60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 1 September 1952

Morning came and was it was time for goodbyes. At 6 a.m. it was grey outside. I folded up the satin comforter and sheets with lace insert and dressed. My Aunt Carolina had already gone and Uncle Albin left soon after I got up. This was goodbye, maybe forever, maybe not. He was dressed for work and headed off for the day.

I said goodbye to Stig. Then Aunt Carolina came back about 7 a.m. or a little before and fixed breakfast for me, egg, hot chocolate, and the whole works. I thanked her for their wonderful hospitality. Majbritt and Aunt Anna came a little later. I finished packing but couldn’t find my Lund Guidebook. Shucks, I guess I left it in Bertil’s car.

I gave a pair of hose to Aunt Anna as we reached the bottom of the stairs. Almost made a mistake and gave them to Majbritt without looking. Aunt Carolina came down a few minutes later and I took a picture without benefit of sunshine. The dark figure of Majbritt’s boyfriend came running down the street waving. We waited for him to come say goodbye. He was dressed in fireman’s uniform.

With Majbritt’s bike and my suitcase between us, Aunt Anna and Aunt Carolina following, we made a brief tour of Lund. There was a big red Lutheran Church with clock in tower. I took pictures. We passed a nurses home and saw some nurses going into a dormitory. We saw men on ladders fixing roof edges. Majbritt explained that Uncle Albin does that kind of work. Uncle Nils works with fabric.

On the way to the Library we passed the University where I had taken pictures the day before. Arrived at Library with 15 minutes to spare, so we went across campus to Big Dome to get more pictures. Inside my Aunts were a little teary about my going in, but Majbritt took me inside. She showed me where she was confirmed. There was a beautiful altar piece of wood carving. It was a simple but magnificent church. Majbritt and Aunt Anna gave me 10 krome to buy something. It was time for Majbritt to go. So I bid farewell to my favorite cousin.

Finally I walked with my Aunts to the station. I tried to get in the bookstore to get another Lund book, but they told me I could get it at the station. We arrived with just barely 2 minutes to spare. I found the Lund book at a magazine stand. I accidentally dumped my many coins out trying to find the right change. Aunt Carolina had to help me with a little supplement to buy the book. Then I made a mad dash for the train. Had to say goodbye to my Aunts from door of train as it pulled off. That is the kind of goodbyes I like. The train was pretty filled. A minister pulled the seat down next to him for me in the passageway.

At the Hotel Tunneln, I left the kids raving about the wonderful meeting the night before. I put my bags in Betty’s room and we had until 10:30 a.m. to spend our money. Headed for the shops and spent my newly acquired 20 krome.

I caught a striking view of a church spire down side street so I had to take picture from middle of the road. I guess it was pretty dangerous but I got the picture during a break in traffic.

We found a handicraft shop that proved very interesting. I finally decided upon 2 beautiful pillow tops or doilies, whatever you want to call them. The clerk couldn’t speak English so I used my pocket dictionary. I didn’t have enough krome and they wouldn’t take my dollars so I had to find a bank. I ran into L.O. as she came out of the Milk Bar to let me know we had only till 10 a.m. instead of 10:30. The bank gave me 5.14 krome for my dollars. Clerks were overcome with amusement when I returned now wearing a long dress and sandals. I still didn’t have exactly the right change, so they took pity on me and gave it to me for 25 kr. instead of 26. Time was growing short, I found a men’s shop and some beautiful ties made in Sweden. I picked out the prettiest one and a tie clasp. Had just 10 kr. left so I got the 2 for 10. Finally I took my last look at the streets of Malmo as I headed back to the hotel.

Taxis and American Express transported us the long distance to the boat. It was all of two blocks. They are really efficient all the time. Especially when we could get along without them. Next was customs. The missionaries bid us goodbye. I got a picture of them just before the gang plank went up. We sang farewell songs as they stood on the shore and we on the boat with tears showing or almost so.

