Arriving in Denmark —Wednesday 8/27/08
Made it to Copenhagen after a nightmarish trans-Atlantic flight (for me). Due to my penchant for high-altitude fainting I spent about half the flight on the floor in the rear galley. Most of the crew were very sympathetic and did their best to help. It’s probably just as well; I got no sleep and ended up in sync w/ the new time zone by Wednesday night.
Finding the train ticket kiosk near the baggage claim in Kastrup Airport was as easy as Frommer's claimed; using the kiosk was not. The problem was my assumption that all automated terminals work like ATMs. I stuck my credit card in the slot first, then tried to request my tickets. No dice. Not even Way Too Close Guy (who had immediately taken up position over my shoulder) could tell me what I was doing wrong. Word to the traveller: the process works less like an ATM and more like an actual credit card transaction. You order the tickets on the screen, then swipe your card. Voila! Two tickets to the Central Rail Station!
We got to the station, I took time to get my bearings (see: Stamford CT), and we schlepped 10 minutes over cobblestones in the light rain to the Hotel Ansgar.
As the reviews say, Ansgar is "cozy". It's also clean, extremely well-located, and staff with friendly, knowlegeable people. Honestly, we didn't find the room all that small, even by U.S. standards (and we hadn't even seen our ship stateroom for comparison yet!). For those of you who can't imagine bathing without a washcloth, a word of advice: BYO.After a brief nap and an episode of Cold Case (with Danish subtitles), Jenna walked over to Tivoli Gardens. The entrance fee was 85DKK; we trusted that the coins with holes in the middle of them were in fact the correct change for our 100DKK, and strolled into the park. The first section we checked out was the amusment rides part. It had a great energy. Copenhagen has a youthful, carefree vibe, and Tivoli captured this in the laughter and excited screams of the riders. We stopped in a souvenir shop and bought our first flag pins of the trip.
We did a full lap of the park, and another lap around the small lake within. We watched kids in bumper boats, and took in several minutes of a play/ballet at the Chinese Pantomime Theater (left). Although a light rain drizzled most of the evening, it was a relaxing, thoroughly enjoyable night. We had a fantastic (if expensive) dinner at Grøften where I sampled my first of several different Carlsberg brews. Jenna ordered a tasty beef stroganoff, and I got the grilled salmon to kick off a long pattern of seafood dinners.
Here I am appreciating the splendor that is Tivoli. Ok, to be fair, I didn't know Jenna was snapping the picture. The "Gardens" portion of Tivoli Gardens is lovely, and nicely accented with hanging baskets and birdhouses.
Some of the attractions that ring the lake, lit up at night. Colored lights outlined all the buildings in the park, and along the paths, more lights glowed overhead. We tried to hang on for the 10pm fireworks, but just couldn't make it. We headed back to Ansgar for a good night's sleep.