Saturday, January 7, 2017

Remembering castles I have visited and saying good bye to Virtual Tourist. Visiting Rosenborg Schloss in Copenhagen

I visited Copenhagen in May of 2005.   2005 was an unusual year for me.  My ex partner and I were into the tenth year of our relationship and it was a rocky year.   I think we both realized things were changing in our relationship but we were not sure where it was headed.   We were both holding onto something that we knew was slowly coming apart.   We traveled to Copenhagen together but spent very little time together in the city.  He had a business conference he was attending.  I was part of an internet travel group called Virtual Tourist.  I was planning to meet a group of friends from the site who lived in the Copenhagen area.  I had not met them in person but was looking forward to meeting them for the first time.  He was not overly interested in meeting my online friends.  So between his business conference and my spending times meeting new friends we spent very little time together. We did have some good times on the trip.  We spent several days in Norway and enjoyed ourselves.  But for most of the time in Copenhagen we saw little of each other.  It was truly a time of transition.  Our relationship did not endure the rest of the year.  Looking back in hindsight I can see it all starting to end here in Copenhagen.  This photo of me in front of the Rosenborg Schloss is the perfect memory from the experience.  It's just me standing alone in front of a beautiful palace having my photo taken by a complete stranger.  And although beautiful the photo is flawed.  The person taking the photo blurred the photo and cut off the very top of the palace towers.   At a glance all looks good but close up you can see the problems.

Before our visit ended I took my ex back to see the castle.  His photo of the Rosenborg Sloss came out much better than the one taken of me.  It was perfectly cropped.  It was in focus.  The color was beautiful.  And there is no one in the photo.  It just the palace by itself.  Coincidence?  I don't know.  But looking back all these years later I can see the symbolism and the difference in the two photos.

I time meeting new friends from the internet in Copenhagen.  My buddy Claus became a life long friend.  I still see him on occasion when I travel and we are in the same city.  We have great times together and have shared many experiences over a drink.   I also met my friend Jon.  We are still internet friends and have met several times again while traveling also.  And I met a delightful lady named Charlotta.  We no longer meet on that old Virtual Tourist site but she and I do talk frequently on Facebook.    The friendships endured.  The relationship with my ex partner ended.  It's been my gain.  The web site we all met on just announced this week that it is closing down.  All of the conversations we shared on there will be deleted.  Our photos will be gone.  But our experiences will live on.      There were a lot of stories shared between friends on Virtual Tourist.  But this is the first time  I have shared this one.

Internet friendships are real.  And they can endure.    Jon. Claus, and Charlotta with her family and me.  Copenhagen 2005


  1. I loved the depth and symbolism you used in telling your story. Another great blog.

  2. Virtual Tourist existed before Facebook. It was a very early interactive social web site. It did change the way many people looked at travel and online friendships. And so many of the friendships continue way beyond the scope of the original site. I have not been on it in years.

  3. Lovely story Larry. And I bet we could all tell similar ones about VT virtual friends we have met and who have thus become "real" friends