Welcome to Day 1 & 2 of Janet and Randy's Copenhagen Adventure 2017
Thursday, August 24th & Friday August 25, 2017
Today was a long travel day. We flew from Edmonton to Toronto to Copenhagen.
Our first flight was from Edmonton to Toronto. During the summer, Air Canada flies a 767 (instead of the usual A320) once a day to Toronto as there are many travellers connecting to Europe flights (like us). I already did a review of this same flight when I flew to Toronto in July. You can read about it here. The only real difference between this flight and the previous one was that they actually had menus loaded on this flight. The meal started with a Caesar salad - which I don't think I've had on an Air Canada flight before. It was quite tasty - with large croutons and a parmesan crisp (and a large biscuit sized slice of bacon - don't forget the bacon!). For the main course, there was a choice of veal stew, chicken breast, salmon or ricotta cheese ravioli. I chose the the veal stew, and Randy had the chicken. I was quite hungry by this time, and the veal was quite good, so I ended up eating all of it. For dessert, there was a choice between fresh fruit or a warm cookie and ice cream. I went for the cookie and ice cream, of course! Later on in the flight, they came around with a basket of chocolate bars and chips. I chose my usual KitKat.
The flight was pretty uneventful, and before we knew it, we were in Toronto. Air Canada has a service in Toronto that will drive you from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. Randy had arranged for us to get this service, and sure enough, Anne the Concierge was waiting for us at the entrance to the terminal. First she took us to a little special waiting area for the car service, so we could check it out. Then we took an escalator down one level and the BMW was waiting for us with a driver. We took a few photos with the car, then hopped in and enjoyed a ground level view as we drove to the international terminal. I also did a blog post about our BMW transfer and the Maple Leaf Lounge - which you can check out here. The ride is short and quick, but the views and the ride are both very sweet !
Once at the international terminal, Anne escorted us upstairs to the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge. It was peak time for the international lounge, so we were lucky to find a couple of seats. We weren't overly hungry - as we had just eaten. Instead, we decided to make some Moscow Mule beverages using a little travel kit that I had got for Randy as a Christmas present. The little kit had a jigger, a spoon and a little bottle of ginger syrup. There was enough to make 2 drinks, and they were surprisingly tasty (even without the copper mugs). A guy sitting beside us thought the kit was awesome and if we had enough fixings I would have made him one. As we were talking to him, he was on our flight, but then connecting to Helsinki. We finished our drinks, and then headed down to our gate.
The flight was a little delayed as the incoming flight had a disruptive passenger (insider knowledge, thanks to our concierge friend Anne), and the police had to be called onto the plane to remove the passenger before the rest of the plane could deplane. But, we were finally able to get on board and get going on our flight to Copenhagen. Below is an idea of the flight path, but ours actually went a little further north of Scotland.
We were on a 777-300, which has the nice reverse herringbone configuration in business class. So, it makes for a comfortable ride. As people were boarding, we were offered some champagne (which I partook of). Once in the air, they came around with the drink cart and warm nuts. As we were seated in the second business class cabin, it took a while for the cart to make it back to us. The flight had 2 meal services. We had a dinner service after taking off, and then a breakfast service 75 minutes before arrival. For the breakfast meal, you filled in a card specifying what you wanted.
The dinner service started with an appetizer of prawns, artichoke hearts and fennel and a mixed green salad. For the main course, there was an option of beef tenderloin, chicken breast, roasted cod, or vegetable lasagna. We both went with the beef tenderloin. After the main meal, they came around with some cheese and port (I passed on the port), and finally for dessert, a choice of fresh fruit or a dark chocolate fondant. I went with the chocolate.
As we were operating on Alberta time, I wasn't really tired enough to sleep. I ended up watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and tried to get some shut-eye, but just couldn't fall asleep. So, I ended up watching a documentary on why people like cats and dogs instead. By the time I was done that, they were starting the breakfast service.
I had just ordered some fruit, a croissant and oatmeal for my breakfast. It was more than enough, considering we had only finished eating our dinner meal a couple hours previous.
Upon arriving in Copenhagen, I realized that no entry cards had been passed out, so I wasn't sure if we needed to fill one out or not. Once we got in the airport, I remembered that some European countries aren't as anal as Canada and the U.S. When we arrived we exited into just the regular part of the airport (instead of a sterile area that takes you directly to Customs). We passed shops and restaurants until finally coming to Passport Control. We just showed our passports and the passport agent asked how long we were going to be in Europe. We then had to go down a level to the baggage area and then just took the exit for "Nothing to Declare". And that was it. I wish customs was this easy at home!
