Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Third Day in Copenhagen

Our last day in Denmark was the shortest day yet. I still had a cold, so we got up late and checked out of the hotel (they kept our bags while we went into the city, thankfully) and headed into Copenhagen. We had to get a picture with these signs, right across the street from the train station.

I asked Carson to take a picture over the gate to Tivoli Gardens and he did. It looks exactly like the "It's a Small World" ride at Disney World. I really wish we'd have been able to visit this place!

This is the Church of Our Saviour. I think the staircase is really neat!

We went to Christiania, which is a community in the Christianshavn area of Copenhagen. It's a free community which I think means that it's not governed by the same laws. It's something of a hippie commune. You aren't allowed to take pictures inside but it was a really interesting place to see. This is the exterior.

Inside is a little difficult to describe. I mean, it feels like what I'd expect a hippie commune to feel like. It's got a gritty edge to it, everything looked like it needed a good power washing (the lack of leaves on trees this time of year makes everything seem even dirtier and worse than it really is).

And... well, there's pot being sold openly inside on a certain street. This seemed to be a big attraction for many of the people walking around. It was very strange - there were men with huge bags full of marijuana set up at tables scooping and weighing out the correct amounts for people very openly. It wasn't scary, but it felt very weird. And the smell was definitely all over the air. I really hoped we didn't smell like that all day, but I don't know. Pot is not legal in Copenhagen, and technically isn't legal here either, but it must be a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" mentality, because it was pretty open.

For me, the highlight of Christiania was this dog. He spotted Carson ordering shwarma and batted those sad eyes our way and of course we offered him a sample, so he followed us around quietly pleading for more. I have no idea who he belonged to, but he was very cute.

After we left there, we walked toward Christiansborg Palace. I really think this dragon tail spire is so interesting.

We decided to spend some time sitting at a cafe, so we settled in with treats at Andersen's Bakery - I had this chocolate mousse thing and it was delicious, and Carson had a cream-filled something. We sat here for awhile talking and enjoying the free wifi before we decided to head to the airport.

Once at the airport, we thought this was handy. They had a long table that extended down a hallway with places to set your bag and arrange it for security, complete with bags for liquids to make it easier. We didn't have to take our shoes off at security, and the lines were very short.

We got hot dogs for lunch at the airport and they didn't break us financially, which was nice. If we'd known, we might have eaten airport hot dogs every day we were in Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen airport is NICE and you can shop inside. There's an H&M, a LEGO store, and countless other stores inside, all after security. I read that it was named "Best Airport" several years running and I'd believe it. We wandered around for awhile and then saw passport control leading to the gates, so we went through, surprised that we were getting our passports stamped. It's not often that we get passport stamps in Europe because the borders are so open - this might be the thing I'm most sad about when it comes to travel here. Anyway, we got our stamps and then discovered that... we were in the wrong gate area (people who are not travelling to somewhere in the EU would get their passports stamped and then fly there), so we had to go to the people and tell them that we were morons and needed to get out of that area. So we each got two passport stamps there. Nice little trick for if you want passport stamps but don't mind looking like an absolute moron... I don't think this happens that often, judging by the reaction we received (thankfully they were different people the second time).

We landed back in Cologne right on time and we got to see the Rhine and the city from the sky as we flew in (the dark river is, oddly enough, the river Rhine).

I thought this prayer room in the airport was interesting.

He posed like that.

We got on a train and realized we could get off at the Cologne Hbf or we could just stay on until we got to Dusseldorf, so we settled in and changed trains there instead. We had about 20 minutes between trains and spotted this Pizza Hut express and saw the prices and were like "Let's do this!" because we both ate for less than what one of us ate for in Copenhagen. Also we love Pizza Hut. We ordered it just about every week in Tallahassee, which explains a lot.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Copenhagen Day Two

On our second day in Copenhagen, I woke up with a lovely cold, making me want to spend the entire day in bed instead of going out into the cold once again. We got a later start because of this, and the rest was nice. Our feet were rather tired from so much walking the day before.

