A Travellerspoint blog




semi-overcast 60 °F


Our last day ashore was spent in Copenhagen. Like all of Scandinavia, we love it, and we admire the Danes. They have developed a well-functioning, happy, cooperative society in which their resources are used imaginatively to the benefit of all. They are kind and funny and helpful and surprisingly diverse, and they love their country. We ate at a nice restaurant on Nyhavn, a waterfront street packed with brightly colored 17-18th century houses; we shopped at Illum and caught the view from their 4th floor terrace, and we gave thanks for the past 137 days of travel, the last 11 of which we were blessed to share with our son Bruce. Did we have a favorite time/place? It is impossible to choose. The wilds and stark beauty of the Antarctic and Arctic made us gasp; the beaches of the Seychelles and Zanzibar brought us great delight; seeing Ova Sünder in Istanbul and Hugh Bryant in Cardiff made the world seem small; having Bruce with us brought us much fun - and travel help! Our ministry on the Whisper was a source of deep satisfaction, and seeing old friends and making new ones was of course a deep blessing. We were also blessed by seeing the passengers of this ship "pitch and roll" as ports were closed to us and itineraries changed - the "mystery cruise" some began to call it, and sometimes it was. We had too many Covid tests to count and too many friends were quarantined, but we sailed through all the unexpected events and really did enjoy every minute as we adapted and Silversea adapted and we all feel like intrepid travelers.
The last photo was taken as we departed on Sunday, here with our butler, Prashant, a truly skilled professional with a warm heart and a fine sense of humor. We are glad to have been in his care.

Goodbye - and thanks to all of you who have kept in touch with us.

Posted by HopeEakins 16:02 Archived in Denmark Comments (3)


Pulpits in a humane and progressive city

sunny 59 °F


We love Aalborg, an ancient city in Jutland, currently being transformed into a vibrant, friendly, center in northern Denmark. Our ship docked downtown, next to a cultural center whose architect, Jørn Utzon, designed the fabulous Sydney (Australia) Opera House. Nearby, the Domkirke (Cathedral of St. Botolph, patron of seafarers) has a dramatic and highly carved pulpit, the foundation of which = Moses holding the tablets of the Law.

Then on to Gug Church, founded in the 1100's, demolished in 1555, and rebuilt in 1969. This church looks nothing like the Cathedral! It was built in a developing planned community, next to a supermarket and a nursery school, and everything about this place is designed to connect sacred and secular, not diminishing the mystery of the holy nor forgetting God's incarnation in the midst of a real and tangible world. WE LOVE this church. Let's start with the bell tower: it looks like a prison watch tower at first, and then it looks like a sign of God is watching over God's people as they go about their lives. The building itself is rough concrete marked with the imprint of the wood that shaped it and pierced with stripes of glass letting light pour inside. Also inside tiny lights twinkle like stars. The odd twisted sculpture over the altar spirals beside the wall paintings in a dance that connects Word and Sacrament; it is non-representational, a strong sign that God cannot be depicted/contained in a single symbol. The altar is shaped like a table; twelve Royal Copenhagen dinner plates sit in shallow depressions around the sides - ready for any 12 apostles who might come to be fed at the Holy Communion. The Baptismal font is a concrete trough lined with metal; water slowly drips into it and then flows away into an open channel that leads outside the church. THIS pulpit bears the beginning of John's Gospel affixed to a plaque made of newspapers compressed into a panel. A good model for preachers! The rear of the church (filled with yellow chairs) can be partitioned off to be used as a gathering place for the community. All remarkable, wonderful, and surprising. Deo gratias!

Posted by HopeEakins 10:44 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

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