Written by LenR on 30 Oct, 2010
The Copenhagen Metro is probably the smartest system I have seen anywhere. It was little surprise to me to learn that it had been voted best Metro in the World for 2008 and 2009. The system is new and still relatively small but expansion continues…Read More
The Copenhagen Metro is probably the smartest system I have seen anywhere. It was little surprise to me to learn that it had been voted best Metro in the World for 2008 and 2009. The system is new and still relatively small but expansion continues and as more stations open it will become one of the favourite ways for visitors to get around the wider city.The Metro trains are driverless but there is staff on the trains and platforms to help passengers. Their job is to assist, guide, provide information and inspect tickets. The Metro uses exactly the same tickets as the city buses and S-trains in the greater Copenhagen area. Tickets and ten-trip cards can be bought from the ticket vending machines located at the stations. Be warned! Ticket control can be performed during and on the stations after your trip has ended. If you are found to be travelling without a valid ticket, you are likely to be fined.Current travel information is displayed on the trains and stations. This includes who long before the next train arrives, train destinations and stations it serves and any system delays. During morning and evening rush hour, trains arrive and depart every four minutes. This stretches to every six minutes during the midday period and between 6pm and midnight. From midnight to 5pm trains arrive every 15 or 20 minutes.One of the best things to do is to ride in the front seats of the first carriage. There is a huge window in front of you so you can watch as the train negotiates the tunnels at great speed. We did this three times and each trip was as good as the other. I think the regular travellers thought we were mad!In each Metro train, call points are located next to the doors. By pressing these call points you can get in touch directly with the Metro control room staff. All stations also have these points. There is a green button for information and a red button for emergencies. The system has been designed to be used by people with disabilities. The trains have a step-less entry allowing users of wheelchairs to board unassisted. Bikes are allowed on the system except during rushhour but you need a bike-ticket to travel. There are parking facilities for bikes at all stations. Dogs are also allowed except near seats reserved for allergic passengers. Small dogs, placed in bags, travel free of charge while leashed dogs require a dog-ticket. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the trains or stations. Close
Written by tvordj on 26 May, 2010
It’s nice to see the sun today but annoying too as it’s our last day. We had breakfast at Klimt, ordering eggs and pancakes from the "side orders" menu. It was great! Still, Graham asked for nothing green whatsoever to be on his plate, no…Read More
It’s nice to see the sun today but annoying too as it’s our last day. We had breakfast at Klimt, ordering eggs and pancakes from the "side orders" menu. It was great! Still, Graham asked for nothing green whatsoever to be on his plate, no salad, no tomato. But the chef couldn’t help himself, it seemed, and there were a few green chives sprinkled on the eggs! We had thought about the Copenhagen city museum but since Dave was expecting to meet up with us about mid day there really wasn’t the time. Instead we walked through the section of the city near the Stroget shopping area but avoided that particular street and all it’s people. We first went to find Trille’s shop again to see the inside of it. We had coffees there while waiting for Dave and Matt and then spent a few hours wandering around the narrow old streets of the Latin Quarter, exploring the sunny squares and peeking in the shop windows (and me taking lots of pictures of course!) It was so nice just to enjoy the sunshine though it still wasn’t overly warm. We had a coffee again in another café called Jazz Café and I managed to find a courtyard lined with some of the oldest wooden houses in Copenhagen. I had seen reference to this on a Rick Steves travel show and hoped I would find it. The brightly coloured houses are so much nicer under blue skies! The houses were all and half timbered but yellow and orange and red! We made our way back in the general direction of the hotel and there Dave and Matt left us. We decided to find somewhere for lunch and found a little sandwich shop that used bagels for their bread. It was ok, enough to get us through. We checked out of the hotel and ordered a taxi to the airport, no messing around with the metro and hauling bags around. It wasn’t cheap, about 270 dkk to the airport but that was still cheaper than I expected and not really an outrageous amount. It wasn’t that far off what I’d pay for a taxi to the airport at home really. We got checked in at one of the kiosks and went straight to security where I buzzed the xray machine. I dunno, that happens sometimes and the only thing I can think of is my underwire bra because my rings don’t usually do the trick. The airport is quite nice. The shopping area has all lovely wood floors and a modern design. I found some things in an outlet of the posh department store, Illum, a bowl, and a cup and saucer set. We went and found some coffee for a set before we had to find the gate. We got to the gate in plenty of time and then they changed it at the last minute so there was a bit of a rush and a re-check through to get to the new one. Luckily it wasn’t too far away. So much for the sunshine. We left that behind in Copenhagen. Manchester is grey and grim again! Ah well. We got the hire car and stopped in to Asda on the way home to stock up the larder. Lots of photos and lots of memories of Copenhagen!! Close
