After a delicious full breakfast at the Executive Lounge which included some Danish pickled herrings in a curry mayonnaise, we got our stuff from our room and went to the lobby where the Hop On Hop Off Bus has a little stand. I bought 4 tickets which were valid for 2 days of unlimited sightseeing via double decker bus or by canal boat. The Hop On Hop Off Bus stops right in front of the Marriott which was very convenient for us since it is still pretty chilly in Copenhagen in May especially for the three seniors that are are traveling with me. The last thing we needed was having to wait in the cold at some random bus stop on the street.
The bus, for the mermaid tour, arrived fairly on time but it was full with only room for standing. At stops further down the line, the bus driver could not pickup anymore passengers due to the lack of space, even for people standing. The Hop On Hop Off Bus is equipped with audio guide in multiple languages which you can listen to via free earbuds available as you are boarding. Unfortunately we were graced with a family from Spain who thought the bus was the appropriate venue for a family argument regarding cellphone overages and who’s fault it was between the father and the daughter. They had zero care in the world and just continued on with their loud shouting on the bus.
After what seemed like a LONG LONG ride due to the arguing Spaniards, the bus finally arrived at the Little Mermaid Statue. The Little Mermaid Statue is small, but the crowds gathered to see her was massive. Everyone wanted a picture with the statue, including ourselves. There really was no point in staying around at the Little Mermaid longer than the time to snap couple of pictures, so we hopped back on the bus before it left. The Arguing Spaniards had the same idea and once again we were graced by their argument regarding cellphone overages. At least my listening and comprehension skill were improving for Castellano Spanish the more I was forced to listen to the argument.
Once our bus arrived at the Copenhagen City Hall stop, everyone in our bus were told to get off and get on the bus in front of the current bus to continue the tour. The Spaniards decided not to jump on the new bus which made the rest of the city tour quiet and enjoyable. You could actually hear what the audio programming without the screaming family aboard. The four of us eventually got off at the Amalienborg Palace stop so we could visit the Royal Palace where the Queen of Denmark lives. Amalienborg Palace is actually not one palace but four separate buildings that share a courtyard. Visitors can walk around the courtyard and even walk right up to the front door of the palaces. Unlike Buckingham Palace, there are no fencing which protects the Amalienborg Palace complex. You could walk right up to the door and knock to see if Queen Margrethe is home.
Once we were done with the Amalienborg Palace, it was time for lunch. Before arriving, I did some research on restaurants serving traditional Danish Cuisine and Ida Davidsen Restaurant was recommended. Unfortunately when I punched the restaurant on my iPhone’s navigation, I was warned by Google that the restaurant maybe closed today. Well, since it was only a short distance away, my parents agreed that we should walk to the restaurant and see if it was really closed. Unfortunately it was closed when we arrived. So plan b was to walk to Nyhavn and find a restaurant, but along the walk to Nyhaven, we ran into Restaurant M which according to the sign outside said they serve traditional Danish Cuisine. After consulting with my mom, we decided to give the restaurant a try. Inside, Restaurant M was already busy with the lunch crowd. We were greeted and sat immediately at a nice table for four. Just as we sat down, another party of six Americans arrived and they were turned away, by the gentleman who sat us saying the restaurant was full.
Since my dad is not too fond of exotic food, I ordered him something familiar and for myself and my mom I ordered us the Smorrebrod Plate. Since my mom and my grandmother are light eaters, they wanted to share on Smorrebrod Plate instead of each ordering one. Along with the main course, my mom and grandmother each had a Diet Coke while my dad and I each had a beer. The beer was light and really good and went perfectly with my Smorrebrod lunch.
One thing that became evident very quickly here in Denmark is that soda’s cost just as much beer. I can see why everyone seems to be drinking beer and nothing else. Since I didn’t know much about Danish Beer, I ordered the first one off the the menu for both my dad and myself and it turned out to be a good choice. I was glad I didn’t just order the generic Carlsberg Beer.
