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First, HOORAY for a good night’s sleep! We were asleep by around 10pm, awake around 2:30am, took a bit more Melatonin, and were awakened by a follow-up call from Maintenance around 9:15am. Phew! Not only did we need good sleep to make up for the international flight and change of 6 times zones, but also wanted it based on the day’s plans.
We headed out between 10-10:30am and walked down our street to Copenhagen’s main/central train station. Kara NEEDED coffee, which she luckily found a true Starbuck’s. I wanted a breakfast sandwich for some protein, but realized it was roughly 11am! So after a couple of confusing laps around the station, we both ended up with Happy Meal’s from McDonald’s! How very American of us. Keep in mind we rarely eat McD’s at home!
Gayle: I will say I wouldn’t recommend starting a new journey at an urban center’s main train station. Why? We were contending with schedules and routes for regional trains, city trains, the Metro, and busses - and hardly any of it was in English! Likewise, we realized neither of the options we prepared in advance for Offline Maps were working as we anticipated. (On previous international travel I had an App that gave directions even offline. Neither of the ones we had today did, even though we expected they would.) Thus, it started as a very frustrating day. So between the offline Google Map with my pinned destinations and the transportation maps in CityMapper, we finally got a sense of where we were going.
We got to a ticket machine, set it to English, and because it felt like the easiest option for the day (& because we had done a bit of research on the options prior to departing the US), purchased the “all access” small CityPass for the day for only $11.86. I suggested we start with the most challenging/furthest away stop first. So we worked our way around the station to find the entrance to the track we needed for a regional train headed out near the port, a stop called Osterport.
Stepping out of the train station was our first real fight with the map apps. We would see where we were and our end destination, but it was up to us to figure out which way we were facing and how to navigate there. Luckily, like my spacial analysis gift, I’m pretty directionally skilled. So we trekked roughly 10-15minutes to a park-like area and the tourist point of the famous Little Mermaid statue. (FYI unless you are on a tour or hop on/off bus, it’s not naturally near any other tourist area.) Down the way we could see a few cruise ships lined up at the port, but our day for that isn’t until tomorrow!
Kara: The Little Mermaid Statue was a MUST see for me. My niece Amanda LOVED Little Mermaid as a little girl and we watched it hundreds of times. I used to be able to recite the entire film. Along the way to the mermaid we snapped a couple of photos of the large fortress area that is near the water as well but we opted not to tour it.
Gayle: After snapping some photos we trekked back down to the train station, this time taking the Metro line. FYI the Copenhagen public transportation options are fairly easy to use (especially if you’ve navigated a similar public transit system elsewhere). They are quick, clean, and efficient. With our pass we figured out that we had to scan “in” and “out” at each entry/exit, which wasn’t that obvious. We were very glad we were on top of that because on our final journey of the day, there was a transit officer who came down our train checking tickets!
This time we popped up land-side another 10-ish minutes from the famous Canal Houses. I was really surprised (& saddened) by how tourism has taken over this beautiful area of the city. The photos of this area are more beautiful than in person, but keep in mind it was cloudy/overcast at our arrival. This is also a major stop for the Canal Tours. I want to do one, but we kept to our list for the day and might get to that on the day we have at the end of the cruise.
Kara: A note about the Weather - While it was mid-60s to 70, it unexpectedly felt warmer than that. I’d liken this weather to Seattle, especially because it would also sprinkle for a minute or two - or actually rain unexpectedly for an unknown period of time out of nowhere! Then the sun would come out. We endured those cycles a few times during our 5-ish hours out & about.
Next was another brief ride on the Metro, again another 10-15 minute walk to The LEGO Store. In case you are unaware, the world HQ of LEGO is in Denmark.
GAYLE’S RANT ABOUT THE LEGO HOUSE PORT ADVENTURE - ACTUALLY THE LACK OF
As noted in an earlier post, the one and only “must do” for me of this cruise was the advertised visit to The Lego House. By the time it was known this wasn’t an option for our cruise, it was too late to cancel. Trust me, this was also a “must do” by many other people on our cruise, as evidenced by the flurry and fury in our Facebook group.
Some people arrived to Copenhagen area far enough in advance of the cruise, they planned their own trip there. As I looked into it, I learned it was a near 3 hr drive, needing to take a ferry across a notable section of water. We had no intention of renting a car and a train ride required even more time. Thus, 6 hrs round-trip wouldn’t leave much time for actually visiting The LEGO House.
Our closest port stop would be Fredericia, which was still more than an hour away. In the remote area, rideshare and car services are rare and public transportation would require both a train and a bus. So with only about 5hrs in that port, my dreams were crushed.
Back to our regularly scheduled blog: This LEGO Store was a narrow, but regular sized store packed with tourists. The staff was very friendly though. Kara asked about the Mini-Fig machine (that we finally got to use at Disney Springs in FL). Apparently you could make the figure from pieces, but not the custom printing like FL. Even though the store and the build station were packed with people, I’m VERY glad Kara took the initiative to dive in! The thing that captured both of our attention was a “ship”. We were each able to build custom figurines which will be forever memories of this trip, all for only $8.89 each! We each built a cruise ship figurine, one related to Christmas, and another that expressed our personalities! (As a child I was in dual ponytails most days!)
Next it was back to the Metro, returning to the central station located right across the street from Tivoli Gardens. FYI this is a place Walt Disney visited with this family, which served as the inspiration for Disneyland! Of course our luck had run out and it started to rain (for real) just as we entered. It was enough I put on my rain jacket - Kara didn’t because we were both definitely warm!
Was Tivoli lovely with beautiful fountains and flowers? Yes! Was it overall disappointing? Yes. You can definitely see the attraction that inspired Dumbo, as well as the building that inspired Crystal Palace.
We got the pass just for the gardens, as we didn’t plan to ride the attractions. Even though photos and videos of it can be beautiful, no one should ever expect (we didn’t) for it to be a Disney-level park. It’s not. Actually to me it was nothing more than an equivalent to a State Fair. Suffice to say, while it was an inspiration, a team of Disney Imagineers took it to an unimaginable level in the states. It also seemed like they were trying to do their own “Festival of the Arts” with some temporary tented areas. P.S. It also had the worst paper map I’ve probably ever seen for an entertainment venue.
I’d researched a great, speciality donut place here. However, when we got there, it was just an overgrown stand/kiosk with bees in the donut cases, so I sadly passed. Kara got us to the Churro stand. While they were super slow, the Churros were far tastier than I expected! Luckily our entrance was only about $23 each, so we didn’t feel too bad leaving less than an hour after we got there. Am I glad we visited Tivoli Garden? Yes. Do I ever plan to return? No.
Our walk back down the street to our hotel had our feet saying we’d definitely done enough for the day. So we’ve taken some rest time as I caught up this blog. Now it’s time to decide about supper, grab showers, and repack our bags to board the Disney Dream tomorrow!
P.S. We ended up having dinner at the hotel restaurant with a lovely view of the canal and some really tasty burgers with brioche buns. They even had BBQ sauce!
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Next up… Embarking the Disney Dream!