Colorful Copenhagen

After another way-too-early start from Iceland (up at 4AM to catch the 4:30AM pickup bus to catch the 5AM bus to the airport to arrive at 5:45 to catch our 7AM plane), we landed at noon into Copenhagen with sunshine on one side of the plane and dark storm clouds on the other.

Even after we landed the sky above the airport was moody:

Our youngest was pleasantly surprised to learn that Denmark is the Land of Legos. The airport did not disappoint:

Using Google Map directions, we took the metro to downtown Copenhagen and hopped a bus at the top of the metro station stairs two stops. We were dropped off within a block of our hotel, and raced the raindrops.

The Hotel SP34 is named for its address: Sankt Peders Stræde 34 (34 St. Peter’s Street).

It’s a very new hotel, completed earlier this year or late last year.  
The Lobby is clean and modern and decidedly Danish:


Getting to the rooms was a bit of an adventure as the hotel spans two or three buildings. There was even a Lost Your Way? map to navigate to or from your room:

The Rooms:
The first room we were sent to was a bit too small. The good news is that the hotel was nice enough to put us into a larger suite to accommodate all four of us. The not-so-good news was that it was at the end of the hallway (#133 on the map above) and looked out into a back alley space, however, it worked out well for our stay. Some of the rooms looked out onto the street below:

The Restaurant was split level with a street level café feel


and a downstairs (basement) dining area where we ate breakfast:


Most notable for this engineer-traveler was this cool rotary wire cheese slicer:

This isn’t my video but it’s the same slicer:

We were able to check in a bit early, and the girls took a much-needed nap while I walked to the nearby tuxedo shop to get fitted for a big birthday party in northern Denmark on Saturday. The streets were still wet from the rain, and the threat of more rain kept people out of the streets.

There is a Danish tradition during weddings that the bride cuts off the toes of the groom’s socks so that other women aren’t attracted to the groom. The tuxedo shop had ready-marked socks on-hand:

Another Danish tradition during this time of year (June), is that when the students graduate from high school, they celebrate by driving around in big trucks all over town and visiting the families of those on the truck. They honk horns and scream and shout and have a good time:

 

After my fitting, we strolled down the city’s Strøgets, or car-free, pedestrian-only streets.   Copenhagen boasts the world’s longest pedestrian walkway. It’s really nice to wander the city without worrying about traffic and cars and exhaust.


 

Round Tower
We headed to Round Tower, a 17th Century observatory.

It has a unique spiral ramp that circles seven and a half times up to the top. It was used by Peter the Great of Russia in 1716 to ride up on horseback with his wife Katerina in a horse-drawn carriage.   


The top has one of the best views in Copenhagen over the red rooftops:


At each point on the compass, they have a line drawing that labels all the significant buildings:


On the way back down, we stopped to look down the center of the tower:


You can read more about the Tower here: http://www.rundetaarn.dk/en/the-tower/

We did a bit more strolling around the city people watching street performers:


being amazed at the rows upon rows of bicycles:

and taking in all the colorful buildings:

These timberframe buildings above date back to 1730.

We enjoyed some ice cream with a (Danish) cocoa dusting and sprinkles in the plaza and wandered around a bit more before heading back for the evening.

Day 2

Canal Tour
Our next day in Copenhagen, we walked the Strøget to Nyhavn, or New Harbor, known for its colorful buildings.




That last photo is from the Lego store on the Strøget. Denmark is, after all, home to Lego!

What could be more Copenhagen than taking the Canal tour by canal boat? The long wide flat boats are designed to slip under low bridges.
Nyhavn is almost prettier from in the harbor:

It’s really amazing to see a city that is so connected by water. We saw the Copenhagen Opera house, the Naval Museum, the Little Mermaid statue, and the royal residence as we cruised through the canals.


Here are some more photos from the tour:

 
Tivoli

In the afternoon, we walked over to Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest (2nd oldest to be exact – built in 1843!) amusement parks in the world.  With too many restaurants to count (upwards of 20), we quickly found something that satisfied all hunger needs before hitting the rides.  

As Americans, and Californians, we found ourselves making comparisons to Disneyland.   The Rutschebanen (roller coaster), which was built in 1914, wraps a roller coaster around a large snow-capped mountain peak, reminiscent of the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland.  In fact, Walt Disney visited Tivoli and borrowed some ideas for Disneyland. But unlike Disneyland, the lines at Tivoli are way shorter – about 10x shorter.  The most we ever waited in line for a ride was about 7 minutes (!), which made it much more fun.

The Demon roller coaster was probably the favorite with its twists and loops.


Here is Tivoli’s video of the Demon (no cameras allowed on the ride):

One of the things that’s interesting about Tivoli Gardens is when you are riding any of the taller rides, you can see out into Copenhagen.  

It’s not far from city center – a few blocks – and it was only 2 blocks from our hotel.

Copenhagen is wonderful city for short or extended stay. It’s a very easy city to get around and there is lots to see. We just barely scratched the surface with our short time here, so we’ll have to come back!

In the morning, we have to catch an early morning taxi to catch a bus to a ferry to Ebeltoft, so we headed back to the hotel for some rest…

Happy RTW Travels!

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