Copenhagen & Helsingor

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Amalienborg Palace
(30 Photos)
Kronborg Castle
(47 Photos)

(28 Photos)
 (21 Photos)
Amalienborg Palace Royal Residence
(12 Photos)
Kronborg Chapel
(12 Photos)
Miscellaneous Helsingor
(24 Photos)
Kronborg Castle Royal Apartments
 (27 Photos)
(8 Photos)
Little Mermaid
(25 Photos)
Danish Maritime Museum
(14 Photos)
Tivoli Gardens
(34 Photos)
Copenhagen Harbor
(54 Photos)
Town Hall Square
(17 Photos)
Stroget Walking Area
(7 Photos)
Copenhagen Docks
(12 Photos)
Oresund Fixed Link
(26 Photos)
ms Westerdam In Copenhagen
(19 Photos)

July 27, 2005 Copenhagen
The flight was on a very comfortable, large twin-engine turbo prop plane.  It took us about 45 minutes to get to Copenhagen.  I saw Berlinís Olympic Stadium on my side and Matt saw the bridge connecting Malmo and Copenhagen on his side. 

We got some money exchanged at the airport and have come to find we will need a lot more in Copenhagen.  Waling through the airport I found a 7-11 and had visions of Big Gulps in my head.  At least they had a huge bottle of Coke I could buy.  That cost me about $5.00 dollars but was worth it.  While trying to exit the airport, that I had just proclaimed as the best in the world because of my 7-11 purchase, a kid messed with the roundabout exit and made it stop while we were in the middle.  We were able to back track and a guy told us to go around.  I started getting pissed because I was really getting tired.  I started walking around and notice the stupid roundabout was working after we had walked around.  I take back my statement about the best airport in the world.

 This town is the most expensive Iíve been too.  After my $5.00 Coke, the cab ride was about 6 miles and cost 200 Danish Krona or about $40.00. 

We got to the hotel at about 8:30 PM.  I checked in and explained to the person at the desk about Mattís passport.  He offers to call the Berlin Marriott and find out about the passport.  We are told to wait his call.  Matt got hungry about 9:30 PM and headed down to ask about the progress of the passport and get something to eat.  I was exhausted and even though I hadnít eaten all day passed.

Matt came back with the good news that the Berlin Marriott had found his passport and would overnight it, not without having to badger the people at this Marriott to call the Berlin Marriott again.  He found a place to get a burger and two Scotches for 200 danish krona which is what we paid for the cab ride.  Yikes!!!  Mattís now is thinking we can get some beer and sandwich meats and we can enjoy the view of the water outside our hotel.  More of a worry is the weather looks like itís going to rain and he still doesnít have a rain jacket and doesnít want to spend $400 for a stupid jacket.

He just read this is the eighth most expensive city in the world.  I told him I couldnít do a 17-day drinking binge before we left.  Maybe this is where we dry out.

July 28, 2005 Ė Copenhagen
Woke up this morning and typed up daily journal before heading out.  We walked up the street to the Copenhagen Tourist Information Office where Matt bought his 72-hour Copenhagen Card.  We then went to the train station to exchange money.  The guy who sold Matt his Copenhagen Card said they had the best exchange rate.  Matt found me at the bank right before I had cashed some travelerís checks to tell me.  The 2 exchange rates were the exact same but at least they were better than the airport.  I got 1193.00 Danish Krona for $200 in travelerís checks.  I think I only got close to 500.00 Danish Krona for $100 at the airport.  Matt bought himself a coffee and me a ďlargeĒ Coke that would have been a small Coke back home.  All for the low Danish price of 12.00 Danish Krona apiece. $2.00 for a small Coke.  This is the most expensive place Iíve ever been, way more expensive the London, and I donít know where the got the rating of the # 8 most expensive city in the world. 

Tivoli Sign On Outside Of The Park   Glenn At Tivoli Gardens Entrance   Balkonen Restaurant And Fountain Tivoli Gardens
Man Walking His Cart Through Traffic Next To Tivoli Gardens Valhal Restaurant In Tivoli Gardens

We crossed the street to have a beer at the Hard Rock; it was about 11:30 AM that was only 80.00 Danish Krona for two beers.  Thatís almost $7.00 per beer and they were only average size not the big glasses you usually see at Hard Rock.  I told Matt to savor and enjoy these because we canít afford to drink in this townÖat least very much.

