Week 2, A good beginning and a bad end.

Monday 16th June 2014

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Moving day. We have been a full week in Ribe and are now moving on to Copenhagen. The journey was easy and quick the roads, in the main, being smooth and relatively empty. The Danes don’t seem to have motorways as we would describe them and although there are no charges for using the main arterial routes we did get charged for crossing the bridge between Nyborg and Korsor costing a staggering £40 OK it is around 15km (9.3m) long but even so. . . .

We arrived in DCU Absalom Camping at around 3.00pm only the second site whilst in Europe we have ever booked, which was a complete waste of time as they had misplaced the booking. Even when I gave them the booking reference number all they could say was “ . . . it must be in here (the computer) somewhere . . . “ it was not. Never mind we got a good pitch.

Tuesday 17th June 2014.

Toddled off to Copenhagen. Suburban and Metro train stations are completely unmanned, tickets can be bought in many places, we bought our multi journey ticket from the camp site. We bought a ten journey ticket for DKK 200 (£21.44) so with each journey costing around £2.14 it’s pretty good value, particularly as for one hour after you punch the ticket when you get to your railway destination you can continue to travel on a bus for no additional cost.

We travelled into Copenhagen central and found our way to the Tourist Centre where we bought a Copenhagen Card which entitles you to free entry at many museums and attractions in the city, reductions in many restaurants and shops and totally free public transport in the region as well as the city itself for the duration of the cards validity which in our case was three days. As the card validity starts from the fist place of interest you visit we decided to start the cards Wednesday morning and today followed a tourist walk through the city, the walk according to the Tourist Centre would take between two and three hours. Over five exhausting hours later we were still only half way round. 

Wednesday 18th June 2014.

The start of our three days with a Copenhagen Card, It was nearly noon when we reached our first stop the Tycho Brahe Planetarium where we saw a stunning 3D astronomy film that would have been perfect had we been able to find the socket for the headphones to get the English soundtrack this was followed buy a totally magical film about the Galapagos Islands which (when we found the headphone socket) had a David Attenborough sound track. We followed the Planetarium visit with one to a Hans Cristian Anderson Museum, a good visit for kids of all ages including retired ones. From the HCA museum our last visit of the day was to the Tivoli Gardens. It is said that you can’t visit Copenhagen without visiting the Tivoli Gardens - I could and will if we visit here again, it seems to have changed from my last visit some ten years or so ago. There now seems much more emphasis on the food (I can’t remember fast food being so prevalent before) and the fun fair that seems to be much bigger and more intrusive than before and the gardens seem smaller and less spectacular.

Thursday 19th June 2014.

On our second day we visited the Rundtårn or Round Tower 35m (115 ft) tall and 15m (49 ft) in diameter it affords a superb platform to view the city. The access to the top is by a cobbled spiral ramp that winds around seven and a half times in it’s 209m (686 ft) length. When opened in 1642 King Constantine IV is said to have ridden his horse to the very top, a stunt repeated in 1716 by the Tsar of Russia, Peter the Great, followed, according to legend, by his wife Tsarina Catherine II, in a coach pulled by six horses. There is now an annual bicycle race in which the winner is the fastest to the top and back without dis-mounting or falling off.

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Third item on the agenda for today was a tour of the city by canal boat. Allowing us to catch our breath the canal trip was informative and pleasant. In the navy area we were told of the seizing of the entire Danish navy fleet by the British and the subsequent building of sheds in which were constructed many small boats not much bigger than rowing boats at the front of which was mounted a single gun. From these vessels the term “gunboat” was, according to the guide, coined. Although the sheds retain their original exteriors they have now been transformed to posh and very expensive flats, restaurants, etc,. One item that every boat trip takes in is The Little Mermaid. The Danes express amazement that this life sized statue is, by foreigners spoken of in the same terms as The Statue of Liberty or The Eiffel Tower and feel that some of their other monuments deserve to be as well known and respected.

The last visit of the day was Rosenborg Slot, this imposing Dutch-Renaissance palace was built in 1606 as a summer residence for Christian IV. It has been a museum open to the public since the early 19th century. The furnishing are sumptuous and the treasury fantastic - no wonder it is one of Copenhagen’s most visited attractions.

Friday 20th June 2014

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Just one item on the agenda today - The Blue Planet, Denmark’s National Aquarium. This vast whirl pool inspired visitor centre opened in 2013 is split into four sections:-

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The Cold Water/The Far North/The Bird Cliff

The Cave/The Lakes of Africa/Evolution

The Rainforest

The Ocean/Coral Reef

The tanks were huge. The biggest, the tank known as The Ocean, contains 4,000,000 litres of water. This centre is without doubt the best aquarium I have ever seen. Indeed during this first year of existence 1.3 million visitors have been, twice the number expected which has led to greater wear than expected and plans are in operation to spend DKK12.5 million (£1,338.000) upgrading the centre.

We left the Blue planet centre around 3.30pm and decided another trip to the Planetarium was in order so back across town we rushed to get there for the 4.00pm showing of 3D D-Day Landings. The 3D effects were stunning and from an historical view I was unaware until I saw this film that although Brits, French, Canadians, Australians etc., etc., etc., were all there it was only Americans that did any fighting and kindly won the war for the rest of us.

Saturday 21st June 2014

Up early today, as we had activated our Copenhagen Cards at around noon on Wednesday we were entitled to use them until noon today so we wanted to see the Danish natural history museum. We didn’t have a map but the book that came with the card gave an address and stated that we needed to get to Norrebro the nearest station. On arrival we looked up and down the station road getting no clues, we showed the book and asked advice of three shopkeepers, all scratched their heads and suggested the shopkeeper next door might know. Danes are very helpful and after standing on a corner looking lost for a few minutes someone will always offer to help. Today was no exception, a lady on a bicycle stopped and offered to help. She looked at the address and could not understand why we had been sent to this station, she said we would need to get one bus from here to half way there then another bus for the next half then walk a bit . . . . It was getting late by now our cards were only valid for another half hour so we cut our losses and went back to the caravan.

The Copenhagen Cards were not cheap at DKK 559 (£59.83) each but as we had over DKK 987 (£105.65) worth of product, they were good value. We visited a wide variety of interesting places across Copenhagen some of which we would have missed without access to the cards.

Sunday 22nd June 2014

Woke up with a cold today, and not just any old cold, no a proper MAN COLD. Going to retire to bed and hope it goes away.

Last updated Sunday 14th September 2014                                                                                              © S W Ghost 2014