Visiting Marys in Denmark
Trip Start Jun 16, 2011
34Trip End Ongoing
It was our first time travelling Ryanair and we were a bit nervous so arrived at the airport super early. We were surprised at how easy and efficient it was. When we got to the airport we had to get our passports checked (EU and UK citizens don't need to so they have an even faster run) and then the usual security checks. There is no set seating so it is then a matter of finding the gate and lining up to get a seat. Both flights we got seats next to each other and at the front of the plane so we were lucky. It was interesting to see people as they were going through security - many running late for their flights
When we arrived in Kolding we checked into our lovely B&B which was only a short walk from the railway station and the town centre. When Gro finished her classes for the day we had lunch at a pub in town. We were grateful for a guide as the town centre has lots of 'shortcut' alleyways between the streets which makes it quite disorienting. We then wandered along the cobblestoned streets to Koldinghus fortress and had a great view over the lake and the rest of the town. The town is an old town and we spent some time admiring the old buildings including a church, a town hall and an apothecary. We then went to Gro's room (like a college room but much nicer than Australian colleges - the room had its own bathroom and was pretty spacious) and spoke to Stale on skype
The following day Gro was very generous and drove us to Copenhagen (Kobehavn) so that we could try to see as much of Denmark as possible in our three-day weekend. It was about 3 hours so almost the longest you could drive in a straight line in Denmark without hitting a border. We went over two bridges to get there, with a toll which carries on the Scandinavian expensiveness, being about AUD$90 per way.
When we arrived in Kobehavn our first stop was to visit the royal palace which is built in four parts with a sort of round-about in the middle. Our visit was well timed for the changing of the guards (totally unplanned but definitely appreciated). It was pretty impressive with a marching band and the pomp and ceremony that you would expect. No smiling by the guards of course. It also was amusing to watch the police who were there to keep the public away from the guards. Normally for crowd control police have a line, a rope or even some cones to indicate the private area, however, there was none of that here
Our second stop was to visit the Little Mermaid. We had quite realistic expectations of the Little Mermaid after reading an entertaining travel article about locals' biggest gripes about tourists. The Kobenhavn locals hate the tourists complaining about how small the Little Mermaid is saying "What do you expect when it has 'little' in the name?". A fair point - and compared to the Dog on the Tuckerbox and the Mona Lisa it isn't really that small. We enjoyed a walk along the harbour and looked at the star fort while Dan told us all about when and how they were used.
We had lunch in town and found ourselves in the middle of a protest. You would be forgiven for thinking that we incite civil unrest everywhere we go! Luckily this was peaceful. The town had lots of narrow, cobblestoned streets and it was interesting to see that most of the shops in the shopping area were the same as in London
The following day we had a zoo tour. We stopped by Gro's school (university) and looked at their zoo (there are zoology students at the university as well) and then headed to a Lion Park. The Lion Park was a safari zoo which had lots of animals other than lions. It was pretty impressive being so close to the animals who didn't seem fazed at all by the cars driving past. In one of the areas the giraffes and zebras were playing and the zebras ran across in front of the car. A true zebra crossing (bazinga!). It was pretty cool to be that close to the animals and there were monkeys which always offer hours of entertainment. That night we had some tasty Mexican food for dinner and farewelled Gro.
We were flying out in the evening from Billund so decided that we should check out Billund's most famous attraction..