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Early Bird


I am, once again, up at 5 a.m. This makes little sense here at home in Oakland but even less sense when I was doing the same on our trip to Amsterdam and Copenhagen last week. No matter how late we stayed out each night (easy to do with a nine-hour time difference in our favor), I woke between 5 and 7 a.m. to birds twittering and budding street sounds. At least I didn’t wake up at dawn, which would have been around 4.

On our last day in Copenhagen, I took advantage of the early hour to send e-mail updates and eat breakfast at the hotel buffet, which consisted of eggs, bacon, assorted cured meats, various baked goods, fruit, cereal, fresh-tasting marmalade and jams, and a half dozen types of juice (or “nectar”). I had strawberry-raspberry. Delicious. Below is a brunch plate from a separate morning. Thanks to John S. for the image; I forgot to document my own meal before eating the photo op.

Brunch Food in Copenhagen

Shower, digital missives abroad, breakfast, and a full pot of coffee. Still, it was only 8:30 a.m. Husband asleep with curtains drawn tight. What else was I to do but adventure out on one last sightseeing jaunt? I started off thinking I’d stroll to a nearby souvenir shop for one last postcard and stamp, but of course the store was closed. Before 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning, the only people out on the street were tourists, streetcleaners, joggers, and a few youths still up from the night before, trying to sell videotapes for cash. (If I could speak Danish, I might have suggested a better title than Bananas in Pyjamas for profit.)

Since nothing was open, I continued walking, planning to see Rosenborg Slot (“slot”=castle), a sight we had missed on our earlier tour around the city. But since everything was closed and the main drag (Strøget) largely empty of pedestrians, I made excellent time and way overshot my turnoff. Soon I found myself all the way down at the head of Nyhavn canal. Here is the route I took:

As you can see from the Google Maps info, this walk takes about half an hour. At this point, I recalibrated and decided to head towards Amalienborg Slot, another sight we missed on our previous journey and only a few blocks away.

Frederick's Church

Frederick's Church

Amalienborg Slot

Amalienborg Slot

Having reached that destination, I visited the waterfront, and decided that I may as well continue along to see The Little Mermaid, or Den lille Havfrue. This trek was more for the sake of exploring than any real desire to see the statue itself. A tourist mecca, this tiny statue pulled in busloads of visitors from all parts of the world. I didn’t bother to wade through the masses when I finally got there. You can see her on the right in this photo. Pretty anticlimactic, but the walk itself was lovely. Here’s that leg of the walk.

Den lille Havfrue

Above, crowds swarm the Little Mermaid, barely visible on the right.

Nearby was a far more impressive sight, Gefionspringvandet (Gefion Fountain), which was definitely worth the trip.

Gefion Fountain

Gefion Fountain

Gefion Fountain

Gefion Fountain and Kastellskirken (St. Alban's Church)

St. Alban's Church

St. Alban's Church

Gefion Fountain

Gefion Fountain


The time was about 10 a.m. at this point, so I figured I ought to head back to our hotel. I checked the map and chose a route via Rosenborg Slot (finally!).

Rosenborg Slot

After that, I returned home back through the same shopping district that had been so sleepy before. I mapped my full journey later on and discovered that the trip length had totaled eight miles. With the hour now closing in on 11, the stores were open, tourists and locals swarmed the streets, and the hot dog vendor had arrived to sell her tasty sausages and fish burgers. As I’d already had breakfast, I didn’t need another. It was tempting, though. Instead, I brought my husband coffee and pastry. He was just getting out of bed.

The Stork Fountain

The Stork Fountain


From → Travel

One Comment
  1. An impressive walk!

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