Today I leave London for my little Scandinavian adventure. The sky in London is beautiful and blue this morning. Would have been great for photos. Oh well. I'll be back. I got myself organised fairly quickly. My plan was to get a taxi to St Pancras station then the train to Luton Airport for my flight.
Once again, the taxi driver was very amiable and talkative. Such a nice experience. My primary reason for catching he train was for the scenery. If I took a taxi all the way I figured I'd probably only see motorway. Once at the station it took a bit of figuring out but I got to the platform and boarded my train. At first the view was just the usual inner city landscape, but then it opened up to wide fields and small towns.
At Luton Airport Parkway we needed to change to a shuttle bus to get to the airport. Trying to get my back onto the luggage rack in the bus was a challenge but I got there with a little help. At the bag drop counter I discovered my bag was just on 20kg which is my limit for these short flights. The books I've bought already have really added to the weight.
I was at the airport early so had just about an hour to wait. I'd rather be at the airport early than have to worry about missing a flight. But it did remind me that flying in the middle of the day wastes so much of the day. If I had flown later I would have been able to do something in London in the morning. While waiting for my flight I reflected on how I was about to immerse myself in non-English speaking lands again. I haven't done that for an extended period since my trip in 2013.
The flight up was a bit bumpy. The plane was an A319 and its noises were unfamiliar to me. I have to confess it was a bit unnerving. But eventually it settled down and I got a good view of some rain in the distance then some English countryside.
Somewhere around the North Sea or Denmark we crossed these islands.
Before crossing the island where Copenhagen is.
The airport is huge and I took ages just to walk to the exit and through passport check. As with leaving Australia and entering the UK I seemed to draw some extra attention that warranted a little "interrogation". Just specific questions about what I was planning to do and why I was there. Not everyone appeared to get these questions. I guess a middle aged man travelling all that way on his own on holiday might not be common?
Eventually I was reunited with my bag and any lingering concerns about flying with easyJet were dispelled. Despite some bad ratings I've had a great experience with them both times.
As with London, I decided to catch the train into central Copenhagen and then a taxi to the apartment hotel. Of course this time was trickier due to language but I made it without hitch. The trains seem much roomier than the English trains and very new. It only took about 15 minutes and before long I was in a taxi. I managed to communicate the address to the driver successfully only to discover his English was as good as mine. Another very amiable and talkative driver too. I had been told that most people here speak English well and that certainly seems to be the case so far.
I'm staying in an apartment hotel which means I've got a bit more space and facilities to make my own breakfast and meals if I want. But there's also a restaurant and bar too.
The weather in Copenhagen was grey, about 6 degrees and damp. By this time it was around 4:30 so after checking in I rushed to get some warmer clothes on and head out to explore.
Right next to the hotel is Kastallet which appears to have been an old fortification but is now mainly a public space with barracks in the centre.
As in London, I came across trees in blossom.
After exploring the grounds I walked towards some docks and came across this incredibly intricate sculpture.
Nearby I noticed dragons at the top of the light poles. Later, at dinner, I would notice dragons in a different design on other light poles. Must have some significance. I will investigate.
By now it was nearly 6:30pm and I was starting to get hungry. So I headed back. On the way, I came across this family.
There's a supermarket on the corner of the hotel's block so I popped in for breakfast supplies. With a little guesswork I (hopefully) managed to work out the fat and sugar content labels in order to make some healthy choices (and I successfully resisted the muesli with chocolate pieces)
Dinner in the hotel restaurant was in order before a relatively early night.