And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” (Isaiah 1:26, English Standard Version).
I have been to many cities in my life. Some I have really liked, some not so much. I spent six months in Philadelphia. If not for Veteran’s Stadium right outside the gate to the base, I am not sure I would have found any redeeming quality to my time there. I am told it is a much better place to visit today. I would consider going back but the travel dollars and vacation days in the present usually go west and grandsons. In at least a general kind of way, Philadelphia is almost as opposite as you can get.
Copenhagen is among the prettiest places I have had the opportunity to visit. We arrived in Copenhagen in late September or early October. There were lots of seasonal flowers all over the city.
When the ship tied up to the pier in Copenhagen, we were all, as usual, ready to get off the ship and do just about anything that had nothing to do with the ship itself. At this point it had been about six or eight weeks since we had left Norfolk. We spent a month at sea followed by stops in Scotland which was beautiful in its own right and I would go back again in a minute.
Hamburg, on the other hand, well, let’s just say, I didn’t leave anything there in September or October of 1978 and have no interest in going back. No place is for everyone and that one wasn’t for me. I think I spent about 6 hours total in the drizzling rain and had enough. We were there three or four days before moving on to Copenhagen.
We got to Copenhagen and liberty call just in time for lunch and wandered our way into an area of Copenhagen called Tivoli. I wasn’t thrilled with ship’s food by this point and we wandered into Burger King. We did have hamburger’s aboard ship but we called them sliders and sliders were not the tiny hamburgers you find at Chilies’ and other such places. For the Navy, hamburgers were made from beef heavy in fat. The saying among the sailors was, you have to be careful eating your burger or it would slide out from between the bun and down onto the deck.
My buddies and I decided we wanted a real American hamburger and as we walked through Tivoli, we found this Burger King.
I think it was this Burger King. The only other picture I found of a Burger King in the Tivoli area was inside something resembling a shopping mall. I know that one wasn’t our Burger King.
It didn’t take long to decide on our lunch. I vividly remember my order. It was a double meat Whopper, large fries and a large Coke. When the cashier rang up the total, 25.50. I almost had a heart attack on the spot. 25.50 for a hamburger? In 1978 25.50 for a hamburger?
I forgot about the exchange rate. At the time, the exchange rate was was five dollars to one kroner. So my 25.50 Kroner burger meal was actually $5.10. Still, expensive for a 1978 hamburger but not worthy of a coronary. Today, that same hamburger would be more than K60.
Once there was a full stomach we started walking around. We wandered around seeing the sites of Copenhagen in general and Tivoli in particular. One of the first things I saw was statue of “The Little Mermaid, “which comes from one of the fairy tales of arguably Denmark’s most famous person, Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen was a writer. He wrote plays, travelogues, novels, and poems but he was best known for those fairy tales.
The one thing about traveling on Uncle Same’s dime, at least with the Navy, I saw a lot of places, places on the coast. With few exceptions we didn’t make it to the interior of the countries we visited. We did going into Hamburg. It was an eight hour ride up the River Elbe to the city. New Orleans is the same way, up the Mississippi. Still, it may have taken a bit to get there but it was still a port city. It is difficult to see those land based sites from the deck of a ship.
I didn’t see many churches in those days, especially not from the inside. Denmark is a Lutheran country. And, I do remember seeing some stunningly beautiful churches, from the outside. I would love to see some from the inside too.
I really enjoyed my limited time in Copenhagen. It is a beautiful city and at least as I remember them, exceedingly kind. I won’t sit here and tell you I felt the Spirit in a new, unique, or special way. I didn’t. If they were all special like that, none would be special.
There was a lot of joy I saw those few days in Copenhagen. But perhaps the biggest joy came from seeing a tiny statue and from a simple but expensive, and not quite as expensive as I first thought, hamburger. Could such jyo come from God? I certainly hope so.
Copenhagen, a beautiful place God let me see.
Seeking the Genuine,
Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.
Pondering with DrB for October 22, 2020
Beauty of the World
Joy in a Simple as a Hamburger