Aarhus (or  Århus…either way, it’s pronounced “R-Hoose”)  greeted us the following morning. It was the second time we had been to Denmark in less than a week, and it was a lovely, warm day.  I was still not feeling well so getting up was a bit of a problem.  Thankfully, our tour was only about 5 hours that day.

We ate breakfast and had coffee before getting out our tour tickets and waiting in the Princess Theatre for our tour to begin. I was having a tough time of things that day, health-wise, and going on a tour merely complicated matters.  We got on our bus and headed out to a train station not too far outside of Aarhus.  The drive started well enough, all things considered, but then it became apparent that the heater was on full blast on the bus, and we were starting to get much more uncomfortable.  As it turns out, it couldn’t be fixed, so we drove in the heat the whole way (It was slightly overcast and probably about 75 degrees outside).

When we got to the train station, we boarded a vintage train that took us to a town called Silkeborg.  The countryside was green, quite lush really, and with the windows open on the very spacious train, it was truly lovely.  When we arrived in Silkeborg, we got off the train for a little bit to peruse the train station.  Part of the station was a kiosk selling water, ice cream, and light sandwiches. In another part of the station was a small restaurant that had been turned into a museum. We toured through it for a little bit and then walked outside to look around at the scenery.  I noticed a small dog walking around, as there was a house just a few meters away.  It looked like no breed I had ever seen before, and the same could be said of every dog I noticed.  Apparently Europe does everything differently.

We hopped on the train again and were taken back to where we started.  It was a short ride but very pleasant, and by the time we arrived back, another bus had been commissioned for us.  The bus didn’t disappoint, either, and was very cool.

We then commenced a bus tour of the Old Town of Aarhus, Den Gamle By.  Aarhus is the 2nd largest city in Denmark after Copenhagen, and the country’s largest port.  It’s also the home of Hans Christian Anderson. Many buildings were centuries old and, like many of the places we visited, the city looked like a storybook picture.  Europe is incredible in the fact that everywhere we went, it felt like stepping into another world, possibly even a fantasy.  I’ve actually been wondering since I returned to Phoenix if I was ever there, or if it was something I concocted in my own imagination.

Along the way, we were taken to a large park surrounding one of the tallest mountains in Denmark (it can hardly be called a mountain, though, as it was only about 170 meters).  Many of our touring party climbed to the top with the tour guide (which took approximately 15 minutes) but my mom was not doing well from the heat, and I was just not doing well, so we sat outside a charming hotel and souvenir kiosk, simply enjoying the scenery from the shade.  My mom promptly sat down in one of the plastic chairs outside and soaked her pants through from the standing water inside the chair.  Everyone around got quite a laugh out of that, especially when another lady did the exact same thing.

When the rest of our party finished their very truncated “hike,” we piled on the bus once again and headed back to the ship.  Along the way we passed through the university area of Aarhus.  Aarhus is inhabited mostly by university students, who seem quite as interested in upholding tradition as their older counterparts, judging by the look and feel of the city that has clearly maintained its ties to the past.  I genuinely liked the place.

After boarding the ship once again we went back to the room to check out the Princess Patter, the daily newsletter detailing the goings on of the ship.  We had coffee at the International Cafe again and moseyed around the ship before commencing the Agatha Christie-like search for our dining room once again, trying to find an acceptable route.  We found it a bit quicker than we had previously but it still took a ridiculous amount of time. We ate happily with Brian and Thelma once again, and watched out one of the dining room windows as our ship took to the sea.

I confess that by this point I was slacking terribly in my daily journaling  to recall what we did everyday, and so I don’t quite remember what we did that evening.  I am sure that it wasn’t much, considering how bad I was feeling and how tired we still were from losing 9 hours on the flight.  I remember that we watched a cute movie in the stateroom called “Flipped,” and that I fell asleep early.  I was frustrated with myself for doing that and took great pains to make sure I stayed up as much as possible for the rest of the trip.  For the most part, I believe I succeeded.

I fell asleep thinking about our next port.