Copenhagen Stories and Tips

Off to Viking Land

Our cozy room, Hotel Ibsens Photo, Copenhagen, Denmark

We’re quite looking forward to this trip. It was not a destination I had really considered before but Graham has an internet pal there who does a metal radio show and he had suggested we come over and visit sometime. We thought, why not? And the more I researched, the more things I found about Copenhagen that appealed to me. We knew it would be expensive and it was but budgeted for it. We stayed at Hotel Ibsens and got a pretty good price, 930 DKK a night which works out to be about $186 CAD though breakfast wasn’t included. I thought that was reasonable considering the prices I’d been finding and it was actually a bit less than we paid for the Ibis in Brussels.

We were up by 6:30 and got to the airport in plenty of time for a cuppa and a snack. The flight was fine but we felt squashed as all three seats were occupied. Kastrup airport seems very nice, too. Very modern and open and it wasn’t difficult to find our way through. A far better cry than the bottleneck that was Schipol in Amsterdam. Graham’s friend, Dave, was waiting for us with a sign that said "GRANDAD". Fun-nee guy ;))) Even so, he didn’t actually realize that Graham is about 10 years older than him!

We took the metro to Norreport station which is only a couple of blocks from the hotel. It’s a good location as Norreport is a major train and metro station with lots of busses as well. Right across from that is the old section of Copenhagen where the shopping district is and it’s not far from the Town Hall either. In fact, most things you want to see in Copenhagen are not all that far from each other and it’s a very flat city. There are a lot of cobbles on some of the narrow old streets and sidewalks but they also have flat paving stone "paths" you can walk on instead of the cobbles. That helps a bit.

The hotel room is small but not tiny though the bathroom is. And the bathroom pretty much *is* the shower stall with a drain in the middle of the room and a curtain to pull around so the rest of the room doesn’t get wet. It worked ok though. The wardrobe has lots of hanger and space to stash our carryon bags.

We had a few drinks in the hotel bar with Dave but then we went out by ourselves for a walk. Luckily the sun is actually out today so we can see the city under a blue sky. It would be the last we’d see of that until the day we left! I was determined to see the famed Nyhavn (New Harbour with all the coloured houses lining it) under a blue sky so we traced a route on the map and headed out. En route we passed Rosenborg Castle and the King’s Gardens and we crossed over the large Kongens Nytorv square. That has the Royal Theatre on one side, a huge old department store and is ringed with cafes. Even in the centre of the square there are little kiosks where you can get drinks or coffee and sit out at tables.

The square is at the end of Nyhavn so we didn’t have far to go then. You only really ever see photos of the northern side of the harbour though the southern side also has coloured buildings and some brick ones but the northern side is the side that gets the sun (when it’s out) so that’s more photogenic. This harbour was dug back from the main harbour in the 1600s to connect the harbour to the inner city at the Nytorv square. It was for shipping and fishing boats so it was all very industrial. It wasn’t really a heritage tourist type thing until the last 25 years or so and now all the buildings have cafes and bars in them with outdoor seating all along the waterfront. Wooden ships can moor at the docks so it looks old fashioned. There are canal boat tours from here as well. We thought we might do that but the weather over the next few days really wasn’t good enough for it.

We walked down the shady side and over onto the bridge to take the obligatory photos. I’m so glad we did get to see it under sunny skies at least! It doesn’t look nearly as pretty otherwise.

We headed back and got a little turned around by Christianborg Palace which is on an island surrounded by another canal. It’s a huge complex and includes the Danish Parliament buildings and another museum as well. We were conferring with the map when a woman on a bike stopped and helped us out, pointing us to a pedestrian street that would eventually take us straight up to Norreport stn. and thus to the hotel. It was still a fair little walk and by now our feet were sore but we finally got back to the hotel where Dave was already waiting for us. We’re going to a British style pub back in the old centre where we just came from! But we’d not have found it on our own anyway so needed Dave to lead us.

More walking! Charlie’s Bar wasn’t much more than a hole in the wall and served nothing but really great English ales. The atmosphere is cozy, the beer was reasonably priced and the bar itself is quite small. We met up with Donovan, Dave’s radio show partner and best friend and had a couple of rounds but we were getting hungry and thought we should find somewhere to eat. Donovan knows a place close to our hotel so we piled out the door and started to walk back. Dave decided he would leave us to it and took a cab back to his place and we carried on. Turns out the café, called Bankerat, is on the corner just at the other end of the block where our hotel is.

What an awesome place! It’s very Goth in décor, with stuffed animals and gargoyle type creatures everywhere. The lights were low, there were candles and strings of fairy lights around. The back room has a wall that is all mirror and looks like it’s all cracked. The lights over the tables there are in dolls’ heads hanging there! Creepy but fab! The food was excellent and we though a reasonable price (though still expensive but we knew it would be). We are going to come back again if possible.

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