Happy Canada Day from Copenhagen!
I'm sure glad my hotel in Berlin had sound proof windows and that it was quite cool yesterday so I could keep those windows closed last night. That is because the noise outside was just horrendous after Germany won their soccer match in Berlin against Argentina. If it weren't for the quiet hotel, catching the 7:14 am train this morning to Copenhagen would have been tough.
The ride to Copenhagen started out very quiet in Berlin, but it got a bit more interesting after we switched trains in Hamburg. I sat next to a fellow from China on the train from Hamburg to Copenhagen and we talked quite a bit along the way. He was about my age and he's been living in London for a couple years. He was on his way to Copenhagen for business but was going one day early to do some site seeing.
Between Germany and Denmark there is a water crossing and the train was actually carried across it on a ferry. I heard about this before, but it was definitely a new experience. During the water crossing most of us left the train and went to check out what was available on the boat (cafeterias, shopping, gambling, great views, etc.). Once we got to the Denmark the new train attendant was probably one of the friendliest and most helpful I've seen. When he checked my ticket he recognized I was from Canada he welcomed me to Denmark and wished me a pleasant stay, but that's not all. More on this later.
Here's our train parked next to some vehicles on the ferry. Now that the crossing is over it really was no big deal. The main difference from a normal ferry crossing is that they need to be much more accurate when they dock the boat to ensure the tracks on the dock line up with those on the boat. One thing that makes carrying the train on the boat a bit easier also is that our train was diesel powered, so the were no power lines to worry about. Speaking of diesel, our train sounded like an old 50's or 60's car or farm truck with an automatic transmission every time it accelerated - a bit strange. If it's the same on the way back south I'll have to inquire about this because it seems odd that a train should be shifting gears.
Here we are leaving the dock. The rail tracks leading to the edge of the ramp are barely visible.
A couple other boats similar to ours.
Now back to the story about the friendly train attendant. At one point I was sitting there chatting with the fellow from China while my camera sat on the table between us and all of a sudden the train attendant comes by and in a somewhat exited state and says "grab your camera and come with me". I followed him to the end of our car, which was also the end of the train which housed a control room for when the train is going the other direction. Upon entering the control room he to told the other crew member occupying the driver's seat to move so that I may take some pictures. Then he told me to get ready for some bridges coming up. And here they are.
After that he offered to snap a photo of me sitting in the driver's seat. A great bit of fun considering I never even hinted that I wanted to do this.
I've never seen so many bikes as there are here in Copenhagen. This is just a few of those parked around the central train station. I asked one fellow who had just parked his bike what this was all about. I thought maybe it had something to do with Northern Europe's largest Rock Concert which was happening in a near by city (ie everybody parked their bikes here and hopped a train to the concert), but he said it was just the way things are everyday in Copenhagen, everybody rides bikes and when they need to go farther distances they take the train from the central station. Bikes were lined up like this all around the station and at various places around the city. Also, behind the train station it looked like they may have been stacked 2 levels high but I'll have to stop by for a closer look to confirm that.
This is the main pedestrian only street running through the old part of Copenhagen.
The flag at the top of this posting is actually from this building which is the Canadian Embassy in Copenhagen. This building is currently undergoing some renovations and based on the new temporary signs I'd say the Canadian Embassy recently moved here.
In one of the squares they had a large exhibit by Steve Bloom, a world leading wildlife photographer. The exhibit included a couple hundred of his best shots along with many thought provoking quotes and facts.
This quote by a Cree Indian says "Only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught - will we realize that we cannot eat money".
Here's a couple of shots by Steve Bloom. Due to the sun and the shadows I could only photograph a few of those on display.
This is a happening place. The water is lined with restaurants and bars down that far side. I enjoyed a great meal and a few beers here. It was one of the best meals I've had in a while and definitely the best service. During dinner I got some more information about the area and travelling up to Norway, Sweden, and Finland from the folks at the next table who were originally from Finland.
Somebody with a little too much money. This boat was parked in the harbour near the restaurants.
This is Copenhagen's new Opera House.
And, last but not least, a great sunset in Copenhagen, although a little late given the location (ie a latitude slightly higher then that of Slave Lake in Northern Alberta).