Friday, 29 August 2014
29.08.2014 - 29.08.2014
Awoke to an overcast sky but no actual rain - yet. Locals are almost universally wearing coats and jackets. We enjoyed our buffet breakfast and met two couples who are also sailing on the Royal Princess.
After breakfast we set out to do part of a walking tour described on one of the free tourist maps. The route took us towards the City Centre and through the University area. The cobbled streets wound their way between stately old buildings, lots of cafés and into bewildering 'squares' with many unidentified lanes and small streets. There were signs on the corners of most streets but not all were identified on the map.
We eventually found our way to the Nyhavn, an area beside a canal flanked by various sailing vessels on one side and a continuous string of outdoor eateries on the other. Very picturesque but somewhat subdued by the overcast sky. The prices for breakfast appeared rather steep Kr 99 for bacon, egg, toast, cheese and tea or coffee. That's over AU$ 20 and makes our included breakfast at the hotel a bargain.
We arrived at the Amalienborg Castle about an hour before the 12:00 'Changing of the Guard'. There weren't many of us at that time but by 11:45 people were 10 and 12 deep around a section of the square. There were no barriers just a jovial older policeman who politely asked the front row to stand behind the black line. We watched as he asked a rather large lady to move back and then encouraged a small girl to come forward, all very lighthearted and civilised.
While we waited we fell into a conversation with an American and a Canadian couple, all of whom are booked on the Royal Princess. That make four couples we've met and aren't even aboard yet !! The actual "Change of the Guard" was a low key event and once the New Guard had been posted the crowd dissipated and the square was almost deserted again.
As we were near the Marble Church (Frederik's Church) we stopped to look inside. It is built as a complete circle with a massive 31 meter dome, the largest church dome in Scandinavia. Unfortunately, like much of Copenhagen it was engulfed in scaffolding and construction equipment making it difficult to see the outside in any detail.
A brief shower encouraged us to don our rain-jackets but the rain didn't amount to anything much.
We were back at the hotel by about 13:15, about four hours after we'd set out. Some hot drinks and biscuits in the lounge and up to our room to download our photos and for me to record the morning's events.
Looks like the rain has set in for the afternoon so spent a few hours reading and snoozing. By 18:00 figured we should blow the budget and have a meal at a proper Danish restaurant. I found a place on the Internet but decided to ask Victoria at reception, she recommended "Koefoed" just a block away.
It was a basement setting with sheep-skins on the seats, very stylish and frighteningly expensive. I asked the waitress for her recommendation and she pointed to a five dish "taster" offering, we baulked at the DK 600 each and settled for a main course from the regular menu. Jenny had a pork dish while I had a beef, both quite minimalist meals, looked great but not a lot to them. With a shared cheese platter and a cup of coffee for me I was somewhat taken aback when the total came to DK 710. I reluctantly added a small gratuity to round it out to DK 750.
For a once-of experience Denmark is a great place but I'm glad we're here for two days and not a week. By all accounts Norway is even more expensive, certainly makes the cruise ship look very affordable.
We board the ship tomorrow so this will be the last upload from Copenhagen. First impressions of the Royal Princess tomorrow.
This link should take you to today's image of the Palace Guards http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-08-29
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony