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Exploring a new city

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large_5550_1471892008832.jpgCopenhagen has some similarities to Amsterdam. Canals, quaint buildings, people on bicycles, make that very tall blonde people on bicycles and a drug scene (refer last picture).
I walked to the train station and took the train to Helsinki airport. There was no queue at check-in. The kiosk wouldn’t through-check me or my bags to Milan probably because I had 20 hours in Copenhagen [Copenhagen-travel-guide-921103]. However, I asked at the counter and that was done easily for me, leaving me a little lighter for getting around in Copenhagen.

The flight on the SAS Canadair 900 jet (operated by Cimber) was quiet on take-off but not that quiet inflight. I was a little surprised because I had expected whisper-silence from those rear-mounted engines.

I have about 20 hours in Copenhagen because when I booked the ticket to Milan, I had chosen a cheap fare and forced the connection to be super-long so I could explore a new city “for free”.large_5550_14718919988983.jpgTown hall.If it had been over 24 hours, the connection would be counted as a stopover and the fare would have been higher, and airport tax payable too.

At Copenhagen airport, the train to town was about NZD7, which was about the same price as Helsinki but half the duration. Yep, my “free stopover” Copenhagen certainly turned out expensive. A single-scoop ice cream was about NZD6 (about the same as New Zealand in the wrong places). But surprisingly, even the factory-made ones were about NZD6 and they were half the size that I’m used to. My lunch and dinner from 7-Eleven were pricey too with a sandwich being NZD8-10 and small salads about NZD6.

It was about 1200 when I got to my Hotel Nebo, across the road from the railway station. It was too early to check-in so I explored the city with my cabin bag on my back.large_5550_14718920013818.jpgAwesome street performer on the walking street.As it had my laptop and valuables with me, it wasn’t a good idea to park it at reception and it wasn’t as light as I would have liked.

The canal boat tour seemed like the best way to kill time. I walked past the Town Hall on the city’s main walking street, to the location that was shown on the map. I knew full well that there were two companies operating this service, with one more expensive than the other. I found the first one, looked around and didn’t see the other. I paid about NZD16, hopped on the boat and shortly after we set off, I saw the other place which charged only about NZD8. Damn! But that particular boat was empty and there would have been a bit of a wait. It was also open-topped and it was getting cloudy and cool.

We made our way through the canals into the part of the sea sheltered by the nearby islands.large_5550_14718920035548.jpgModern living on the waterways on ex-Navy land. The Nordic countries are famous for their modern design in many things including architecture.During the 1h cruise, we saw old Copenhagen, and new single-storey and low-rise apartments built on old Navy land. The weather had turned and it was scorching hot and I was glad I wasn’t in an open-top boat. I realised later than both companies operate open and sheltered boats; it was completely random what you get, it seems.

By the time I walked back to the Nebo Hotel, it was about 1500. This not-for-profit place was good value by Copenhagen standards and the shared bathroom/toilets were spotless. My single room were fitted with a hand-basin which made it quite handy.

After a brief rest, I took a long walk to Christiania, located on the second off-shore island. This hippie commune is just beyond the Church of Our Saviour. It has a degree of self-government due to a special law. While still illegal, there is a roaring drug trade on “Green Street”. There were stalls of marijuana with masked or balaclava’ed men behind them. No photography is allowed as it would incriminate them. Running is also not permitted because it causes panic (as people may think there would be a raid).


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Denmark

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