Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Scandinavia 2008 - Copenhagen, Denmark

(+55° 41' 50.06", +12° 36' 2.35")
It was our first port and we wanted to hurry and get off the boat with our bikes to not get stuck in a crowd. However we were disembarking from deck four instead of seven where we had got on the ship so after figuring that out we of course got off the boat at the same time as a tour group.
Based on the map I had and looking out the window from the ship I also guessed wrong where we were on the map so we ended up riding north for about 10 minutes. When it all started looking much more industrial than it should we happened to ride by the Unicef dock and I remembered it from the map. We were soon headed south and we had docked much closer to town than I thought. (I found out later that they would show me where we were on the map at each port at the reception desk.)
The first thing we saw because it was so close was the little mermaid. This city is very proud of Hans Christian Anderson so this statue was for the little mermaid that is happy to turn into sea foam instead of the Disney happy ending version.
From there we followed the “Rick Steves walking tour” to the royal palace. But Copenhagen is a city full of cool church steeples so we quickly got off track riding from one to the next. Since we were so off track we decided to ride to Chistianna. If you are not familiar it is a hippy commune that took over an abandoned military base and declared themselves separate from the EU complete with their own police force. (Which ended up being a couple of guys sitting on 50 gallon drums on the main dirt road in town.) For a bunch of anarchists they were pretty friendly but they had no camera signs everywhere so we didn’t take pictures. I guess they don’t like being a tourist exhibit but they do offer tours of the commune.
From there we rode to the national museum but didn’t stay to long since it was mainly stuff from other countries and the stuff that was Danish was pretty modern (It was odd looking at a computer disk in a museum case.) The coin and medal collection was nice though.
We next rode to Tivoli gardens. It is the original amusement park (Entry: 80 Krone ~ $16). Again something Disney copied when creating Disneyland. The place is beautiful with formal gardens full of flowers (That may or may not have a roller coaster right next to it.) For lunch we tried the famous Danish “open faced sandwiches”. Which as it turns out mine did not have bread, just a cup with cold herring and onions slices. Apparently “sandwich” in Danish as the waiter explained loosely translates to “lunch food”. We also couldn’t resist eating the Danish waffles and ableskievers (small puffy round pancakes that we originally thought were Swedish but are Danish it turns out.) Yes, they were better tasting then any of the ableskievers I have made. We of course had to go on the Hans Christian Anderson ride (2 tickets=32 Krone ~ $6) You climbed into a large steamer trunk and luckily there was a nice switch on the top that switched from Danish to English Narration. It then flew you through (Peter Pan ride style) all of the stories. It was a blast but very confusing because we never knew where one story ended and the next picked up.
After a little shopping we rode back to the ship, on time, and without getting lost. Our first port was a total success. Leaving Copenhagen we were surprised by how busy the shipping lanes were. Denmark has a lot of off-shore windmills and all the ships just travel right down the center of them.

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