Tivoli Gardens was next door so we went in there, which was included in our Copenhagen Card.  Itís a neat little amusement park situated right in the middle of town across from the train station.  Matt liked that all the bars and restaurants on the street on the side of Tivoli, like Hard Rock, had back entrances into the park.  Itís sort of a mini combination of EPCOT and Disney World.  There are themed areas and rides though out the park.

We stopped to have lunch at the Restaurant Valhal Viking Buffet for 79.00 Danish Krona.  That was the first normally priced thing weíve found in this city.  Unfortunately they made up for the reasonable price on the buffet with 69.00 Danish Krona Beers.  The food was pretty good, basic chicken, meat and fish.  I expected to eat a ton since I hadnít eaten in almost 36 hours but could only manage one plate and that was a struggle.  Matt downed a plate and a half. 

We werenít interested in going on the rides so we walked through the park and exited on the opposite side from where we entered to catch a bus to Amalienburg Palace.  This is a large complex with 4 buildings surrounding an enormous square that has a statue of Frederick V in the middle. They have a changing of the guards there but we were too late to see it, but there was a guard at each building.  They are like Londonís guards where they are completely stoned face and donít acknowledge your presence.  The palace had a display we saw, which was included in the Copenhagen Pass, of some of the rooms of past rulers of Denmark.  It wasnít that much to see compared to some other palaces Iíve been to.

Shack And Levetzau Palace's At Amalienborg Palace   Frederick V Statue At Amalienborg Palace   Gefion Fountain In Amaliehaven Park Near Amalienborg Palace

From here we walked to the canal that was just across the street.  We hung out trying to figure out what to do next.  Not our strong suit.  Looking at the map we noticed that the Water Taxi included in the Copenhagen Card just down the canal.  We rode the water taxi four stops to Nyhavn.  This is an area of super expensive restaurants.  We stopped at two the Hereford House where we spent 90.00 Danish Krona for 2 beers and the Els Restaurant where we spent 100.00 Danish Krona for 2 beers.  We decide we have to get off the beaten path of tourists to find a reasonably priced beverage.

 We walked in a couple of blocks to The Underground where we found 2 beers for 72.00 Danish Krona, and then we found nirvana.  The Wall Street Pub where they were running a 2 for 1 special and the beers were only 24.00 Danish Krona per beer.  Tranquility Base, the Eagle Has Landed.  Four hours later after a conversation with Nate, a transplanted Californian who has traveled the world the last five years and Thor the Dane.  Nate told us laborers here get about $18 per hour but everything is taxed 50 percent.  Benefits here are great though, you get 120 paid sick days a year, seven months to a year maternity leave, which can be split between the two parents. 

Matt At Nyhavn Canal   Nyhavn Means " New Harbor" - Man Made Canal   Glenn At Nyhavn Canal

The best thing we figured out this day was the Wall Street Pub has revolutionized bar counter tops.  They had a ledge at the bottom where you sat that you could rest your arms that then rose 5-6 inches at the perfect slope to the main bar counter top.  It was the most comfortable bar Iíve ever sat at.  Matt had been complaining about his shoulder hurting while sitting at other bars but this one gave him the proper support to relieve his pain.

After many beers and a few shooters, bought by our new friends, we decided to head to the hotel.  Of course we couldnít find the bus stop and all of a sudden were at the canal again.  At least we knew how to get to the hotel from there since the Marriott was on the canal.  It was about a mile down the road and we go in about 11:00 PM.  Mattís fear of a hangover have come true as I am writing this on the morning of July 29.

July 29, 2005 Helsingor and Copenhagen
We left the hotel for the train station about 10:00 AM or so.  I cashed a $100 for Matt since he still hasnít received his passport.  After our usual confusion about everything we figured out how to catch the train to Helsingor.  On the way to the train station we saw an amusing site.  Two men who had these huge vending carts were walking their carts down the middle of the street.  Thatís walking not towing with a car.  There are no hills here so the were just walking the carts.  These were heavy-duty work inside the cart type rigs not a little hot dog stand. 

It was about a 40-minute train ride partially on the coast of Denmark.

In Helsingor we first went and picked up some brochures in the tourist information center.  From there we did what we do best, we wandered aimlessly through town.  There are a ton of liquor stores that Matt kept checking prices and found they were no better than what he pays at home.  We found out that itís way cheaper for Swedes to come of across the new bridge and buy liquor in Helsingor.  They have a bridge that crosses from Helsingor, Denmark to Helsingborg, Sweden.

