Day 17 – Copenhagen by Tour

Today I started off trying to find a new book to read. Using google, I found a place that was listed as a second hand book store and off I went. Turns out, it was actually an antique book store… so back to the one on the corner that sells new books!

I then met up with the Sandeman’s New Europe Tour. It’s a free walking tour that is generally a couple hours. It happened to be that this was an extremely warm day, so on this tour I was joined by my friends sweat and sunburn. Oops. Nothing too horrible luckily.

We pretty much walked around and got the history of bits and pieces of the city. Something I found very amusing is that with one exception, all Kings of Denmark have been named Frederik or Christian, alternating. And Denmark has been a monarchy for a long time. Otherwise I thought the tour was good to get little bits about the city and to find out what I didn’t need to go see any more of.

Following the tour I joined two other girls, Jeanette and Sara, whom I had just met and we walked the bit farther to the Little Mermaid Statue. Just as everyone tells you, really not that impressive and there’s a lot of people around because every major tour in Copenhagen takes you there. But I took my picture anyways!

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I then hopped the bus back, using the 24 hour ticket I’d gotten the night before. It was nice because we’d already walked a lot, and my feet were tired!

I then decided to do the new “thing to do” in Copenhagen and head to the harbor for some swimming. I was aiming for the public baths, which are where the city essentially built pools into the side of the harbor, using the harbor water. This is a new thing because previously Copenhagen had been struggling with dirty harbor water, not suitable for swimming. I didn’t actually make it to the baths as I got to the harbor side and pretty much there were people sunbathing and swimming everywhere, so why walk any farther.

There are ladders for climbing out spread around, one right in the by where the dock is clearly wet.
There are ladders for climbing out spread around, one right in the by where the dock is clearly wet.

I had an entertaining reminder when I jumped in the water. I had completely forgotten that this was salt water. Oh Minnesota and your fresh water lakes. It was chilly, but very refreshing for such a hot day.

On a less exciting note, I had stuck a new sensor in in the morning, and with all the being hot and being in the water, it decided that sticking to my skin wasn’t something it wanted to do. Bummer because it’d been working well so far. Good thing I packed extras. It also tells me that I absolutely can’t try to stick those to my skin unless it’s immediately after a shower. Oh well, more luggage space.

I then headed home for a quick shower before meeting up with the girls I mentioned earlier. We had signed up for the Pub Crawl. In the end there were roughly 10 people on the pub crawl and it was pretty fun. We ended at a club, which we arrived at around 12:30. When I left around 2:30, there were a lot of people still streaming into the club. Walked most of the way home with some other new friends from the pub crawl. We made the stop that is apparently normal all over, for fast food, on the way home. McDonald’s french fries are good for something abroad.

The final bit of my walk home, the guy in front of me walking had some rather amusing attempts by hookers trying to get him to take them home. He wasn’t so amused by it, but I thought it was funny.


No steps because when I got home, my fitbit was dead. Figuring I’d just charge it and then be fine, but nope, no charging, no restarting, so no steps. This is rougher for me than I expected, but thankfully this is the best option for electronics failure possible.

Days 14, 15, and 16 – Island, Fortress, Ferry

Day 14

I started the day off up bright and early. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to wander around places without very many other people, and the Akershus Fortress opened at 06:00 (No, I wasn’t there at that time, more like 08:00). So off I went. It really was empty! Of course, there’s always guards on duty, as it is a national fortress and castle, and I didn’t realize this until I turn around and see one standing back in the trees. They patrol around, so they can appear in places you were looking earlier and no one was there. Scared the shit out of me! They carry big guns too.

Anyways, gave some timer selfies a try. Most looked horrible, half shadows doesn’t do well for my camera at all.

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The fortress was interesting to wander around, but there’s not much in the way of information. I found it amusing to look up the side of the castle (which was closed on this day) and see the many different building materials.

It's easy to see 3 different types of stone here.
It’s easy to see 3 different types of stone here.

After this, I decided to check out one of the islands in the Oslo bay area. I went with Hovedøya, the one that the past day had the most people in line, and the sign with a two sentence description said it was a good recreation and beach area.

There was also a monastery ruin, which is part of where some of the different stones for the fortress came from.

Just free to wander around as you please
Just free to wander around as you please

Going over a hill on the path to the beach and I heard some weird noise, get to the top and see these lovelies staring back at me.

