Friday, August 24, 2007

Sailing the Baltic...

I just finished up a two-week stay in Copenhagen, Denmark. The trip's purpose was an academic symposium on the history of technology (I'm vice-president of the group), but the highlight was a post-conference excursion from Helsingør Harbour to Hven, a small island which now belongs to Sweden where Tycho Brahe did his early observations of the heavens.

For historians of technology, of course, this is probably enough, but these days I'm a sailor first, so the highlight of the trip was seeing some of the traditional sailing ships in the Helsingør Harbour and being out on the water (albeit on a ferry) among scores sailboats.

The little harbour at Hven was stunningly picturesque. Who wouldn't want to sail there from nearby Sweden or Denmark for lunch - obviously, a lot of people did just that!

And the return trip, which took us from Hven to Copenhagen (right down the main harbour channel past the famous Little Mermaid) and to Newhaven (a street along a harbour canal lined with cafes and perfect for people watching), also took us through even more happy sailors enjoying summer on the Baltic.

A few days later, I went with my friend Jan Tapdrup (with whom I stayed on for a week), to the in Roskilde, outside Copenhagen. I took a ride with a dozen other tourists on a reconstructed Viking-like fishing vessel. There was no wind, so we lucky tourists got to row for the 50 minute excursion, but it was great fun anyway. If any of you out there are Danish to the core and would like to purchase a newly constructed Viking boat (14 feet or so upwards), they make them and sell them at the museum.

More photos


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