Another grey, grim day. It’s frustrating though, we want to see the city under sunlight and only did the first day. We went to Café Bankerat for breakfast this morning. They do brunches and also had an "English" breakfast with egs, bacon, sausage and beans…Read More
Another grey, grim day. It’s frustrating though, we want to see the city under sunlight and only did the first day. We went to Café Bankerat for breakfast this morning. They do brunches and also had an "English" breakfast with egs, bacon, sausage and beans which Graham liked though the sausages were a bit spicy. The breakfast I had was cold meats and cheese, yogurt, an egg and bacon. I’ve given in and am mainly having coffee now. Got a better look at the bizarre décor in the daylight. What a great place!We decided against another tour and went to Rosenborg Castle, which was another place I’d really wanted to see. It’s not that far so we walked. We took what we thought would be a short detour through the Botanical Gardens but which turned out to be a bit of a round about route. Rather than a path just skirting the street edge, there was no apparent way out until the other side. But it was very nice and would be even nicer in full summer with more flowers out in bloom. We had to walk back round a block to the castle entrance but found it easily enough. Rosenborg Castle is a smallish brick castle built in the 17th c for Christian IV as a summer home in the country but nearer to the city than his preferred castle, Frederiksborg. The castle has the ground and two more floors plus a lower level where the crown jewels and treasures are.The place is chock filled with objects, furniture, paintings and tapestries. So many beautiful things including the Throne room guarded by three life size silver lions. Every item is numbered but there are no descriptions. You have to buy a separate guide book for that which we didn’t do. It was really spectacular, all the things and collections such as one room filled with porcelain and china, one filled with bronze items and little statues, and I do mean filled, floor to high ceiling. There was a dressing room used by one king that was all mirrored, floors and ceilings and walls. There was a temporary exhibit set up in the middle of the grand Long Gallery on the top floor and it was all in Danish. Nice things there but I would have liked to have seen the gallery as one grand long room with the black and white marble floor. We had a coffee stop after seeing the main things and before going down to see the treasures. There’s a café on the grounds but it’s very expensive as it turned out. Two coffees and exquisite chocolate cake which was like a ganache with a scoop of chocolate cream and strawberries on the side. It cost us more than the two entry fees to the castle! We went back to see the treasury and jewels which were indeed spectacular. You can get up close to the cases with the items, the jewels, the crowns inside. That’s one thing that’s really nice here, you can get up close to a lot of the museum things rather than being guarded and held back away from them. Of course there are guards and staff in the rooms to watch but you can put your camera right up to the glass if you want to take a photo. One case I really liked had dozens and dozens of tiny gold soldiers on foot and horse. Another room was all exquisitely carved ivory items. There were swords and armory for people and a horse, and another case had very tiny pistols. I think there was a temporary exhibit in one of the other buildings by the gate house but we didn’t bother. I looked in the shop and bought a few things. It was too cold to walk through the park so we decided to go straight to Tivoli where we are meeting the others. Tivoli was founded in 1843 and is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. There are gardens, a little lake with boating, a pavilion, a concert hall and an outdoor stage. There are lots of rides for kids and adults, one or two that looked terrifying and which, judging from the screams coming from them, certainly had that effect on some of the people! There's another review in this journal with a fuller description of Tivoli.None of us went on any of the rides except for Oliver who took a ride around in some antique cars. We just walked around taking it all in. The others weren’t planning to eat there and they left after about an hour and a half. We found a Viking themed restaurant that had pretty good burgers and chips and were satisfied with that. We walked around a bit more and caught the end of the pantomime performance at the Chinese style theatre. Since we weren’t really staying occupied with rides or games of chance, there wasn’t a lot more to keep us there until it got dark when it would all be lit up and there would be fireworks. I suppose we should have made the effort but we were tired of walking and it looked like it might rain. Indeed it did a bit as we walked back to the bus stop and got back to the hotel but it didn’t rain too much until overnight. Tomorrow is our last day here! Close
