We have sailed into Odense, Denmark. Named for the Norse god, Odin, this must be the epicenter of Viking culture. As it turns out this is more the birthplace of Denmark’s favorite son, Hans Christian Andersen, then a Viking encampment. Our dear friend and Danish host, Dea, has informed us that Vikings were mostly farmers and all this talk about rape and pillaging is pure myth. That been said, I would much rather keep some of my illusions in tact and think of Vikings as the spitting image of their Gods; fierce, courageous and brooding.
The history of St. Canute’s Cathedral does very little to dispel the Viking myth. King Canute and Prince Benedict were both slaughtered by angry peasants on the altar of nearby St. Alban’s Priory in 1086. Arriving at the site to collect her dead husband’s remains, Queen Adela said the small church emminated a golden light. Pilgrims soon began to show up to have their infirmities cured. Never ones to let let good propaganda go to waste, the Catholic Church canonized King Canute in 1108 and moved the Saint’s remains into the newly constructed Cathedral. And the miracles just keep on coming.
We’ve had a few snow flurries in Denmark. Mostly the air has been clear and sharp, but winter is still with us. The sun stays low in the sky and the trees haven’t begun to soften their mark on the surroundings.
16th and 17th century timber houses are scattered throughout the old town.
Finally, the “What the Hell Is It?” section.
I asked a lot of people what this is. Either nobody knew or thought I was an idiot for asking.
These are the Danish version of French balconies. Actually, they’re pretty cool and really open up a room.
These devices come in a variety of designs. They have a mirror on each side and allow you to set in the house and keep an eye on anything happening up and down the street. Apparently this is a very popular pastime in Denmark.