We then followed the signs to the train, and found a bit of a line-up for the kiosks for buying tickets. But luckily it went by quickly. When we got to the kiosk, there was a helpful agent who asked where we were going. We said we were going to the Central Station, and he asked if we wanted him to help us. As we were pretty tired, I was more than happy for him to do it for us. We got our tickets, stopped to get cash from an ATM, then took an escalator down to catch the train.
We had just missed a train, but we only had to wait 10 minutes to get the next one. It was a very comfortable and smooth ride, and about 15 minutes later we were at the Central Station. Our hotel (the Copenhagen Marriott) was a 10 minute walk away. We arrived at the hotel around 9:30am and noticed our Air Canada cabin crew checking in next to us. If we had known, we would have asked for a ride! Unfortunately, our room wasn't ready yet, and we were told it might not be ready until 4:00pm. Ugh. We were given a key to the Executive Lounge, so we stopped in for a bit. However, I wasn't hungry and used this as an opportunity to refresh our water bottles.
So, we grabbed a few things out of our luggage, and then checked it with the bellman. We found out that we could get some data SIM cards for our phones from the nearby Fisketorvet Mall. It was a 15 minute walk from our hotel, but there was this lovely path along the harbour, and it was a nice sunny day - so it was a very enjoyable walk.
Once at the mall, we found an electronics store and asked for a SIM card. They had one with 4Gig of data and some talk/text for $10. Our monthly plan at home doesn't even have 4G of data, and it is a hell of a lot more expensive than that!! And it was super easy to set up. We popped our existing SIM cards out, popped the new ones in, and it worked. (well, I had to try putting my card in a few times before it recognized it). But, that was it. In other places, we would need someone to go through and do all this reconfiguring of the phone - so this was amazingly easy! There was a text message I got that was in Danish, I have no idea what it was telling me... but my phone works, so I'm not going to worry about it.
As we had time to kill, we decided to get on a Hop-On Hop-Off tour to get an overview of the city. So, we walked from the mall to a nearby stop and got on. We managed to find seats on the upper level of the bus, but we had to sit separately as there were other tourists that were sitting in separate rows, even though they were travelling together. (In our jet-lag, sleep deprived state this annoyed us, I'll be honest about it). They got off after a few stops, so we were able to move together after that.
We were pretty tired, so we just sat on the bus and enjoyed the scenery. I took a few pictures from the bus, but otherwise just sat and listened to the commentary. About halfway through the route, Randy got notification that our room was ready. So, we got off at a stop near the train station to head back to the hotel. On the way back, we came across a Wagamama restaurant (which we had gone to in London). I didn't feel overly hungry, but Randy suggested we stop to get some food. Which was a good idea, as the food really helped me feel less exhausted. Randy had chicken katsu curry, and I had a teriyaki chicken rice bowl. Feeling much better, we walked back to the hotel to check in to our room. Our original room was a city view, and we had asked if a water view was available. After some checking, the gal was able to find a water view room, but it had 2 queen beds instead of 1 king bed. We were both fine with having 2 beds, so we went with the water view.
WWe got our luggage and went up to our room - which was at the furthest end of the hallway. But as we were at the end of the building, we actually had a side window in additional to the big front window. The room has a most excellent view ! We unpacked a bit, then lay down to get some sleep. We ended up sleeping until 6pm, at which time we got up and had a nice shower.
We went downstairs to the Marriott club lounge to check out the evening snacks. It was really crowded in the lounge, but we managed to find a table. For food, there was a big selection of cheeses, salad, roasted sweet potatoes and stuffed mushrooms. There was also smorebred - which is a type of open-faced sandwich popular in Denmark. This one had a type of shrimp salad on top. We nibbled at some of the food and had some wine. As none of the food really appealed to Randy, we decided to walk over to a Harbour Festival that was happening right across from our hotel. We walked down the cool harbour walkway to a bridge to cross over to the other side. As we walked over along the docks there was a large group of young adults that were in swimming ! I kinda think it was a bit cold. We also notice that you could rent these small boats, with an electric engine and it basically was a seats along the side and a table in the middle. We noticed once on the other side of the river that the company rents the boats and sells the beer/wine for you to take onto the boat ! Seriously how cool is that ? It took about 10 minutes.
At the festival there were a number of different things happening. There was one stage with a Danish rapper, there was a tent with a band playing swing music (and people dancing) (funny how the F work is nearly universal - well at least in rap), and a demonstration of a sport called Foot Tennis (kicking a soccer ball over a tennis net). It also looked like there were kayaks that you could use for free. There was a restaurant with an outdoor bar, so we grabbed some beer and sat listening to the music and looking out at the harbour.
We stopped at a food vendor and got a pita sandwich and some fish and chips. They were both very tasty. It was starting to get dark, so we headed back to our hotel. I tried to work on the travel journal, but I was having a hard time concentrating, so just went to bed and pretty much fell asleep immediately (as it had been a rather long day)./p>
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