Monday, June 12, 2017

Scandinavia 2017 - Things to do on a Sunny Day

The piers fronting the ocean were packed with locals in various stages of undress. It seemed as if the entire population of the city had called in sick to work. The sidewalks teemed with humanity wearing as little as legally possible.

Our hotel was on a beautiful street lined with stately historic buildings.. A park  ran down it's center, also awash in the hordes of the half naked. We later learned that it had started it's life as a canal but had been filled in leaving a lovely tree laden esplanade in it's wake. Due to temporary problems with it's reservation systems on top of the hotel being fully booked, we were given a room for a single night on the first floor right off the atrium lobby. We were promised, for a modest extra charge, an upgrade for the rest of our stay. Unpacking as little as possible, since our luggage would have to be stored by the hotel from 11 till 2 the following day, we changed in to cooler clothes and headed out to enjoy the incredible spring acting like summer day ourselves.

We headed for the Nordhavn, the north harbor, one of the most photographed areas of Copenhagen. Venerable townhouses painted bright colors stood, as they have for, in some cases, over 200 years, along the sides of a boat filled canal.

We were tourists, it was hot, we decided we would behave as what we were and embark on a canal boat tour of the city. Not only was the cruise out to the ocean front area cool and refreshing, the tour gave us a wealth of information about the city and it's long history. What we learned that day became invaluable over the next three days as we navigated our way through the tangled mass of streets.

The ultra modern opera house was pointed out. It is a multilevel structure, 4 of them built under the water line. We were told about the 400 stairs leading to the top of the spiral black and gold steeple that can be seen from a number of different vantage points in the city. We sailed by the 17th century Stock Exchange building. The three addresses occupied by Hans Christian Andersen on the Nordhavn canal were spotlighted. We later had lunch outside of one of them. Like almost all of the of the buildings along the street it's ground floor has been converted into a restaurant. We sailed by the iconic Little Mermaid statue learning that the sculptor's wife posed for him after he had difficulty finding a model willing to work bare breasted. The palace of the Queen and /Crown Price were shown to us as well as the pavilions where she boards her yacht and, tied to a pier, the gold and white yacht itself.

After disembarking and the aforementioned late lunch we returned to the hotel, spent from the long day having got up at 5:30 that morning to make our train.We found an English language movie on t.v. and settled in for the evening, That night we dreamed of the three eventful days in the beautiful city we had ahead of us.

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