City Hall Square, Copenhagen, Denmark
In the morning the rain was not over and we started our last 100 km drive to Copenhagen on wet roads. Before we left we booked hotel on the Internet and when we drove into the city it happened that we drove right past the hotel near the train station. At $114/night CABINN City Hotel looked like a bargain but the rooms were so small that a cell in the jail would be more comfortable. At first I thought that I got a wrong room but it turned out that all were the same so we left the luggage and got out because you could not move inside. This is a hostel, good for sleep ONLY. But on Booking.com you could not figure out especially when you have to book quickly and move along. I left to the airport to drop the car that was rented till today, fill up and parked exactly in the spot from where I picked it up. The drop-off is as easy as the pick up, just park the car, go the desk and drop the key. No questions asked. From the airport there are trains into the city every 15 minutes and the ride takes 15 minutes for DK34.50. Kids under 12 ride free.
I returned at the hotel and started the tour into the city, stopping first at the CityHall and continuing under heavily cloudy skies to Christianborg Palace. There the rain started heavily and we got inside to visit the ruins of the two previous palaces destroyed in fires. The current palace is the third building and was built with the lessons from the previous two fires that engulfed and destroyed the structures. We returned to the City Hall for a view of the entire city from its tower, DK20, and when I got on top the weather started to improve and all afternoon was sunny. From the tower I walked to the new library, the Black Diamond building. Together with new theater building and the new opera house on the opposite shore represent remarkable works of modern architecture that give the city another touch of its magical youthful atmosphere.
Further we continued to Christiansen Harbor with the new houses on the canal and the exquisite steeple of the Christian Church and to the new harbor of Nyhaven, with its picture perfect houses that align the canal and the boats that carry everybody for DK 30-40 on various tours, same route, on Denmark’s capital canals. I hopped in a boat for an one hour tour that takes you to the most important sites by the canals with detailed explanations about the history of the city. Here I found out that because the water was bad in the city in the past centuries the royals advised people to drink beer and the Danes say that this is the reason they had such a great kingdom and they ended up with the smallest country….
After the ride I returned to City Hall through various streets aligned with beautiful houses typical for the city. The city is way denser in old houses than any other Scandinavian city and it is CHARMING. It is by far the most alive and interesting city in Scandinavia, a young city where bikers abound, terraces are everywhere and people enjoy sitting in the sun having a beer. People are nice and always smiling and you are not surprised after this entire tour of Scandinavia to see that the rating of “the happiest people in the world” went to the people of Denmark. From the City Hall we walked on Storegat, the main pedestrian street full of artist and entertainers, back to Nyhaven that was basking in a great evening light and we had dinner on the canals and a well-deserved Tuborg beer.
After that we walked to the Little Mermaid….who has left to China and is replaced by a large screen that displays a direct web feed that shows how the Copenhagen’s emblem is doing in Shanghai World Exhibition. Walking back to the city we stopped again for ice cream and another beer in Nyhaven before reluctantly going to sleep in this very alive city.