Coming into Copenhagen seemed like coming home again. I took pictures of a pretty white sail boat in the harbor. Our old friends from American Express met us with taxis and we scooted off to Hotel Cosmopolite. We were in the same rooms as before with different roommates, L.O., Margaret and V.A.. First off I headed for the opera across the Square. Everything was sold out for Monday. Upon inquiring at the window in a pleading voice for one ticket, I was directed to the Inspectioner who we found in a dark little office around a corner and down a corridor. First he said to come back again at a little before 8 for standing room. Then he asked to see my ticket. Showed me where it was and asked if I would sit below it on the next level with L.O. So he took my ticket and gave us a slip of paper on which he wrote the location of 2 seats and stamped it and signed it for which he asked no money. We couldn’t quite figure out the deal but decided if all turned out well and we got to see the Opera we would consider ourselves lucky.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent wandering through the main shopping district. I spent some time in the Magasin du Nord. The clerk I had met before tried to tell me it was the largest of its kind in the world. Couldn’t quite swallow it. We had gone in a different entrance but it turned out to be the same store as the one across from the Opera house. When we ended up in the same book shop with the same clerk, I knew we must be in the same store. Surely tempted by all the interesting books, but I remembered my suitcase and resisted. I bought a map of Skone. The clerk gave me his card so we could send for them.

I gave in and purchased a reversible amazon belt but managed to get out of the store without some gorgeous quilted ribbon which would have made a beautiful belt. L.O. resisted some copper lamps cause she couldn’t decided what to do with them if she got them and besides they wouldn’t give her American dollars in change.

After we broke away from the Magasin du Nord, we visited every silver shop along the street plus some that weren’t so silver. At the Town Hall Square we found the cafeteria and had long red wieners. We thought we asked for fish and that is what we got, along with soup and a big bowl of a kind of fruit pudding with milk. We split it. Took me 5 minutes to count all my Danish coins out but I finally got rid of them and only had to borrow 50 ore from L.O.

After lunch I had a last look at the town hall, then we wandered across the square through the pigeons and stands. Saw another typical tourist with camera and chuckled. Gee, we wondered why people stared at us. We were so obvious. We tried another street off the Square on our way back to Konig’s Platz. It turned out to be not so shoppy, however we found one likely looking store. We sure got the eye from three ladies as we went in, and when we came out they were still standing there. Perhaps we were conceited in thinking that they had waited for a second look, but that was just exactly what we thought. I had felt that we dressed and looked more like the Scandinavian people than any other but apparently we were still just as conspicuous here as elsewhere. Perhaps my broken sandal had something to do with it.

When we got back on the street, we came upon the silver shop where L.O. spotted the earring set which we hadn’t been able to surpass elsewhere in one afternoon’s wanderings. There was a delicatessen next door, and we purchased cheese for the next day’s journey. I also found a baking shop near the Hotel, and bought a loaf of bread. Because the shops were closing, I got apples and pears for a 25 ore in the slot machine.

Then we retired to the Hotel. The shops in Copenhagen certainly don’t stay open for the tourist’s benefit. They believe in having some time to enjoy life themselves. In typical European style, a separate shop for everything; fruit in one, bread in another, meat in another. It was hard to shop as efficiently as at our big super markets.

We admired our purchases until opera time. Went over a little early, as we were quite curious to see what would happen with the ticket situation. Besides Betty had lost her ticket so we had a problem there also. Surprisingly enough, however, everything worked out quite smoothly. Betty got in without a hitch. In fact, she just walked in without a ticket and our little scrap of paper worked like a charm. Our seats were next to some very English fellows who said something about our being friends of the manager. They informed us that the King and Queen were to be there in the Royal Box just across from us. The Opera House was very beautiful and varied somewhat from others we had visited. The balconies were continuous instead of being separated into boxes as they were in Paris. There was a goodly amount of gold in the decorations and a significant chandelier suspended from the ceiling. The Royal box extended almost the full height of the theatre with only one box directly above it. The King and Queen came in just before the curtain. They opened the door for themselves and bowed simply as everyone rose in respect.

