Copenhagen Day One, Finding Our Feet and Christmas!

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An English girl and a Welsh man, sitting eating Vietnamese street food in Denmark… There’s no punchline, this was the start of our Copenhagen holiday!

Okay, it wasn’t the official start, but it was the first meal we had there. It was at a place called Lêlê Street Kitchen which was attached to the hotel we were staying at on H.C. Andersens Boulevard 8 called Hotel Alexandra. (More on Lêlê Street Kitchen next time).

The hotel was very easy to get to. From the train station it was a quick walk round the block and we were on H. C Andersens Blvd. We selected the Superior Double Room which was 50s/60s in design and overlooked the main road. The room was on the fourth floor and I have to say that we never heard the road when the windows were shut, so that was a bonus! It had all the usual amenities like a kettle, hair dryer, TV, WiFi and imag1691_1.jpgeven an iPod dock. You also get money off vouchers from Lêlê Street Kitchen if you waivered having your room cleaned. It’s worth 100DKK per day, can only be used between 12:00pm and 9:30pm and can only use one voucher per person per day, so don’t think you can collect them all up throughout your stay and get a free meal, sorry!

The room waIMG_0675s small but clean and the bed was a double, (two singles pushed together) and the top sheets were also single sheets, which was a bonus for me, as Mr Travelstodge didn’t steal the sheets off me for the first time in our relationship. The staff were very friendly and helpful and any questions you had they answered like it was no trouble at all. We needed to print off our boarding passes for our flight home and they let us use their computer and print them off free of charge. You can book direct and see the rooms available here.

After this, we went and had a walk around to get our bearings. We here at Travelstodge HQ do a strange thing on every trip we do… We look for Christmas decorations. That’s right, we scour the internet to find Christmas shops in the places we visit, and Copenhagen didn’t disappoint! We found the Danish Art and imp-1098737_960_720Christmas shop  located at Knabrostræde 3, 1210 København. There is an absolute treasure trove of decorations here, from the traditional wooden ones, to beautiful glass ornaments and the gordy multi-coloured ones that I remember from back in the 1980s. My Nan had the original ones from the 1970s and these took me back to Christmas in her house. We picked a little one with a very impressive beard, known as a Tomar Gnome / Elves, and a Hans Christian Anderson one with the Ugly Ducklings on the front. The guy who owned the shop talked to us about the Hans Christian Anderson stories. He gave us a website link to visit for further information, including some of the stories which have been translated, which you can find here .

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The start of Strøget (street entrance is on the far left)

Once we settled on our decorations of choice we ventured out further and had a walk down the main shopping street in Copenhagen, Strøget, which is one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe. You will find luxury brands mingling with cafés and budget stores with bars, not to mention restaurants, Disney and Lego stores and even a Guinness World Record store! It’s an eclectic mix which, for me, was okay walking down a couple of times, but it just feels like any other shopping street in Europe. You can find more details about the street, including a list of upmarket brands that are available here .

 

In my last blog I mentioned about trip-ups. Now, being in the UK, we are used to Health and Safety madness and a mile radius exclusion zone to repair one tiny pot-hole just in case someone falls over and sues the council, so I expected something similar here, but oh how I was wrong! We encountered more open scaffolding than I’ve ever seen and roadworks which makes pedestrians walk into the road with no safety bollards what-so-ever. On our first day, me, Mr Travelstodge and four other people tripped over wooden blocks that were propping up the scaffolding! UK take note…. we never sued the Danish Council, and I suspect neither did the other four people. Travelling makes you appreciate and at the same time criticise your own country. We are lucky having the strict Health and Safety Laws we have, but it does make you wonder if we are too strict.

Next time, food and where to eat… nom nom!

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Travel around Copenhagen, Denmark

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Copenhagen is a relatively small city which you can walk around quite freely, and getting from A-Z is a doddle. They have a Metro system which is currently in the process of being expanded across the city, a train network that can get you anywhere you need to go outside of Copenhagen, a harbour bus that takes you across the river from one side of the city to the other, and a bus network which will take you to all the tourist attractions you need to get to. It’s a fantastic place to navigate around without the need of a car.

2000px-Scandinavian_Airlines_logo_svgWe flew with SAS, who were excellent, even though the flight back was delayed by two hours. Both I and Mr Travelstodge were annoyed by this, but at the same time we could understand the reason why. There were two bags on board belonging to a passenger who failed to show up for their flight at a previous destination, which delayed the flight back to Copenhagen, which in turn made our flight late to depart. We went to the information desk, where the staff were helpful and friendly, to find out the reason why.

SAS have a whole row of check-in desks at their Copenhagen Airport departure, and you’ll find the majority of them unmanned. This is because they are autonomous and work on barcodes and scanners. We didn’t figure this out until we were sat waiting for half an hour for a desk to open! Once the system was explained to us, we were like “ohhhhh… that’s clever” I did think I was going to get back home and find my luggage somewhere else as I still don’t trust machines… they will take over the world!!! (Briefly… there are terminals that you scan your boarding pass into which produces a luggage label for you to attach to your suitcase, which in turn has a barcode that you scan at the check-in desk) Very futuristic!

To get from the airport (CPH Lufthavn) to the City Centre you can use three options. The 5db61167982e97e74b7e92be05ee4fc6first one, and the one we used, is the train. There is one train every 10 minutes to Københaven Central Station, (you may see it as København H at the station) which is located by the Tivoli Gardens. Be warned… there are two exits out of the train station, and we left out of the back way and got totally confused where we were! The second option is the Metro. Located above Terminal 3, line M2 terminates at Vanløse Station, but it will go through Nørreport Station which is the one you will need for the City Centre. The third option is the 5A bus which takes you to various locations in the centre, but will take around 30 minutes or more. All details can be found here.

imag1650_1.jpgWe brought the Copenhagen Card, which gives you free transport across Copenhagen using the Bus, Metro or Train, and also free entry and discounts to 73 museums, attractions, food and entertainment. I would advise having a look on their website and see if the places you want to visit are listed in the free entry section, and work out if you would save money getting the card or paying the entry fee at the individual places. We only used their Metro system once, purely for the experience, the harbour buses to get to a street food place, and the train to and from the airport.

The one thing we found confusing was when the card actually started. We ordered ours online and had it posted to us. Ours was valid for 120 hours, but you can order different hours to suit your trip. Bizarrely, our card was never checked on public transport… ever! I wrote the date on the front of the card in case it was checked, but wasn’t sure if I should have or not, but as it was never checked, I’ll never know!

So that is Copenhagen travel in a nutshell. It’s such a small city that public transport in most instances is not required, as the majority of attractions are in easy walking distance.

Next time… our first day, Christmas in September and trip-ups

I’m still here *waves hello*

Hello everyone.

I must apologise for the lack of blog posts recently.

I got married in September 2016 and then promptly went to Copenhagen two days later (A blog is coming, don’t worry). Between then and now, we have had some work done on our house (that was stressful to say the least) but now all that is done I can finally concentrate on my blog and also post some recipes I have waiting for you all.

So, this is a tiny, little blog to say that I’m still here, I’ve not travelled off into the sunset and gone forever, although that does sound very nice indeed, and the first blog of my Copenhagen trip will be coming in the next few days.

So, until then, happy travelling and happy eating!