After finishing our filling lunch, we continued walking towards Nyhaven to visit the canal and the color buildings. Nyhaven was built in the 17th century and currently is lined with restaurants and bars along the canal. You can also buy beer from the restaurant to takeaway and drink it sitting along the canal. Everyone but ourselves who were in Nyhaven, seemed to have a beer in their hand. Drinking in public does not seem to be an issue here in Copenhagen. I did not see anyone drunk and obnoxious anywhere. If there was this much beer in public in the US, there most likely would have been multiple arrests and fights before lunch.
After walking down the whole length of Nyhaven and back, we decided to hop on the Hop On And Hop Off boat which would take us back to the Marriott after touring the harbor and canals. Our boat driver must have been new. He had issues backing and turning the boat around in the Nyhaven canal and he also missed a stop when he could not dock the boat after multiple tries and other boats were piling up behind us. We were in no hurry so he just enjoyed the show why my parents and I were discussing how humiliated the driver must feel with all of the boats passing by staring at our boat to see what is going on.
Since the dock for the Marriott is wide big and open, our driver had no issues docking the boat for the four of us to disembark. We headed up to our room to rest a bit before the evening snack service at the Executive Lounge.
Even after the substantial evening snack at the Executive Lounge, we decided on not skipping dinner. Browsing around on the internet, I found Restaurant Karla had good ratings and was open today. The distance from the Marriott was not that far so we decided to walk and not take a taxi. When we arrived at Restaurant Karla, it was already busy and one of the staff member asked me if we had a reservation. I said no, and after he looked through some paper of his, he said he could fit us in a later in the evening. This actually turned out for the best since it would give us more time to digest the evening snack that we ate not too long ago. To kill time until our dinner reservation time, we decided to walk around and we realized that we were right around the corner from Tivoli Park and Copenhagen City Hall.
What we thought earlier was far away from our hotel because the Hop On Hop Off Bus went about in a circuitous route, turned out to be only walking distance away from our hotel. The distance from the Marriott to the City Hall Square was little over half a mile. We strolled around and took pictures before heading back to Restaurant Karla just before our reservation time. Once we arrived, our table was ready and we were seated promptly. Other wandered in asking for a table and were told the same that they needed a reservation. Restaurant Karla has a lower level dining area which today had some party going on.
For our dinner, I ordered the hamburger steak for my dad, the roast pork for myself and the wienerschnitzel for my grandmother and my mom to share. In reality we all shared a little bit of all three dishes. Out of the three, the roast pork was the hit with all of us especially my mom. Inside the pork was soft and juicy while the skin was crispy. The seasoning was just perfect! This roast pork blew any other roast pork that we have had so far out of the water. The big party that I mentioned earlier came for the pork dish as well. We saw an endless stream of the roast pork being shuttled downstairs to the party. Everything at Restaurant Karla comes with a side of gravy that you can put on your dish. We washed this fabulous meal down with Carlsberg beer and Diet Coke for the ladies.
Once we were finished and paid the bill, we decided to head back to the hotel going around the long way to burn off some of the food. We walked back to the City Hall Square and and then to Copenhagen Central Station to take a look inside. Outside of the station were bicycle after bicycle probably parked there by people heading out of town on the train. There even were stacked bicycle parking space to fit in more bikes than would be normally possible without stacking.
Inside the station building, it was big and spacious with many little shops and stores taking up most of the interior. While the exterior of the building was made out of brick, the high and arching ceiling was make out of wood with skylights to let in natural light. After wandering around inside of the building and paying to use the bathroom, we walked back to our hotel using the route that I had originally planned to use if we had taken the train from the airport to Copenhagen Central Station. Thank goodness that we took the taxi from the airport directly to the hotel instead. While the distance from the station to the hotel is about half a mile, I just could not see the four of us dragging our suitcases to the hotel after a long flight. I mentioned to my mom that my original plan of taking the train and walking to the hotel, and she responded: “Oh hell no.”
We arrived back at the hotel where my grandmother and I went back up to our room to call it a day, but my mom and dad wanted to walk a bit more to burn off dinner before calling it a day. With the long summer days which never fully gets dark, there is no issue walking around town even late at night.