Thursday 6th September, 2007
Friday 7th September, 2007
Saturday, 8th September, 2007
Sunday 9th September, 2007

Thursday 6th September, 2007

Drop Cap ere we are in Copenhagen! Getting here was easy, after the shemozzle of checking in at Heathrow! They insist that you print your own boarding pass and then give you no idea how to approach it. We were given a wrong steer by one of the staff and the thing refused to print out so they allowed us to check in manually at a real counter - "since at least we tried"! Our having three seats really fazed the check in girl (and probably the machine as well) who spent ages trying to find out if we needed another boarding pass. Eventually we got through.

The self service check in is a ridiculous thing. Most people seem to have difficulty using it and even the staff have trouble. Even when it does work you then have to bring your luggage up to put it through, incurring queues just as long as the previous system it is supposed to circumvent.

Mac says BA "check in is a disaster, security is OK and the flight was very enjoyable." They gave us a sandwich and a chokky biscuit with a drink and we just had time to eat it.

View from hotel Copenhagen photograph

View from our hotel Window, Copenhagen

Drop Cap openhagen airport was bright and warm and easy to negotiate. A very friendly man met us with open arms and whisked us to the Radisson Scandinavia, talking non stop. The hotel is very swish, but outside the city proper and not on any of the tourist maps. We went out to find the Metro and found it was all completely self service, even the ticket machine and we had no coins, just 100DKR notes. So we came back.

Copenhagen hotel photograph

Rosemary and our Unique Bed, Copenhagen

Drop Cap e had a lovely Thai meal in the Blue Elephant Restaurant in the hotel (they have four restaurants - Thai, Japanese, Family and Fine Dining) changed some money and will be good to go tomorrow.

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Friday 7th September, 2007

Drop Cap e got away after breakfast and headed for the Metro. We had supplied ourselves with the necessary change for the ticket machine (the whole system is DIY - even the trains have no driver!)

We went two stops to Kongens Nytorv and exited through the basement of the Magasin du Nord department store, just outside the Royal Theatre, quite impressive. The square has an equestrian statue of the king who built the square and Mac was intrigued by little advertising bubbles, each with its own theme.

Nyhavn photograph

Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Drop Cap hen we went down to Nyhavn, a canal artificially contrived by this king to bring shipping into the port. We bought tickets for an hour long canal trip which went as far up as Langelinie and the Little Mermaid and took us around the canals of Old and New Copenhagen, naval areas, and royal areas, the new Opera House and some very expensive boats.

Drop Cap hen we returned we wandered up to Stroget, the pedestrianised shopping area. Shopping is never really my thing but I bought some postcards and a badge of the Little Mermaid. We went off briefly to look at Christiansborg Slot where the Queen lives, but decided not to do the tour of the Reception Rooms because our feet, as usual, were aching. So back to Stroget and now looking for lunch which we got at an "Irish pub". Mac had a bacon and egg sandwich and I had nachos. Very Danish! Then back towards the Metro and home.
We meet our Tour Director this evening at 17:30. More later.


Drop Cap ur Tour Manager's name is Lene and she is a native Copenhagener. She seems efficient and friendly and talks incessantly, making sure we ignorant tourists understand. We had dinner and met the 41 tourists. Aussies outnumber everyone, there is one New Zealand couple and one British couple, several Canadians and the rest are Americans. Seems quite a fun bunch, at least at our table.

Tivoli funpark photograph

The Entrance to Tivoli

Drop Cap fter dinner we went to Tivoli. There were lights and music, lots and lots of restaurants (which Lene says Danes think are rather pricey, so I hate to think what we would call it) and the usual fun park rides, including a gut-wrenching roller coaster, but Mac enjoyed watching the pastimes of his youth, shooting galleries and dodgems.

Tivoli funpark photograph

Lights of Tivoli

Drop Cap he park was very attractive, lakes and fountains and flowers, all glittering with coloured lights. I tried some photos but they didn't look too good until I used the night scene function. However you need to keep the camera very still for this and I think my hand wobbled. The battery indicator is now flashing as well.

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Saturday, 8th September, 2007

Little Mermaid photograph

The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

Drop Cap oday was our first touring day, and boy! do my knees feel it! The bus is the most spacious I have ever been in with very good legroom, probably enough even for Geoff. But getting in and out killed me, as usual. It has a very high final step and I found it painful.

We had our first light drizzle this morning but it cleared to a warm and sunny day later. In the morning we did a tour of Copenhagen, seeing many of the things we saw from the water yesterday more closely, including the Little Mermaid.