All during the first act of Carmen, the King followed the score. If he looked at the stage at all it must have been very briefly. The orchestra was excellent as was the staging and singing. However can’t say that I enjoyed it more than other performances we have seen in the past three months. One very good reason may have been that I had difficulty staying awake. I can’t blame that on the opera but rather on my consistent lack of sleep for quite a lengthy time now. As we were getting ready for bed, Nola, Margaret’s friend came with her broken figurine. There were more tearful good byes.


60 Years Ago Today

Friday August 29, 1952:

I got up at a reasonable hour, bathed across the hall, and set out to find something to eat. I told the kids I’d meet them at 10 a.m. to get the opera tickets. For breakfast I found some fruit down the street, a banana, and stopped into a pastry shop. It seemed the Danish had a different shop for everything.

Magasin du Nord was my first stop after breakfast. Here I got a look at some books about Denmark and Copenhagen and ended up by buying the one with the prettiest pictures. Where had the morning gone? It was 10 o’clock, so I dashed across the street to the opera.

No friends in sight but plenty of early birds. One line extended clear across the lobby. I thought “this was going to be a little difficult.” So I decided to find out what the score was and good thing too cause it turned out that the big huge line was for the ballet. The much shorter line was for the opera.

In line I talked to a girl from Copenhagen who had come in from a summer home to get tickets. Then Betty Lou, Lucy and Carol came up just before I reached the window, so I got four tickets.
With this accomplished, I went back to Magisin du Nord to browse among the books. After some time there I bought a couple of art books. At the store I met an interesting Copenhagenite. We were talking about Copenhagen, its merits and what there was to see. He said he would like much to show me the old fortress.

After a call to his office to tell them he would be in later, we took off in a cab to the old fortress. We walked up around the fortress and through the park, where I got a good picture of a big windmill right there in the middle of Copenhagen. While walking we passed a couple on a bench making love.

There was a beautiful view through the trees to the lake beyond. As we walked down through the fortress we saw the soldiers parading around. I snapped a few pictures of the town hall and chapel at the end of the square. We continued to walk through the old gateway with the clock. I shot a picture of the gateway with a sailor walking through it. Then we sat down on an old bench and talked for quite sometime.

Somehow the conversation turned to religion, and I did my best. I knew he felt amazed that our religion meant so much to us. It was really part of our lives. He explained that his religion only came into his life two or three times a year.

The time passed too quickly and it was time for him to return to work. He said I must get up first, so I did. We went out past the statue of the woman warrior and walked past some quaint houses. I took a picture of a square with grass covered bomb shelters. From this square we took a taxi to the Town Hall square. We passed his office on the way not far from the square. Finally he walked with me over to the Town Hall and there we said goodbye.

I wandered around inside the great huge marble hall and then decided I best run across to Tivoli for some pictures before the sun decided to go away. So I quickly took a picture of the statue there in front of the town hall and one from across the street. Then I went to Tivoli from the side entrance and took four or five pictures of the different buildings, pond, and flowers.
At this time there were few people around in Copenhagen. I noticed a few other tourists like myself and some were eating at the different restaurants. I felt pangs of hunger myself, so I left Tivoli and looked around for a likely economical place to eat.

The name Cafeteria stuck out across the street. It wasn’t a large sign but I saw it nonetheless and it turned out to be not so bad. For lunch I had hamburger steak and a bowl of fruit. The rest of the afternoon disappeared in a hurry. I wandered down the boulevard toward Koenig’s Square going in and out of shops.

I got back to Koenig’s Square just a few minutes before 4 o’clock. I dashed up to get my bag because the bus was waiting to take us to the dock. Our American Express friend was there to take care of us. After passing through customs, we started the last boat ride before Swedish soil. I was just a little restless on the way over.

When we finally pulled in to Sweden It seemed like it took us an awfully long time to get off the boat. We got on the wrong side of the rope or something so it took longer. The missionaries were waving at us.

