It's 6:00 pm as I write my first journal entry from here in Copenhagen, but judging from the brightness of the sun, you would think it is only 2:00 in the afternoon. Looking out the window of our harborside hotel, it's hard to believe that after what seemed like an endless transatlantic flight from Boston through Amsterdam, we are finally in Denmark at last.
Waking up from a short nap, I am struck by how pretty the view is from our window. Canal boats loaded with tourists glide silently by, old wooden sailing ships bob gently in the waves, and bells toll from a gleaming baroque spiral church steeple in the distance. Down at the water's edge, people young and old stop to admire the view or even sit down for a moment while children bounce excitedly on trampolines which seem to have magically become part of the sidewalk.
Oddly it seems as if we have been here before. We have traveler's expectations. Through google earth street view, we had taken virtual walks through the neighborhood months ago when booking our hotel, the Copenhagen Strand. We had even virtually visited the very cafe where we ate lunch today, Holberg 19 to enjoy a delicious tuna melt. The waiter laughed when he told us that although he knew, the waitress was completely baffled when requested to "hold the avocado." "Do you want me to hold it in my hand?" he joked.
In the evening we headed into the pedestrian zone and visited the Round Tower. Built in 1642, it was once used by university astronomers to study stars and planets from the observatory at the top. Today you can walk to the top on a winding walkway which featured an exhibition halfway up of first rate crafts with a seaside theme. From the top, the 360 degree view over the city is spectacular.
Dinner was at Cafe Norden. Overlooking the Swan statue on the Stroget, it has Old World charm and serves delicious salads and sandwiches big enough to share. My fresh squeezed lemonade was served in a canning jar with slices of lemon, lime, and sprigs of mint. By 9:30 we felt rather jetlagged but strolled through Nyhavn along the harbor which was lined with cafes. Some of them were in old renovated harbor houses while others such as a Hong Kong restaurant, complete with neon dragons, looked as if it may have been there since the 1960's. Heading back to the hotel I couldn't help but notice the full moon beaming down on the water. What a nice welcome to our first visit to Copenhagen.