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Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday May 29:

Today was our single day in Copenhagen, and we were fairly busy! Neither of us slept exceptionally well, which isn’t entirely surprising given that we were bunked up with 60 other people who didn’t go to bed entirely, ever. We’re hoping tonight, given that it isn’t Saturday, we might get a little bit more sleep. Either way, we’ll be up at 6 to go to the train station, so it doesn’t really matter.

Anyway, this morning we were up by 8 and made some oatmeal before setting off for a canal tour of the city, which was a great way to start the day. We took an hour long, guided tour, for about 7$ each, and got a great overview of the city, seeing the old Stock Exchange, Parliament Buildings, opera house, theatre, new harbour (well new as in 1700s), lots of cute little houses, etc. After it finished, at around 11:30, we got a couple of souvenirs and then headed back to the hostel in search of Hoka, who was nowhere to be seen. She’d been having train delay issues, and since yesterday we had to go to a different hostel, and our internet wasn’t great, and the number I had for her wasn’t working, so we were a little worried about whether or not we’d end up seeing her at all.

We went back to the hostel and cooked ourselves lunch, and then tried to hunt Hoka down to no avail, so we left her a note on our bed and on facebook and via the front desk, and set off to climb to the top of Our Saviour’s Church, which we’d seen on our boat tour. It’s a gorgeous dark tower with a gold ball on the top, and a gold spiral staircase that wraps around the tower. We were about half way there when we saw Hoka from across an intersection. I yelled her name and she was rather relieved to have seen us as our frantic Facebook messages hadn’t reached her on her overnight train and she didn’t entirely know where we had ended up.

We took her back to our hostel to get her checked in and drop her bags off, and then started back towards the tower. It was a lovely climb and we got an amazing view of the city from the top, it was gorgeous and really cool to look down on all of the red-roofed buildings and see some of the buildings and statues we had learned about during our earlier canal tour. The climb up the tower also took us through the church bell tower, which was pretty cool to see, and up some very twisty windy wooden steps. It was lovely!

We then walked via an amazing bakery where we split a loaf dessert cake thing that was vaguely like a chocolate croissant, but huge. We continued our long wander of the surrounding area by checking out the sites of the Ameliaborg Palace, which was essentially several lovely buildings surrounding a huge square, patrolled by guards who looked very much like the British Beefeaters, but in navy blue as opposed to red.

We walked back to the hostel for dinner and then headed back out to Tivoli Gardens, which is the world’s second-oldest amusement park, or something like that. It’s a very charming midway-esque place built around a gorgeous park/garden complex that has several theatres/pantomime spaces/restaurants, shops, etc. It was a grey and windy Sunday, so not so many people were about, and there were no concerts or pantomimes going on, but we still spent a pleasant enough few hours walking around and taking it in. I could see how it would be magical on a Saturday afternoon with good weather, though. Cecilia was the only one of us brave enough to go on the big coaster, which had a couple of loop-d-loops, but she enjoyed it very much and we liked watching her cars go flying around the tracks. We tried to feed some carp, but the pushy birds got in the way, and other than that we mostly just walked around and didn’t go on rides or eat or anything. It’s a very charming place and you can easily imagine what it might have been like when it opened back in 1894.

After that it was back to the hostel to make plans for tomorrow and then head to sleep fairly soon, what with our multiple roommates and 5:45am wakeup call. Lovely!

Overall, I think we both liked Copenhagen and would have liked a bit more time here, though our wallets are happy that the Scandinavian part of our trip is going to be a quick one! It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I realized that I had let my idea of what Scandinavian design is now influence what I thought the city would be like, which is a bit silly given that it is nearly 1000 years old. I loved the canals though and the old buildings and cobblestone streets and the fact it has three times as many people in the city as Iceland does in its entirety. I’m looking forward to our first taste of long-distance European train travel tomorrow as well as 24 hours in Stockholm before we get on our ferry and head over to Riga to do workaway again.



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