(4.8) (14 votes)
July 13th, 2001
Cons : Long
wait for Train Tickets
We arrived in Denmark by sea, which was a surprise since we had
booked train tickets from Berlin to Copenhagen and nobody had mentioned
anything about a ferry.
We left Berlin Zoo Station at 10:20am and reached Hamburg by lunchtime.
In Hamburg we changed to a Danish train and headed for the German
coast. At the coast the train trundled straight onto a ferry for
the 45 minute crossing to Denmark. There was a frenzy of activity
as all the passengers, ourselves included, left the train to explore
the boat's restaurants, shops and amusement arcades, and wandered
around the upper deck trying to catch what were to be the last rays
of sun we would see for a while. The train reconnected with the
Danish rail tracks and we arrived in Wonderful Copenhagen at around
Finding the youth hostel proved to be a bit of a challenge as we
hadn't expected it to be located half an hour outside of the city
in a housing estate, tucked behind a couple of tower blocks and
some terraced housing. The sky was grey, it was cold, long pants
were the order of the day, and we felt like we were in the North
of England. We decided to claim our beds in the dorm and then go
and eat. In the dorm a family of three had completely occupied all
6 beds and were happily munching on fried chicken and chips (that's
fries for you Bermudians) giving the room that familiar greasy stench
of K.F.C. So much for the hostel rule of "No smoking, eating,
drinking or farting in the rooms"! We dumped our sheets on
one bed hoping that the family might tidy up while we went off in
search of some local food.
Since we couldn't find any restaurants serving local dishes a "pint
of Carlsberg and a Danish-bacon-butty" wasn't on the cards,
so we settled for a Mexican.
On our return to the dorm order had been established in the room,
we could see clearly which beds were available. Whilst we made our
beds the "chicken-munching-man" went over and opened the
window... How nice of him to air the room for us, we thought...
He then proceeded to hack up a huge lump of phlegm and spit it from
the open window, and immediately close it - Lovely!!
We have now been on the road for 100 days. we are both still sane
and are not at each others throats, which is a good sign.
We only had one full day in Copenhagen so had to cram as much into
it as possible. Our first port of call was the train station to
buy tickets to Malmo (Sweden). We waited one and a half hours to
be served. Twenty minutes seems like an awfully long time for one
person to spend at the ticket counter - We would like to know what
some of these people were asking for... maybe a ticket to Pluto
We made it to the meeting point of a Copenhagen walking tour just
in time to meet our guide, Richard, a New Yorker! This tour was
not as guelling as the Berlin tour. For one and a half hours we
wandered around Copenhagen looking at the pretty buildings and trying
to shelter from the wind and rain-showers that were to plague us
the whole day. Obviously the "Wonderful" in "Wonderful
Copenhagen" has nothing to do with the weather.
During the tour Richard gave us lots of background information on
Denmark, the Danes, and Copenhagen. The most interesting of which
- The City has free bicycles... Yes, FREE bicycles. This works a
bit like supermarket trolleys in England. On certain streets there
are rows of bicycles chained to a railing. You deposit DKK20 to
release the bicycle. You cycle to your destination (which must be
within the city limits), chain the bike up and get your money back.
For those of you with criminal minds... No, they are not worth stealing.
- Danes like to smoke and drink. Unlike the other Scandinavian countries
Denmark does not tax beer and fags as heavily. You can get beer
almost anywhere, consequently, Denmark aslo has a very high number
- Income Tax Rates start at 52%! So you Canadians can stop complaining
After the tour ended we set off for a boat trip on the canal. The
1 hour trip took us around the canals and into the harbour. As we
sat huddled together with our rain-gear on looking at the sights
and trying to avoid the spray, it brought back memories of white-water
rafing down the Grand Canyon... such were the waves! Still, we got
to see the Little Mermaid's backside ... (it is a statue).
In the 70's a bunch of pot-smoking hippies started squatting on
a plot of land, slap bang in the centre of Copenhagen. This land
is owned by the Ministry of Defence, and despite several attempts
to remove the hippies, the community grew into what is now known
as Christiania. They now have a legal right to live there rent free,
but are expected to maintain the buildings within the area. The
individuals make money selling art-work, bicycles, furniture, metal
ornaments and soft drugs! Yup, hash, cannabis, grass, pot... whatever
you wish to call it. The hash market is just like a fruit and veg
market, but instead of apples and bananas there are several types
of drugs on display. They even sell ready-rolled joints for those
people who want to try one, but don't know how to roll their own.
The cakes in this place are very popular as well!
It is illegal to buy or sell drugs, but not to possess them for
your own consumption, but the authorities seem to tollerate the
existance of this market and turn a blind-eye. As we wandered through
the smokey haze listening to the Jazz being played, everyone did
seem very mellow.... Even the Rotweillers were not muzzled or on
leashes and seemed to be chilling-out!