When we woke up this morning the Black Watch was gliding slowly along the river, just about to dock in Aalborg, Denmark’s fourth largest city situated right on the waterfront. We hadn’t booked any city tours today as the ship was docked literally across the road from the town; we could see a pub called the ‘John Bull’ just across the way.
The streets of Aalborg were narrow with distinctive, colourful buildings, some of which featured heavy beams in a mock-Tudor style. Some of the walls leaned slightly and made you think of the “little crooked house”. At 9.30am we still had half an hour before the shops opened, but it gave us a good chance to have a look around the maze of attractive little streets.
Every other building seemed to be a pub, bar or restaurant, which isn’t really suprising when you learn that the Danes are among the biggest consumers of beer in Europe, each person drinking an average of 90 litres a year. As we hadn’t been to Aalborg before we decided we’d find a shop selling postcards, then write them out while sitting enjoying a Danish beer.
At 10.00am the shutters and canopies of the shops started opening up, the proprietors placing tables containing their wares outside their shops, to try to tempt us to go in. Looking at the prices, in Danish kroner, we decided that Denmark, like the other Scandinavian countries, is very expensive compared to Britain. However, the average worker in Denmark probably earns a lot more than we do in Britain, so the prices will seem normal to them.
We found a newsagent selling postcards and stamps so we bought some, and noticed that the postbox was situated very handily outside. We walked round for a bit, looking for a bar or café with tables and chairs outside, as the sun was very hot.
Eventually we found a little outside bar, with tables and chairs set out under large umbrellas, and we each ordered a beer, just selected at random from the array available. Mine was called Leiff and was a dark ale, with a slightly malty, sweet taste and came in a 33cl glass. Trevor’s was more of a lager and came in a half-litre glass, icy cold and with the condensation gathering on the side of the glass. They were just the ticket, sitting in the bright sunshine. 🙂
I wrote out the postcards and we enjoyed our beers, but at some point a horrid smell assailed our senses and we noticed a jetting wagon had pulled up in the street and was jetting out the sewer, thus creating the stink. Of all the places it could have gone in Aalborg, it had to come near us! Thankfully it didn’t stay too long and we weren’t sorry to see it go.
Once we’d posted the cards we had another look around this pretty little town. One thing we noticed was that the locals seemed to like their water fountains, and there was a large, artistic arrangement of fountains in the square near the John Bull pub, just over the road from our ship.
As we were only spending a half day here, and had to be back on board by one o’clock, the time flew and we were back on the Black Watch in time for our lunch, which we ate on Deck 9, the Marquee Deck, where they have an outside food point and bar and you can ordered things like sandwiches, burgers and fish and chips. I enjoyed a nice bowl of soup along with a fresh vegetable salad, and Trevor had a tuna sandwich, which we each washed down with a cold refreshing Strongbow cider.
We then found a seat just above the pool deck, and spent a very pleasant couple of hours just sitting in the sun and enjoying the sailaway party. We sat with our friends John and Lynda and had a couple of cocktails and listened to the live music on the pool deck, as we watched the Black Watch slowly make her way down the river, once again heading to the sea. The sun was very hot but there was a gentle sea breeze and we could have sat there all day, but we had to go and get washed and changed for dinner.
In the Neptune Lounge tonight the entertainment was a Geordie comedian called Dave Kristian, who’d we’d seen five years ago on the Boudicca on our voyage to Svalbard. So another familiar face! Luckily his act had changed since then (some of them don’t change their acts for a decade!) so we enjoyed a side-splitting 45 minutes of his show, which really was very good and seemed to appeal to everyone.
Then it was off to the Braemar Room for the quiz, which tonight was a 70’s theme so we though we’d be in with a good chance. We got 17/20 (and there was just the two of us in the team) but another team also scored 17 and it went down to a tie-breaker, which we lost. So pipped at the post once again!
We finished off the evening by going up to the Lido Lounge, where the entertainment team were putting on a live show featuring 70’s music. We had a couple of drinks each and it was quite late when we got to bed, nearly 1.00am. It probably wasn’t such a good idea when we had to be up early the following morning for our excursion in our next port of call, Warnemünde in Germany, but what the hell – we’re on holiday! 🙂