Day 11 - Disembark in Copenhagen, Denmark

July 11th continued...

We all went to the buffet to eat. The food here was a lot fresher than on the ship and there was a better selection to choose from -- many new types of breads, soft boiled eggs, yogurts and fruits. Even though we were hungry, it was hard to eat since we did not feel settled in and we had little choice but to wait in the lobby. Brian read the newspaper as we waited, which was part of his daily routine back home. He checked out some things to do in the city and saw that Copenhagen had an ice bar, which was something that we had been unable to do in Stockholm. He talked with the hotel staff to find out where is was and concluded that it would be a nice option while we were in town, especially since it was only a short walk from our hotel.

After 30 to 40 minutes, we finally received our room keys. Chris and I were on the 14th floor, everyone else was on another floor together. The keys were credit card style like most hotels, except they were made of wood. Once you used them to unlock the door, you had to put them in a slot inside the door that activated the power in the room. I think this is a great system for keeping the power bills low because people could not leave their lights on when they left the room. The floors were wooden; the room was slightly modern and sparse, but very much in a Scandinavian style, with two twin beds. The outside wall of the room was a window about four feet off the floor that looked out toward the port and we could see the towering rides at Tivoli Garden.

trivoli garden entrance

The bell boy brought our bags to the room, checked to make sure everything was OK. Chris took a shower while I fought with the converter to fix my hair. At around 11:30 a.m. we received a call that everyone was ready to meet downstairs for food. In the end I am usually elected to be a guide (due to the fact that I read tour books about the cities prior to our trips), since it is normally late in the trip that this happend I suggested one or two things that were important to me to see and I let everyone else figure out the plan for the day. The concierge directed us to check out the Strogret for shopping and to visit Tivoli for dinner. He made a reservation for us for that evening.

Chris took the map and led us to a McDonalds we had seen from our room window. This would not have been a dining spot we chose to eat at back home, but it was a quick solution to our current needs. One of the “good” things about this choice was they had photos of food to pick from or point to while ordering. The young girl behind the counter understood enough English to have all six of us order. The names were very similar to the American names. However, ordering the orange soda was a bit tricky. The real challenge was that all credit cards in Europe have pin codes with micro chips, which our American cards do not have. The only significant difference with the food was the “dressing” for the fries. It was a mayo or tartar sauce. I elected not to eat it – sticking to ketchup.

After we ate we crossed the town hall plaza and started down the shopping street. I had pictured something a lot like Grafton Street in Dublin, but this had a very different feel.

It was a lot like walking along South Street in Philadelphia, there were funky shops and high end stores mixed together. There were people everywhere and it was only as wide as a one lane road in many areas. Similar to Grafton Street, it was blocked from cars and I got the feeling that if it was not drizzling outside we would have seen street performers.
There were many food stalls and jewelry shops. It is the longest shopping street in Europe and had pretty much anything you could think of to buy. Chris and I went into a few shops. I was looking to see if there were any clothes that I needed to buy and some souvenirs to bring back with me. None of the shops seemed to have what I was looking for. I liked one sweater a lot. It was traditional in style, very warm looking, but when I figured out the price conversion it came out to more than $100. By the time we reached the end of the street, no one had made any major purchases.

As we walked back towards the hotel, Chris and I found a shop that was a lot like Pearl in Philly. Chris thought about buying a really nice pen. Being in the shop made me think about how sad it was that we only had a short time in the city. It would have been great to buy some art supplies and sit at a cafe or along a street and draw. I really want to be traveling, not touring.

We took a different way back from the art store, stopping for coffee at one point when I spotted my Denmark souvenir. There was a soccer (football) shop a short distance from the hotel that was selling authentic jerseys. I had bought an England jersey online after we got back from the UK. Seeing the shop made jerseys seem like the perfect thing to collect when I travel. They are perfect to work out in and unique. Everyone else went a few doors down to an ice cream shop. I had a fairly easy time buying the jersey. The guy behind the counter did not speak English well, but with some pointing and simple words I had a new red team jersey in my hands. After ice cream we made it back to the hotel. Waiting in each floor’s lobby off the elevator were tea and coffee for guests. It was a very nice surprise, so I enjoyed a cup of tea while reading my book before dinner.

We had planned to have dinner at 6 p.m., but Kirsten had fallen asleep finally so we pushed our reservation back and headed out at 6:30 p.m.