11.07.2012 - 11.07.2012
08.07.2012 - 11.07.2012 12 °C
We left Amsterdam on a high note and flew to Copenhagen. We had the usual confusion regarding train location and which train to take. I always use google maps on my blackberry- always great to know you are heading in the right direction.
We decided to reserve a room on a house boat. I did not see any hotels I wanted to stay at. The one I would have reserved, is closed for renovations. This was a risk. I warned Lincoln about no frills and to take the soap/ shampoo from the Sofitel. We found our way to the barge and it was charming. I would call it a bed and breakfast. The rooms are light and airy. The bathroom was clean and had a modern quality. You could look out into the canal when showering. There were basically 2 towels and soap. There was a great rooftop deck, a community fridge with an honor system. The boat had wifi and cable TV. It was located in trendy area- that bordered a hippy colony known as Christiana.
Christiana is a commune of squatters that don't pay taxes and want to believe they are their own country. Basically they sell crafts and drugs. We bordered this area and as one can imagine it gets a little nasty at night. It is comforting to see great apartments with nice boats lining the canals.
We had beautiful weather- sun, warmth- and we headed out to explore the city. First stop, Carlsberg Museum- established by Carlsberg brewery family. Nice collection of sculptures and paintings. Nicely designed. Next stop, Tivoli Gardens. This is the main attraction for some- an amusement park. The park has great restaurants, rides, gardens etc. I love the bumper cars in Europe. People are hard core and the cars have some speed. All the rides looked great.
We sat in an area, ate, drank and people watched. It is nice seeing all generations out. Copenhagen was very lividly that night. We then walked around town and noticed it was Jazz week. There were little stages areas all over the city for concerts. We did notice a lot of construction. Everywhere we turned, there were scaffolds, huge wooden panels blocking access and views. Streets were ripped up. This was everywhere. You couldn't see the beauty of the city.
We walked to the Nyhavn area- a small harbor side area with the colorful houses, restaurants, hotels. All filled with people eating, drinking and out. The restaurants were still serving and it was after 9 pm. We continued walking the harbor to view the famous Little Mermaid statue in tribute to Hans Christain Anderson. This was his town and he is memorialized all over the city. We passed a sand sculpture exhibit, the royal palaces, garden areas. We noticed people picnicking, however, we didn't see supply stores.
The walk to the mermaid statue was further out than we realized and after a long day, traveling and sight seeing we were ready to find our way to the barge. Copenhagen is a series of connected islands- not like Amsterdam. The islands are connected by bridges- and not as easy as Amsterdam. We were turned around and dead ended a few times. Nothing is more pleasant than 2 people wanting to get home, and having to backtrack more than not. At one point, I thought Lincoln would just swim to the other side.
10.07.2012 - 11.07.2012 15 °C
Monday is the day Copenhagen attractions are closed. The weather we expected- not necessarily wanted -cooler weather with clouds and some rain made its appearance.
We started the day by watching the changing of the palace guards. The guards here are a bit more relaxed. I noticed they were posing for pictures and could move around a bit. They like to shout orders to each other. The queen was not in residence, I heard the changing of the guard is accompanied with music. Everyone lines up and waits. There was a cute yellow lab in the front. As soon as the guards marched out in formation the dog started to bark. I could see my Sadie barking and running over to yell at them- I suspect there were other dog owners in the crowd thinking the same thoughts - we were all laughing. The poor Guards have to keep a straight face. The changing of the Guards here can take 30 minutes. We never really witnessed an actual change. May have been outside to inside? We left and visited the main church- under construction and blocked the direct route to castle behind it.
At the castle, they had more guards running drills with the drum corp. This was actually great to witness the skill and precision they all must learn. The castle charged a photo permit- a first. We mostly looked at furnishing, and ugly portraits of past royalty. After visiting the treasures in the Hermitage, it is hard to be impressed with the crowns on display. We also realized if you want to see these sights, you should see if there are back room tours and research what is available.
Copenhagen is popular at the moment for its foodie movement. I looked online for any markets and found one not mentioned in our guide book. Last year they opened a glass enclosed market hall. All great gourmet stalls. Some prepared tapas picnic supplies. I read that they closed on Monday's, however, we were in the area and checked it out. 50% were closed. We scoped out the place and had fantastic pizza. Very fresh with corn meal crust. After lunch, we headed back to our area and did the climbing of the church tower- this one a gold spiral. Very narrow as you reached the top- no landing so everyone gets backed up at this point. Of course the church was covered due to construction. We headed over to hippy town and then back to the hotel. It was too windy to use the roof deck.
Lincoln made a dinner reservation at Geist. Part of the new restaurant scene. The food was organic. We were seated at a huge counter that surrounded the kitchen area. At first, this seemed like we were eating at the bar when you don't have a reservation. The menu was small yet compact. I had to look some items up with Google. The service was okay. You don't have a dedicated server. Since they don't work for tips as much, sometimes the attention is lacking. The bartender came over because Lincoln wanted bourbon and he came over to tell him what they had- and Lincoln ended up with a Manhattan with rye. The guy knew his drinks. Across from us at the window- we noticed some guy holding his menu up to the light. I thought it was an in the know thing- turns out he was a popular NY Times food critic- Adam Goldberg. I suspect he was the reason for our lack of service.
We had grilled avocado with green almonds and some type of cream; foamy poached egg with shrimp ; charred tenderloin with potatoes - the char was an aubergine reduction sauce, fresh bread, and salted horseradish ice cream tart.
Meals and activities are very pricey in Copenhagen. I'm happy that everything was in Danish Kroners because the conversion factor is always off.
It was so cold and windy when we left. We strolled back tothe lively harbor area- empty. We had a great Irish coffee- glasses were blown of the tables. Headed home and realized the nice late crowds due to the amazing weather.
Next day, cool and rainy again. I started taking pictures of all the construction. We went to the national art museum. Afterwards we headed to the market. More stalls inside and out open. We noticed a Cava bar outside, pulled up 2 chairs, chatted with the owners and one of their friends and stayed put for 6 hours. We had cava, oysters, mussels and fish. A jazz group came by and performed with an African rapper. The owner's iPhone was stolen. We tried to do locate my iPhone- now you need iCloud for this feature.
We skipped the dinner reservation and walked home again. I missed out seeing a few sights, however, I can live without another church and castle.
Today, we left- pouring rain. Nice walk to the train station. We are on the high speed train to Stockholm. I question the high speed because it takes 5.5 hours. This helped kill some time.
I want to post some pictures- this site won't let me download with iPhoto. I will kill more time seeing if there is a way.