 

Apparently used for mowing that area
Apparently used for mowing that area

I wasn’t properly prepared though. Everyone else that went over was ready with lunch/snacks and beach gear. People were carrying foam mats, which made more sense when I saw that they would simply lay on the hard rocks. I grabbed a bench and did a little reading before ending up hungry and heading back. I took the ferry that made stops at some of the other islands, just to get a mini sight seeing trip out of it.

After grabbing lunch, I did a bit of shopping. I had a mission when I went to Norway to come home with some Comfy Balls Boxers, and so needed to find those. I heard of them through the Norwegian Curling Team, Team Ulsrud. They did a hilarious commercial for them, which I have to link even though I’m sure no one else will find it as funny as I did. Anyways, mission accomplished. No other shopping needed here where everything is so expensive.

My next task was finding some food for dinner and for my next days lunch, as I planned to go back to the beach, this time better prepared (including sunscreen). Grocery shopping in a country that speaks a different language will never be a simple task. Perhaps it would be less difficult if I wouldn’t end up sick if I ate the wrong things. So far, meat, cheese and crackers have been my go-to snack, once I found GF crackers.

Day 15

Pretty much the same activities as yesterday, just in the reverse order. That and the castle at the fortress was to be open, so I went back. I will never understand why displays which contain chronological information are presented out of order. Makes it rather difficult to follow. Oh well.

Turns out this castle ran into the same problem as most castles/churches/towns and burned down a few times. That’s part of the reason for the many materials. The other is that it went through many different uses over time and fixes/improvements were done and no one bothered to care what they were using to build the walls so long as they stood.

This is the fortress where Norway was overtaken by the Nazis in 1940 at the beginning of the German Occupation of Norway. Luckily, they managed to sink a ship which held off the Germans long enough to allow the King to escape.

Castle Pictures:

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Beach pictures:

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Then I went back to my hostel, grabbed my stuff, and headed to the boat I was taking to Copenhagen.

The boat was like a mini-cruise ship. I did some laundry quickly, grabbed dinner, wandered around, watched the scenery, and then was bored. So I went off to grab a drink. I ended up running into some ladies that were heading to Copenhagen for the day as a girls night/weekend trip. I ended up spending the rest of my evening with them, which was quite fun! The Thursday night trip must not be the party trip though, because pretty much all the bars and club were empty, and there was a lot of them.

Day 16

Off the boat with my clothes that apparently do not all dry in 12 hours (sad). The ferry terminal in Copenhagen is not quite in the city. They provide a bus that brings you to the city center, which being that my hostel was by the train station, I figured was good enough. Well, at least I got a lot of walking in. It’s always tough to find your way around a new city. Usually it takes me a couple times walking around, then I’ve totally got it, but that’s never when you’re also carrying all your things.

So I dropped my stuff off at my hostel (too early for check-in) and headed to the tourist information, then the store to grab lunch, and then to a park to grab a spot in the shade.

This is where I learn how to get around the city. After lunch I spent some time looking through the materials I picked up and at the map and planned all the things I wanted to see, and came up with a plan of attack.

After everything was all decided, I headed back to the hostel and got settled. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to just do nothing at the hostel, so I decided to check out Nyhavn (pronounced like na-haown, I’ll never really figure it out though). It was packed as it was happy hour/dinner time on a Friday, so I grabbed some ice cream (yes, for dinner) and grabbed a seat on the side of the canal to watch the world go by.

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This happens to be where the most commonly seen picture of Copenhagen was taken. Looks just like it too.

I gave up after not too long and hopped the bus back home. I am learning that two showers a day will probably be the norm for me this trip, especially if it’s going to stay in the 30’s (90’s for us Americans – I had to learn Celsius or I sound crazy).


Day 14

Steps: 22,875

Floors: 35

Day 15

Steps: 20,260

Floors: 87 (lots of stairs on that ferry boat!)

Day 16

Steps: 18,485

Floors: 23

 

I promise there is more

coming in the next couple days. But how can I pass up some of the best weather that has been seen in these places! Even the natives are remarking on how nice the weather has been. Anyways, I’ve made it to Copenhagen now. Lots of adventures going on.

Off to a pub crawl for the evening to celebrate the 4th of July with as many people as possible.

My 4th of July harbor side location, with some local-ish cider.
My 4th of July harbor side location, with some local-ish cider.

And in case you thought people joked about how many bikes are around here:

This is just one side of the central station.
This is just one side of the central station.