It’s another grey, damp day. Possibly slightly warmer but not a lot. We had lovely omelets for breakfast at Klimt but they still put piles of green s with an oil dressing on the plate as well. It’s all very pretty but I guess I’m…Read More
It’s another grey, damp day. Possibly slightly warmer but not a lot. We had lovely omelets for breakfast at Klimt but they still put piles of green s with an oil dressing on the plate as well. It’s all very pretty but I guess I’m not overly keen on salad for breakfast so it gets wasted I’m afraid. Graham is a bit less adventurous than me with food which can make it a challenge finding a restaurant in foreign parts and sometimes what we order is not what we expect. Though that night not be that bad, it’s really not always his taste and sometimes not mine either. Anyway the omelets were yummy and filling. I’m still itching for a decent steeped cup of tea but I think that might be a lost cause. We’re off on the bus tour today, one of those Hop On Hop Off ones to get an overview of the city. We picked it up at Radhuspladsen and the ticket is good for today and tomorrow if we want to do some more of it then. They have three different routes. We went around the main route today. We got round to where the other ubiquitous Copenhagen tourist icon is, the Little Mermaid. Normally this small statue sits on a rock out in the harbour about 10 feet from shore. Copenhagen is Hans Christian Andersen country and this is one of those stops that most of the tourists make to take photos. We wouldn’t have bothered but the bus stopped there. The thing is, the Mermaid statue is off on a tour of China so she’s not on her rock. At least I don’t think so. There’s a large video screen erected in front of it showing a live feed from China where you can see the Mermaid on her rock with Chinese tourists looking at her. Bizarre. And the weird thing is, people actually get off the bus and go look and take photos. Of the video screen. *shakes head* We got off the bus by the Amalienborg palace square. This is a large cobbled square with four identical palaces on the sides. The Queen (Margrete II) lives in one and the Crown Prince lives in another. One is for visiting dignitaries. I’m sure other minor Royals probably live in the fourth one. The palaces date to the mid 18th century and there is a museum in one of the buildings where you can see the State rooms. It is also used as a traffic roundabout so you have to watch yourself walking through it. The traffic is stopped every day at noon so they can have the Changing of the Guard. It’s not as spectacular and not nearly as much pomp and circumstance as the one in London but it’s more accessible, I think. You stand on the square around the allotted borders and boundaries, where several police keep an eye on the crowd. The guards only number about a dozen and a half. They march here from Christianborg Palace and do some to-ing and fro-ing around one of the palaces as they change shifts. Since we got there just about that time, we stayed to watch some of it then wandered off one side of the square to the huge Marmorkirken, the Marble Church with it’s dome on top. It looks very large but isn’t as big inside as I expected, thinking something along the lines of St. Paul’s from London. The interior is elaborate with lovely plaster and decorations inside the dome. It was apparently begun in the mid 1700s but the budget ran dry and it was never completed for over 150 years so this church we see today is only a little over 100 years old but decorated in the Baroque style. We walked back across the palace square through to a little park on the waterfront on the other side. You can see the new opera house across the harbour from here as the view goes straight through the square to the church. There’s a big fountain in the park so that makes for nice pictures with the Opera house or the church in the background. From there, we needed the toilet so we walked towards Nyhavn which isn’t far but we spied a café that looked likely and stopped in there. It looked nice in side but definitely geared up for tourists as it had Danish flags up everywhere and they gave us a map and tourist information book for free too. Coffee was pricey at 40 dkk each but we did get a large carafe of it at least. Too bad we only wanted the one cup! It also looked as if the large central table was actually a pool or snooker table under it! Odd. Unfortunately, that coffee stop meant we had missed the tour bus so we waited a half our for the next one. By that time, we decided to just go back to the start and take one of the other routes maybe tomorrow. We walked down the Stroget from the Radhuspladsen looking for somewhere to eat but not a lot appealed. We saw a café off to one side called Café Hollywood and went there. They do have a lunch buffet for about 70 dkk but we decided to have a club sandwich which turned out to be a mistake. It was on nice, fresh ciabatta bread but they drizzled oil over it which made it messy to hold. And