King Eric Of Pommerania Statue In Market Square   Danserindebrond By Rudolph Tegner Built In 1910   Gustav Adolf Church And Helsingor Harbor From Kronborg Castle

Our wandering brought us to the town square where there are bunches of cafes and restaurants.  There is also a statue of King Erik of Pomerania with papers in his outstretched left hands.  With all the cafes and food stands Matt joked he was the king of hot dogs and was offering them to the people of the square.  We sat down at the Pub and Restaurant Gaestgibergaarden.  I told Matt with that many letters was it really necessary to have two aís at the end in gaarden.  We both had the special at 69.00 Danish Krona per person and consisted of fried filet of plaice and shrimp in a bťarnaise sauce and fries.  Matt had a beer and I had a couple of diet cokes.  My stomachís been a little upset lately, which Matt claims is a hangover system.  He was just trying to have someone to commiserate with his pounding head from last nights visit to the Wall Street Pub.

After lunch we started towards Kronborg Castle, which was the castle William Shakespeare based his play Hamlet.  There was a nice old lady who saw us trying to orient ourselves with my map of town and stopped to help us.  Matt asked her if there was anything in a certain direction and she bluntly said ďnoĒ.  We both liked that someone would try to help someone in there home city.  Matt even said he does the same thing, except he doesnít find a lot of tourists in Rockville.

Approaching Kronborg Castle - AKA Elsinore Castle From Shakespeare's Hamlet   Glenn At Kronborg Castle   Kronborg Castle Ballroom - Largest Room In Europe When Finished In 1582

The castle is right on the water overlooking Helsingborg, Sweden.  The entrance really is impressive.  Itís the first castle Iíve seen with a moat around it perimeter.  It not only has one moat it has an inner and outer moat.  Inside the castle they have a stage set up for Summer Theater.  Our Copenhagen Card gave us free entrance to the Maritime Museum in the

Castle and I paid 50.00 Danish Krona to see the Royal Apartments and Castle Church. 

The maritime museum was all right, nothing special really.  We expected to see more history on Vikings.  It was mostly models of past Danish ships.  Matt went off to explore the outside of the castle and I proceeded to the Royal Apartments.  The Danish King Christian II rebuilt the castle in 1629 after a fire destroyed everything but the church.  The Royal Apartments are big, cold and stark.  Just what you would think castle would be like during that time period.  There is an enormous banquet hall that ran the entire length of one side of the castle.  The church was small but had very ornate woodcarvings throughout.

I exited the castle as soon as Matt had made a full circle around the castle.  I was kind to him, when I entered there was an English speaking tour starting that I listened to the info on the first room but decided against sticking with the tour because it was going to take 1 ĺ hour.

We walked back to the train station and were again confused.  We were trying to go to Hillerod to see the national museum before heading back to Copenhagen but Mattís thirst for beer cost us catching the train.  It departed as he walked up to me after his purchase.  I had found a 1.5 liter Diet Coke to please me but had gotten to the train in time.  I did get a picture of the train leaving us at the station.  On to plan 2, heading back to Copenhagen and hopping off at some random town on the way.  Plan 2 goes to hell when it starts raining as we are on the train.  Plan 3, just go back to Copenhagen.

Danish Flags Leading Towards Kronborg Castle   Radhuset - Town Hall From Tivoli Gardens   The Lure Player - Commemorating Centenary Of Brewer JC Jacobsen - Gift From Carlsberg Foundation
Radhuspladsen - Copenhagen's Version Of Times Square

We got back to Copenhagen about 4:30 PM and did some more wandering.  First, I walked around Tivoli Gardens towards the Town Hall Square.  As soon as Matt headed across the square it started to poor down rain.  I had my jacket and hung back to put it on knowing I the separated drunks credo of  ďwhen separated meet in the first bar you come acrossĒ.  Actually, Matt was just across the square standing under a McDonaldís.  We did go to the bar across the street form McDonaldís for a beer.  It cost 29.00 Danish Krona for our beer at the Abralon Bar and DiscothŤque.  We were in the Stoeget section of town that is a pedestrian walking area.  We made our way a bit down the street but returned to have dinner at the Beijing Chinese Cuisine.  We both had the buffet at 119.00 Danish Krona.  It was very good, except for tough roast beef.  The buffet had a carving section of lamb, ham and roast beef.  The oriental section had sweet and sour pork, tempura shrimp and octopus, spare ribs among other items.

When we left I was getting pretty tired and Matt and I went our separate ways.  I headed for the hotel with a stop at the Town Hall Square where I took a bunch of pictures including the Hans Christian Anderson statue.  I walked through Tivoli Gardens on the way home and got back to the room about 8:15 PM.

Good news upon arrival, Mattís passport was at the front desk so I went down and got it for him.  Matt got back at about 9:15 PM and says he really likes this town except for the money thing.  It is a great walking town with lots of options for restaurants and nightlife.  He did get lost on the way home he admitted.

Iíve hooked up the internet to try and talk to home but dadís not connected even though we agreed I try him about now.  Iím sure heíll be online soon.  He canít stay away from the computer that long.  Iíve got to repack now, write some post cards and get ready for the cruise tomorrow.  It will be pretty nice to have Sunday to do absolutely nothing as that is a day at sea with no port.  Like I wrote earlier itís fairly early, not even 11:00 PM on Friday night and Iím typing in a journal and Matt has fallen asleep watching North by Northwest on television. 

July 30, 2005 Ė Copenhagen/Holland America Westerdam Departure
Today was an easy day, mostly because it was pouring rain in the morning.  Outside our window in the canal there was an interesting site.  All morning there were people playing soccer on the canal in kayaks.  Matt, ďthe master of snap judgmentsĒ, was hard on one guy who was knocked out of his kayak and had a problem getting back in.  He said the guy sucked, I felt he was being harsh.  It must have been some sort of league since they would empty the playing area for a while and be replaced immediately. 

Since it was raining we checked out at noon and took a cab to the ship.  The cost was 150.00 Danish Krona.  We had thought about taking the subway or bus but I didnít want to have to deal with our luggage and the rain.  The rain had slowed to a drizzle but the clouds were ominous and there really wasnít and close bus stops or subway stops to the hotel. 

When we got the port they rushed to grab our bags out of the taxi and take them away.  One problem was we didnít have our cabin number yet so our luggage tags had not been marked.  We had the one guy in Copenhagen who didnít speak English well.  He kept trying to take the bags away and I kept trying to tell him they didnít have the cabin number marked.  Finally another guy came over with a cabin list and I marked our cabin number on the luggage tags.

Edvard Eriksen's Little Mermaid From HC Andersen Story   Sunlit Windmills In Copenhagen Harbor On A Stormy Day   Oresund Fixed Link Between Copenhagen And Malmo

Embarkation was quick and painless.  There was a family checking in next to us and since I was wearing a Redskin Polo shirt the little boy asked his dad if I was a pro football player.  Matt was upset that I didnít lie and tell them I was Russ Grimm.  I figured the dad would have figured any football lie out since training camp begins during this week back home.

We got onboard and I wanted to drop my computer bag off in the cabin but they were not ready yet.  We wanted to go back into town until the ship disembarked at 4:30 PM. We were sidetracked at the Sports Bar with our first beer of the cruise, a Grolsch at $4.95.  I was told I could store my bag in the Piano Bar but when I got there the attendant told me I could only keep the bag there until 2:00 PM.  This didnít help since we would be back in town and I wouldnít be able to pick the bag up.  We decided to go eat.

The buffet in the Lido Restaurant was excellent.  By far the best Iíve had on a cruise.  They have many different stations to pick from including a sushi bar and deli.  The sushi was very good and I had a panini prosciuto sandwich.  It was nice to not have worry about the price of eating.   Between 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM they announced the cabins were ready.  I went down and dropped off my bag and we started to head off the boat for a last look at Amsterdam.  Matt got discouraged at trying to fight the crowd that was trying to board the ship and gave up.  I made it off and decided to catch a cab to the Little Mermaid Statue.  It was 60.00 Danish Krona but at least I didnít waste time wandering aimlessly like usual.  I figured if the cab got me there I could get back. 

The Little Mermaid is very small as we had been told and there were tons of people there as we had been told.  Apparently the town of Copenhagen isnít thrilled that the Little Mermaid is the symbol of their town.  Its head has been chopped off numerous times.  They have steel rods in the neck to help stop the vandalizing.  Not only were there people on shore, but also tour boats would come and stop on the water to view the statue.  The statue gets no respect either; you have people climbing all over it to get a picture.

I started to walk back to the ship and found a bus stop that I thought would take me to the ship.  Unfortunately the bus was running an abbreviated scheduled and on went one stop.  This put me in the middle of the subway route that would have brought me to the entrance to the shipyard.  The walk wasnít bad and at least the rain had stopped.

 Continue To Westerdam Departure July 30 - July 31, 2005

Back To Berlin July 24 - July 27, 2005

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