Monday, December 05, 2011

Denmark (and Sweden) Gets Phuzered

I think perhaps I promised you, my loyal readers, some European misadventures with our frequent traveling companions Phuze. Well, here you go.

Due to some delay of flight, we arrived in Copenhagen rather late on Friday night. In fact, it may have technically been rather early on Saturday if memory serves.

But troopers that we are, we dropped off our bags at the hotel and made plans to meet Phuze out for a nightcap (morning cap?) before retiring to bed. Suze texted me walking directions (Something like "walk out of your hotel and straight towards giant clock. cross scenic square which appears to be under massive construction. turn left at mcdonald's sign." It made sense at the time....)

Lo and behold if we didn't run smack into them on the street because they had gotten kicked out of the bar. Some nonsense or other about "last call" or "closing time". Whatever. So we made our way to a place with a more lax guest policy and blahblahblah, laughs and cocktails and stories and good times and plans to meet in the morning blahblahblah HOTEL BED SLEEP NOW PLEASE.

And the aimless walking tour of Copenhagen begins...
Let's smushi! Wait, what's smushi-ing?? I don't care! Let's just do it! Okay!

What's this?

Oh, of course. It is a poster graphic. That writing is the design upon the poster. That design is used to help sell the poster. I'm glad they cleared all that up for me.

I think we'd better get this one some lunch soon. All that smushi-ing seems to have worked up quite an appetite.

If there's anything in the world more annoying than a tourist on a Segway, it's a tourist on a Segway wearing a Segway Tours poncho. And if there's anything in the world more annoying than a tourist on a Segway wearing a Segway Tours poncho, it's TWO tourists on a Segway wearing MATCHING Segway Tours ponchos. I express my distaste:

One thing I learned about Copenhagen was that they really like boobs. There were boobs everywhere. BOOBS!!!!! on a building.

BOOBS!!!!! over a restaurant bar.

Oh look! It's a lovely public art project! How nice!

But wait...BOOBS!!!!! on an elephant.

Now, I'm not sure what a replica of the David statue was doing by the Copenhagen waterfront but it was a nice break from all the BOOBS!!!!! Unfortunately, it was also a chance for Jason to attempt one of his most favorite vacay activities - snapping a photo of me positioned so that the, umm, sack of some male statue appears to be resting on my head. Fortunately, over the years I have learned to avoid these attacks by any means necessary. Those means are simply: not under any circumstances remain stationary.

The whole reason for our waterfront stroll was to see Copenhagen's most famous attraction, the statue of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid. (What? You thought Disney came up with that story?? Those guys haven't had an original idea since 1928 when Mickey Mouse was created.) We knew it would be disappointingly small. We knew it would be mobbed by tourists. We knew it would be surrounded by cheap and tacky souvenir stands. But one can't truck themselves all the way to Copenhagen and just not see it. So we saw it.

And predictably, we were so not impressed. We all took to our phones and texted everyone we knew about how unimpressed we were. Even Stripey McSadsack back there was underwhelmed.


Next, we decided to do the ultimate-tourist schtick one better and hopped on an open air bus tour. Really, we determined we were too far away from the city center to walk back and figured that we might as well get a bird's eye view of Copenhagen as opposed to taking a cramped, dingy taxi. And hey! We might even learn something! Phuze were pleased.

Turns out, the open-air bus delivered us back to the city center just in time for it to start pissing down rain. But what luck! We just so happened to be right by Phuze's hotel. So we ducked in and camped out in the bar, pointing and laughing at all the people on the street getting soaked.

Though we soon bored of that and when we realized all we had to entertain us was each other, we desperately looked to our arsenal of iPhones for a diversion. Suze was so bored, she was working two phones. "I swear I heard one of these things ping with an incoming email. Come on you little devil-bastard phone! Release me from this hellish social circle! Ping! Please dear god let it ping!"

And remember that thing with me and Suze and how we can rarely keep a straight face for a photo and there's always a slew of pictures that end up on the proverbial cutting room floor while we try over and over again to capture the magic that is us and finally we do but then we end up liking all the other photos better because thy make us laugh all over again? Well... COLLAGE! BOOM.

That evening after dinner, we passed by a coffee shop and decided we could use a fix. Personally, I was just enamored of their policy on babies.