We looked for breakfast options in the train station and I'd decided that avocado sounded good, so we found a salad bar inside a grocery store there and I had a salad with avocado and chicken for breakfast. And it was delicious.

Carson made a friend!

Stroller parking

Someone came up to Carson and asked for directions because his phone maps were not good. We helped, and I hope our directions were helpful - they were certainly better than whatever app he had!

We happened upon the Botanical Gardens and walked through. February is not the prettiest time to visit botanical gardens, however, so we just enjoyed the walk and the statues.

We went to the National Gallery of Denmark next, but it was expensive and we don't consider ourselves to be art buffs enough to merit a visit, so Carson used their restroom while I sat on the couch in the lobby and tried to stay awake. I am a baby when I have a cold.

Right across the street from that is Rosenborg Castle, which used to be the royal residence, but is now where the crown jewels are held. You can tour it as well for about 15 Euro, or it is included in the Copenhagen Card (which could be a really good deal if you wanted to do a lot of the things on it!), but once again, we just looked at the outside.

We watched this procession heading down a main street. I don't know where they were going or why (if I had to guess I'd imagine they were coming from a castle or palace), but all the nearby tourists lined the streets and took pictures!

Our next stop was the Design Museum of Denmark. It was a pretty decent museum and we got free admission. We got to see textiles and furniture and all kinds of design, from all over the world but of course especially from Denmark.

This chair exhibit was really neat!

There are hot dog stands all over the city like this one and we'd been told that they were a good and cheap meal!

We walked toward the water and made our way down toward Nyhavn.

Amalienborg Palace

There were lots of these saunas available and we thought it would have been a funny thing to do. I'm told this is big in Scandinavian countries.

We crossed the bridge toward Christianshavn and went to Papiron (Paper Island) where there's a famous food market. It's very fun and we felt old and uncool being there but really enjoyed it. There was lots of eye candy.

Inside this big warehouse are booths with different kinds of food from all over the world. Just about everything looked delicious and it was hard to choose. In the end, I went with a burger that had shrimp on it and Carson went for a pulled pork sandwich. It probably sounds counter intuitive to you that we ate some pretty "American" sounding food, but remember that we don't live in America at the moment and sometimes you just miss the food of your people! And I've never had a burger with shrimp before this.

The sun did really fun things so these pictures are totally posed.

Then we walked back over the bridge in search of Stroget, a big shopping street with lots of pricey brands and fun stores (they have a Disney store!).

Royal Copenhagen is a well-known brand of China and we walked around their flagship store. Before we went in, I'd thought it might be fun to pick up a small mug or something, but it became apparent very quickly that I could not afford even the smallest thing inside the store. It was beautiful though!

For size reference, that's a small cake plate. Can you imagine bringing something that breakable and that expensive into your home? I'd probably break it on the way out the door and cry all the way home.

For a less breakable experience, we went to the Lego store! Legos are from Denmark! They didn't have any special Denmark Lego sets inside, but they did have displays and statues (I guess you'd say?) made from Lego bricks that represented Copenhagen.

It wasn't long after we'd eaten our very late lunch, but we decided to head back to the hotel at about 6pm and we grabbed dinner on our way. Carson got a sandwich to eat later from 7-11 and I got a hot dog. It had one of those funny buns that's hollow most of the way in the middle but not all the way through and they squirt a ton of whatever condiment you want in the bottom so you're basically eating mayonnaise with a side of hot dog by the time you get to the end. I ended up eating the hot dog and throwing a good part of the bun away (by that I mean I was going to throw it away but Carson ate it).

By the time we'd gotten back, my cold had decided to rear its ugly head. I could barely breathe, but fell asleep relatively quickly after putting a hot towel on my face to relieve the pressure (I know no one cares that I was sick, but I'm mostly writing these things down so I can read them later since I don't journal, but I know that later I'll want to remember that oh yeah, I was sick! I remember that!).
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