Tag Archives: denmark

Final Notes

I made it back. Walk to tram, tram to bus, bus to airport, long check-in line, walk to gate, fly to Heathrow, go through seemingly endless labyrinthine hellscape at Heathrow, fly to Seattle, go through Customs, walk to shuttle, shuttle to car, drive home. Roughly 21 hours. I think 19 of that was in Heathrow, although BA upgraded me and let me pre-board for no apparent reason. Maybe they liked the cut of my jib, although honestly my jib was looking pretty rumpled at that point.

Some final notes:

  • I learned to say seven things in Czech: Dobrý den (good day), prosím (please), pivo (beer), káva (coffee), pokladna (cash register), papriková klobása (paprika kielbasa), and trdelník (trdelník).
  • Danish trucks don’t make a beeping noise when they back up.
  • On all the local transportation I rode (trams, subways, buses, etc.) in Copenhagen, Berlin, and Prague, I don’t think anyone ever checked my ticket. I’ve read that Prague spot-checks riders and will fine you 700 Kč if you don’t have a valid ticket. But a three-day ticket is 310 Kč, so if they check less than once per week, you’d come out ahead by paying the fine.
  • Thai massage seems to be a thing in Prague. They’re all over the place. One aspect of Thai massage involves putting your feet in a fish tank so that fish can nibble them. This takes place in the front window so that you, the idiot tourist, are on display to passersby while fish nibble your toes. I did not do this.
  • I now understand the line from the 2013 David Bowie song “Where Are We Now”.
         Had to get the train
         From Potsdamer Platz
         You never knew that
         That I could do that
    Meistersaal studio, near Potsdamer Platz, was where Bowie and Iggy Pop recorded in 1977. Potsdamer Platz was one of the ghost stations of the U-Bahn. It was in the east, but the stations on either side were in the west. Trains were not allowed to stop there and guards were posted in the station to make sure they didn’t. West Berlin had to pay the DDR for the privilege of passing through.
  • I walked a total of 118.44 miles over 18 days, for an average of 6.58 miles per day.
  • I really need to bring less luggage.

Crossing the Fehmarn Belt

The train boarded a ferry, and we all disembarked so we could buy things on the ferry. I exchanged my kroner for euros and bought a double espresso, which I then enjoyed on the lido deck.

Note that I extend my pinky in the manner favored by Irish guitarists.

Enjoying a beverage upon the Baltic

Notes on Denmark

  • Most children under the age of 7 or 8 seem to wear snow suits. There’s no hint of snow, but snow suits are popular anyway. I mean, I saw very few of them not wearing snow suits.
  • English is even more prevalent than I expected. It’s woven into everything.
  • I’m staying near the “red-light district,” so I went to check it out. It turned out to be a few fairly discreet strip clubs over about three blocks. Amsterdam this is not.
  • Bicycles everywhere.
  • I missed Rosenborg Castle and the Roskilde Cathedral, and of course Christiana, but I think I did pretty well for three days.
  • But where is Reptilicus?

Limping to Christianshavn

After the Viking Ship Museum, my plan was to take the train to Christianshavn and visit Christiana, the hippie squatter enclave that’s been there since 1971.

With all this walking, though (32 miles so far this trip), I seem to have strained a tendon on the left side of my left foot, which has me hobbling along like Inspector Clouseau in his salty sea dog disguise.

The bus didn’t show up to take me back up the hill to the train station, so I limped up the hill, detouring a little to walk through the main shopping area and get some money out of an ATM, then took the train and metro out to Christianshavn.

Christianshavn has historic ties to Greenland, and there are three statues depicting life in Greenland. One of them shows someone disemboweling a seal.

Seal guts

From that point it would have been another 20-minute limp to Christiana, plus a walk around, then 20 minutes back, so I would have had another hour of walking, at least. I stopped in a nearby Joe & the Juice to get a flat white and consider my options.

I like weird offbeat jurisdictions and living situations, so I would have liked to see Christiana, but it now has a sort of official status, so it’s less like Sealand and more like a giant Synergy House. Interesting, but not worth destroying key foot tendons to see it.

So I took the metro back to Nørreport station and walked down the Strøget, stopping in a Christmas market to get some gløgg along the way. Maybe a half hour of walking.

Viel gløgg!

Now I’m having brisket and beer in Warpigs for the third night in a row. This is my last night in Copenhagen. Tomorrow I take the train to…?????



Today I took the train to Roskilde to see the Viking Ship Museum.

Roskilde is the former center of the Danish empire, and was a Viking settlement before that. In the late 11th century, the Vikings scuttled five ships in the Roskilde fjord to form a barrier against attack. The ships were discovered in the late 1950s and brought up for restoration in 1962. To prevent the wood from disintegrating, they soaked it in a solution of polyethylene glycol over a period of years until it could be safely dried out. The result is two warships, two trading ships, and one fishing boat built almost a thousand years ago.

Viking ships

The adjacent boatyard builds full-sized reproductions of Viking ships using historic tools and methods. They also sail them to reconstruct routes the Vikings would have taken and determine how the ships would have functioned in various conditions. My booklet does not mention anything about oar dances, but presumably they do that when no one was looking. The temptation would just be too great.

Viking shipyard

In the summer, you can take boat trips around Roskilde harbor, rowing and handling the sails yourself (I assume with supervision). They don’t offer this after September 30, though. The water is too cold. (“If you fell in, we wouldn’t have enough time to get you out.”)

Proof that I had my stupie stick with me

Viking selfie

Tivoli Night! Oh, What a Sight!

Based on the musical interlude from Reptilicus, I was expecting something a whole lot cheesier, but Tivoli Gardens is really nice. It’s the world’s original theme park, built in 1843, and in various ways resembles Disneyland, the old Knott’s Berry Farm, the Santa Cruz boardwalk, Santa’s Village*, and Solvang.

There are restaurants and food kiosks of all types, amusement park rides, midway games, shops, bars, and shows. It somehow manages to appeal to all ages, and even to goofball foreigners wandering around by themselves. I would definitely go again. Several thumbs up.

Tivoli Gardens Entrance

* The one that used to exist in Skyforest, California, not the real one.