Wednesday, 29 October 2008


After finding our way into town, we arrived at our first overnight stop. A youth hostel 5 km from the middle of town. It was a lovely place - however there was no water for the first few hours, and when it came on, there was a lot of urgent toilet flushing!! The next morning, there was no hot water - so we had cold washes and got ready for our day in Copenhagen.

Phil had been to Copenhagen before, and knew a few sights that we should see. With a top-up from the Lonely Planet book of Denmark, and a booking to catch up with Phil's friend Ghita for a coffee, it made for a pretty full day!

Hans Christian Anderson would not let go of this book!

The only thing that was not on our program was visiting Princess Mary for a cup of tea and an Iced Vovo. Next time we will have to make a bit more time so she can see us....

Copenhagen is a compact city, and very beautiful.

We caught the driverless train (the boys loved pretending to drive it from the front seats, although setting the controls to go 'a billion kilometers per hour' may have been outside of the manufacturers guidelines...) from near the youth hostel to the centre of town (Kogens Nyrtov)

From there it was a short walk past some lovely harbor views to the palace. There was not much happening, but the Royal Guards were impressive. Alexander obviously thought he needed guarding....

Cameron decided to seek shelter in the guard's box

One of the 'symbols' of Copenhagen is the little mermaid. She sits on some rocks on the edge of the harbor and may be one of the most visited places in the city. We walked past an impressive fountain
and along the harbour to the mermaid statue, enjoying the the views.

Next to the little mermaid is the old fortress castle, which has a moat around the outside and (what looks like) modern military barracks on the inside. It was great fun for the boys, who loved running along the paths and 'firing' the cannons that surround the fort. There was even a lighting wick and a match (two pieces of grass). It is obviously a very popular spot for dog walkers and joggers, and we enjoyed strolling around and enjoying the views.

It was time for a coffee - and luckily one of Phil's new friends works in a fantastic building near the fortress. It used to be an school for naval children, and has the most fantastic open spaces and offices! We enticed Ghita out to a local coffee shop and enjoyed her company (chatting about the 'old times'...last week!) for an hour or so, before we resumed our tour of Copenhagen (and let Ghita get back to work!)

A short walk away was Rosenborg Slot and the lovely kings gardens. The Crown Jewels are kept in the basement of the castle, and several of the rooms are open for display.

One of the great things about attractions in Denmark is that kids under 12 years of age, have free entry. Not only were they free to enter the castle, but they were given a little 'ghost' stuffed toy each, which soon became 'ghostie 1' and 'ghostie 2' (these guys had the most fabulous adventures in the back seat of the car on the long driving legs with Quala (that is Alexander's Qantas Koala) and Simba toys.)

We really enjoyed the displays, and the crown jewels were really magnificent.
top of the church, and below the bottom half.

Nicole wanted to see where 'our Mary' married into the Danish Royal family. We visited the church, Vor Frue Kirke, where they were wed (I just hope it is more impressive on the inside..)
The boys cannot resist chasing the pigeons in the town hall square...much to the discomfort of the locals enjoying their lunches!

We then walked to the Town Hall - on the way the boys spotted the letters "BR' on a sign - Ghita had kindly informed the boys that 'BR' means 'LEGO' (BR is on the sign for the major toy shop chain) - so of course we went in for a look!

Our next stop was the Design Museum. The Danes are known for their groovy design (one of them - Jan Utzen - designed the Opera House in Sydney!). It was interactive and we all had a great time in this small exhibition space over several different levels . After enjoying a coffee (whilst the kids did most of the exhibits again!), we strolled past more beautify Copenhagen street scape to the train station, and back to the car.

The statue on the top of this building is very similar to the Brandenburg Tor statue!

Tivoli Gardens was closed for Winter..but looked like fun!

From there we drove out of town and to our next overnight stop, in Odense. The highways were great - even though there was some 'peak hour' traffic, we were soon clear of Copenhagen and well under way. Our trip included crossing the impressive bridge from the island of Zealand to the Island of Funen. We arrived at the lovely hostel (I think we may have been the only guests) with the help of maps, printouts and the blackberry. (We learned our lesson on the way into Copenhagen - it is intereting how used you get to 'Bob' the satnav in the Merc telling us where to go....she only works in Germany unless I get more CD-ROMs!).

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