First of all, EVERYBODY bikes in Copenhagen, and Denmark in general. But in reality, it's not just because they're eco-conscious, or because no-one can afford a car (both of which are somewhat true). It's also because the terrain allows it. Practically the entire city of Copenhagen can be found between the elevations of 10 to 30 ft above seal level.
This is actually a shot in Malmo Sweden, across the Baltic from Copenhagen. But it's pretty typical of the piles and piles of bikes that are parked everywhere: bus stations, grocery stores, the ferry, etc. If you look close, you can find me in the picture among the bikes.
Seriously, there are bikes everywhere. There are like 1 million people in the urban area, but I'm pretty sure I saw 5 million bikes the whole time we were there. It makes sense. Driving, parking, paying for gas and a rental car are all a pain when you visit another city. The fact that it's so amenable to get around on a bike make it pretty easy to visit this city. And it suits Lia and I anyway. I got to practice my track stand at all the red lights.
Sites Around the City
Here's a view from the top of the Rundetarn, a lookout tower in the middle of downtown. Looking southwest, the building in the foreground is Vor Frue Kirke (kirke = church).
The Radhus (City Hall), from Radhuspladsen (City Hall Plaza)
There are several huge chunks of land set aside for gardens and parks, too. This pic doesn't do it justice but this is a shot of Rosenberg Have (have = park)
This is Kongens Nytorv (kongen= king, torv = square, ny = new - and prounounced exactly the same), basically a roundabout at a major intersection in town.
Christiansborg is the fifth palace to stand on the site called Slotsholmen (slot = palace). Slotsholmen was the original site where Copenhagen was founded by Bishop Absalon. They put a fort there for protection, it grew into a castle. Then a bunch of Germans got pissed off and tore the place down. They actually went out of their way to hire STONE CUTTERS to demolish the structure brick by brick! Then later another palace was built there, and it grew up and was a pretty big place by the 1700's when King Christian VI decided to tear the place down and build Christiansborg I. That burned down by the end of the 1700's, so they built Christiansborg II. That burned down at the end of the 1800's, so they built Christiansborg III, which is what stands today. Hmmm, let's see, about every 100 years...
Lia at Christiansborg Palace with her supersweet cruiser.
This is a picture of the actual ruins below the palace, which have remnants of both Absalon's castle and the first Copenhagen Castle.
This a fortress on the coast in the middle of town. There are still military training grounds there.
Me on my super-sweet cruiser bike.
In the suburb of Vesterbro, there's a round-the-clock carnival called Tivoli. We managed to get there the night before they closed it down to decorate for Christmas. There are stages for plays and whatnot, rides, restaurants, and of course, the ever present hot dog stands that are everywhere in Copenhagen.
A view from the middle of Tivoli park looking Northeast towards city hall.
A big band plays in the gazebo.
The design for this restaurant inside Tivoli was the idea of chemist Niels Bohr.
An artistic shot by Lia of some lanterns in a...uh...lantern aquarium, apparently.
More from Malmo, Sweden
This is probably what I looked like in college, studying Kinematics in the local pub over a pint of Guinness, except that's not what this is. This pub is in Sweden, the Guinness cost $8, I have less hair, and I'm not studying engineering, but looking at a map trying to figure out where the heck we are.
Other stuff with a story that doesn't have a picture:
- The Absolut Ice Bar and all the Swedish girls.
- Dinner at The Paul (super-nice restaurant inside Tivoli) with all the Gore folk.
- Losing my luggage because United sucks, and SAS rules!
- My relief upon getting out of the suburb of Vesterbro for the first time and realizing that not all Cope's are insane punk weirdos with pointy shoes.
- The visit to the M.C. Escher exhibit in the remote northern town of Holte, and our Hike from Hell.
- Mountain biking with Arne, my guide from Skovbrynet (not pronounced at all like it looks).
- Christiania: the socialist experiment that turned into a unattractive jobless punk hangout.