Cruising Copenhagen

Back from Hven, with a nice dinner from Green Sushi in our bellies and a good night’s sleep back in our apartment, we were ready for our last two days exploring Copenhagen.

Our first stop was the Rundetaarn (Round Tower). Like many of the notable structures in Copenhagen, it was built during the reign of Christian IV. The tower is known for the observatory on top and equestrian staircase that allows you to walk to the top of the tower on a wide sloping ramp.

On our bike tour a couple of days earlier, our guide told us the inclusion of the ramp was due to the tower being built late in the reign of Christian IV. By that point he had grown fat and lazy and wanted to be taken up in his carriage rather than walk. There was no mention of this at the tower and I haven’t found any confirmation online, but I like the story. There does seem to be consensus that Peter the Great rode his horse up the ramp while visiting Copenhagen. For those interested, the Rundetaarn Wikipedia entry has an amusing list of notable ascents.

7-Eleven wine… on a boat

From the Rudentaarn we made our way down to the water to find GoBoat. Copenhagen is a city best seen from two modes of transportation, bicycles and boats. While there is no shortage of tour boats to take you around, I think GoBoat offers a much more civilized option. Rather than be packed like sardines into in a large boat with other tourists listening to a guide yell through a megaphone, you can cruise the water in your own little boat.

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No boating license? No problem. These boats are essentially floating tanks that offer two speeds: slow and really slow. Along with the boat comes a suggested route based on the length of your booking. Also, since you’re going so slowly, each boat has a picnic table in the middle.

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Earlier in the morning we had picked up some groceries for a picnic and on our walk down to the water we picked up a surprisingly nice bottle of wine from a 7-Eleven near our apartment. It felt slightly wrong to be drinking while driving a boat but I managed to rationalize it with the speed, or lack thereof.

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Not a GoBoat…

We could not have asked for better weather as we cruised the harbour and canals. We even had some guests hop up on the back of the boat when we passed a duck and her ducklings. As if to highlight how slow the boats were, I could not outrun the duckling.

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So that’s how they keep the water so clean

When we picked up our GoBoat, Ella was named an honourary trash pirate. She was given a net to collect trash from the water during our ride with the promise of a prize at the end for any trash she collected. Despite receiving a net with a hole in it, she managed to grab enough trash to earn herself an ice lollie.

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Up the spiral

After our little cruise we decided to climb the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Saviour). Like the Rudentaarn, it features a spiral, but this one is a decidedly more exposed and tight climb. It did offer some great views though.

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Eating out of our league

Our day concluded with a bike ride up to the Nørrebro neighbourhood for dinner at Manfred’s.

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Cruisin’ to Manfred’s. (You can’t see Ella, but she’s in the seat behind me.)

A vegetable focused, but not strictly vegetarian restaurant, we went for the Chef’s Choice and were not disappointed. Manfred’s was opened by Christian F. Puglisi previously from the famous Noma restaurant and who also runs the kitchen at the Michelin-starred Relae across the street. It’s a few years old, but this review from the NY Times does a better job describing the food than I could ever hope to:

“Don’t let the pretty presentations fool you — this is soulful food, each dish a deeply satisfying collision of tastes and textures. And each dish contains an unexpected touch. Something as seemingly simple as the charred onions is not only balanced by the nutty cheese and lemony sorrel, it’s elevated by a quick drizzle of elderflower vinaigrette.”

Back on the bikes

The next morning we headed back out on our bikes for a final tour around Copenhagen.

Our first stop was a promised revisit to the trampolines embedded in the sidewalk near where we caught the ferry to Hven.

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From there we headed along the water over to the Kastellet a star shaped fortress. On our way we had another look at the Little Mermaid, though we were really more interested in checking out the crazy crowds. We might have been secretly waiting for one of the overly aggressive tourists to fall in the water.

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By contrast the Kastellet was pleasantly quiet which gave Ella a chance to work on her photography.

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From there we headed over to Østre Anlæg, a historical park where we found a playground for Ella to burn some energy before visiting Rosenborg Castle.

Up next was Papirøen (Paper Island) for lunch at Copenhagen Street Food which is home to 39 food stalls, food trucks, containers and bars. It reminded us a lot of the V&A Waterfront Food Market in South Africa and was the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. We all had our choice of great food options. Katy and I picked up a prosecco and beer respectively, then found ourselves some seats to eat and watch the people go by. Sadly, rumour has it that it will be closing down at the end of this year, though definitely not due to lack of crowds.

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The last supper

After a trip out to Tina’s place to return the camping gear we had borrowed and have one last catch-up over tea, we headed out for our final dinner in Copenhagen. This time we chose Bar’vin. A short walk from our apartment, the menu was much more meat focused than Manfred’s, but the food was still a delicious note on which to end our time in Copenhagen.

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My first trip to Copenhagen was almost 20 years ago. Then I came for two days and stayed a week. This time we came for 6 days and I wish it was two weeks. Just might have to come back for a third visit.

More adventure awaits though so we’re leaving Copenhagen behind. Coming up, some kid focused activities for Ella, a castle and Legoland!

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