the inside? A small piece of chicken and loads and loads of… yes… salad on the sandwich, also with an oil dressing and there was an orange coloured sauce on it as well which neither of us liked even after hauling out about half the greenery. It was about mid afternoon and it turns out it was a good thing we didn’t eat much. We thought we weren’t meeting Dave and the others until at least 5 or later but it turns out he was on his way to meet us at 3ish! We got back to the hotel and Graham wanted to shave before we went out. I told him Dave would just have to wait! I went downstairs to wait with Dave and Matt while he did his thing and we walked back into the Latin Quarter to where Dave’s wife, Trille’s shop (UK) was. It’s a Goth clothing and accessory shop close to the Stroget. She’d already closed the shop so we didn’t get to see it then. Their little boy Oliver was with them too and we walked towards the restaurant just a few blocks away with a side step to see some of the older buildings that I like so much. The restaurant is called RizRaz and has a vegetarian buffet but also has meat choices as an add-on. You can get a skewer of 3 or 4 chunks of meat (beef, lamb, salmon, pork) with a spice baked in for an extra 30 dkk if you have the buffet and that seemed like a nice compromise. The salad bar was fresh and the hot items were tasty and the Danish beer washed it all down nicely. We ate early, about 4:15 so were done by 5. Trille was really nice and Oliver was a cute little fella, though kind of shy at first. We walked to the Radhuspladsen where we were getting busses to various locations. The guys were off to the studio and Trille and Oliver took the bus I took as far as where I got off for the hotel. I got some more snacks as there was another 7/11 by the station. I took a few pics around the streets on the way back to the hotel and settled in for the evening, nice and warm. I rang my mum for a chat and had the wi-fi and my journal to keep me occupied. My feet will thank me for it! Graham got in about midnight I think. They had a good time doing the show, the four of them. Matt also does an internet radio show from the UK out of Birmingham so they all had combined audiences for this one, or will have once it’s edited and put online. Close
So far…The streets are mainly wide other than in the old "Latin Quarter". The bike lanes are also wider and on many of the roads, the bus stops on the street side of the bike lane, not near the sidewalk. Good concept! Bikes! Yes this…Read More
So far…The streets are mainly wide other than in the old "Latin Quarter". The bike lanes are also wider and on many of the roads, the bus stops on the street side of the bike lane, not near the sidewalk. Good concept! Bikes! Yes this is a city full of bicycles, like Amsterdam but the bikes here seem in better condition. We’ve been told that people in Amsterdam use the old bikes for around the city in case they get stolen which is very common there. Maybe it isn’t as much here? Don’t know. They also have bikes with a little carrier box in front for cargo and sometimes kids. Yet we haven’t heard many people lay on the warning bells on the bikes like we did in Amsterdam. There was one bike parking garage at Norreport station and I’m sure there are probably others around but we didn’t see them, mainly being in the old section of the city most of the time. The people have been really nice in the restaurants and shops for the most part. Language hasn’t been a problem either. I can’t seem to get a good strong cup of hot tea. It’s definitely coffee culture here. And they serve coffee and tea in glasses quite often. There’s no coffee or tea makings in the hotel room and I don’t know if that’s common or just this hotel. We can get it free in the hotel lounge if we want. I notice people don’t queue politely for the bus, they just crowd through the door to get in. A bit disconcerting if you try to get off though you are supposed to exit through the back door of the bus. There are lots of big parks and green spaces even in the old part of the city. There are lots of towers on buildings and churches, usually elaborately decorated. Many buildings are brightly painted in warm colours, yellows, oranges, golds, rusts, with some blues and greens thrown in. The buildings have a lot of large windows, too. Many of the older houses and buildings have clay tiled roofs. There are a lot of really nice squares and piazzas in the old part of the city, all of them with outdoor cafes and bars. Many of the provide small blankets in case it is chilly outside. Novel concept! Most of the restaurants and bars are now non smoking so you do get the usual group of people outside the doors having a cig. Most of the cafes/restaurants we went to, you would order at the bar and pay then. They’d bring the food to you. Posher places will bring you a bill but the tip/service charge is usually included already. It’s useful but not so great if you do get slow or lousy service. The city is flat with a lot of cobblestones on the sidewalks and many of the older streets but there are rows of flat paving stones through the cobbles as "lanes" that you can walk on to save your ankles. Everywhere we ate the food was so nicely presented, almost works of art sometimes. Lots of greenery on the plates and food, not always to