I can't for the life of me recall what is going on here but I imagine it has something to do with the diabolical math-based drinking game Phil insisted we play.

We awoke the next morning to sun! Glorious sun!! I suggested to Jason we skip breakfast with Phuze and head back to the harbor area for some decent photos. I was determined to get a couple shots of this gorgeous area while it was not enshrouded in grey skies.

And then, it was back to the baby-less coffee shop before we hopped a train to Malmo, Sweden for a day trip and some serious Swedish meatballs. P.S. I'm pretty sure the barista had a crush on Jason. (Then again, who wouldn't?)

Meanwhile, I had a crush on my latte. The love affair was short lived though, as we had to make haste to the train station.

And after a short ride, we were in a whole other country! Sweden. (Top travel tip: You can tell by the flags.)

We were immediately taken with the public art displays. I ask you, is this not just begging for some stupid tourists to jump in and act like they're in the marching band for a ridiculous photo they can look back on and laugh at what idiots they were that day?

Done and done. (That'll be Suze on the air guitar and me tickling the air ivories.)

Now this doesn't look like much of anything at first glance but if you lean in and look juuuust a liiiiittle biiiiit clooooser...


You've heard the slogan "Virginia is for Lovers"? Apparently, Malmo is for Fuckors.

And sluts. Filthy place.

I kid! It's lovely! As evidenced by a bounty of brightly painted buildings!

We arrived to this square round about lunch time and thought we had hit the meatball jackpot. What with all these restaurants, one of them is bound to be serving up some Swedish meatballs, right???!!!???

Wrong. So the boys set about doing some research. Jason immediately got on the horn demanding to know where in Malmo one could get a decent meatball.

While Suze and I pranced around the square, window shopping and photographing and just waiting for the boys to ring the meatball dinner bell.

Alas, there was not a single meatball to be found. Suze and I were positively crushed as we had been gearing ourselves up for a meatball-laden day trip for months. We watched this video and borkborkborked our way through hundreds of emails back and forth to each other.

So we stuffed our faces with some (farking delicious) burgers instead and took a scenic walk to take our minds off the meatball travesty.

Oh, yes...and we also took turns playing Name That Tune using borks. Gaga featured prominently. Borkborkbork (Can't read my) Borkborkbork (Can't read my) Borkborkborkborkborkborkborkbork (No he can't read my poker face). I guess that doesn't really translate to the written word.

And what do you know? We made it back to Copenhagen with plenty of time to hit up Tivoli Gardens. It's like the European version of Busch Gardens. A theme park! With BEER!

How many tourists does it take to find Tivoli's brewery?

Personally, I was hoping it was located on that ship.
It wasn't. But we had a very nice view of the ship while we sipped Tivoli's finest. And by Tivoli's finest, I'm clearly not talking about their barrels-made-into-cocktail-tables. That photo is not crooked. The table top is crooked. So very, very crooked.

Suze was generous enough to buy us each these team pins with our individual home country flags next to a Danish flag. This is Team British Commonwealth. (Booooooooorrrrriiiiiing.)

And this is the far more snappily-named Team America. (Fuck yeah!) Team America appears way more aggressive. Probably due to over confidence regarding their awesome name.

What better way to celebrate polishing off a few brews than climbing aboard a rickety contraption that slowly takes you hundreds of feet into the dark night sky and then drops your ass right back onto the ground at warp speed? (You'll note I wisely watched this mayhem from the sidelines.)

Then the boys' competitive streaks came out. Guns. They'll do it every time.

Things I learned about Jason: He is an excellent marksman! He beat the pants off that pansy Phil! If you don't believe me, just check out the prizes they won for us ladies. I got this awesome stuffed yellow cat...bear...bearcat? And Suze only got that dinky little plastic dinosaur.

Then, as if Yellow Bearcat wasn't enough, Jason won me a pink lei. I was overjoyed by this windfall!

My excitement, however, was short-lived. This is Tivoli's idea of a friendly clown guide. This is Heather's idea of endless nightmares.

Conclusion: Tivoli = quite pretty. (Except for the clowns.)

