Our 2nd visit to Copenhagen was quite different from the first in 2015.
The big difference was that our first visit was in December, mid-Winter, whereas this time it was late August so it was much warmer and the days much longer. We arrived mid-afternoon and went to get a taxi to our hotel but it took a while to find a driver who knew where it was. Apparently it had opened only a year ago and so not many had been there.
A bigger surprise awaited us at the hotel which was a renovated house of 2 floors at the end of a lane. There were no staff except for the young manager who met us dressed in shorts and a summery shirt. She gave us our keys, showed us the room and said goodbye and we didn’t see her or anyone related to the hotel until we left 2 days later. All we had was her phone no. in case of an emergency.
Our hotel, the M18, at the end of a lane
We were very pleased that our room was on the ground floor as there was a steep wooden staircase up to the 2nd floor. The room was very basic with no complimentary toiletries and no coffee/tea making equipment either. We learnt during our travels that more and more hotels are going the self-service route having no porters or other assistants and not offering breakfasts as part of the room charge. Soon after we arrived we met another couple who were staying there and they told us that we needed to purchase and cook all our own food unless we chose to eat out – very expensive in this city. Once we had unpacked Trevor went to a supermarket about a km away and purchased food for supper and breakfast the next morning.
There was a kitchen with tea/coffee making facilities, a fridge and 4-plate stove for guests to use. Imagine if all 12 rooms had been occupied and we all wanted meals at about the same time. Fortunately this was not the case with only 2 other couples and 6 PhD students from Norway attending a conference at the university just 10mins walk away. These girls were wonderful in organising in the kitchen, packing the dishwasher and generally ensuring that all went well.
The next morning we started our 1 full day in Copenhagen by trying to find out how to get a bus that would take us to a hop on/hop off bus stop. We had been told by one of the other couples to go up to the main road and wait there for a 5C bus that would take us into town then the others told us that we had to get our tickets from the main ticket office at the canal in another part of town. We decided to see if the bus driver could give us any better information.
On leaving the hotel we noticed a yellow wall, covered in graffiti, around what appeared to be a park with very tall trees so we decided to look there first. We had to walk half way around the place before we found an open gate and were very surprised to find that it was a very old cemetery still in regular use. At the gate there were a few boards listing the names of the people, the date of death and the grave no. We walked around the cemetery for about an hour noticing graves from the 1700s until very recently. The 2 well known people buried there are Hans Christian Andersen and Niels Bohr, a physicist and Noble Prize Winner for his discovery of the make-up of the inner part of an atom. What was particularly interesting about this very large cemetery is that it has paved roads and people run, cycle, walk babies in prams or just walk through it to get from one street to another.
Looking down the lane from the M18 to the cemetery which looks like a park from a distance
We then walked to the main road and when the bus came it turned out that we could not just pay a fare, we had to have an electronic bus card to which one can add money as needed. To buy one was twice the price of the trip into town and since we were only there for a day we took a taxi to the ticket office which saved time and was only a little more expensive. It was Saturday and a lot of events were being held in Copenhagen that day. When we arrived at the office we saw that there was a 1km swim taking place in the canal and so a large part of it was closed off. This meant that we had to link with the boat cruise, which was included in the ticket, at another mooring.
Swimmers competing in the 1 km race and the Ticket office for the hop on/hop off bus
We did a full circuit of the bus route to give us an idea of what we really wanted to see and then went for the boat cruise. This was really lovely and the weather was perfect. We had a very good guide who pointed out buildings of interest and gave a bit of detail about each. Eg The Black Diamond home to the Royal Library is so called because it is made of Zimbabwean granite which reflects sun off the canal, the recycling factory, the former ammunitions building and HC Andersen’s homes amongst others.
The Black Diamond which houses the Royal Library
New Waterfront apartments from former warehouses
Boats on the canal. Some are house boats and others are for pleasure sailing
While on the boat we saw another event taking place which had drawn very large crowds. It was a cliff-diving competition in which divers dived from the platform of a building on the bank of the river which we were now on. At intervals a woman soprano sang beautifully and we were fortunate to have been there when she sang one song.
A diver at the edge of the platform preparing to dive
Woman on the platform singing
After the cruise we returned to the bus and first stopped at The Little Mermaid followed by Rosenborg Castle. We had visited it in 2015 but the Rose Garden was bare and it was bitterly cold. This time we had warm sunshine and were treated to absolute beauty. We walked around the Castle and its grounds and went back to the bus stop when it began to rain. By the time we reached the city centre the rain seemed to have cleared so we had a bit of a look around when suddenly the heavens opened and the rain poured down.
This sculpture entitled Efter Bade (After Bath) is very close to The Little Mermaid but goes quite unnoticed
Part of the Rose Garden started in 1963 by the then gardener at the Castle
Our original plan had been to walk back to the hotel as we had found ourselves near Tivoli Gardens which we had also seen not far from the hotel but the rain scuppered that idea. Once again we had difficulty in finding a taxi driver who knew of our hotel. Even with a GPS it didn’t come up except for the 3rd one. We finally arrived back safely and were very grateful for a warm shower.
The Little Mermaid. I could not leave her out