“Do you fancy a couple of days in Copenhagen, Dolores?”
“Who’s paying for it?”
“For both of us?”
“Of course I’m interested, then.”
I didn’t think Dolores would want to pass up on a free trip to Copenhagen
“When were you last there? It was before the kids were born, wasn’t it?’
“It must be over 20 years.”
“There are loads more bikes now. You’ll see. It’s like here.”
Our flight is at 10:30. So we aim to get to Schiphol around 8:30. That doesn’t quite go to plan as there’s a snarl up on the A10 motorway. The bus ride takes twice as long as usual.
We check in one bag. Luckily there isn’t much of a queue at SAS checkin. Never flown with them before. I mostly fly KLM. For frequent flyer reasons.
Amazingly, there’s no queue to speak of at security. It’s our lucky day. Denmark being a Schengen country, there’s no passport control. What to do now?
Our flight departs from pier C, so we head that way. No Irish pub on this pier. But there is an strange Spanish-themed bar, draught Cruzcampo and all. Me and my gut say hello to the bar while Dolores heads off to a massage machine. She always likes to get massacred when in the airport. Me, too. That’s why I’m at the bar.
After a while, it becomes obvious I’m wasting my time expecting to get served at my seat. I join the queue for take-out service. I don’t go for Cruzcampo. And can resist Heineken Extra Cold. Instead I have a Heineken normally cold. And a double Jamesons. It is 9:30, after all. I have a cold, too. So it’s medicinal.
We eat the sandwiches Dolores made for us as we wait for boarding at the gate.
No red wine for me during the flight this time. Only tea and coffee is free. I make do with a coffee.
The airport has changed a lot since Dolores was last here. When I spot a ticket machine, I suggest we take advantage of it. Last year there was a huge queue at the ticket machines landside. It takes a while. Dutch couple is struggling to make it work. They eventually leave without a metro ticket.
Dolores is getting a little edgy as she doesn’t want to leave her bad unattended on the carousel. We navigate the machine easily enough, but struggle when it comes to paying. After trying a couple of cards - and a bit of swearing – I eventually manage to pay. I then go off in search of Dolores and her bag.
They’ve added a metro and mainline railway connection since Dolores was last here. We take advantage of the former, as there’s a stop a couple of hundred metres from our hotel. I realise I’ve never taken it before. It’s one of those scary driverless jobs. Though the platforms have anti-suicide doors like in Singapore or on the Jubilee line in London.
Surfacing at Kongens Nytorv, things are confusing. The square itself is boarded off. They’re still hard at work on a new metro line. It’s hard to get my bearings.
“I think it’s this way” Dolores says.
“I’m pretty sure it’s this way.” I say pointing in the opposite direction.
After a while of looking at the map to no avail, we walk 50 metres to find a street name. Dolores was right. It is that way.
We’re too early to check in so dump our bags and walk off into town. We’re looking for a cash machine. I always like to have some local dosh. Strøget, the main pedestrianised shopping drag seems a good spot to seek one. Which, eventually, we do.
“You’re right about the bikes. At least they have racks here for them.”
Dolores wants to stop by a supermarket to buy some stuff. I suggest the Irma close to Radhusplads. Coincidentally, that means we’ll just about have to walk past BrewPub. Luckily, Dolores is thirsty.
As it’s a lovely sunny day (apart from the odd evil black cloud and random shower) we sit in the courtyard. As Dolores is also feeling peckish, we look at the food menu. Two open-topped sandwiches are only 160 crowns – 20-odd euros in real money.
The sandwiches are very nice. But not 10 euro nice. Just as well Dolores is in a good mood. I wash it down with something IPA-ey, while Dolores has a wheat beer.
Brewpub Geronimo IPA (6.5% ABV)
Dark for an IPA – a reddish dark amber. Not far off the colour of a paler Dark Mild. Served too cold for my taste. Not a great deal of aroma. Then again, I do have an annoying bastard cold. Pretty bitter in the mouth.
“Try this Dolores, It’s like Mild.”
“It’s OK. I could drink it.” Praise, indeed.
