Thursday, September 22nd, 2005
Greetings From Legoland
Contrary to what I’d been led to believe as a child, Denmark is NOT made entirely of Lego. Or Duplo.
And this Danish keyboard is fucking me up. I’m in a huge internet cafe in downtown Copenhagen, just across the street from the Tivoli Gardens amusement park. I’ve been wandering the city all day, and have taken in a goodly number of sights and sounds. We disembarked the ship early this morning and thanks to the most genial bus driver in the world, got to see a few things en route to the hotel. Though his job was simply to deposit us at the hotel straight from the ship, he made a photo stop detour for the Little Mermaid statue and even drove us back downtown from the hotel after we dropped our bags off, all while taking the scenic route. Very nice.
Just to recap my route – we started at the Royal Palace, took in the Marble Church just across the way and then the changing of the guard back at the palace. Then some lunch at the town square dealie by one of the canals. On the topic of canals – the travel literature for no less than three cities on my trip have made the claim of being the “Venice Of The North”. Stockholm has very little basis for that claim, and while Copenhagen is indeed very canal-friendly, I still have to give the title to St Petersburg. Now that’s a canal-riffic town. Anyway. After an extended stop by the town square, I hiked up to the Rosenborg Castle – very cool, with a moat and everything. And “Slottet” is my new favourite word. From there, it was a leisurely stroll down the pedestrian-only Kobmagergade and Stroget, the main shopping strip in Copenhagen. Just past there was Chrisiansborg, the seat of Danish Parliment, happily located on its very own island.
After that, it was a little more aimless wandering and killing time before dinner. As it is, bus driver dude isn’t picking us up till 8pm local time, so I still have a couple hours to while away people watching and just bumming around. It’s so refreshing to be on an internet connection that I’m not paying for in blood (you don’t want to know what my final online bill from the ship was – you really don’t) so I’ll probably just kick around online for a bit.
Once again, I am gobsmacked by another Scandanavian capital city. There are bike lanes everywhere, pedestrian malls, incredible architecture, lots of history, everything is clean and beautiful – seriously, these people have got their shit together and seem to be so far ahead of the curve from us in North America. What’s the deal? It’s also interesting how racially homogeneous it is here. I know that’s to be expected, this being the old world and all, but it’s still a bit of a shock from someone so used to the multiculturalism of Toronto, where if I get on a subway car and there’s not one white face, it’s perfectly normal. Here, not so much.
Anyway, since I’m not on my laptop, I can’t upload any pictures (of which I have many). I’ll rectify that tomorrow when I get home. By this time tomorrow, I should be somewhere over Newfoundland and/Labrador. Can’t wait.
And seriously, this keyboard is messed up. Everything’s moved all over the place. Crazy Danes.