Scandinavia Day Four: Copenhagen to Stockholm by Train

On our way down for breakfast at 6:30, we asked the receptionist for assistance deciphering our train tickets and reservations.  He indicated we should be there at 7 despite a departure time of 8:37.  We thereby returned quickly to our room for our luggage and had to forgo the breakfast buffet by which we had become so entranced.  We hurried to the train station and upon activating our Euro-Rail passes learned we were in fact quite early .. we learned our lesson and vowed not to make the same mistake again.   As an added penalty, we were forced to eat breakfast at McDonalds … and not surprisingly, they did not have a breakfast menu.  We thereby ate 1957 Burgers.  Hmmm

We made it to the correct platform (Spår) with the kind assistance of a DSB employee, Nicolai.  We were very thankful for his guidance as just minutes before we were to depart, they changed the platform … I’m not sure we would have been aware.  He was very friendly and even allowed the kids to wear his cap, though he wouldn’t allow me to take his photograph.  Sorry ladies …  

The train ride through the Swedish countryside was delightful – enabling us to take in so much. We arrived in Stockholm in the early afternoon and we promptly took a taxi to our hotel – Courtyard Marriott @ Fridhelmsplan.  Soon after we were settled in our room – a little smaller than our room in Copenhagen but meticulously clean, in fact it was a new hotel – we walked quite a distance along the water (Riddarfjärden) to Gamle Stan, Stockholm’s old town.

This historic island is charming, photogenic and full of antique shops and cafes.  Until the 1600s, all of Stockholm fit on Gamle Stan.  In time, German culture influenced art, architecture and even the language, turning Old Norse into modern Swedish.

We walked through the quaint narrow streets, made a few small purchases and coincidentally stumbled upon something taking place at the Royal Palace that may have been the changing of the guard, though the tourist literature indicated that this was to take place at an earlier time of the day, so we are not certain.

We opted to eat dinner here as well and selected Trotzig – a very nice, fine dining atmosphere.  Finally!  A meal worth the kroner!!

Scandinavia Day Three: Hans Christian Andersen and Tivoli

Not yet adjusted to the 9 hour time difference we all awoke early and had to wait just over an hour before we could go downstairs for frøkost (our breakfast buffet – an elaborate assortment of cheeses, breads and pastries, sliced meats, pickled herring, fresh fruit, waffles, pancakes, sausages, bacon and eggs.  We took our time to assure we had eaten our fill – in hopes of avoiding the need for lunch a few hours later.

At 9:00 a.m., we boarded a tour boat to take in the sites of the city of Copenhagen via the canal.  From the boat, we saw the infamous Little Mermaid sculpture as well as numerous buildings of distinctive architecture.  The canal tour also took us through Christianshavn.

We completed one circuit and then disembarked at Nyhavn, walking the remaining distance to Amalienborg to see the Queen’s palace.  As she was not presently in residence, the Danish flag was not flown.  We opted to not take part in the guided tour nor stay to see the changing of the guard.  Instead, we made our way back through Størget – stopping at the Lego store, of course.  We also managed to stumble upon the Hans Christian Andersen statue .. delight as I had wanted to see it and for some reason was under the impression that it was some distance from the main tourist area.

We then crossed the street and entered Tivoli – the inspiration, I understand, for Disneyland.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the kids more delighted and engaged in the rides – they had so much fun; finishing a ride and running back to the queue to go again … and again.

As evening lingered on, we opted to get some dinner.  This resulted in a bit of discussion – but we ended up choosing _______ .  The service was poor and the food was mediocre.  After two disappointing meals, I became adamant about making better choices.

Scandinavia Day Two: Arriving in Copenhagen & the Storget

We landed in Amsterdam on time, but it took forever to taxi to the gate and unload the plane.  We thereby only had 25 minutes to make our connection.  We literally ran through the airport and went through customs & security so fast I can’t recall a single detail.  In fact, I’m not sure we went through customs actually – perhaps that was the next airport.  Anyway …

We arrived at our next gate and the attendant informed us that though we were speedy and made it on time, there was no way the same could be said of our luggage. We thereby arrived at our hotel – Marriott Copenhagen – via taxi a short time later sans luggage.  Quite ironic,  I think, for this was the first time I didn’t actually pack provisions and clothing for the first day in my carry-on.

Upon settling in – quick quick when don’t have anything to unpack – we opted to stroll along the pedestrian street, Størget.  We took in a number of shops (buying a few postcards) .. least of which was the Lego store, requiring repeat visits during our stay in Copenhagen (as it turned out).

We soon found ourselves more hungry than we had anticipated and thereby opted for a more American style dinner and dined at Streckers – it was convenient and inexpensive in comparison to the others in our vicinity. MeiLi chose tomato soup while the rest of us ordered burgers.  We were quite disappointed in the faire .. a las .. we finally returned to our room and did our best to adjust to the time difference.