First thing today was a bike Tour of Copenhagen with Bike Mike. I found this tour with a bit of googling and it has a very high rating. After completing the tour I can confirm the rating is well deserved. Not sure about the Max 15 guest per tour he mentions on his web page though, this was the biggest bike tour I’ve ever done, I’d say there were at least 20 of us. You can see by this photo of the bikes it was massive.
Regardless of the number, he managed it quite well and no one got lost, run over or caused an accident. It was the bike tour standard, meet at the tour company, have the bike explained, any idiosyncratic road rules or customs explained, fitted with a bike and a small test run. Interestingly with Copenhagen the interesting idiosyncrasies are that cars and pedestrians are not going to be an issue, cars will steer well clear and go around you or wait, but other cyclists will be less forgiving of mistakes. Although helmets are not compulsory in Denmark, I’m used to wearing them at home, they were offered and since I’m riding on the wrong side of the road probably a good idea.
First stop was Israels Plads This is where I had lunch and coffee. According to Mike some of the best food in Copenhagen. Israel donated a sculpture here to commemorate that Denmark saved the majority of their Jewish population during the war by evacuating them to Sweden.
We were told about Denmarks famous open sandwiches, so I made sure I had one for lunch. We cycled through a low income, migrant ghetto (they actually legally call them ghettos here if a certain portion of the population are not of Danish extraction and are below a certain income level or dependent on social security). Then though a cemetery where Hans Christian Andersen is buried. Interestingly the Danes use these old cemeteries as parks and its not unusual to see people having picnics or drinks here on the grass.
And word for the day “Eye-Poo”. Its what Danes call ugly buildings. Mostly brutalist 1950/60s buildings that Mike mentioned were put up when Denmark had no money. Now thats its a richer country with buildings are much nicer. Here is an example of the specific building that was mentioned as an Eye-Poo
We also visited the old Naval houses that were built 400 years ago to house sailors. Now that are multi-million dollar properties. Insides can be changed but outside is considered grade listed
We also visited Churchill Park to commemorate the British led liberation of Denmark in World War 2, The Palace where the Royal Family (including Princess Mary) live, City Beach (where old industrial docks have been turned into public swimming places with deck chairs an bars etc. Parliament, The Royal Stables, the Nyhavns District and a few others. Very nice looking town. The “108 Restaurant” we went past is a sister restaurant of Noma (highest ranked restaurant on the planet), and 108 is easier to get into. No visit to Copenhagen would be complete without going past the Little Mermaid. When they say little, they are *not* kidding. Its as crappily small as our Dog on the Tucker Box.
A note on Copenhagen bike lines. Most are raised off the street, but below the footpath/sidewalk. This keeps the bikes completely isolated from traffic and pedestrians. They are not all like this, but a lot are. You have to be careful not to walk on them, as cyclists will run you down.
We also road on some “Green Wave” bike lines. These are where the lights are timed so that if you are travelling at 20kph and go through a green light, all future lights on the green wave cycle path will be green, they are timed so you get a completely smooth run into the city. Its no wonder 2/3rd of the city cycle at least once per day.
I’ll update this soon with a video from the tour.