Something is rotten in the state of Denmark
The weather is rotten, although I don’t think that’s what Shakespeare was referring to. Below is the only semi-sunny picture I took the entire weekend and it was as soon as I arrived at my hotel room. From that point onward it was cold, rainy and snowy for the remainder of my visit.
When we first moved to London, Heather and I both made a list of the top 10 places we might like to visit while we were living in Europe. Copenhagen made our list. Now, we’ve been in London for a year already and we are running out of time to visit all the places we’d like to. This trip ended up being a solo trip for me. Heather is heading out on a 10 day business trip next week and offered to give me a weekend away from the boys to regain my sanity before the boys and I hang out together for 10 days without Mom.
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed wandering aimlessly around Copenhagen, discovering the city on my own time. The first thing I noticed was that the Danish are the first people I’ve run into who seriously don’t seem to mind or even notice that it’s cold. I assume it’s because the weather is always that way and they are used to it. I wandered down a major shopping street on Friday evening when it was below 0F and there were tons of people out shopping and hanging out on the street, not even dressed appropriately for the cold. Compare that to London, where everyone breaks out their winter parkas as soon as the temperature dips below 50F.
The trip to Copenhagen from London is straightforward, like reaching many cities in Europe. There are direct flights from Heathrow to Copenhagen, which take about 1:30. The arrival terminal has a distinct Scandinavian feel, wood floors, modern, minimalist furniture. I took the Metro for a 15 minute ride and I was in the heart of Copenhagen, Kongens Nytorv (Kings New Square). By mid afternoon, I was in my hotel room in the Nyhavn area of Copenhagen.
I started my official site seeing on Saturday morning with a nice 6 mile run from the hotel around the lakes. It was a great way to see the city. I managed to see the Royal Danish Guard Fife and Drum band practicing early in the morning. It was a very cold morning, while running around the lakes I saw several swans breaking the ice as they tried to swim along. I had read that a lap around the lakes was a popular running location and they were right. I definitely wasn’t the only crazy person out running at 8AM on a Saturday in freezing conditions.
The other highlight of Saturday was my discovery of the Christiansborg Palace and the ruins underneath which are open to the public. I discovered this while walking towards the History Museum, also worth a look for a quick lesson in Danish history. The ruins are accessible from the cellar of the palace and it is a very well put together exhibit describing how the original castle was built by Bishop Absalon in 1167. They also point out that the current palace is the 3rd Christiansborg Palace, the first two having burned to the ground over the past several hundred years. Both burning due to malfunctioning wood burning stoves.
I started my 2nd and last day in Copenhagen with another run. This time my goal was to see the “little mermaid” statue, which is ranked as the top tourist attraction in Copenhagen. I had started walking towards the statue late on Saturday but decided I wouldn’t make it before it got dark. I decided it would make a nice run destination.
My other big find on my 2nd run was the Kastellet, an old fortress shaped like a pentagram. I noticed a number of people running on the ramparts and decided to check it out. It made for an excellent run (in the light snowfall).
My final site seeing was a canal boat cruise before heading to the airport for the flight home. Here are few photos from the cruise, including the new Opera House.