Sunday, June 21, 2009
Yes, the money one would spend for business class on a nine hour flight is worth it. We did not. But, we still managed to fly 4677 miles from Atlanta to Copenhagen without killing anyone. I say this because I came dangerously close to smacking the two women seated in the row behind us. I had just found the right combination of shoes off, feet propped onto carry on bag, ear phones on to block noise, u-shaped pillow behind head, a blanket over head and had just nodded off when these women began to cackle like a couple of old hens. This was punctuated with much kicking of the seat back which I found almost unbearable. But, the nine hours passed. I watched the movie screen which occasionally showed our flight pattern as we passed over Montreal, St. Johns, Iceland and Ireland. It never did get totally dark.
Upon arrival, we cleared customs and walked across the street to the airport Hilton. It was only 10:00 AM but we were still able to check in. We found our room and promptly took a four hour nap. Upon awaking, we changed and headed out to find downtown Copenhagen. We were armed with a tear out map from the back of a travel magazine found in the hotel lobby and proceeded to ask directions of anyone and everyone. The first ATM machine I found had directions in English but I had no idea how many Kroners to ask for. So, I punched a button marked 4.00 and received 4000 Kroners. After a moment of panic when we thought I had gotten $4000 American in kroners, we realized that it was only about $219.
We must have looked really dumbfounded trying to buy tickets on the metro, so a handsome young man helped us. Then a young woman adopted us and told us how to get where we were going and kept us advised on when our stop approached. She was interesting as she was returning to Copenhagen after a short jaunt to Turkey to have lasic eye surgery two days earlier.
We got off the Metro and found ourselves in a beautiful city square. Again, I had the little tear out map and we just started walking. In a block or two we came to the old canal area with lots little bars, shops and walkers. We strolled, took lots of photos and stopped for a beer. When the waiter brought the bill, I had to ask him to explain the charges and then could he please suggest a proper amount for a tip and could he please count it out for himelf? This got the attention of the people at the next table. It was a Mom, a Dad and their son and daughter. Turns out they are from Charleston, S.C. and are going on the same cruise as we are. They then offered suggestions on a route to walk to Tivoli Gardens and off we set. We must have looked pretty smart because a fat German lady started trying to get directions from me. I just smiled and nodded a lot.
Tivoli Gardens are superb. The plants and flowers are spectacular. We walked all the way through the park and then picked a restaurant where we could sit outside and dine. There were several bandshells and music was everywhere. We had hoped to see all the twinkling lights but since it does'nt get dark till past our bedtime, we left at 9:30 and dusk was only just beginning.
Taking the train was a bit more difficult. We found the station but couldn't figure where to buy a ticket. Once the machine was located, we were really confused. Again, a nice young man helped us. We opened our change purses so he could pick out the proper coins to feed the machine and hoped he would pick the right ticket to get us back to the hotel. He could see that we were still in a bit of a fog so he motioned for us to follow him as our train was pulling out in one minute. We flew down the steps, boarded the train and waved to our new friend. A few stops and we are now tucked in for the night.
Tomorrow we head to the ship and settle in. We sail tomorrow night and will awake to a full day of Berlin on Tuesday.