our taste but it was pretty anyway. We have had the occasional meal that wasn’t that good but mostly it’s been really excellent food. There are three castles/palaces in the city centre. We went through one of them and saw the other two including a Changing of the Guard at the Amalienborg complex. They seem to be very conscious of their history and heritage and even newer buildings often reflect the style of the older ones nearby. Doing research, it seems that many of the hotels have free Wi-Fi, ours included which is very modern and very handy. Our hotel has free wi-fi but has a computer in the lobby that they charge for use. Odd. Copenhagen is definitely a lovely city, beautiful architecture, good food and nice people. It’s expensive, most definitely, but it’s definitely worth visiting and it’s a place I’d visit again should the opportunity arise. Close
Today we decided to go to the National Museum to find more Viking artifacts. First, though, brunch at Café Klimt. It was lovely, with eggs and sausage, fresh fruit, yogurt and some cold meat and cheese, again presented like it was something out of a…Read More
Today we decided to go to the National Museum to find more Viking artifacts. First, though, brunch at Café Klimt. It was lovely, with eggs and sausage, fresh fruit, yogurt and some cold meat and cheese, again presented like it was something out of a food magazine. We’ll definitely come back for breakfast. They also do omelets and "side dishes" where you can build a more standard type of breakfast. It’s another cold, chilly day. Very glad I had that hoodie to wear with my jacket as most of the tops I brought are only short sleeved. We took a bus to the town hall square. (Radhuspladsen) and took some photos of the building and square before looking for the museum which isn’t far from there. We walked down the street that is between the Radhus and Tivoli Gardens and around behind it over to the museum. It’s a Natural History type museum, tracing the evolution of the culture of the area from prehistoric times up to the present. It’s a huge place and really too much to see all in one go. The nice thing is it’s a free museum so you could go back as many times as you wanted. We found the Stone age, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Viking stuff particularly good. I don’t know what it is, though, you can walk for miles before you get sore feet and legs but an hour in a museum and you’re all but crippled up! We did take a break at the café where I had my first real Danish pastry! Yum! We saw about half of the museum and decided that was enough. It was time to do a little shopping. On the way to finding the main shopping district, the Stroget, we came across Christianborg Palace so took a few pics on the grounds there. I think you can go in but we weren’t in the frame of mind for another museum. Across the Frederiksholm canal that circles the castle complex. The island, Slotsholmen, is apparently where Bishop Absalon founded Copenhagen in 1160-67. This palace is the ceremonial seat of the Royal Family now and also where the Danish Parliament is. The palace that is here now is actually only about 100 years old but is the fourth one on that site. A few blocks away, we stopped into a little shop below street level called the Secret Kitchen for a coffee then strolled along that street and over to the Stroget. The Stroget is actually five streets together that are all pedestrianized and lined with shops and department stores and food places. You can find things for any budget from bargain basement to designer gear. We were mainly after souvenirs so we didn’t get into the big shops like Royal Copenhagen or the department stores. We found what we wanted and picked up some snacks at the 7/11, caught a very crowded bus back to the hotel. We tried to go out about 7:30 to get a bite to eat and we wanted to stay close to the hotel because Dave was coming later and we were supposed to go to the airport with him to pick up his brother, Matt, who is here for a couple of weeks holidays. It being Friday night, every place we went to was full if we didn’t have a reservation, which we didn’t. We went back to see if we could get a table at the restaurant in the hotel, La Rocca it’s called. They did have a table but were a bit snotty about it as we didn’t book. It’s an Italian restaurant and quite a nice one, posher than I realized. They brought a dish of bread and a bottle of olive oil. No butter. No balsamic vinegar either. Graham was confused but I realized you are supposed to dip the butter in the olive oil which further horrified him. This could not bode well! We looked at the menu and I almost decided on the pizza but the ravioli sounded really nice. We both decided on that but when it came, though nicely arranged on the plate, was only 6 or 7 pieces! It tasted very good, what there was of it but each of us could cheerfully have polished off both plates of it. Graham was disconcerted to see the big plate and little meal and joked "where’s me chips?"We weren’t impressed. The price, while seemingly not bad, ended u not a good value at all. It was 350 dkk for two orders and a glass of wine each for what was basically an appetizer. Now in Italy, pasta often is the appetizer on the menu so I suppose this was faithful to that concept. What really pissed