Nights at sea are different. You go to sleep and beyond the window there is nothing but sea, sky and the horizon in between. You wake up, there's a city outside. On the 3rd August 2010 Copenhagen showed up. The city you most likely know from the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics of the same name.
On this day my sister had some free time, so we decided to conquer the city by bike. The ship has some of those available for the crew. We just had to overcome the problem of the missing seats. The expectation of riding an iron bar the whole day didn't seem particularly desirable. The solution? Stealing the seats off other bikes of course.
The Missing Mermaid
From the harbour it's been only a few minutes to the city's icon, the little mermaid. A small, unremarkable statue on a rock somewhere near the harbour. And if that weren't already disappointing enough, the city chose to make it even more disappointing by shipping the whole statue to Shanghai for the Expo. What's left is a rock. A rock with a screen next to it that displays a live feed from the statue in China. A rock that people flock to to have their pictures taken. Pictures of themselves next to a rock. Well played Copenhagen. Tourist trolling at its best.
So on to next sights. Just down the road was Amalienborg palace, the residence of Danish kings and queens, where it is imperative to take pictures of the guard. I obeyed and we continued on our way via Nyhavn to Tivoli, a classic amusement park that strives to cram as many attractions as possible on the little share of land it occupies. You can navigate a mini-lake on dragon boats, ride bumper cars or enqueue for the world's tallest carousel. Although we didn't have a lot of time – my sister had to get back to work – we opted for the rollercoaster for my first ride ever with looping or corkscrew.
After a brief moment to overcome the wow my sister headed back to the ship. I stayed for a few more hours taking pictures of sights that where actually present in the city as opposed to a certain mermaid.
Most of this time was spent in Frederiksstaden, the quarter of Copenhagen surrounding the axis from the Marble Church to Amalienborg palace with streets lined by classicist houses and mansions.
On my way back I also visited the Kastellet, a fort still owned by the Danish army. As a gesture towards the citizens of Copenhagen the army allows pedestrians to take a walk on the fort's walls. Cycling is explicitly forbidden. Its written on signs in Danish but for foreigners its also easily discernible from the angry looks of people passing by.
Blue Skies, Nothing but Blue Skies
But did I mention this was an overnight? I didn't? Well it was and we would be leaving port only on next days afternoon. So I certainly wasn't going to stay on the ship for the rest of the day. I took the bike again and left for a few more hours cycling through the city centre, enjoying the blue sky and taking pictures.
I returned to the ship just in time for the photographic spectacle of the setting sun and used the opportunity for a lengthy photo session with Miss Victoria herself.