I never thought I would get here.
I arrived at Stockholm Central Station bright and early yesterday, eager to get the first train to Copenhagen, so I would have a full afternoon of sightseeing.
Yeah, well that plan failed. As I was told by the man at the desk, if you want to travel on a Friday, you need to book your ticket at least ten days in advance. Everything to Copenhagen was sold out days ago. Thanks, Lonely Planet. Didn’t mention that in the mammoth book I’m carrying around.
But hey, I’m an old pro at this now. I jumped on a regional train heading south, then another one going west, and finally another to Copenhagen. Journey time? Approximately twelve hours (instead of four). But I made it.
I like Denmark a lot better than Sweden. The weather is better, the prices aren’t as outrageous (but they’re still pretty insane) and the Danish don’t seem to be as snobby as the Swedish. The architecture isn’t as grand, but it’s just as easy on the eye. I spent the morning exploring the Old Town, peering inside the dozens of shops lining the longest pedestrian street in the world, which winds around the town.
And, hey, our Mary is here.
They certainly do love her here. She’s on all the postcards, the mags and I keep seeing little Australian flags in random places. Like on the massive boat anchored outside the palace gates. I had a memory of Frederick and Mary on a boat somewhere, so of course my mind was racing, automatically thinking it was a royal boat. I took a photo, but as I was walking away the word ‘Southampton’ was printed on the side. I moved on, deflated.
Only momentarily, though. I glimpsed that famous balcony and forgot about the boat, snapping away happily. I was also there for the Changing of the Guard, which wasn’t a rival to the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, but at least they got the job done swiftly. It was all over in five minutes.
The Royal Family was in residence so I couldn’t go in, so I just wandered around the outside and in the courtyard. The place was massive. I then visited The Little Mermaid and spent a while inside the Museum of the Danish Resistance, which was actually really interesting. Still don’t know if they made the right decision though, allowing occupation. It fascinated me enough to pay a visit to the National Museum, to get a bit of an idea of who these Danish people really are.
Actually, I just wanted to see some Viking stuff. But that section was under construction, so I happily amused myself by reading up on the setup of the welfare state. I know, I know. Boring Caitlyn again.
Tomorrow I’m checking out another museum (that I can’t spell) which costs a fortune usually but on Sundays for some reason is free, and then having a tour of the Carlsberg Brewery. Then I’m off to Amsterdam, stopping in Hamburg on the way for the night.
What about famous Danes? I can only think of Frederick, Hans Christian Andersen and the scary looking guy who won World Idol. I struggled with Sweden, too… couldn’t really get past tennis players. I think the Dutch may be tricky too.
And since no one wants to play, it was the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled his baby.