Had an enforced lie-in trying to be quiet in the dorm. After station food breakfast we hired bikes and set off into the sprawling cycle lanes of the city. Copenhagen is very commuter friendly. Everyone stops for pedestrians on zebra crossings and cars also give way to cyclists when turning left at a junction so together with a flat terrain and miles of cycle lanes it’s perfect for foreign novices to get stuck into.
We headed through the city, dodging drunks emerging from bars (10 am – 24 hour city) to the waterfront and back round to the little mermaid. Coming past the Star Fort a motorbike outrider stopped the coach in front of us but instead of a cycle race coming through, around 100 people on vintage bikes dressed in 1940s styles drifted by smiling and waving. Further down the road we passed a massive organised running event with pompom-ed cheerleaders at the finish line.
Feeling peckish we attempted a new land speed record on gear-less bikes with baskets and headed to the meatpacking district for lunch. A pop up food fair provided salmon burger with white wine (Al) and a rare beef steak baguette with red (me) to the backdrop of locals dancing salsa in blistering 27° sunshine. All paid for on cards with card readers plugged into ipads.
Back on the bikes and we spent a wonderful afternoon bar crawling across the city. For me it’s up there with tapas crawling in Barca or sushi crawling in Japan as a great way to have a few beers. Crossing the city through the safe cycle lanes, park your bike outside the bar and after a relaxed drink off you head somewhere else. Very civilised.
For tea we headed to the paper island where dozens of food stalls reside in an old warehouse a lot like Digbeth Dining club in Birmingham but with 100s more people. We were held up on the way by a bridge being raised to let some yachts through and in no time dozens of people were queuing patiently on foot or bike without tutting.
It only added to the anticipation of the food which was worth the wait. Danish apple pudding with cream, almond and toffee cheesecake but the best was the creme brulee donut.
Copenhagen had stolen our hearts and we pondered just staying here for 6 months before heading home to work, but a new country beckons tomorrow so we say Tak og farvel.
Up early for the train to Copenhagen. We both commented on how short the train was and realised why when it drove onto a ferry to cross the water to Denmark. (For any train geeks, it was the most stylish interior so far).
We walked the 50 metres to the hostel and dropped our backpacks before setting off to explore with enthusiastic excitement at popping our Scandinavian cherry. Copenhagen is beautiful. Grand architecture, picturesque back streets and canals lined with quaint cottages and a cafe culture with very friendly English speaking locals. We would also discover that the locals like a beer.
We stopped for a posh butty with salad and fish in a small place which was possibly the coolest cafe I’ve trodden in. A really old building with ancient features big old tables and chipped crockery. New is not always better.
We checked in to our luxury 6 berth spacious dorm and wondered what our room mates would be like (best case = Danish women’s beach volleyball team. Worst case = Spanish stoners who shout instead of sleeping). The hostel recommended a bar which was handily located at the start of a self guided city tour so off we hiked via two dark imperial stouts. Our walk was bathed in glorious late summer sunshine and the city was coming out for Friday night so the atmosphere was fabulous. We entered a park where families and friends sat together drinking and soaking up the sun and as we try and always fit in we returned to a Netto we had passed for beer and reindeer salami and then to the park to observe the locals. Picnic finished, we walked down to see the little mermaid and use the facilities.
Walking back to the centre we came across a canal lined with bars and restaurants heaving with Copenhageners enjoying a Friday night. Sat across from them along the canal edge were more budget revellers indulging in cans of carlsberg and tuborg. We headed straight to the nearest can shop. The beer tasted sweet and the atmosphere was so enjoyable we decided to splash out on a second can, I returned from the shop to find Alison being “wooed” by a tanned suited local lothario. Tempted to just watch, I decided to do the right thing and rescue her by pushing him into the canal (joking).
Amazed by our frugality of drinking tins in the park and by the canal we thought we’d have one for the road in a building. Before you could say “We’re British” we came across the Lord Nelson selling pints of ale and playing 80s British rock. Perfect.
Heading home we saw the party bus sponsored by Malibu where drunk young revellers are driven around having a disco in a bus. Coming to the UK soon?
Finally we got home to find an aussie girl waiting up for us in our dorm. Neighbours eh?
Woken by beautiful late summer sunshine pouring through the curtains and the noise of subway trains from the station next to the hostel. Wandered into Hamburg through the historic dock area with its imposing red brick buildings, along the dock front to the edgy St Pauli area and along the seedy Reeperbahn which at midday was just full of drunks. A stroll through the city gardens led us to the centre where due to exhaustion and the extreme heat we had to rest for a cold lager and a currywurst. As usual though, this just inflamed our artistic curiosity so we visited the Museum for Kunst (careful spellcheck) to see a Japanese Hokusai and Manga exhibition. After an afternoon kebab, the heat drove us to a siesta and feeling refreshed we pottered into town for a very foreign experience of drinking lager and a kebab on the way home. (Yes, two kebabs in one day)
Just a day of travelling on trains today. See photo evidence below (yes, it does look like I was gazing adoringly at my husband!)
Obviously as we are experienced international train travellers (!) we have already done some of this route previously in January so knew the station layouts although Brussels certainly had massively increased security since we were last there in January, unsurprisingly. The feeling of unease was not helped by a bottle of water falling from the top of the escalators and landing on the table I was sat at!!
Food was salads for lunch, no photos as quite boring but welcome for us. Afternoon train snack was Germany smoked ham, cheese and Rye bread, seemed odd having no wine with it but we are not ready for that yet!
All trains were on time but in the 27 degree heat were disappointingly not air conditioned!
We arrived at Hamburg Haupfbahnhof and promptly got the wrong tube to our hostel. It was only one stop we needed to go FFS! Eventually arrived at our hostel although took some finding as it is right next door to a doner kebab shop which distracted us. We popped out for supermarket tea which is pictured below – 2 varieties of tinned herring, of which the tomato and mango was definitely the best, mini cucumbers, salt n pepper crisps! Really lush
Slept well according to fit bit but only walked a measly 8099 steps! As most of these involved carrying 12kg rucksack I think I did enough today!
So we did it! Posted keys through the door and left with very large backpacks. See below for photographic evidence!
London was subdued because it was hot, sweaty and humid and we were shattered after all the leaving shinanigans so we walked 11.74 miles (according to FitBit) around London stopping off just 2 halves of cider each which is a record!
Early night was welcome relief although watching Location, location, location seemed pointless!
Thanks to everyone who has helped us celebrate leaving. Our livers can finally relax. We’ll miss you all but look forward to boring you with tales of noodle soups and trains. Take care xx