Copenhagen

Trip Start Jul 07, 2007
1
12
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Trip End Sep 22, 2007


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Friday, July 20, 2007

Arrived Friday evening to find our City Camp site. A location that turned out to be on the edge of an area undergoing reconstruction near the river. This had the primary advantage that the first new construction was a shopping centre, Fisketorvet, with integrated cinema. The supermarket turned out to be quite useful, the cinema was great as a distraction for a wet Sunday (saw Transformers which was enjoyable but I had this nagging feeling the film could have been so much better if it had not received the Hollywood treatment) and a photo shop - more on that later.

The camp site was fairly basic and only geared to motor vehicles and caravans. We later negotiated the use of free electricity by carefully running the power cable round the back of the reception hut. A highly preferable source of power compared to the sun over the weekend. We did find ourselves with no juice left in the leisure battery after running the coolbox for too many hours on Thursday. Luckily our solar panel and a hot day combined to give us enough for Friday night.

Friday evening Tor dropped a film off for developing and we found a nice Greek buffet in Fisketorvet. We thought that the idea of a free concert in Tivoli gardens sounded rather appealing so trudged off to the town centre along the river. At Tivoli, we discovered loads of noise from the roller coasters, some rock music and entrance attendants who still wanted to charge the whole 8 for entry to the gardens even though it was 10pm. Instead we wandered around the centre and found somewhere for a drink.

Overall Denmark did not appear that expensive a place for the purchase of the odd pint of beer - restaurant wine was substantianlly more expensive so we resisted on the basis we had litres back in the van. However, Copenhagen upped the ante with some rather more scary drinks prices (of course including soft drinks) - a pint of beer and a shot of rum were the best part of a tenner and at the waterside two bottles of Sprite poured into one large glass with the added benefit of ice cubes came to a fiver.

Copenhagen was a quite a step-up from the very rural and quiet locations we had been visiting so far. The town centre was almost claustrophobic with the number of people and tourists, lots of more English could be overhead, increased amounts of litter and general grime (not just around McDonalds although they tended to be the worst spots). On the plus side there was lots of culture, museums, great architecture and the backdrop of canals and river. For a capital city the place seemed a nice size, very walkable with lots to do.

Saturday afternoon found us back in the town centre at a museum followed by a meal by one of the canals. The Danes appear to produce some of the best ice-cream, fish selections and burgers/sandwiches. Although there definition of a burger/sandwich seemed to consist of some bread on the bottom and top with so much food in-between that the creation had to be dissected to produce manageable chunks. This may have come from their desire for open-sandwiches although I almost wonder what the purpose of the bread is in those. After ordering our dinner I remembered those photos that Tor had dropped off. Available after 3pm Saturday and a warning that they were closed on Sunday. hmm, well the place stays open until 8pm so we have nearly an hour to get there. By the time the food had duly arrived, due and proper care given to its consumption, the clock showed significantly less time. We chose to use the opportunity to avail ourselves of one of the cycle-taxis. Ours consisted of us squeezed into a large front seat with a poor, young lad cycling behind and trying to deal with the weight of the three of us. Most of the route was fine but to cross the water required travelling up a bridge - we appeared to be going slower and slower and heard the gears clunk down. However, to give the guy credit we did arrive and in much shorter time than if we had walked. Unfortunately, the shops had closed hours earlier - any concessions to later-night shopping we clearly not something for the weekend. This resulted in a slight change of plans and a need to delay our departure to Sweden.

To console ourselves we went out clubbing Saturday night reaching our chosen venue shortly after midnight - Vega. Multiple rooms mixed dancing with drinking/chatting. One of the bars clearly excelled in cocktails - all were made by the same expert who had a special elevated section of the bar with all required paraphernalia within easy reach. Very enjoyable cocktails:-) We returned home about 3:30ish after visiting a 24-hour cornershop for a drink and ice-cream. Luckily this turned out to be great timing.

After we were in the bed the rain arrived and didn't really pause to stop much for over 24 hours. Luckily Sunday just became a quiet day with Tor demonstrating the art of sleep with surpreme skill. I managed to coax a wireless connection to respond enough for intermittent e-mail and travel updates. (I am now sitting at the Swedish camp site, which advertises itself as having wireless Internet, but not detecting any. Should I buy a big antenna? Note for techies - sadly the local Pringles tubes appear to be predominantly snack-size. )

Monday the sun came back out and we did lots of sight-seeing from the comfort of boats. Some of the bridges were a tight squeeze and for many the warning 'Low bridge ahead. Keep your head down.' was highly accurate. Mid-afternoon we stopped on the other side of the river to the main city centre and walked around an area called Christiana. Quite surreal and eclectic - the area had banned motor vehicles, been taken over by bohemian hippies with a commercial need to pay the bills. Lots of fascinating artwork on the buildings, guided tours available and cafes with street signs with Coca-Cola advertising.

The return trip to the camera shop in the morning allowed me the treat of a new digital camera - the old still working and taking photos but heavily, limited by its non-functioning screen. Now to find time to read the manual! Yes, it does have an English manual but only on the CD. I intentionally chose a Canon, the same as my other camera, so its been pretty intuitive so far.
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