Up about 8:00 and eat a quick bite then off. Down to the bike park and unlock Ole and Minna’s bikes and make our way to their flat. Peddling the bike was quite easy – Copenhagen is very flat! We missed their turnoff but doubled back and found it. Up six flights of stairs (elevator still out) then get ready and then back down. Walk to the metro – about ½ mile – and quite a lot of old architectural detail – then the metro to NyHaven
NyHaven is an old harbor that has some quite beautiful buildings all painted quite brightly – but it is a huge place for tourists. Thousands of people there. We bought tickets of a hop on- hop off boat and while waiting for it to arrive had a bite to eat. Alice finally got her hotdog and proclaimed it – too big for the bun – and not that great.
Our vessel finally arrived and we went off through the Sound. Passed several naval installations – both past and present. Copenhagen has been attacked from the sea a number of times – and lost. But they continued to build forts…
After about 45 minutes we came to – the Little Mermaid. A human size statue sitting on a rock. It has been decapitated in the past but she had her head on today. Clouds of tourists and tour busses – it is very popular. A little further in was a memorial to the Danish seamen killed in the first world war (it was neutral but still had many ships sunk by submarines) which was pretty much empty.
Then to a Vauban Fortress built in the late 1600s that has since been turned into a park for the most part. Still some military presence though. Very well maintained with a moat and display cannons along with immaculate buildings. Lots of joggers and strollers.
Then off through a small park dedicated to the military and a quick lunch brought from home (I had a fish round on rye bread) and we got to see pigeons! And a very inquisitive magpie. Then we strolled down a row of corporate headquarters and embassies to the palace square where the royal family has their homes. The Prince was in residence– we could tell because his flag was flying over the building (he declined to meet us). Then we headed back to the sound to wait for the hop on- hop off boat – which took some time.
Once it arrived we sailed through the harbor and some of the canals, then off and a quick run to the bus stop where we got a bus back to Ole’s flat to get swimming gear. then to Marie’s to get our stuff, then off to a different place on the Sound to swim. This was a more typical Danish beach.
There was a large pier divided into three sections – men, women, and anyone. There was also a long beach stretching half a mile or more. The Men’s and Women’s sections were reserved so people could bath and sunbath while nude. Only problem was that the steps leading down to the water were visible to the beach, so we got to see naked folks making their way to and from the water. There were also many women on the beach sunbathing topless. Alice proclaimed the whole thing “nasty.”
In any event we swam in the open water for a bit with Thor and messed around with the underwater camera. Marie showed up from work and we went to the common area for a swim while Ole took Thor back to his father’s house. Out further it was quite choppy and a heavy wind was blowing so we quickly finished up, dried off, and back to town.
We decided to visit Christiana – a unique place where squatters took over an abandoned military complex in the 1960s and turned it into a commune. It has evolved through time to be a place that is self regulating but also gang ridden (drugs). Quite safe. There is lots of controversy about the place – the residents are trying to “buy” it since it is a huge tourist attraction (people smoking pot on the street), but the city wants it for high rise buildings.
We went to a very nice restaurant (run by a commune) for dinner then went to Von Frelsers Kirke Lutheran church for an organ and two trumpet recital. A spectacular building and grand music. The organ was built in 1698 by King Christian the 5th. An amazing building and concert. Then back into Christiana to walk around – saw several marijuana plants growing, went to Pusher Street (which warns “No Photos!” and everything was closing down. Lots of interesting people – even some Inuits from Greenland.
We then went to a free concert at the Lutheran Church for organ and two trumpets. Quite the spectacular setting. It was warm but not too bad. they played pieces from the 1600s and one from 2014. The setting was amazingly ornate and the music blended perfectly. Otherworldly. Only distraction was tow six year old girls sitting in front of us who had trouble staying still - and no parents in sight! Turns out they were the grandkids of the musicians.
Finally back to Marie’s flat and got cleaned up. I chatted with Marie for a couple hours about prisons, food choices, people’s reactions to food choices (she’s vegetarian), her job, my job… until Alice started pointing at her wrist! Finally realized it was almost midnight so off to blog…
Tomorrow Sweden, shopping, climbing to the top of the Kirke’s tower, and a farewell dinner. We have to catch a plane at 7:00 AM on Friday.