We are staying thanks to the generosity of good friends in their beautiful apartment positioned in a very nice, hipster suburb of Copenhagen. It is right on the metro line so we will not need the car anymore. On the way to return it at the airport we come across an interesting road sign: ( this is a replica of the one we saw).
Copenhagen puts on some amazing weather to show itself off, with crisp temperatures around 5C but beautiful blue skies and sun. We are taken on an incredible tour of the city with a running commentary by Troels on bikes. He brings the place alive with history, tradition and knows so much about the individual buildings and kings we can’t quite get the smile off our faces. Getting around by bicycle is how it’s done around here. We see all ages ( including an over 80’s looking lady riding her bright pink bike), both genders in equal representation on bikes, families with a Danish invention which is a little cart attached to the front forks, all weather proof on two smaller wheels which can house up to three children and definitely status is not a limiting factor. Apart from the humans it is not uncommon to see the family pooch trotting along side the bike or being taken in a basket to the closest park. Danes are reported as being the happiest people in the world and I am sure spending so much daily time in the fresh air cycling has something to do with it.
There is a whole code of cycling rules that govern movement of so much cycle traffic on the roads. There are dedicated bickers lanes, separated from the road in each direction and an exam is required that one has to pass to know how to behave in traffic. It is a very orderly movement except the one time we change direction at a busy intersection and I am a bit slow to get going. It is almost the cause of a bike pile up as bicycles stream around me and maybe the odd person is thinking”bloody tourists:)”
This I am sure accounts for the small numbers of cars on the road , the freshness of the air and the curtesy that surrounds people on the road. I think we should make it compulsory for Australian drivers to spend a week in Copenhagen before they get a license to drive.
Cost of living is expensive here but there is an incredibly strong and fair social system which looks after their citizens. We are told that even the prime minister has been cycling to work. I don’t blame him.
Many canals criss- cross the edge of the city and as we continue to explore by foot the next day we get to see things in even more detail.
After filling our tummies we feel it’s time to shake off some calories and we climb to the very top of the tower at Christians church built by Christian the V a king that uncharacteristially funded a lot of the construction in Copenhagen.
Danes are clearly foodies as there are lots of amazing bakeries serving a great variety of incredibly healthy looking breads, buns and sweets. We get to sample the famous ” floderboller” which is a puff of whipped egg white sitting on a layer of marzipan and encased in dark chocolate. We find the ultimate chocolaterie recommended to us by Tina that uses organic chocolate ” Summerbird” and they just melt in the mouth.
André is enjoying lots of black and white photography opportunities and we get a flavour of Danish design by going to the Design Museum Denmark.