Published: August 6th 2012August 3rd 2012
We left Paris on Friday morning. We stayed up late again so Mark and I scrambled to pack up and tidy up the apartment. The instructions for the apartment were lengthy and, not surprisingly, a smidge confusing. Mark called the manager of the apartment to be sure we followed the instructions correcly, and we had to leave the key in the mailbox which luckily we were able to do without any wild duck chases during our exit.
The only problem we had is we left a little late and upon arriving at the airport, we had long lines and limited time til departure. We did self checkin which was easy enough, and even got the luggage tags and boarding passes from the kiosk. But then we had to lime up to turn in our bags. I asked a couple agents if we'd be ok since our flight was leaving in 20 minutes. They all kept saying "don't worry" so we didn't. Much. Turns out they held the flights due to lines at the checkin and at security so everyone made their flights. Maybe we are a little too laid back about traveling.
SAS flight to Copenhagen was easy and quick. We had not eaten before we left and there wasnt time to get food at the airport in Paris. While waiting for the luggage, I chatted with a woman I'd been seated next to on the plane. she was from Cincinnati and gave Emily some (packaged) brownies. None of our snacks would do, and Emily was STARVING.
I waited for the bags and Mark hit the ATM for some local currency and bought tickets to take the subway into Copenhagen. While on the Metro, we confirmed with another passenger we overheard speaking English where we should exit. After a bit, another man asked us if we were Michiganders. Nathan was branded with his Blue sweatshirt and we found out the man was from Michigan (near Ann Arbor no less) and now lived in Copenhagen. He gave us a few tips, the most important being watch for bikes as you'd watch for cars. There are tons of bikes and the Danes are serious about their biking. I asked for dining tips and he said the great restaurants are very expensive. But he did suggest a bakery with a name that
means layer cake. We all committed that translation to memory. And yes, we later found it. Three times so far.
We made our way to the apartment by walking through some cobblestone streets and enjoyed seeing the shops and restaurants along the way. Once again Mark did a fantastic job finding our apartment. He picked it for its location which is in the heart of a bustling area. I can't remember when it was asked but someone from our party asked during a climb up to the apartment in Paris, whether the next apartment had stairs. Much to our relief we only had about 5 steps at this apartment. But we had to get in. No easy task. The key is...
After finding the apartment with relative ease, we piled our bags up next to the building and tried to score some wifi on the street In order to call the apartment guy using Skype. No luck. The wifi was locked down. Ironically, I was picking up our apartment signal but didn't yet have the password. Off I went to ask yet another stranger for help and found a kind water seller
who lent me her phone. She was from Poland and had a Polish phone so she said that I should try to be quick. I'm surprised she didn't tell me to ask someone else, but she was really nice. I had low expectations of reaching somoeone on the first try after Paris, and sure enough, I left a message for our leasing agent. And then we sat. And waited and waited.
The kindess of (Polish) strangers
Mark took the kids to find food. It was 3:30 and we still hadn't had a meal. They got some quick snacks and were back. While Mark and I were starting to lose our patience a man walked by and asked if we needed help. Also from Poland, he had a local cell phone and Mark tried to reach the realty office again. No answer. The man, Jan, gave us his card and told us he was from Poland and was in Copenhagen with his wife for summer break working as a rickshaw driver as a break from studying medicine back home.
We waited another 15 minutes and were debating whether to go to the rental
office when Jan came back to check on us and offered a second try with his phone. Mark finally reached the rental office and they said they'd been trying to reach us. I was just glad we had made contact. Someone came about 20 minutes later.
The apartment was huge compared to Paris. It looked like an IKEA showroom. Light wood floors, windows along the wall facing a courtyard that leads to restaurants. The couches were a little questionable as they were very light colored and looked quite dirty. I immediately covered them with the clean white sheets and it made it all better. Our only other immediate concern was that the toilet didn't flush. I called the apartment people using Skype and they sent someone the next morning to fix it. We were able to flush by pouring buckets of water into the bowl. Not fun but it worked. And we all had a lesson in how toilets work. Neat.
We had at this point missed breakfast and lunch and we went to one of the restaurants steps from our apartment. I'm sure Mark wanted to explore and evaluate options but
he was in the minority and we settled for convenience. Dinner was fine but not worthy of more than I've already shared.
After dinner we walked to Tivoli, the world's second oldest amusement park. Sneaky Mark and his research had done it again. This place was amazing. A true amusement park in the heart of the city. We saw a cute play with ballet dancers, clowns and a princess. Emily couldn't make it through the show without an ice cream so she and I snuck off to get what we felt may have been the best ice cream ever. The flavors were all very interesting. Lots of berries we didn't recognize. The best part was the whipped marshmallow topping. We've noticed it's the topping here used when we might use whipped cream.
The kids went on a bunch of rides while Mark and I had a drink. Lame me had to drink coffee while Mark had a beer. Beer here is great. I'm drinking one right now whilst I type this blog on my iPad with some difficulty and often only two fingers. Keyboarding on iPad is not a good blog writing solution but it
does the job since we were on trains for many hours today. One cool tidbit is they had recycling machines for your plastic drink cups. You can put them in a machine, it scans the QR code printed on the bottom of the cup, and the machine gives a refund instantly. Pretty nice motivator for taking the time to recycle.
We walked back toward the exit and stopped for a bit to see the concert going on at Trivoli. It was decent sounding band and the place was packed.
Homeward bound by foot, we saw street musicians, magicians and lots of people out for a fun night. We were back in the apartment before midnight. I'm telling you, we are night owls on this trip. The next day we planned a train trip to Elsinore Castle. The question was could we leave the apartment before noon?
Hey, if you are enjoying my blog, drop me a comment. I love comments. (I was whining about how I don't get any comments and Emily suggested I put in this plea). We shall see if it works!
There are more photos below