us off was the arrival at the table next to us of the pizza. A huge dinnerplate sized pizza for one person! We would have been fine had we ordered that! We also felt rushed by the staff so paid up and came back to the hotel room and had some of the snacks we’d bought earlier to top up. By the time Dave arrived at 9, I was finally warm and comfy though still a bit tired. It must have been obvious when we went downstairs when Dave came to get us and I got cold all over again going out the door. I felt bad backing out but they were fine, I let Graham go off to the airport and I snuggled down in the hotel room for the rest of the evening. It was kind of funny though, seeing long, tall Dave in his long black coat and black clothes standing in the fading light of day across the street from the hotel. He looked almost like… Graham added "Like a Vampire!" Yes! I got a cup of tea from the hotel lounge and went back to the room to relax and write in my journal with the tv on for company. I’m looking forward to meeting Dave’s wife Trille tomorrow night when we all go out to dinner. It’s going to be similar weather again tomorrow and maybe Sunday. I hope the rain holds off until nighttime at least. Close
The plan today is to take the train to Roskilde which is the original capital of Denmark. There’s an old Cathedral (Domkirke) and the Viking Ship museum there which is on our Must See list. The day is overcast and chilly unfortunately. Get used to…Read More
The plan today is to take the train to Roskilde which is the original capital of Denmark. There’s an old Cathedral (Domkirke) and the Viking Ship museum there which is on our Must See list. The day is overcast and chilly unfortunately. Get used to it! As breakfast wasn’t included, there is a bakery just up the street. We had hot drinks and something to eat there before going to Norroport station. Apparently we can get a regional train to Roskilde from here rather than going to the Central Station so that will be convenient. Only we had trouble with the ticket machines. It kept getting to the payment part and timing out, not giving me the opportunity to put in the corresponding PIN. There was no manned ticket office there either and the machine only took coins, not paper money. Arggh! We went down onto the platform to see if there was anyone there that could help. There was a snack kiosk so I asked there and the guy had some tickets and things so he sold us two 24 hour transport passes. Sorted. The train took maybe 20 or 30 minutes and you arrive at the city centre. Roskilde also has lots of pretty colourful one or two storey houses. The looked quite old, some of them but they also have modern buildings as well, of course. We walked through a shopping area that led to the old Market square. Here you find some old brick buildings, one of which houses the tourist information centre and the brick Domkirke is behind that. One one side of the church is a long low yellow building which is apparently the Bishop’s Palace, his residence and offices. As I said, this used to be the capital city and most of the Kings and Queens from the 1500s forward are buried in the church. The interior of the church does look like it’s been restored and it has been changed over the years since it was first built in the 13th century. Some of the walls and ceilings are ver clean and bright, painted white with crests but you can see that the pews and other woodwork is very old. The altar screen is gold, a very elaborate three panel piece that is from the 16th century. Behind that is the tomb of Margrete I who was a medieval queen of Denmark and the workmanship is exquisite on the decorations and the effigy. The real jaw-dropper is the chapel built by Christian IV. The walls are covered in murals and the vaulted ceiling is bright blue with gold highlights and "stars" similar to the ceiling in Sainte Chappelle in Paris. This king reigned for over 60 years. The chapel has a number of tombs in it including his and a large bronze statue of him as well. The gates to the chapel are intricately worked wrought iron, it looks like lace!Most of the rulers seem to be Christians or Frederiks though I expect that is just the name they take when the succeed to the throne. From there we walked down a little street that let to a main one that comes out by the Viking Ship museum. It was a very pretty walk with the old houses lining the first street. The museum has a lot of replica longboats in the little harbour and inside the museum there are bits and pieces of 5 real ones, mounted on a skeleton frame so you can see how big they really were. These ships were discovered in the fjord and were painstakingly raised and dried out and preserved. They also have sailings where you can go out in a replica boat and be part of the crew, rowing and handling the sails but it was far to chilly today for that. It also costs extra to do that on top of the museum entry. We had a look into the working boat house where they are building another long boat according to traditional methods. There are lots of information boards and there is a film you can watch about the voyage they did in a replica longboat from Roskilde to Dublin and back. They do have radar and some other safety measures on board but basically they are in this shallow boat exposed to the elements and