Sunday, 21 October 2007


We left Brussells early on Wednesday morning. Still can't shake the feeling that Brussells is just Amsterdam without the sense of humour. The feeling remained as we headed back to Amsterdam (briefly) to catch a short flight to Copenhagen.

Our first impressions of Copenhagen were that the airport was nice and clean and very well laid out. Continuing that thought, the trains to the city were new and efficient. The central train station was well-looked after and the roads a brilliant example of how to seamlessly integrate cars, buses and bikes. This is a town that definitely knows how to do public transport.

Going further, the buildings are cool (Danish design, don't you know), the people are friendly and the coffee is excellent. Basically, within half-an-hour of arriving, Kate had decided she wants to live there. I had to agree.

If Brussells is Amsterdam without the sense of humour, Copenhagen is Amsterdam with a better sense of style.

On Thursday morning we had breakfast at Meyer's Cafe, around the corner from the hotel. We just stumbled upon it, and later found that it was recommended by Wallpaper* magazine as the place to have breakfast if you're only in Copenhagen for one day. Yay us.

Next we took a cruise around the canals and the harbour to look at all the great architecture. This is a town where the arts are valued much more highly than sports. Therefore, the major capital works currently underway include a new theatre and opera house by the water. My kinda town. Finally, a quick visit to the Museum of Art in the botanical gardens (quick because we only had about 45 minutes before they closed).

Friday morning we enjoyed the free organic breakfast at the hotel (organic also was the shampoo in the room and the beer in the bar) before deciding to go to Sweden for lunch. As you do.

The train from Copenhagen to Malmo on the west coast of Sweden only takes about 40 minutes. Had some lunch, did some shopping (particularly at department store H&M - we need one of those in Australia) and headed back.

Friday night was "Culture Night" in Copenhagen. This is a once-a-year event where all the museums and a bunch of culturally important places are open free until midnight. We looked around the ruins under Christiansborg Palace, which has been repeatedly burnt/pulled down, and rebuilt, over the last few centuries. We also saw the Design Centre (where it is clearly established that every cool modern design you can think of is Danish) and the National Museum. The latter was a little dull, but the actors swanning around in period dress and 3-foot hairstyles were moderately entertaining.

Saturday was then all about doing the last few things we felt we must do before leaving. These were to visit a flea market in Fredriksborg (shades of the dodgy market in Brussells . . . see previous post), visit Christianshavn (supposedly an experimental free state, but more like a Little Amsterdam in the city) and finally a visit to the Museum of Erotica. The latter was interesting, particularly with its details on the sex lives of celebrities, and lots of very cool vintage images.

And that's it. We left on Sunday morning in definite agreement with Mr Andersen . . . Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen.

The remainder of the trip was just 35 hours transit back to Melbourne, including 7ish-hour layovers in Amsterdam (where we met up with Shannon again) and Kuala Lumpur. Details on the trip home vary between those that are too dull for discussion, and those that have been withheld to protect the innocent. Nuff said, really.

And now some photos.

Canals in Copenhagen

New Copenhagen Opera House

The Baltic Sea between Copenhagen and Malmo, taken from the train window. In the distance is a bank of wind turbines (Danish designed, of course). These contribute to the 19% of the nation's power that comes from wind, and to the city's plan to be carbon-neutral by 2025.

Awesome hairstyles on display in the National Museum. It brings to mind Jennifer Saunders' effort in the excellent Let Them Eat Cake. Except on Ms Saunders' ship the cannons actually fired.

Not as many bikes as Amsterdam, but still a good effort. Apparently only 20% of city residents actually drive to work.

Christianshavn streetscape.

Spiral tower in Christianshavn.

Fountain near the main shopping strip. No water restrictions in Denmark.

Finally, the layover in Amsterdam. Well you wouldn't just hang around the airport, would you?

And that's it. Arrived back home early on Tuesday morning, local time. Back to reality.

Hope you've enjoyed our travels.


Briallen said...

i have enjoyed your travels (although i would have preferred a less vicarious experience).
well done gang!