Ah, Copenhagen! Pouring with rain the whole time (either that or getting READY to pour) – but the streets are practically paved with beautiful people. The babies have golden hair and tiny flat faces and cerulean eyes, their dads are all lean and clean cut and their mums are blonde and long-legged and ALL of them are polite and helpful and ride bicycles everywhere (even the babies)! The streets are full of pictures of politicians, I guess because there’s an election on – and even the POLLIES are gorgeous (in a professional-looking sort of way, no big-bosomed temptresses a la Italia)!
The best way to see a foreign city, I find, is to get totally lost in it and then sort of stumble on monumental-looking places and think ‘What the frig is that??? Bet it’s some kind of SIGHT’ (and then find out it’s the police station or something). Tried this but got soaked through so decided to take a sightseeing bus with multiple stops. This is a pretty good deal as long as you’re prepared to sit on the kerb in the rain for what seems like hours, being splashed with mud by passing tour buses (NEVER yours, of course), after having trawled through some vast green-swathed park with a castle in it, waiting for the bloody bus to come your way again.
Spain has just won some sort of football event so Nyhavn (the upmarket pub area on the canal, full of pointy blue and yellow wooden joints that we in Oz would call terraces, and outdoor tables for people to enjoy the rain) seemed to be full of guys in red shirts singing loud celebratory chants with lyrics like ‘XXX forever, XX we love you, xxx we love you forever yes we doooo…’. One guy hopped up on a table and harangued his lot on how terrific the whole thing was (in case they were flagging) and then started conducting, ‘All together now…we love XXX!’ in between staggering over to the canal side and making lewd suggestions to tour boat passengers.
The tour boat was part of the whole bus trip thing so I spent a pleasant afternoon getting drizzled on up and down the various canals. Highlights were the view of Christiania (otherwise known as Hippyland), where we could just descry flowered panel vans parked in the long grass and naked children romping through the flowers while their parents smoked weed and arranged their long white cheesecloth dresses (no actually, only the hippie vans and the long grass were visible). Apparently the Danes used to try periodically to clean up the hippies but now they’ve reached an agreement and the flowered people are safe for now.
Which is great to see, because in the harbour area just offHippyland we went past a guy standing in his houseboat, who’d evidently just gone for a swim and was towelling himself off. In the nude. The teenage girls in the party whipped out their iphone cameras and shrieked and whistled. He just went on towelling as if he was in his bathroom at home. Well done! Why can’t we have more of that in Mosman?
And of course I see the Little Mermaid. I always thought she was out in the harbour somewhere, but turns out she’s just a metre from shore – no wonder people kept wading out there to graffiti her, pull her head off, etc (I always thought they must have swum out there). As to the head, that’s apparently a famous ballet dancer of the period – the body is that of the artist’s wife, because the ballet dancer didn’t want to be immortalised in the raw (but the wife didn’t mind). Nowadays the ballet dancer would’ve been clamouring to sit with her clothes off, and would have probably got a boob job in honour of the occasion. The mermaid has very sweet little breasts – they’re worth seeing, if you like that sort of thing. Nobody knows the STORY properly though – I heard at least two tour guides getting it ALL WRONG. They probably just watched the Disney version.
Not to forget the Rosenborg Palace. If you like clocks, this is the place to go. The more ornate the better. Forget the simple cuckoo-clock, these clocks have cherubs, angels flying out on the hour, gilded and bejewelled naked women coiled all over them, openings and shuttings and carved thingummyjigs and…they were really big fans of clocks. Other than that, it’s really down home, for a palace. The rooms are all cosy and plain and there’s a lot of unpolished timber – it’s kind of a cross between little house on the prairie and Buckingham palace. It houses the Danish Crown Jewels but I got sick of traipsing through rooms of clocks looking for them, so, you know, maybe next time.
And the Botanic Gardens. I mention them especially cause I got lost in them for hours. Not so much lost as trapped, as I could see the outside (where I wanted to be) but I couldn’t get there. My salvation only a spiked fence away but do you think I could find a bloody gate? Typical Europe.
Seen on the side of a bus at the cruise terminal ‘Turistfart’. Ha ha (shut up Rose, you need to do something about your low sense of humour).
However, I did meet a strange man sitting outside the Madagascar greenhouse, who seemed to be annoyed that modern education doesn’t include a trip to outer space.
Back on the bus, I overhear an American couple having a situation.
Him (looking about grumpily): ‘So how long does this take?’
She: ‘An hour and a half?’
He, shooting her a Look: ‘But there won’t be time, we’ll miss The Dinner’.
She (sighing and looking pointedly out the window): ‘No, we’re only doing half the stops.’
He (after an ominous pause): ‘Well! We might as well just FORGET the Dinner!’
Back at the hostel, I’m kept awake for hours by the screeches and caterwauls of Spanish (or they COULD have been Italian – same dif) women celebrating the great win. In the end, some Irish guy on the third floor sticks his head out a window and shouts, in a thick Dublin accent ‘Shoot the fook up, you fooking morons!’. My thoughts exactly.
The perks of staying in a hostel include getting up in the morning to a parade of beautiful young men in their underpants shyly making their way to the shared showers. Something I somehow missed out on in my student days. Recommended to pervy middle-aged women everywhere.