20 July, Denmark – ‘All Over The Place – Europe’
Today’s filming went well. That was a sentence I wasn’t sure I’d be writing this time yesterday. Turned up to Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris last night to find out that my flight to Copenhagen, the last one of the day, had been cancelled. The airline put me up in a hotel on site and within an hour or two work had managed to find me a seat on an early morning flight the next day, meaning that this morning I had to get up at 4.30am, arriving at the Viking Ship Museum in Denmark with that slightly dirty plane fresh feeling.
The Viking Ship Museum is starting to feel like a second home to me. Earlier this year I presented a broadcast for the British Museum all about one of the big 1,000 year old longboats they uncovered, and when I was visiting Copenhagen a few months ago I made the trip to Roskilde to see its smaller cousins that are all on display there. Felt slightly odd to be back so soon – even odder since I was presenting alongside this block’s new presenter Chris Johnson, who we’d dressed up in glorified pyjamas to pretend to be the Viking god Thor, wielding an inflatable hammer at all times.
Due to my late arrival we were soon hurried onto an exact replica of a Viking long boat and rowed out to sea by some enthusiastic volunteers. Once we hoisted the huge thick woollen sail things got a bit hairy and I swear we came close to capsizing a couple of times, partly because we put Chris in control of the rudder at one point and he’s even more malcoordinated than me.
For our afternoon’s filming we relocated to Copenhagen, which was looking glorious in the sunshine. The Danes really seem to make the most of their 3 weeks of good weather a year, and our Danish fixer Toke was telling us we’ve come at the right time as everyone’s on holiday at the moment. One man on the boating lake seemed to be enjoying himself. We saw him standing on his boat in the middle of the lake brazenly weeing into the water while we filmed an item about Chris and I learning to ride a tandem. Copenhagen was declared the world’s first “bike city” a few years back, and they really put Britain to shame with their cycle lanes and the sheer volume of bikes on the road.