you cannot imagine how the Vikings could have gone across the oceans in these boats and survived! We had a coffee and we bought a few things in the gift shop. We just missed the bus back to the station so we asked the gift shop people to call us a taxi. She said the bus was only once an hour so it wasn’t worth waiting and it was an uphihll climb to walk. The departures board at the station was a bit confusing. Surely more than one or two trains an hour stop in Copenhagen? I asked someone and of course, there were other trains and since they all went through one or two platforms, we could be sure of getting one if we waited there. We only had to wait about 10 minutes and we were able to get the train right to Norreport. I have an app on my iPod for Copenhagen and it shows local restaurants. One of the ones near our hotel seemed like it might be a good bet so we walked down a couple of blocks and found it. It’s called Café Klimt and it turned out to be a little gem. It’s small but cheerful. They have an English menu and the prices seemed good. We notice they also do brunch and breakfast items cheaper than we could pay at the hotel so we will probably come here for our breakfasts even though they don’t open until 10. We’re not in any rush so it will mean we don’t have to get up really early. We had an excellent meal here. I had lasagna and Graham had a steak with a peppercorn sauce. The food was presented with lovely decoration and it was hot and fresh and very good. The restaurant itself is a bit worn around the edges, with some vinyl on seats cracked but the staff was really nice, the food excellent and we liked it there. Tonight we went to the studio where Dave and Donovan record their Metal Breakfast Radio Show to do a show with them. We had to take a bus through the northern part of the city, the Norrepro district and then walked a few blocks where the building was. It’s a small studio and Donovan also has his business in one of the rooms. He builds and fixes electric guitars and is very talented. The session went well, lots of fun. They play songs but then talk through a lot of it and if they don’t like the song, they finish it early with Dalek sound effects "Exterminate!!!!" Graham and I had brought some songs to play and I know I fully expected some of mine to be exterminated, one that I brought specifically for that purpose! The room was small and got quite warm with the four of us in there. Beer was drank and laughs were had. It was mostly the three of them doing most of the talking as I don’t know as much about the metal music world that they do but I enjoyed myself. We got a taxi back to the hotel as it was dark and late and I didn’t fancy walking very far to find a later bus. We discovered we were too late for the hotel restaurant and there weren’t any others close by that were open or that weren’t too full so we ended up having to go to bed hungry! Better get some snacks in to avoid that situation again! Close
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…Read More
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. Close
Written by albertellenich on 26 Aug, 2008
Fortunately for us, the time difference was a non issue and we’ve been able to spend our short time in Copenhagen touring rather than sleeping! However, all the walking can be tiring!In brief, Copenhagen is beautiful! Subtle attention to detail is evident everywhere if you…Read More
Fortunately for us, the time difference was a non issue and we’ve been able to spend our short time in Copenhagen touring rather than sleeping! However, all the walking can be tiring!In brief, Copenhagen is beautiful! Subtle attention to detail is evident everywhere if you keep your eyes open. The people are just as beautiful as the city! Everyone looks like they belong on the pages of a magazine. I guess it’s the Nordic heritage...and the fact that everyone seems to ride a bicycle.Bicycles are everywhere! There seem to be almost as many as cars in the city. There are special lanes for bicycles just about everywhere. The city truly is designed to accommodate cyclists with special lanes and parking facilities everywhere.Our full day in the city started out with an early complimentary breakfast at our hotel. Standard fare food plus some nice extras made for a tasty way to start the day and hold us over comfortably until lunch. Given the food prices we’ve seen, we appreciated the bonus!We first strolled around the hotel neighborhood and visited a statue of Hans Christian Andersen, Parliament and the National Museum before heading to Støget and our walk to the Little Mermaid. Talk about convenient location!The Little Mermaid is at the opposite end of the city from the hotel. Along the way, we were treated to many of the main attractions of the city. Our walk started down Strøget, the main shopping district. This pedestrian only street is lined with shops and runs for several blocks to Nyhavn, near the water. The street is lined with numerous shopping and eating venues, plus a few live performers.At Nyhavn, we walked to the waterfront and continued on towards the Little Mermaid. Our path took us past the Opera house on the opposite shore, and Frederiksstaden, a complex made up of palaces for Christian VII, Christian VIII, Frederik VIII and Christian IX.We arrived at the little mermaid and got