Copenhagen/København, Torvehallerne, & Alpha Waves
Well, I seem to be on a alternation of sleep patterns. I think the constant rocking of the ship lulled me to sleep rather than keeping me awake. That’s very fortunate, considering that there would be nowhere to nap today! I had already bought yogurt and blueberries in Oslo, so I just needed to go up to deck 7 for some coffee. I got my coffee and had my light breakfast in my room. Since the ship was scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen (København) at 9:45, I had plenty of time to leisurely prepare for my day, which is ideal. I was on the 7th deck using wifi as I noticed we were docking, so I went down to my room to gather my things.
It was a nice journey there. I was by a canal, I suppose and crossed over a beautiful wooden bridge with a grand gate. On the map, I had noticed something in the shape of a star, and that was where I was. This was some sort of old fortress. On the map, I also saw that I was very close to the Little Mermaid, but I couldn’t get there because of the water surrounding this star-shaped fortress, so I used some of my cellular data to get walking directions. I had to cross that bridge again and get up onto another bridge. One I did that, it was pretty easy to get there.
When I arrived, I saw several tour buses parked there—all to see this little statue. Apparently the statue was given to the city of Copenhagen by the man who owned Carlsberg Brewing Company. I actually didn’t realize until then that “The Little Mermaid” is by Hans Christian Anderson, who is Danish. For some reason, I thought it was a Czech folk tale, because of the opera, “Rusalka.” Sounds like I need to do some research.
It really is a beautiful statue that sits on a rock in the water, and the view of the city behind it is lovely. Someone was selling figurines near the statue for 5 Euros or $10. Maybe she hasn’t heard, but the dollar is currently almost equal to the Euro!
According to the map, it would be a pretty straight shot into the center of town, so I thought I would head that way and decide on my next stop along the way. After passing a beautiful Episcopal church and a grand fountain, I was on a busy city street. One of the things I passed was a bakery. Denmark is known for Danishes, right!??! I think the one on the bottom is the authentic “Danish.” I resisted the temptation.
I made it to the place where the Copenhagen Canal Tour leaves, but since I just missed one leaving, I decided to find something else to do. I was near The National Museum. Since it was free, I wanted thought it would be a good way to learn something about Danish culture. The inside is particularly Scandinavian looking, and the exhibits were quite nice. They had exhibits ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. I decided to spend most of my time in an exhibit of Danish History from the 17th century to 2000. I sort of rushed through it, but there were some very interesting things about national history and everyday life and culture throughout the ages. Notice the way the piano is made. Also, I thought the living room from the 1960s was particularly interesting.
Lunch was calling, and I was very exited to go to Torvehallerne KBH (KøBenHavn), which I had read was a food hall sort of place with many different vendors. Whenever I hear that one of these places exists, I make a point to visit. Of course, there’s now Mario Batali’s Eataly in New York, but there’s also a bit food hall in Cork, Ireland and the place in London (can’t think of the name right now). I’m seriously like a kid in a candy store in these places, and although tourists like to visit them, they are really places for the locals to buy food and other goods to take home or to eat on their lunch hour. Just before I got there, I saw The Bronx Restaurant, which was a burger joint.
Tovehallerne was fantastic. It consists of two long, glass buildings full of vendors with outdoor vendors between the two buildings. Of course, there were MANY choices for what I could eat for lunch. Since seafood is a big deal in this part of the world, I went with that. The thing I got was called some sort of a tapas plate and was definitely fusion. The seaweed salad is Japanese, of course, but there were two different types of shrimp, some seared tuna, a crab salad (I think), a fish cake (something Danish, I believe), and an odd egg & salmon bake thing. Some people may be a bit nauseated at all of this right now, but I loved all of it!
In some of my walking around the market, I came across a sample of some sort of sausage, which led to a man telling me all about his cows while showing me something on the computer screen. He was so enthusiastically speaking about them in Danish that I couldn’t even tell him that I didn’t speak his language. I assumed that he was saying they are grass fed and live in green pastures, but it took him a LOT of words to say that. I just smiled and nodded (almost laughing), and when he finally paused, I said, “thank you” and walked away quickly!
After a bit more walking around, I noticed a place called Palæo. That looks suspiciously like “paleo,” so I checked out the menu. It actually is a paleo fast food place. That’s so brilliant—another million dollar idea for the US! Since I’d already eaten lunch, I couldn’t exactly eat lunch again. However, they did have some paleo desserts!!! I had their amazing chocolate cake, and I’m so glad I did!
