Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First Stop - Copenhagen, Denmark

(July 3, 2014) We've been to Copenhagen before so this was actually a great first stop for us. Less pressure getting off the boat at a particular time plus getting an idea of the procedure for disembarking. As expected, it was a fairly streamlined process. Royal Caribbean has been doing this for quite some time, they've got these procedures down to a science.

For a little background, Copenhagen was founded in the 10th century and was originally a Viking village.  It only became the capital of Denmark in the 15th century.  It's also one of the richest cities in the world.  Given it's location and the fact that in the winter there are only 1-2 hours of sun per day (because of precipitation, not because it's dark), obviously these people are spending their days in the office making money.  I can't say I blame them. From March til May, they get 4-6 hours of sun per day - still not enough for me.  What I also found out is that Denmark is a very green country and Copenhagen is one of the most environmentally friendly city in the world.  The aim is to be carbon neutral by 2025, not too far off into the future.  As we continued on past Copenhagen we saw hundreds upon hundreds of wind farms in the sea which are owned by Denmark.

So back to the touring, Copenhagen is also our first taste of summer in Northern Europe.  If this is what we can expect of summer, it's not so pretty.  It feels more like fall to me. I hear there are nice days and I guess you appreciate them more when they are few and far between.  But it was cloudy, cold and windy in Copenhagen with the temps just reaching into the 60s in July. 

Regardless of the temps, it was a great day for exploring - not too warm and not too cold.  We got to hit upon places that we didn't get to see the last time we were here, which included the Little Mermaid and the Tivoli Gardens. 

Copenhagen is an easily walkable city and we did just that, walked all day. After being cooped up on the boat on day 2 all day, it was nice to stretch our legs for a bit.  We walked from 830-330 so it was a decent day on our feet.  Good thing I have a pedicure tomorrow!  I'm used to walking a lot in Barcelona but even with all the walking we would do, it rarely would equate to a 7 hour day. The great news is that after growing up in the city, there was not one complaint from the kids about being tired from walking. You wouldn't have heard that 4 1/2 years ago when walking 1/2 mile would have them complaining. 

Back to the touring. The two big things for us were the Little Mermaid statue and Tivoli Gardens, both of which we missed on our last trip. As expected, the Little Mermaid was just that, little. Though to be honest, not as little as I expected given the reviews on TripAdvisor. But it was there, on our way to Tivoli and I'm glad we stopped to get pictures, but yeah it was no big deal.

A cute marina on the way to Little Mermaid

Here she is... the Little Mermaid.  I'm glad we were early as there were tons of tourists here when we walked by in the afternoon.

Happy to be running outside

And playing with his brother

Right before he put his hand in bird poop... awesome

The Gefion Fountain (built in 1908)

Statue of King Frederick V

Amalienborg built in the 1700s - the winter home of the Royal Family

The Royal Guard

Frederik's Church with the largest dome in Scandinavia 

We stopped at Andersen Bakery like the last time. They didn't have any Danish this time but they did have out of this world cinnamon rolls. Yum!!  Turns out Tivoli didn't open til 11. Had we realized that we may have spent more time on the ship this morning or maybe more time in the bakery. Regardless we ended up with an hour to kill before the park opened. 

When the ticket machine got stuck as we were trying to buy our tickets, I'll be honest, I was thinking about scrapping it and just finding something else to do. But since Josh had already paid for the tickets, we pressed on.  It took a good 30 mins to get the machine fixed so that we could retrieve our tickets for the park. 

The park itself was beautiful.  A gathering place for many, I can imagine. Beautifully kept grounds, tons of little restaurants and good kiosks, none of which looked bad in the lot (a rarity at amusement parks) and a decent sized group of rides for both young and old. I admit, there should have been more rides given how much we spent on tickets. But for the amount of time we had available, it was perfect to explore much of the park. 

We expected more garden at Tivoli "Gardens" but have to say it was the most beautiful and green amusement park we've ever been to!

Lots of cute shops and restaurants in the park

This building was a park of the park!

The kids loved rolling around on the wire barrels (which people were also using as tables)

Roller coaster that Josh and Aidan went on

Liam and I getting ready for our "rollercoaster" (which was really just a circle with little hills - enough for both of us!)

Lots of sweets

Another roller coaster for Josh and Aidan

Cute little "streets" along the park with restaurants and shops

We spent some fun times on the rides and a quick burger lunch before heading back to the ship, about an hours walk away. As I mentioned in my last post about Copenhagen, it's a pretty city but I'm still not sure what all the hype is about. We may have to dig deeper on this, maybe another trip will be in order. We shall see. Until then, tomorrow we are at sea and then Saturday we are in Tallinn, Estonia. See you there!!

Nyhavn - 17th century waterfront buildings

Liam is trying to push Aidan up the anchor - he didn't get far

Back on the boat, look at Liam's face as he gets in that freezing cold water!

This is more the idea of what to do on a cold evening....


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