Noma... If only.

Trip Start Aug 12, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Flag of Denmark  , Zealand,
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We crossed the border in what we thought was amazing style, did you know they can put trains on boats? Yes that is right, the train we were on was driven right onto the ferry! Such an amazing feat of engineering, and to think the Melbourne rail system packs it in when it gets a little hot. The railway station on arrival in Copenhagen was also a marvel of design; as if you would expect nothing less from Denmark.

We also enjoyed a pleasant coincidence in Copenhagen - we had been chatting by skype to Mim's cousin in Bergen (see Norway leg still to come) and discovered his parents were in Copenhagen. Rapid text messages were exchanged and Mim's aunt and uncle, Graham and Rosa met us at the train station when we arrived. A family friend of theirs living in Copenhagen took us out to a traditional Danish meal after we had dumped our gear. Salmon and Carlsberg? Pretty Danish. We had to laugh at the Carlsberg brewery advertisements claiming that it was probably the best beer around. After dinner, we discovered that Copenhagen has an amazing feel to it at night. There were wide cobblestone streets, waterways with stone statues, copper fountains and curiously beautiful shopfront displays lit up. Turns out they quite like copper, and a lot of the buildings and public edifices had roofs or ornaments that had a greenish patina. Combined with the red brick the overall look was beautiful.

The next morning we took an obligatory canal cruise to get the feel of the city better, and saw Nyhaven with it's yachts and bright colored shop fronts and Noma - right on the wharf in a converted warehouse . We went to a museum that houses the work of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. After a salmon sandwich (more salmon, always more salmon) we visited the national museum- which had massive stockpiles of flint axes and knives and so on, bronze swords, shields and ancient horns (the musical instrument) along with Viking boats, people and aurochs that had fallen in bogs and been preserved. The rune stones from around the time of conversion to Christianity ~1000ad had been uprooted and were also there.

Not sure what it is that is so tiring about museums, but we were so afflicted we sought out table and chairs on the cobblestones with a pick-me-up and watched the Danish foot traffic go by with Graham and Rosa. Every now and then there'd be a super sized Dane with blond or red hair, very tall and in fact just all round large. We figured they were of Viking stock. We had been a bit excited up until then, because we had heard so much about the Tivoli gardens and now it was time! The atmosphere is difficult to describe without being there - they're not really gardens, although they have lots of fountains and garden beds. Mostly it's an old-school amusement park with rides, side show alleys and nice restaurants. Copenhagen was Hans Christian Andersens old home; the master of fairy tales, and the Tivoli gardens felt as if they had been heavily influenced by him - in a good way!

Catching the ferry to Oslo seemed like a good idea, so we booked the cabin the next morning and spent our last day in copenhagen feverishly trying to fit in all the things that we wanted to. We did pretty well considering; we skidded here and there around town not wanting to miss out on such a stylish city. Mim got sized up for a very nice hat by milliner and had to be steered away. It was an amazing shop and the milliner's wooden hat molding tools were all out on the floor. We thought this very atmospheric but it turned out to be because they were there to dry out after some bad flooding in Copenhagen recently. We didnt make any purchases because the hats were in Mary Donaldson's price range. We found an amber store (theres lots of lumps of it washed up on denmarks coast with insects trapped inside, so they make jewelry out of it), our food nose located a wharfside luncheon spot (fish, of course) and then whizzed down to the botanical gardens and saw the best castle in town. Still made it to our cruise ship to Oslo in time, and up on the deck for evening drinks as the sun went down. It was freezing cold out there but people were sitting with their beers, and a few Danes were swimming on a lower deck. Neither of us being casino goers or hsving brought any clothes remotely acceptable, we moved inside for cocktails. Our cabin was notably bigger than the train equivalent, one could swing a moderately sized moggy at least a half-circle in this one.
Miriam insisted on being up for the dawn so up we went, got coffee, planned some of our Norway leg quite distracted by the tiny towns and islands off Oslo with their houses all painted in different colours.
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Lyn Gibson on

Your dad had let us have the blog number and have thoroughly enjoyed reading about you trip and looking at the photos. Ended on the Noma one
and does not seem as though there is anything yet on where you are now.
Will keep looking in hopes. Love Lyn

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