Copenhagen 15-18 June
15 June - getting there
The train from hamburg to copenhagen
drives onto a ferry at Puttgarden (German coast) to cross to Rodby
(Denmark). Was cool to ride a train directly onto a ferry.
Thankfully we didn't have to stay on the train and got to wander the
“Duty-free” delights on board the ship. God people went
absolutely nuts. Me, i just wanted something to eat so i unhappily
trawled the offerings and settled on a 7 Euro smoked salmon sandwich
– sheesh (that's like 14 NZ$). Was pretty good though.
the end of the ferry trip i went to go buy a chocolate bar for the
next trip. When i came out of the store there were no more people on
the boat. panicking, i moved to the window just to see the train
pulling out onto land. Many swear words went through my mind (all
my stuff, including the eurail pass, was on that train).
I sprinted down the gangplank and only
just managed to reach the train at Rodby station just as they were
blowing the whistle. Very very close shave.
I just can't believe that they didn't
bother making any sort of announcement to people – you know to tell
them to get back on the train - or even just to say - hey there we have arrived at our destination (which they normally do in several languages on the train)!
Rest of the trip, thankfully, was
pretty uneventful - apart from the embarassment when explaing what happened to my cabin mates - and i arrived in Copenhagen in one piece.
This time i had researched the hostel
location well beforehand and had no probs getting there. Mind you it does
help when your hostel is a sky-scraper right by the canal.
Danhostel Copenhagen City is
superflash. Hotel-style with lobby, bar, restaurant e.t.c. and key
cards for everything. Room was pretty cool too with fold-down
bunkbeds and a super-swish ensuite. Had some awesome roommates too –
2 sisters from South Africa (who had some very interesting, and sad, tales to tell about their homeland) and a girl from Singapore (who it turned
out had been in Hamburg too and on the same train as me).
We all got
chatting pretty quickly and even had coffee together in the room the
next morning (the South African sisters had these cool mini-element
sticks that you hold in your coffee cup to boil water – very quick
After getting over the shock of everything suddenly costing hundereds of kroner (one NZD is around 4-5 kroner) - exactly the opposite from the world of Euros (where everything seems so cheap until you convert it back to NZ$) i found Copenhagen to be a great city to stay in (though it is expensive make no mistake)
16 & 17 June - Sight-seeing in Copenhagen
The helpful tourist info people put
together a great free map which has a few city walks you can do that
take in most of the sights. I pretty much spent my two full days in
C/hagen following those routes and trying to dodge the atrocious
weather. It was rainy and cold a lot and then turned to brilliant sunshine the day i had to leave.
Ok - grizzle over...
Copenhagen is a really impressive city - it has definately been one of my favs. There are many stunning old buildings or different architectural types and a very very cool selection of modern architectural marvels(John Campbell would definately give Copenhagen a "Marvellous" - is he still saying that?) . Scandanavia does design and architecture uber well.
One of said marvels was the Royal Library. Yes, Copenhagen is home to the Danish royal family who have several palaces there (apparently the in thing to do for Royalty in Denmark is to build their very own new palaces - each more lavish than the next)- one which even has a "changing of the guards").
The library (gifted to the people of C/hagen by the royals), referred to as the "Black Diamond" (it is made of black glass and shaped diamondish), is right on the waterfront and is absolutely huge (many many shelves full of books along with cafes, pc's e.t.c - wouldn't be surprised if it had a movie theatre). Would definately give the James Height building a run for it's money. Do you think black glass is in the budget for 2009 - then we could have a black glass ONE DESK?
On top of all that there are some very pretty canals and harbours to stroll along - and you can do boat tours of the canals too (forked out 30 kroner for that and it was great except for open-topped boats not going so well with showery weather). And many gorgeous blue (you know that aged copper look) statues (including the infamous "little mermaid" which is actually so little i almost missed it), fountains and gardens - all with contemporary art scattered throughout.
Oh - and lets not forget Tivoli - the old-fashoined theme park (didn't end up going in even though it was only a stones throw from the hostel and every day the screams of happy happy people taunted me. I decided it was too expensive - 85 DKK just to get in and walk around - and blew my kroners on items from the Danish version of the $2 shop - the 10 Dkk shop. Maybe i can sqeeze it in on my way back down to Switz (the South African sisters went and thought it was gorgeous).