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Category Archives: Denmark

Copenhagen to Frankfurt

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Wind Mills

The flight was departing to Frankfurt at 10 am, so we walked up at 6:30, packed and left to the train station, 10 minutes walk away from the hotel. We did not board the train before we stopped for a to-go breakfast at Andersen Bakery in Tivoli that had great cakes but average espresso, if you have to judge by Italian standards. The train got us in 15 minutes to the new and beautifully designed Copenhagen airport and reluctantly we left this great city.

We landed in Frankfurt where we had a 5 hour layover to New York so we got an RT ticket to go into the city. For E14.50 you get a RT ticket for a group of 5 people, (E9.50 one adult RT). Quite a deal! And the trains runs every 15 German minutes and it takes 15 minutes to reach Frankfurt Hauptbanhof, the main train station. From the front of the station it starts KaiserStrasse, the main pedestrian street that goes through the financial district with the glass skyscrapers of the German banks headquarters that got the nickname of Mainhattan. We continued to Kaiser Place and further down all the way to the Dom, the walk taking less than an hour. We visited the Dom and the Old Square with its old houses and we rushed back to the train station to get to the airport. S-Bahn 8 and 9 bring you to the Flughafen in 15 minutes with only three stops.

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Posted by on July 15, 2010 in Blog, Denmark, Germany, Scandinavia

 

Copenhagen

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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….

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Nyhaven, Copenhagen

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.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2010 in Blog, Denmark, Scandinavia

 

Billund, Denmark

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Legoland, Billund, Denmark

After a good sleep and a delicious breakfast we pursued the drive that we stopped last night on good highways for less than 3 hours through Helsingborg and Helsinger and we crossed the causeway/bridge/tunnel to Denmark ($40-45). From there we started to drive another 3 hours to reach Billund, the home of Legoland, an American style amusement park. There are 158 km to Ostende on 4-lane highway and from there about another hour to Billund. Ostende is located in the second of the Denmark’s island connected by a causeway and bridge to the main island, where the toll is another $40 or equivalent.

We arrived after such a long drive with stops only for gas at Legoland where the entrance is around $45-50 for an adult with a very small discount for children under 12. Legoland is a typical amusement park, with rides located in themed areas, like Legorado, Pirate area, castles or Egyptian temples but what is the most fascinating part of the park, and unique is the Miniland, an area where parts of known world city destinations are created using millions of pieces of Lego. Copenhagen’s Nyhaven, Airport, etc., Bergen, Norway’s fjord and stave church, Amsterdam and Holland’s mills, Beverly Hills’ movie studios, Cape Canaveral, Tokyo district with a Buddha watching Mount Fuji, Acropolis, Wat Phrae Kau, Washington’s Capitol and many other. All these models have lots of trains, cars, buses, boats that move by computer control awing adults and kids alike. The rides are OK but they are more or less what you find in any other park. In spite of coming late it was enough time to do several rides and see the Miniland and at around 5:00pm, right when we were in line to get inside the “Temple” a storm that was looming for a while started viciously with heavy rain and strong winds and in no time everybody was running for cover. The rain was going on and stopped all the activities including the Miniland where all the computers failed with lots of errors and the techs were hovering around the sets to restart the systems. We did several other rides that were covered and after a visit to the fascinating Lego store and to some other souvenir stores we left around 8:45 pm back to Copenhagen. But the rain was not over and followed us the entire way, at times so heavy that you could not see anything in front and lightning can be seen towards the city. Because of the weather we tried to stop on the way in several hotels and at the third attempt we succeeded and booked a room (DK875) one hour away from the capital.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2010 in Blog, Denmark, Scandinavia

 

Copenhagen to Goteborg

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Malmo Bridge connects Denmark with Sweden

It is a surprise the fast processing of the car rental in Denmark. I had the reservation already and the girl was able to find it on the Copenhagen Airport and after several clicks in the computer I got a slip with the building, floor and place where my car was. No sales pitches of why I should get extra insurance, no signing in 3-5 places on a contract that you never read and no warning that the tank is full. You have to figure out yourself how to get your car but it was very fast, all being done with a Danish smile. It took us a while to locate the parking garage but finally we got to the little VW Polo. Right away we smelled trouble figuring out that the luggage would not fit in the trunk and, worse, the GPS that I brought for the trip was missing the pin for the contact, so after several, “I cannot believe” searches we had to return to the old fashion way of looking things on the map. The extra luggage was shoved on the back bench in spite of the kids’ protests complaining of lack of space. From the Copenhagen Airport is a very short drive to the new tunnel-bridge that connects, since 2005, Denmark to Sweden. It is a long tunnel followed by a modern arched bridge that has a steep toll of about $40-45 that is paid on the Swedish side where surprisingly exists also a manned border control that just waved us through. We drove about 3 hours to Goteborg on a very nice and quite empty highway that looks occasionally very American in construction. Without the GPS we fumble for directions using the maps on the phones and after we arrived to a different location of the hotel, we finally reached the hotel where we had the reservation and we got a free slot in the garage, a bonus in Scandinavian cities. The hotels are very well kept but the prices are higher than what is expected in Europe not to mention USA. What I found different is that when you make reservations on the Internet, all the hotels list the price for the room for a double occupancy even if you select 3 or more people, kids, etc. but in the end you will see charges that are quite different from where you started.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2010 in Blog, Denmark, Scandinavia, Sweden