celebrated Christopher’s and Scotts birthdays. So birthday presents flowed which is special when we are rarely in the same continent at this time of year. 

Saturday 18th was both a sad and exciting day. Sad as Lee took the boys to the airport where after a drama with air flights we managed to successfully get them back on the plane for their long trip home to Australia.

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Exciting as we had good winds and sailed under jib to Tuborg Haven that afternoon with Ian helming. On arrival into Tuborg we were surprised to find out that the X-Yacht Gold Cup had not finished the day prior as we had thought so that everyone was still in harbour. This gave us an opportunity to catch up with a lot of Danish friends that we would not have otherwise had the opportunity to do. We even manage to catch up with Torsten Carine and Oskar from Flensburg and have just an extra bonus few hours in the company of such a delightful little man. 

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Dinner Saturday night was at the Tuborg Yacht Club - a very special meal both in taste and service. A fitting special dinner for our arrival into Copenhagen and the last port for Shan and Ian. 

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Before their departure there was time for a little sight seeing of Copenhagen including the Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Slot (Mary’s House) and Rosenborg Slot the residence of Christian IV in 1606. This castle was used by successive monarchs until the building of Fredensborg Slot, built by Frederick the II as he felt the need for a little more space. Fredensborg became the preferred castle and is today still used by the Royal family for Spring and Autumn visits and special state affairs. No longer in use as a residence Rosenberg was converted to a museum and opened to the public in 1838. It has on display a collection of Royal Heirlooms, coronation furnishings and family Portraits. In the vaults of the castle are housed the Royal Treasury including bejewelled riding gear, adorned swords of State, ornate jewellery sets and the most impressive "Crown of the Absolute Monarch.” It was a really impressive to castle or slot to visit and many hours would be needed to really take into appreciation what was on display. 

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So came to an end the visit of Shan and Ian. Tuesday 23rd saw them on their way back to Australia. 

Our much anticipated time with family onboard, sharing Denmark had come to an end. 

But as one journey finishes another is to start. Joined by Sue and Pete Chilman from Darwin we now prepare for a bit of sailing. Ireland here we come.

(Click for more photos)

 

© SV Katherine 2017      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Faro Portugal with Askari of Australia