I spent quite a bit of time at Tovehallerne and had seen a large part of Copenhagen, so I planned to take a leisurely stroll back to the boat. Part of the walk was through a large park (like Central Park), which included their botanical garden. Judging from the building and the grounds, I gather that it would have been more impressive than Oslo’s botanical garden. I also passed the city art museum—an enormous building—along with plenty of other interesting buildings, statues, and an old windmill! I passed a grocery store very close to the ship terminal and fortunately realized that I had not bought anything for breakfast. I got a yogurt again, 2 bottles of sparkling water, and can of sardines. I probably won’t eat the sardines tomorrow, but they’ll make great souvenir (hahaha!). One interesting thing I saw in the grocery store is Yankie bars. The sign says something like “The trip will be better with Yankie Bar.” I wonder if they are imitating an American (Yankee) candy bar.
This brings me to the topic of walking. I’ve walked an average of 7.75 miles, or close to 17,000 steps, this week. On an average day in Demorest, I find it difficult to walk 3 miles, and that includes walking to work, whatever walking I do at work, and potentially a walk in the evening. It doesn’t include running on the treadmill at the gym, because my phone doesn’t record that unless I hold it in my hand as I run. Even on days when I’ve done that, they pale in comparison to this much walking. The point is that I wish it were easier to get more walking into an average day!
Boarding the ship was easy, once again. I went up to deck 11 to watch us pull away from the dock, but it was pretty cold, windy, and rainy, so I went elsewhere. Copenhagen is beautiful, but you can’t see the beauty of the city at the port as you an in Oslo. I rested a bit and spent a little time in the duty free shop. I’ve been eyeing Skagen watches for months, and I had thought I might buy one while in Denmark. I tried a few on and decided that it was a pretty good deal, although it probably wasn’t much better than I’d do buying one from Amazon. Oh well, I’ve been wanting this watch for a long time, and buying it gives me one less reason to look at my cell phone constantly. I think it was a good purchase that will last a long time.
Before I knew it, it was dinner time. The food was virtually identical as the previous night. If one didn’t eat everything offered on the first night, one might be able to eat something completely different on consecutive nights. Fortunately, I had sampled everything I wanted to sample on the first night, so I could eat a bit more efficiently this time. I had all of the same courses and actually realized that one of the desserts that I had taken a bite of the previous night was a gluten free chocolate cake. Of course, that only encouraged me to eat more of it this time.
In addition to enjoying the food, I had a very nice conversation at dinner. Another table for one was seated next to me just after I was seated. I noticed that the lady spoke English with a non-European accent. She didn’t quite sound American, though. I was hoping this might lead to some sort of conversation. She began by asking if I had been to Olso before, so I explained my journey to her. She said that her trip was part business and part pleasure and that she just wanted to visit Oslo while she was in the vicinity. I told her about some of the things I had done in Oslo, including telling here about going to the opera and that I’m a singer & voice teacher, and she told me that she is from British Columbia. Eventually, I found out that she works for a company that does 7-day Alpha Brain Wave Training. I had a slight clue of what that might mean, but it definitely required explanation. She explained that there is some sort of technology that gives people feedback, and in this intense 7-day process, people come out as new and improved versions of themselves. I found out that the doctor who developed it and started the company is called James Hardt, so I will certainly look this up online just to have a better understanding of it. I’m intrigued! Not that I want to do it necessarily, but I find it fascinating. After this very interesting conversation, I got a small cup of ice cream to go, and we introduced ourselves. Her name is Alice, and she said that she would look up my blog since I had told her that I would write about our conversation. Let me know if you read this, Alice!
I went back into the duty free shop to look at the Royal Copenhagen espresso mugs that Jane was encouraging me to buy. I’m sure they would be a wonderful thing to have for the rest of my life, but I think the watch purchase is the better choice for me right now. I picked up a brochure on Bygdøy Peninsula in Oslo, which is where I plan to spend part of the day tomorrow and see the Viking Ship Museum and Norsk Folkemuseum.
No trips to the Christopher Columbus Club tonight, where the band plays, or to the other place where the piano guy was playing. I found a table on Deck 7 to catch up on my writing for the day. My last thought for the day is that, compared to Norway, the Danish people, language, and culture (from a one day experience) are a bit closer to German. Maybe someone out there has experience with this and can correct me or confirm my thought.