Today was my last day in Copenhagen, and I succeeded it jamming in packed full of whacky exploits.
Nikolaj, Doc and Ben were gracious enough to extend an invitation to join them on a trip out into the Danish countryside for the morning. So at 9:00 a.m. we all piled into Nikolaj’s 1982 Mercedes, and headed out into the rainy streets of Copenhagen. Our first stop was one of the fantastic Danish coffee shops, places that raise the art of sitting down, taking a break and having a hot drink to a tantric art. The Danes make hot chocolate by placing a hunk of solid dark chocolate molded to the end of a stick into a cup full of steaming hot milk; the effect is completely unlike the powdered stuff I’m used to at home: thick, hot, not too sweet, slightly tart. Kind of like drinking a labrador retriever, but without all the hair.
Next, as Doc details here, we drove over to Dyrehaven for “walk in the woods.” Although it was raining, it was never enough to soak us through, and it was nice to be out and around in the fresh air after four or five days of conference rooms and hotels. The giant deer were an added bonus.
Back into the Mercedes, we drove up to Louisiana, a modern art gallery north of Copenhagen. We were rushing by this point, so we didn’t get a thorough tour of the site, but I got enough of a taste to know I’ll go back: classic Danish design, interesting art, and a very, very good chicken salad for lunch beside a roaring fire in a beautiful fireplace.
Ben had to be at the airport for a late afternoon flight, so Nikolaj dropped me downtown (with Doc’s umbrella in hand, a generous and completely necessary lend, as the rain was tumbling down by this point).
I wandered around downtown, found some secret well-design Danish goods for Catherine’s upcoming birthday (don’t tell Catherine), and then decided to take the Metro south to Field’s, a new shopping mall in the new planned community of Ørestad. I went both because I had a little more shopping to do, and because I wanted to see if, in addition to everything else, the Danes have found a way of making shopping malls beautiful. They have.
Ørestad is very close to the ØresundBridge, a bridge and tunnel construction, now five years old, that runs from Denmark to Sweden. It can be considered the sort of Nordic version of our own Confederation Bridge. Except that the speed limit is 110 km/h on ØresundBridge (instead of our pokey 80 km/h), there are high speed trains running over the ØresundBridge, and when you get to the other side the delights of Sweden await rather than, well, Greater Moncton.
How could I be so close and not pop over to Sweden for dinner?
This was easier said than done. Much of Copenhagen’s rail ticket buying infrastructure is automated, and the machines require either coins or a credit card with a PIN number. I had neither. After lots of futzing around with an ATM machine and a kindly change-offering merchant, I was in business. Thirty-five minutes later I was sitting down to a tasty meal at Indianside in downtown Malmö.
After dinner I tried to take photos of the Turning Torso, the intriguing new skyscraper rising up over the city (there’s a great Discovery Channel special on its construction; see it if you’re interested in tall buildings). Alas it was both too far away, and too blocked by the buildings downtown. I’ll have to go back.
Forty-five minutes later, I walked into my hotel here in Copenhagen.
Back to Canada tomorrow via Frankfurt and Montreal; leaving here early, back on the last flight from Montreal tomorrow night.