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Copenhagen

The itinerary for our big trip included a bunch of cities we’ve wanted to visit for many years, including the capital of Denmark from which our cruise sailed.

We decided to fly in a day early to have a little time to see the city, and maybe it was the fact that we were jet lagged after an eight hour flight in SAS cattle car class or that the weather was cold and rainy, but I was somewhat underwhelmed by the city.

Radhuset

Which is not to say we didn’t enjoy the short time we had to explore the streets of the city, although in hindsight, we probably should have booked some kind of tour to get a better overview of the whole area (and get out of the shopping district).

Anyway, based on our random exploring, one of the most striking features of Copenhagen for me was all the bicycles.  There were plenty of cars on the streets, of course, but it seemed as if the numbers of cyclists almost matched them.

I’ve also never seen a city that is so accommodating to travelers on two wheels. Every major road had a wide, well-defined lane for bikes, there was plenty of parking for them, and drivers and cyclists seem to respect each other.

It was also interesting that very few of the parked bikes seemed to be locked and that almost none of the cyclists wore helmets.

Something else about this part of the world that became apparent quickly was that we were in for an abundance of daylight hours.

The picture above of the Radhuset, town hall in Danish, a huge building that dominates the area in which we were staying (despite Tivioli Gardens being across the street), was taken at 8:40 in the evening.

With the clouds breaking for a short time, daylight would be sticking around for about another 90 minutes.

Combine that with a six hour time zone change and our internal clocks were totally screwed up.

So, lots of new experiences in just the first 36 hours and next we’re off to Stockholm, Sweden.

However, I think I’d like to come back another time and give Copenhagen another chance.

If you’d like to see more pictures from our time in Copenhagen, visit my Flickr photostream.

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Tim,
    Thanks for sharing your impressions. I’m looking forward to visiting someday. Love the bike culture. The pictures look great. Thanks…
    Tim

  2. I’m so impressed with the captions on your flickr stream. My memories of Copenhagen are quite good. I loved Tivoli Gardens and the little mermaid statue in the harbor. I’m looking forward to hearing about the rest of the trip.

  3. Hi Tim,

    I was struck by the number of bicycles in Amsterdam when I first visited. There it is more bikes vs pedestrian than bikes vs cars. (Don’t you dare walk in the bike path.) I was also struck by the venerable age of the bike. Have a WWII era bike is sign of pride since Nazi’s confiscated them.

    If you get a chance, go on a Mike’s Bikes tour of a European city. Great fun!

    Beautiful photo!

    Doug

  4. Tim

    Doug: We had the option to do a bike tour in Helsinki (and a Segway tour in Stockholm!) but chose ones that included lots of walking time. Tried to avoid much time on busses since I love seeing cities from down on the ground. Amsterdam is another of the places on my “must see” list and I’ll certainly look up Mike’s Bikes when we go.

  5. Tim

    Jenny: Tivoli Gardens was only a few blocks from our hotel but we didn’t have time to do much more than walk around it once. Maybe next time. As to the little mermaid statue, even if we had made our way out to the harbor, we wouldn’t have seen anything. I was told she’s visiting Shanghai for the Danish pavilion at Expo 2010 through October. One more reason to return to Copenhagen.

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