Christiansborg Slot photograph

Queen's Entrance, Christiansborg Slot, Copenhagen

Drop Cap e visited the Amalienborg Palace to see the outside and then went to the Christiansborg where we went in to see the Queen's Reception Rooms (so it's a good thing we didn't bother yesterday). These are lovely, and I must admit the Danes have the balance pretty right. They respect the Queen, but know she is a figurehead only. Our guide says that the Royal Family is supported by taxation and divided equally among the population she only pays the equivalent of a bus fare to support the monarchy.

Fredensborg photograph

Fredensborg Slot, Home of Princess Mary and Family

Drop Cap fter lunch we had an optional to visit two castles in North Zealand. It was a pleasant drive past lakes, seashore, thatched cottages and woods to Fredensborg Slot, the home of Mary and Frederick. Our guide says that they will be moving into one of the wings of the Amalienborg when they have finished renovations next year. Fredensborg was lovely, the grounds are open to the public but you can't go inside, it is a private home. I think I would prefer to stay there out of the hustle and bustle of the capital.

Fredericksborg photograph

Moat at Fredericksborg Slot, Denmark

Drop Cap oving right along we reached Fredericksborg Slot which used to be a royal residence but is now a museum of Danish art and history. Very interesting, but rather too many old stone spiral staircases for my knees. It is built on three islands and has fantastic landscaped grounds, a large cascade and steamboats on the lake. In the castle church there was a wedding, we saw the bride arrive.

I bought some more cards and a T-shirt for Geoff, then we headed home.

Drop Cap ome of the others are going on another optional, Christmas dinner (?) in a pub and a short ferry ride along the waterfront but we have decided to eat in at one of the hotel restaurants.

Up very early tomorrow, bags out by 06:30, on the bus by 07:45 - eeek!

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Sunday 9th September, 2007

Biker's Pub Odense photograph

Historic Bikers' Pub, Odense

Drop Cap ut early, bags out at 0630 and on the road at 0745, heading for Odense on the island of Fyn. To get there we crossed a ten mile long bridge over the Oresund, which was quite high and windy and the bus was blown sideways a little from time to time.

Odense is very old and the centre has many picturesque old buildings and pubs. We had a glimpse of them enroute to the Hans Christian Anderson Museum.

Hans Christian Anderson's House photograph

Birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, Odense

Drop Cap dense is the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, Denmark's most famous son, and there are reminders everywhere. We went into the historical area where there were some very old houses, very picturesque, and visited HCA's birthplace museum. The house he was born in is tiny but nevertheless four families lived there. It was a very poor area, looks nicer now.

HCA Museum photograph

Hans Christian Anderson Museum, Odense

Drop Cap n the museum there was a very interesting exhibit which placed Anderson in his time (born 1805 died 1875) so the Napoleonic Wars were in full swing and quite a lot of famous people shared his epoch: Goethe and Marx, Bismarck and Dickens, Napoleon and Wellington etc.

There was also a lovely exhibition of his artwork, from little pen sketches of his travels to wonderful paper cuttings, with folded paper, snipping bits and pieces out to unfold an amazing pattern or picture.

Drop Cap e had coffee and a snack there, then went on, back across the water to the peninsula of Jutland, the only part of Denmark attached to the rest of Europe.

Immigrants memorial photograph

Mac at Rebild State Park

Drop Cap e went off the motorway to stop in a National Park, Rebild, where there is a memorial to the Danes who emigrated to the New World. There were some old thatched farm houses and lots of Danes with picnic baskets. It was quite an interesting stop.

Fredrickshavn port photograph

The Docks of Fredrickshavn, from our Window

Drop Cap hen, on towards Fredrickshavn where we occupy the Radisson Hotel opposite the ferry port. Tomorrow we have a two hour ferry ride to Sweden.

Drop Cap e had our "highlight dinner" tonight at a local pub called Moby Dicks. There was a choice of pork or fish so Mac had pork and I had fish. It was quite nice and the soup to start was delicious and we finished with ice cream and fruit. Two glasses of wine or beer were included. We found ourselves next to John and Heather, who live in Bundanoon and used to live in Glenbrook. They are friends of Neil Whitton who used to be our milkman and John was a former business partner of Rob Croft! Small world.

We had a very pleasant night. On our other side were Doug and Sharon from Canada, who lived in Adelaide for a year. Doug is a real live wire. It was a blast.

Off to Sweden tomorrow.

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