Monday, September 28, 2015

Copenhagen


Unfortunately, our trip to Copenhagen was delayed an entire day. Yes, I just said an entire day. The whole thing was a bit of a nightmare. Before we were even notified about the delay, the Saturday before departure we received a text notification from Norwegian saying that due to delays the airline was experiencing, we would be transferred from the Dreamliner to a plane from Hifly airlines. Never heard of them? Neither have I nor anyone else I told this story to. Hifly is a charter airline that leases planes to other airlines. With a 10 hour flight ahead of us we were pretty bummed being transferred from the comforts of the Dreamliner. Come Monday morning we receive another text notification that our flight is now delayed until 3:00pm the following day. I've heard of flights being delayed a few hours, maybe 5 but an entire day? ... A couple of hours later another text comes through with a new time of departure at 5pm... And one more, thankfully the last one later that afternoon with a new departure time of 7:10pm. A whole 24 hour delay. As stressed out, pissed off, and wondering if we were ever going to make it over there, I'm truly thankful for the way the universe unfolded itself that day. That evening, after traveling to 3 different vets and ending up two and a half hours away from home, I had to put my dog down. It was the hardest most emotional situation I have ever been in. I'm forever grateful that I was able to spend his last day with him and hold him during his passing into doggy heaven.
The next morning was rough waking up without him. Still having to finish packing and get myself ready I didn't have much time to mourn. It was good that I would be away so long. I don't know how I would have ever gotten out of bed otherwise.
Thankfully, everything went as scheduled with no more delays. We were still a bit bummed that we got transferred to the HiFly charter plane but how bad could it be? It was BEYOND AWFUL! The plane was old, my seat was coming apart and we feared that the overhead center bins were going to break off due to how much they shook. The staff also failed to close some of the overhead bins before takeoff.  One of the things they mentioned in the text notification was there would be limited entertainment. We spoke with a customer service rep who assured us there would be movies just not a large selection to choose from. With a long flight it's nice to watch a movie. There were no movies and no entertainment. Ashley asked a flight attendant if the tv screens on the back of the seats worked and he gave her the most bizarre look, said yes, and walked away in a hurry. The rest of the flight attendants were just as horrible. It was as if we were all an annoyance to them. They ran out of pillows and blankets as well as water. Yes, I just said water. During the last few hours of our flight I walked to the kitchen area and asked if I could get my water bottle filled. The attendant told me they are almost out of water and gave me a tiny cup with about 2 sips worth. Overall it was my worst flying experience and I'm not sure if I will ever fly internationally with Norwegian again. I would have much rather paid more for a decent flight that was on time. It was the best feeling walking off that plane. We knew that nothing on this trip could be a horrible as what we just experienced. Everything after our rough, rough start was indeed perfect!

Where we stayed:

With an entire day lost to delays we only had an afternoon and evening to see Copenhagen. Our first stop was checking in to our Airbnb. Henriette was a great host and flexible with all of our time changes. Her flat was very comfortable and in a great area for walking to what we wanted to see. She showed us in and pointed out some places on the map that we shouldn't miss with the short time we had. As a local, she pointed out some trendy bar and restaurant areas. I sheepishly asked about Nyhavn which she pointed out but said it wasn't worth seeing as it's full of tourists. We were tourists and it was actually something we did really want to see. It's iconic Copenhagen.

The beautiful streets of Copenhagen.



Near the Kastellet.


What we did:

After a quick freshening up from our long flight we hit the streets. We made our way towards the The Little Mermaid stopping to walk through the Kastellet. Now a public park and historical site the Kastellet is one of the best preserved star fortresses of Northern Europe.
Being from Solvang, the Danish capital of America, we had to see The Little Mermaid. We have a replica in our town. The Little Mermaid is indeed small as everything I read said she would be but she and the views were beautiful. 

The Little Mermaid
We made our way down Norde Toldbod along the water and passed Amalienborg Slot on our way to Nyhavn. After all we went though it felt surreal walking through the streets of Copenhagen. With two and a half weeks of exploring ahead of us, I couldn't have been happier! Turning the corner and focusing on the brightly colored buildings that make up Nyhavn, my heart sang. I used to have a huge collage of travel photo clippings that I wanted to one day visit. I had a few of this famous harbor. As touristy as it is, it was imperative we came here. Denmark has some pretty relaxed laws on drinking in public. As I read before, you can buy a beer at one of the many kiosks (cheaper than buying a beer at a restaurant along the harbor) and walk, sit or explore more with drink in hand. We did just that.

Nyhavn
Grab a beer and sit along the water. 



After relaxing for a bit and taking in all of the harbor we got back on our feet. We made our way towards our Airbnb while looking for a place to stop for dinner. We popped into Halifax on Frederiksborggade. It's a hip burger joint with a few locations around the city. You pick your burger, bun, patty type (they have vegan and vegetarian options), side, and sauce. I went with the Kreta, a Greek inspired burger and a cider to drink. The burger was really delicious. Staff and ambiance were great here as well. We walked home along The Lakes on Øster Søgade. It's a beautiful walk in the evening. We had to get up early the next morning to catch our flight to Stockholm so we called it an early night. Even though we had a very limited time in Copenhagen it was wonderful. The city was clean, beautiful, and easy to navigate. It was so motivating to see how active everyone was. There were many locals we saw earlier in the day walking, jogging and biking. The city is super bike friendly and we were surprised to see that no one locks up their bikes!

If you are into juice and smoothies, another place worth checking out is Joe & The Juice. They have locations in the airport as well as in the city. We got a juice upon arrival and the morning we flew to Stockholm. I can't remember what the one I got was (maybe the sports drink?) but it had passion fruit in it. I ordered it again the next morning because it was that good! 

Also, food options in European airports are 100 times better than anything you would find in the States. Ash and I shared a grilled chicken cheese sandwich and a pastry for breakfast. I really wished my stomach was bigger. I just wanted to eat everything I saw. 

I will be back for you, Copenhagen!


Wishing we got one of each to try.

4 comments:

  1. So happy to see you enjoyed your (limited) time here! I was thinking about taking Norwegian back to the States since they're the only airline that flies direct to LAX, but... yikes. I think I'll reconsider!

    Oh, and people DO lock up their bikes here, esp. cause bikes get stolen all the time - it's just that the locks are built into the back wheel so it looks like everyone is super trustworthy. Not so! ;)

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    1. Haha, thank you for clarifying that! We knew Denmark is one of the happiest countries but were very surprised to see how trustworthy they are too.

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  2. Finally read this! Hope to one day get to northern Europe. That flight sounds so bad... I know you already told me about it but there is just nothing worse than a bad flight. We took Turkish Airlines this time and it was fantastic.

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