While our initial jet-lagged, redeye impression of Copenhagen was “Rain, drear, we can’t check in for four hours?”, shortly followed by “How is a filtered coffee $9?!”, it improved immensely (well, not the coffee part, so much) after check-in, a nap, and a drastic change in the weather.
(It seems that I did not, in fact, bring all the rain with me after all; it just took some time to clear out after landing. Which is confusing, really, given the lack of any hassle whatsoever following our landing in the city. Apparently we cleared security in Germany, thus The Boy and I landed in Denmark with nary a customs officer or passport stamp in sight. The lady at the tourist information desk looked quite amused when I asked her if I’d missed the line somewhere to go get cleared for Copenhagen. Huh.)
And now, a random windmill:
It wasn’t really random; it was part of the Citadel we wandered past last night. I just wanted photographic proof of the good weather (in spite of the forecast!). Also, sorry if the photos look weird; I don’t have my normal photo-dealing-with software here, and Picassa freaks me out a bit.
Anyway. The hotel we’re staying in used to be a bathhouse and is built on the vintage pilings from one of the moats in city. All of this, however, really isn’t what you think of at 1:30 in the morning, when there appears to be a street festival, complete with cheering and drumming going on outside, but you can’t figure out why or what’s going on.
Some many hours later, we got up, much refreshed, and headed out to wander the town, and give it a second chance. This all started with brunch at a place that had the best cookies that I’ve paid for, ever. The cookies? Were these amazing, buttery, orange-flavour-tinted concoctions baked crisp (see: buttery) but still slightly chewy, and striped with just a little chocolate (so they weren’t overpowered by it). Amazing. I have vowed to recreate them when I get home. They looked like this:
The picture above, of course, only shows the good side of things, not the tragedy that ensued twenty seconds later. I put down the camera to finish devouring the cookie, only to clumsily swat it to the cobblestone street. (Oh yes, much to The Boy’s delight, we have eaten every meal outdoors since we got here; more on that below.) As I stared woefully at the poor cookie shard, I tried to convince The Boy that it was still good, but sadly that was just too gross. Luckily, it was a buffet, so we just nabbed some replacements. Delicious replacements.
Right, so aside from my phenomenal cookie experience (which, let me tell you, was a pretty fantastic way to start the day), my other impressions from our first full day in Copenhagen…
3-tine forks. I’m not quite sure why the four tines are frowned upon here (maybe someone Chinese informed them 4 is bad luck?) but the only forks with 4 tines (which is what you normally see in North America) that I’ve found are the somewhat ragtag ones provided by our hotel in the kitchenette of our room. Everywhere else boasts the streamlined shape of three tines. Weird.
Ladybugs. We wandered through many a greenspace (near the Citadel, the Botanisk Have, Kongshave, etc.) and aside from one cloud of tiny bugs last evening, the parks have all been bitey-bug-free — even the ones close to swampy water! I credit this to the large population of ladybugs (seriously, they are everywhere) and the occasional dragonfly we saw about the place. (And the dragonflies are huge. See:)
Service. Horror stories of Europe notwithstanding, we’ve actually had remarkably good service here in Copenhagen. People seem very friendly (aside from the cyclists who will yell at you if you’re in their lane, because you were trying to avoid getting runned over, but I guess that was my fault for jaywalking) and we’ve only had one shitty serving experience. At one of the patios we stopped at in the afternoon, the waitress seemed much bemused by my request for “Fanta, but the purple Fanta?”; apparently they only have the orange kind here. (Which is just fine really; it was still quite tasty.)
Ocean. Aside from the somewhat confusing notion that “have” seems to mean both “sea” and “garden” in Danish (seriously, how does that work?), it’s awesome to be so close to the sea. Weirdly, however, Copenhagen’s harbours don’t smell like it; they just seem to be missing that salty sea smell.
Patios. Copenhagen must have influential women working in their patio restaurants. How do I know this? Because every single patio has at least one chair per table with a fleece blanket draped over it, and many have them over every chair. Why has North America not caught up with this idea?! Yes, eating outside is lovely, except that you’re sitting and not moving for a long time, and usually evening is dropping while you’re doing it; even in summer, it gets cold! The fleece blankets are brilliance. I plan to implement this idea the next outdoor food party I throw at home. Genius.
Clocks. Being pretty much right downtown (we’re next to Tivoli, if you’re wondering), we can hear the clock in the Radhuspladsen tower from our room. If you’re me, this is awesome, because it means that despite the fact that you no longer have your blackberry on you, you still don’t need a watch, because every fifteen minutes or so, you’ll be informed of the time. If you’re The Boy, however, and unable to sleep through absolutely everything, it could get a little wearisome.
That’s about it. We’re neither of us particularly interested in museums or galleries and suchness (I know, I know, we’re missing out; without a good guide, though, I find those places are just too much information — I need someone to just tell me a couple good stories about stuff) so we mostly just went out to get a feel for the place today. Tomorrow we’re going to do the hop on/hop off boat thing, and visit Christianshavn, which I’m hopeful will yield fun pictures, along with anything else that looks fun.
(We did, in our seaside wanderings, see The Little Havfrue and we have to agree with the guide‘s assertion: it’s sort of overrated. Also overrated in the opinion of the guide? The Museum Erotica. Apparently they were right since we walked past it on the way home to see this:
In case you can’t read it, the yellow sign says “Closed for good”. Sad, perhaps, but quite funny also, given the circumstances.)
All in all, a fun day for a couple wanderers. Looking forward to tomorrow!