|The adolescent Merman|
Getting lost can often be a good thing. We decided to return to the city centre via a different train station, Hellerup, as the Bodyworlds exhibition (see Part Three) was equidistant between two. We took a right turn and then, for the hell of it, carried on walking down a residential street to see where it took us. A minute later we were on the beach! Where did that come from?
The sea was calm, the sun was actually quite hot and we really weren’t dressed for a day at the seaside. The Danes seemed equally surprised and there was much rolling up of trousers and unfurling of scarves. A few brave souls walked out onto the jetty and took a dip, for all of five seconds before coming out blue and shell-shocked. Rory did his Little Mermaid impression on the rocks and we found an ice-cream hut next to a park, selling Mr Whippy-type cones. It was just like Whitley Bay.
We asked directions to find the station (well I asked directions: Dougie would have walked for the rest of the day hoping for divine navigational inspiration). Had a bit of a domestic as Dougie thought I’d dragged us onto the wrong train then later, as we approached our stop, we suddenly had to make a dash for the doors: we were convinced we’d stopped in a tunnel but it was only dark because we were still wearing our sunglasses. Felt like proper chumps.
Ten minutes later we were supping a Danish lager, lounging in the comfy chairs in the hotel’s courtyard. As the world’s best restaurant, Noma, was fully booked, we plumped for a meal at the nearby Spanish gaff, Pintxos. Not doing very well at experiencing the Danish cuisine. We should have dined on pickled herring and foraged fungi during our trip but had so far eaten pizza, sirloin steak and tapas.
Our final day was another cloudless one. Before heading to the airport we visited a very cute castle, Rosenborg Slot, looking like something out of Hans Christian Anderson folklore. The highlights? The huge silver lions in the throne room, the crown jewels in the basement and the glass tableware, including, bizarrely, glass cutlery. Ouch.
This was Good Friday so the nearby King’s Gardens were packed with Copenhagen’s families enjoying the day off. What was so lovely was the lack of shrieking and yelling you might get elsewhere. How do the Danes do it? Their children played happily but quietly: no whinging, no raised voices from adults or children. Must be all that cycling they do: exercise and plenty of fresh air. Though I know it’s more than that – it’s just their nature and I’m envious.
A beautiful airport where, for once, we chose to eat before we went through security. Where that might have been a good idea in Madrid or Montreal, here in Copenhagen it was a bad move. We could have dined in noodle restaurants, cavier bars, pastry shops and all manner of gorgeous eateries: too bad we’d had a pizza and coke meal deal at the 7/11 before checking in.
Flying our plane home was a female co-pilot: rather nice, for a change, to hear her fabulously jolly-hockey-sticks voice over the tannoy. At Stansted we pulled up a few yards short of the bay. Supposedly a problem on the ground but Dougie and Rory chuckled about the female pilot’s parking difficulties. I had to put up with comments like “Oh the pilot must be saying: move over darling, I’ll take it from here” and “Good job she doesn’t have to reverse”. It was like sitting between Richard Keys and Andy Gray.
As we were about to leave the plane, Dougie couldn’t find his passport. He swore blind I had it in my handbag and if there wasn’t so much rubbish in it I’d be able to find it. I swore blind that I didn’t have it, it was in his bloody rucksack. The argument continued through clenched teeth until everyone else had left the plane.Then I heard the words, “Oh it’s in my pocket”. My heart was still pounding as I had to restrain myself from punching his lights out. The poor steward stood nervously by the exit saying, “Hope you’ve had a good flight” as I stomped down the steps, hissing at my shame-faced husband, “You absolute f**ker”. Which is so unlike me.
I’m sure you’ve all given up on this post already as I know it’s too long but, for my own purposes, I want to remember everything about this holiday: we experienced so much in such a short space of time. And we still didn’t see everything we wanted to. Next time I’d like to visit The Black Diamond (the new granite extension to the Royal Library), the Royal Palaces of Amalienborg and the Danish Design Centre.
I also missed seeing the Carlsberg Glyptotek which is a shame because it’s the best art gallery in the world…..probably.