Today, we made our final port stop of the voyage. Due to unforseen circumstances, our planned visit to Nynashamn yesterday had to be cancelled. Instead, today we visited Aarhus, in Denmark.
We arrived at about 12 noon, with all-aboard time being 4:30. Three shore excursions had been hastily cobbled together, but Tracey and I had asked for a day off from escorting, which meant we had several hours to explore.
As with Helsinki, the weather was cold, but dry. First impressions, as we alighted onto the quayside, were a little uncertain; extensive building work along the harbourside gave the impression of having arrived at a very large building site. Once in the town itself, however, I found myself warming to the place.
We’d been given a map of the town by a local representative. It wasn’t a great deal of use, since it wasn’t in English, but it did help us to navigate towards the Cathedral, a magnificent Romanesque basilica, which was quite impressive. With a length of 93 metres, Aarhus Cathedral is the longest church in Denmark, with the capacity to seat 1200 people.
From the cathedral, we headed towards the Museum of Modern Art, another large, but quite modern, building at the other end of town, alongside the canal. With an entrance fee of almost £40 for the two us, though, we opted for just have a coffee and a cake in its cafe area. It seemed just that little bit too high a price to pay to see work that we’d almost certainly not fully appreciate, modern art not really being our thing (if it had been a tenner, we would almost certainly taken the plunge, but 20 quid each?… naaah!).
Browsing through some of the shops on our way back towards the ship, we soon realised that Aarhus is an expensive place altogether. There was one point, in an designer shop when we almost succumbed to spending some money, but, again, the price was, ultimately, just that little bit too high. Designer clothes, designer furniture and designer jewellery assailed our senses at every turn… quite an exclusive place… it was with a sense of relief, then, to discover a little Viking museum which was… wait for it…. free!
Despite being small, we quite enjoyed the short time we spent in the Viking museum, which told us all about the history of the city, and potted history of how extensively the Vikings spread throughout Northern Europe.
We were back on board ship by 3:30, just in time for afternoon tea, so we were able to compensate for missing lunch.
As I write this, we’re making use of our last bit of wi-fi, and a final opportunity to upload anything to the blog before we arrive back home in Tilbury on Friday. It’s formal night again tonight, and tomorrow is a sea day, when I will be running the last of my painting classes followed by an exhibition.
I may get the chance to add a final post on Friday while we are waiting to disembark, but if not, I’m happy to report that it’s been a successful cruise. All the watercolour classes have been well-received, and St. Petersburg didn’t disappoint.
As always, though, I’m looking forward to getting back home to our fast broadband and big shower…