“Not a Mild really. It’s an American IPA.”
We only stay for the one. Not sure I could afford a second beer for each of us.
The Irma is smaller than Dolores remembers it. She could well be right. But they have a reasonable enough beer selection.
“Oh look Dolores – there’s a Mumme.”
“Yes, really exciting. Do you think I should get a large or a small jar of sild?”
“I bet it isn’t authentic.”
“What, the herring?”
“No, the Mumme. The ABV is too high for a start.”
We load up on snacky stuff like bread, cheese, herring and beer. Lots of that. I’ve seen the pub price for beer.
“You know the upside to Amsterdam having become so expensive, Dolores? Almost everywhere we go seems cheap in comparison.”
“That’s very true.”
On the way back we notice an off-licence. We have a look to see if it’s cheaper than the airport for akvavit. The cheapest bottle is 79 crowns. Not much more than the 65 crowns my beer cost in Brewpub. And about the same price as Dolores paid for two bags of sweets for Alexei. What a weird pricing structure this country has.
Akvavitted up, we return to our hotel. We laze around for a short while, snack and drink beer. Well, only I do the last one. It passes an hour or so.
Dolores wants to try another supermarket in Christianshavn, then continue on to the street food place on the harbour. That’s fair enough by me. The advantage of having a central hotel is that we can walk everywhere.
I pick up another couple of bottles of beer at the SuperBrugsen. And some frikadellen. Meat balls, really. I lead such an exciting life.
Dolores takes a look at the cider: “Pah! I’m not paying 19 crowns for that little bottle.”
There’s been a lot of building on the waterfront on this side of town. Lots of new flats. Some not bad, some pretty bland. While other buildings have been adapted from their original industrial use. Like the food market. On the wonderfully-named Papirøen (paper island). I think you can work out which industry used to be here.
All that walking has made me thirsty. “Fancy a drink, Dolores?”
There’s an outdoor bar right outside the food hall. I get a Schotz IPA and Dolores a Royal Classic.
“Ow!” Dolores brushes something from her arm. “Something’s bitten me.” A wasp has randomly stung her. She has no luck with insects. The mosquitoes in our house always go for her, too. I think of her as my insect lure.
It’s a lovely day. With the sky and water competing for who can have the most gorgeous shade of blue. The light really does something to the colours up here. An enchanting sight. Which enchants us right through our drinks. Well, me at least. Dolores still seems bothered by the pre-emptive insect strike.
“That was the point of coming here, Ronald.” As she rubs the sting on her arm.
Between the bar and the hall there’s a little clump of white trees with labels hanging from them. It’s an art project of Yoko Ono, the wish tree. You’re supposed to write a wish on a label and attach it to a tree.
“I know what my wish would be: ‘John Lennon never met you.’”
“That’s a bit mean, Ronald.”
The food is all very tempting. Eventually we settle on a Brazilian meat platter to share. It’s very meaty, which I guess is the point. I fetch us some beer while Dolores gets the food.
As we sit chomping on our meat, I wonder why the toddler next to us keeps staring at the ceiling. Then I look up. There’s a glitterball cow hanging there. No wonder he’s hypnotised.
Once we’ve eaten we take our drinks to finish outside. As the sun sets, the colours concentrate even more before fading into darkness. It really is a wonderful spot, with a variety of boats sailing gaily past.
We stroll slowly back to the hotel. Where I guzzle another couple of beers in our room. What a fun day. Tomorrow is the serious stuff with Carlsberg. Though exactly what, other than a dinner in the evening, I’m not totally sure.
* Carlsberg paid for two return flights, two nights in the Strand Hotel, a lunch, a dinner and various beers.
1456 København K.
Tel.: +45 33 32 00 60
1620 København V.
Tel.: +45 33 13 03 53
1100 København K.
Tel.: +45 33 14 04 81
Christianshavns Torv 2,
1410 København K.
Tel.: +45 32 64 06 00
1436 København K.
Copenhagen Street Food
Hal 7 & 8 Papirøen,
Trangravsvej 14, 7/8,
1436 København K.
Tel.: +45 33 93 07 60
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