At the train station right across from the boat dock, the American Express man told us that we were close to the hotel. He also said that it took only 15 minutes to get to Lund on the train. So I had to make a quick decision of whether I was going to go to the hotel or to Lund to see my aunts.

I decided to go to the hotel and get situated before I took off for Lund. The hotel turned out to be just across the bridge and down around the corner. So when I saw the hotel entrance I turned around and headed back to the beautiful red vine covered train station across the big canal.

First I found the ticket office and bought a round trip ticket to Lund for 2.60 krona. The ticket man said there was a train leaving right away. So I found the track the Lund train was on and soon sat down in the first seat on the train.

After the train started moving, I asked the fellow across from me if he would tell me when to get off for the Lund station. He said yes and that he lived there and would show me as well. He asked me who I was going to see there. I showed him the addresses of my aunts. Well, it just so happened, luckily for me, that he works with my cousin and that he speaks a little English. So when we got off he picked up his bicycle outside the station and we started down the street.

60 Years Ago Today

Thursday, 28 August 1952:

In the morning I was up early and out to explore for a spot to eat. While walking I caught sight of the opera across the square, art gallery, and a big monument to a Danish king. There was a cold wind along with the sunshine. As I strolled down farther along the canal I chatted with a policeman. As a result I never did find a place to eat. Then I went back for the kids and we walked around and ate in the hotel. Across the street I ended up purchasing a map.

At 10:30 a.m. we proceeded to the Rosenborg Castle Gardens where we met a blonde female guide. This guide had just seen Margaret Truman two weeks before. She talked to us about socialized medicine. Then we passed by a few schools, the largest public hospital, and the Danish Museum of Art. There was a high school designated for Danish civil engineers only. We continued past the Danish Naval barracks, bomb shelter, statue of King Christian IV, Swedish church in Copenhagen, World War Peace Monument, statue of woman warrior from Viking time, and fortress on an island.

And we got to see the Little Mermaid statue by Erickson which was unveiled in 1913. This 50 year old statue was modeled after a ballet dancer. The story behind the statue is that the mermaid wanted to live like other humans. Here the English Channel extends into Denmark.

There was a large fountain on the harbour featuring a female warrior from the Viking time driving several animal figures. The warrior’s name was Gefionspringvandet hence the Gefion Fountain, which was sculpted by Anders Bundgaard. Gefion was a Scandinavian goddess who plowed Zealand away from Sweden by turning her sons into oxen. We learned about Frederick V, who was king of Denmark and that all the kings in Denmark were Protestant or Lutheran.

As our tour continued we saw the Royal Academy of Arts, Kings Square, Opera House, Hotel Angleterre where Eisenhower had stayed, Royal Stables, Tivoli Gardens, town hall square, museum, Christiansborg Palace, University of Copenhagen, and Our Savior’s Church with a golden spiral staircase up to the tower on the outside. There was a bridge to take boat trips from the harbor to Copenhagen which surrounded the old town. I could see a new bridge that was being built. Next we observed the Serum Institution and a green tower Stock Exchange in Dutch Renaissance style.

During his rule from 1766 to 1808, Frederik VII, King of Denmark, signed a constitution that gave Denmark a parliament and made the country a constitutional monarchy. In front of the Parliament Building there was a statue of Frederik VII. Our guide told us the current minister of justice was a woman. An old town hall used to be the old center of Copenhagen.

Soon after we passed by the Caritas Well. On the queen’s birthday the Caritas Well, the oldest fountain in Copenhagen, used to spring with golden apples. This tradition tracked back to the 18th century. Lastly, we viewed the Round Tower which was built to study stars made by King Christian IV and then we headed back to the hotel. Our tour guide recommended a little book which had facts about Denmark.

At the hotel two missionaries, Sister Nola Johnston and Sister Tanner took us to find bikes. The first place was all out of rental bikes, but farther down a store had some bikes. We all rented some for all day for 5 kroner. So we took off after a trial run with our skirts flying in the wind just like all other good Danish women.

