Copenhagen, Denmark

COPENHAGEN

What do you get after 15 miles of walking? How about some sore feet, a ton of photos, and a terrific tour of the capitol of Denmark.

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. (Check out the photos in the album section to see a few examples.) 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. (See the video in the Albums section.)

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.

- Albert