We ate our final breakfast at the Fangel
Kro, paid our bill and bused to Odense to catch the train
to Roskilde. Even though all the seats on the train were reserved
(and none by us), there were many that no one claimed, so
we were able to sit down. When we arrived in Roskilde, our
first destination was the InfoCenter. We walked past a bunch
of smelly teenaged boyscouts, who we would encounter again
later in the day.
The woman at the InfoCenter told us that the
hostel didn't open until 4 p.m. It was Saturday, around noon.
We were hungry. Chris wanted to walk back to the train station
to leave our bags there until the hostel opened, but because
the only thing we wanted to see in Roskilde was the Viking
Ship Museum, and because the hostel was located on the very
same site as the Viking Ship Museum, I convinced him to try
to let the museum let us keep our bags there.
On the walk toward the museum, I passed the
loveliest image, one that I regret not photographing, but
one that will stay in my mind forever. A yellow archway, and
through the archway, a wedding photographer taking portraits
of the bride and groom, dressed in their wedding attire. The
scene took place to my right, and the arched structure was
open and raised slightly. "It seems like they're in Venice,"
I thought, and kept walking, my bags bumping loudly on the
pebble street. Of course, my description does nothing for
what was truly a surreal, commercially romantic, yet very
When we arrived at the museum, a bad thing
happened. I was standing in line waiting to buy tickets, my
wheely little luggage bag standing up behind me. My backpack
was balanced on the pull-bar thing of the luggage, in effect
keeping the unit of luggage/backpack from toppling. But it
toppled anyway, right into a kid who was about 4 years old.
It didn't knock him down, but it jabbed him right in the chest.
He had a delayed but forceful reaction. And I, helpless, could
only lift my stuff off of him and apologize in a language
he didn't understand. "Oh my god, I'm so sorry, are you
okay?" His slightly older brother was there to comfort
him and give me the evil eye. A few minutes later, I saw the
boy hugging his mom, still crying. I debated approaching her
and apologizing, but I didn't. Maybe I should have. I hope
the kid wasn't actually hurt. I hope I didn't ruin their day.
Chris made fun of my reaction, which made me feel even better
about the whole thing.
Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde. Standard tourist
Museum. With sunscreen smeared all around the collar
of my shirt and a kickass hairdo, I'm the hippest girl
at the museum.
We ate at a restaurant that reminded both
of us of the restaurant in the Museum of Flying from the 2
Weeks of Family Vacation Hell in California, 1998. It was
high-class, and it seemed like the waiter didn't really want
to be serving us. There was a group of well-fed Europeans
(Brits? I can't remember) sitting at the table next to us.
He seemed to like them more. I drank Evian water from a pretty
We walked around the museum after that. It
would have been nice to have been able to see more of it,
actually. But we couldn't. We had signed up for the boat ride,
in which we would get to ride on a boat similar to ones the
Vikings used. Ooooh.
The boat ride consisted of us doing some actual
rowing. I was probably the most inept person on the boat.
I could barely lift the oars and almost took out the eye of
the woman behind me. Fortunately, everyone else also was moderately
inept, so we all just laughed off our boating mishaps.
After the boat ride, we checked into the hostel. It was another
nice one. I shared it with two girls from Iceland. Chris was
very interested in whether they were cute. The girls had been
excited to meet me because Chris had left his bag in my room,
which has an Iceland patch on it. But the Iceland girls and
Chris were not meant to be.
It started to rain (the thick clouds
are noticeable in those boating pics). It rained hard, and
we walked up a street in Roskilde, trying to find a reasonably
cheap place with food we didn't mind eating. We ended up at
The Vagabond Cafe, soaking wet. It was a cool little restaurant,
a good date restaurant, a place I would go back to if it existed
here. We sat upstairs. I ordered pizza and watched the rain
and wondered about the lives of the people driving by below.
It was like the pause in a Japanese film, where everything
stops momentarily -- the camera holds on an empty room, or
a lamp, or a quiet rainfall -- so the viewer can reflect on
what has happened so far. There's a term for it, but I can't
remember it now. The only thing wrong with The Vagabond Cafe
was that it only played songs by Celine Dion and people who
sounded just like her.
After dinner it was laundry time. There
was one washer and one dryer. Chris and I took turns babysitting
the laundry while the other one watched bad American movies
in the TV room. The first movie was Skyjacked!
(1972), about a deranged Vietnam veteran who hijacks a plane
to Russia, where he expects to be highly decorated but instead
gets killed. There was a French girl watching the movie with
us who was very friendly but had trouble keeping her negative
opinions about Americans to herself. It was not a good way
to win our favor. But she did make a funny comment about Skyjacked!:
"You should really try not to let this stuff get out
of your country." Chris told her the reason it was being
broadcast abroad was because it was cheap.
Meanwhile, in the laundry room, we were
learning that the dryer did not dry. We had 2 suitcases worth
of wet clothes that had to be dry by 8 a.m. the next morning.
We complained to the front desk and the girl retrieved the
money we'd fed the dryer, but we only fed it back in with
the same results. Still, we were hopeful as we sat through
Cuisine (1998), among the cheesiest productions for an
adult audience I've ever seen. During this movie, we were
experimenting with the crazy refrigerator thing in the laundry
room. The crazy refrigerator thing looked like a fridge, but
had lots of white racks on it, begging us to hang our clothes
there. When we turned it on, it was loud, and I was afraid
the room would explode because we weren't supposed to use
it. But apparently it was okay to use it, because it did start
to dry our clothes. We set it to its top capability and went