We headed first for a place where most of the missionaries stayed. It was quite a ways off, but it was really fun on bikes. We used the special bike lanes. After meeting with more missionaries, we chatted awhile. And after that we all crawled on our bikes and headed for the Rosenberg Palace.
At the palace we discovered the crown jewels, Frederik’s portrait, cameo vases, Hall of Mirrors, bird cage clock, and throne room with big silver lions. There was a military drill taking place in the courtyard and a room full of vases, plates, and china.

Soon after we headed to Christiansborg Castle, Dr. and Mrs. Rogers and several of our crew had to put extra things over our shoes to enter the castle. There was a king staircase with white marble, flag, tapestries and a painting of Christian VII, who ruled from 1766-1808, the Father of Europe.
Next we took a quick look at a Frederik V and Queen paintings, Danish porcelain vases, Marlon tapestries that took six Danish ladies six years to make, Danish West Indies chandelier, Chippendale chairs, marble panels, and a throne room that was last used in 1814. The present Danish king had not been crowned. All the floors were made with different kinds of wood with oak or swamp oak.

There were paintings of a battle when the flag had come down, King Christian IX, and King Christian X, who was the father of the present king. King Frederik VIII founded this present Christiansborg Palace.

Other pictures included large paintings of the royal family, Danish royalty, Russian royalty, and Norwegian royalty. Then we ventured into the velvet room and the queen’s reception room. The latter had red plush velvet walls which were covered with huge tapestries and Venetian chandeliers, along with a model of the famous fountain of golden apples that was made for the Rosenberg Castle.

Our tour continued with more paintings by Eversen on the ceiling and an ornate grand piano. There were signs of the zodiac around the balcony and paintings of Hamlet delivering a message to Queen Elizabeth I.

We also saw the queen’s dining room, Meissin porcelain vases, Bohemian crystal chandeliers, banqueting hall, a chandelier which surpasses all chandeliers from Charles 15th of Sweden, and large tables that seated 52 people and could be extended. The first and second Christiansborg Palaces burned down before the present palace was built. A little boy was called down for taking pictures.

The next room was more gorgeous with a chandelier from King George I of Greece. Every year the chandelier was lowered and taken apart and cleaned. We hurried up the queen’s staircase to the king’s private library with 10,000 books. And there was another library upstairs with 50,000 books.

We faced beautiful cabinets in the Alexander hall, mosaics over the doors, door handles carved in ivory, and a frieze depicting Alexander the Great entering Babylon. The frieze was saved from the fire and restored to its original condition. There were such beautiful floors throughout the whole castle.

Then we entered the hall that was used for buffet suppers, scrambled down the stairs, and found a painting of King Christian VI at battle where he lost his eye. Unfortunately the wrong eye was covered in the painting. Lastly we glimpsed the queen’s gateway.

Then we hopped on our bikes and we were away again. We stopped at the Spiral Church where we climbed to the top inside the building and then outside the building in the rain and wind. I snapped pictures from the top of Copenhagen below us. The tower swayed or at least it felt like it. On the way out I saw a machine with sandwiches in it. Wow!

Soon after we traveled over a big bridge in 5 o’clock traffic. We returned our bikes and took pictures of the missionaries. Then Margo tried to get her camera fixed and I tried to get my shoes fixed. Unsuccessfully once again!

Now back at the hotel we proceeded to get ready to go to Tivoli, the second oldest amusement park in the world. After examining some of the day’s purchases by some of the crew, we jumped on a streetcar from King’s Square for the Town Hall Square. Tivoli Gardens, which was across from the Town Hall, was great fun and I enjoyed it.

60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 27 August 1952:

I was up early and had a delicious breakfast. American Express was waiting with taxis for us. Soon after we were in for a 16½ hour train ride except for an interlude on a ferry that went across the channel for 1½ hours in a first class car. We reached Copenhagen after midnight. The missionaries and American Express were there to greet us. At the hotel, Betty, Carol, Lucy and I had a big room.