our required tourist shots before heading off to the mutant mermaid. The mutant mermaid is an alternative sculpture, featuring a Dali-esque mermaid in the water. It’s difficult to describe without actually seeing it, so check out the pictures.Walking back from the mutant mermaid took us through Kastellet. This pentagram shaped fortress was designed for protection against the Swedes, but only ever used against the English in 1807. The embankment around the fortress was a nice walk, and apparently a popular spot for locals to jog.Arriving back in the neighborhood of our hotel, we decided to stop for dinner and ended up at a bar/cafe called Stella. Our food was good and we had luck with English translations for most anything we needed. Our simple meal took a couple hours to finish though. Service was slow by American standards, but may be the norm here. We weren’t in a hurry, so it didn’t matter. The meal cost us 415 DK Kr, or about $83 US. While that seemed high to us, the US dollar is weak now and the Danish price included tax and tip. The nice thing about menu prices is that the price includes tax and tip. It makes for very easy payment in the end.Another great breakfast and a late checkout ends our stay in Copenhagen as we head to the ship to start our cruise this afternoon. Close
Written by girlfromals on 10 Jul, 2002
The name of the game is hyggelig! There is no direct translation into English but it generally conveys a feeling of coziness, comfort, and friendship that goes along with an evening spent at a friend's home.
My host parents hosted a number of dinner parties…Read More
The name of the game is hyggelig! There is no direct translation into English but it generally conveys a feeling of coziness, comfort, and friendship that goes along with an evening spent at a friend's home.
My host parents hosted a number of dinner parties and went to a few as well. I got to meet a number of new people and relatives of my host family this way.
A lot of preparation goes into making the food and the dessert. My host parents spent a good deal of time on preparation. Decorating the table is also very important. The special tablecloths, napkins, candles and candle rings are used for these occasions.
The evening begins when the guests arrive. My host parents always offered up a good bottle of red wine to begin the evening. We would sit in the living room and enjoy our wine while the supper finished cooking. My host mom always kept the door to the kitchen closed at this point. We also had sliding doors between the living room and dining room which were kept closed as well. I am not quite sure why but maybe it just added to the excitement.
The meal began with the required toast with aquavit (a Danish spirit) welcoming the guests. You must lift the shot glass to almost eye level but never higher than your eyes and look the people around the table in the eyes and say "Skål!" (pronounced skoal), the Danish for cheers. They do not touch glasses like we do in North America. If you run out of aquavit, you will be poured more for those impromtu skåls!
After the guests are welcomed, you begin with the first course. What was normal in my house was rye bread with herring in curry sauce. It sounds unappetizing to some but it actually is very good. The taste and texture of the rye bread compliments the herring and curry sauce very well. The aquavit also helps!
Beware the main course! Not the food - but how it is served. The key to eating at one of these dinner parties is to take a little bit of food at a time. The main course and side dishes will be passed around 3-4 times. I didn't catch on to this for a very long time and took everything the first time round. I was always being asked if I was still hungry. The main course usually takes 3 hours as everyone talks and discusses various things.
It is not unusual to drink a lot of wine at a dinner party. If you don't drink wine, there is always Danish beer. Make sure your glass does not go empty because someone might just initiate a skaal unexpectedly and you don't want to be caught without something to say cheers with!
Danes use knives and forks for everything. No eating with just a fork in Denmark! That is considered bad manners. My host brother Flemming got heckled many times for trying to eat just with a fork! Just observe what they do and follow along. When you are finished eating/are full, place your knife and fork side by side in the 4 o'clock position on your plate. I didn't catch on to that one for a long time either and it might have contributed to everyone asking me if I was still hungry.
When the main course is finished, the table is cleared and coffee is prepared. The adults retire to the living room for coffee and cake. If there are children, they are allowed to go off to have their cake and usually pop/soda usually in front of the TV. The desserts are so fantastic. There are many types of cakes in Denmark. Beware the desserts if you count calories! Danish desserts are off the scales! But I always recommend that you indulge becuase nothing is as good as a homemade Danish dessert. This portion of the evening can last 1-2 hours.
If the evening has gone well, the guests will offer the ultimate compliment to the hosts. They will say that the evening was hyggelig and promise to come back for another dinner party.