We rounded out the evening with a few rounds at Vesterbro brewpub. As I was kind of beered out and the place was pretty slow (it was a Sunday night after all) I had the bartender craft me a specialty cocktail which essentially tastes like a key lime pie in a glass. (Or as Anna would probably say if she were of age "It's sweet, sour and beautiful and it feels like a miracle.) We named it the Belle With A Bite. I think he was pretty impressed with it and he even promised me he was putting it on the menu. If anybody ever goes to Copenhagen, stop in and check the cocktail menu and report back to me.

It was so yummy, even Yellow Bearcat wanted a sip.

Turns out, Yellow Bearcat can't hold his liquor. You so crazy Yellow Bearcat!

On Monday, we set out for one more day trip since we felt like we had pretty much seen what Copenhagen had to offer. Suze opened her travel book and picked out our destination - Roskilde. "Suzette, what's in Roskilde?" we asked. "Giant vases." she replied. "Ok, awesome! Let's go!" we exclaimed.

"Suzette, what else is in Roskilde?" we asked. "A viking ship museum." she replied. "Ok, awesome! Let's go!" we exclaimed.

"Suzette, will the viking ship museum be located by the water with lots and lots of boats around?" I asked. "Probably so." she replied. "Ok, awesome! Let's go!" I exclaimed.

"Suzette, will I be able to climb around on some ships there?" I asked. "Sure. If that's your thing." she replied. "Ok, awesome! Let's go!" I exclaimed.

"Suzette, do you think one of the ships might have a picturesque Danish flag billowing in the breeze?" I asked. "Yes. For chrissakes yes. Now shut up and leave me alone." she replied. "Geez! A simple yes or no would have sufficed!" I exclaimed.

"Suzette, will there b......" *SMACK* "Yes, there are viking ships you idiot! Look at them! They're right in front you!"

I'm pretty sure these were meant for children to fill out.

And that was Roskilde.

We made it back to Copenhagen just in time for Phuze to grab their bags and head to the airport for their Manchester-bound flight and just in time for Jason and I to search the city for what we were told was an amazing hot dog, eat an amazing hot dog, grab our bags and then head to the airport for our London-bound flight.

A funny thing happened on the way to the hot dog though. We had been a bit whingey about how Copenhagen was just okay. We liked it. But we didn't love it. We were glad we had gone. But we probably wouldn't have any desire to go back. It was just...fine. However, the Great Hot Dog Hunt took us through the nicest part of the city we had seen. It was full of cute bars and cafes and shops and gorgeous cathedrals.

And colorful buildings...

And, well, let's not forget the hot dog. (And didn't we feel like a couple of jerks for judging a place we hadn't even properly explored. Oh well. You win some...)

But back to the hot dog. All natural, certified organic meat and toppings served from a clean-as-a-whistle food truck parked in a gorgeous square.

It was glorious. And I kind of want to go back to Copenhagen for another one.

Sadly, Jason had to stay on in London for work while it was time for me go home. But at least he knows how to send a gal off in style!

Flying the friendly skies indeed!

Though Elwin was very happy to have me back, he was less than thrilled about Yellow Bearcat's arrival. "Ai heered abowt yew dancin own de taybul at dat bar. Ai down't liek yew, stewpid bare...or kat...or whuteber yew ar."

And I'll leave you with this. A few days after I had returned home, I pulled up my iPhone map. Read the search window. If that isn't a testimony to how hard we were trying to find some damn meatballs in Malmo, I don't know what is.


The Tune's said...

Looks like another great trip! Glad you found the Tivoli has been quite a few years since I was there. I also was never impressed with Copenhagen but had no choice but to go often for work.

Sara said...

Always a fun read, and always looks like a good time!! :)

Cayman said...

I bumped into your blog while searching info about living in London and now read through your experiences in Denmark and Sweden. I'm sort of a fellow expat, been living in Ireland for a year now and trying to make my way to London. The Swedish word for meatballs is "k├Âttbullar" if you ever get a second chance to visit there :)

I'm originally from Finland so if you manage to read this in time and you find some free time (and budget), give Helsinki a visit. I'm sure you'll love it! Or during Christmas time go up north to meet the Real Santa.

Heather said...

Hi Cayman - thanks for your comment! And we have been to Helsinki actually - we loved it :)

Check out these two posts:

Vegemite Wife said...

Agreed, Helsinki was slightly more rocking than Copenhagen. Cayman - why didn't you warn us?