Sleep is a fascinating concept. It’s incredible how your body uses it to replenish and repair itself. As a baby it’s how you continue your development outside the womb. This continues through childhood (don’t get Karen started on children in school whose parents allow their children to stay up far too late). Teenagers want to sleep just because they can. As an adult though you can generally get by on less sleep, presumably to aid you through the child rearing years. Then in your final years you seem to revert to sleeping more and more.
There has always been a minimum amount of sleep that I need to be able to function. I used to hate when work would disturb my sleep and I would be expected to make large consequential decisions within seconds of being rudely awoken at home. Even if I then didn’t then have to go into the office, I would lay awake hours concerned if I had made the right call.
Nowadays I still need a minimum number of hours to sleep. What has changed is that I now seem to also then need to make up any hours I have lost. I was only just stirring this morning when the alarm when off after almost 11 hours sleep at 8pm.
We got ourselves ready slowly for the day and headed down to breakfast. I was expecting a poor continental selection of dried breads and ham. Instead, we were greeted with a veritable feast of hot food, fresh bread, fruits and yoghurts. It was all very lovely in a very pleasant restaurant. We filled ourselves up to the brim and after going back to clean our teeth headed out for the day.
I decided to start without my knee brace and walking pole. I am still not convinced the brace isn’t doing as much harm as good causing problems with the rest of my leg. Indeed, later in the day we noticed that I now have a fluid build up around my shin area which I have not had before. Is that because of the brace or other general problems with drainage in my leg? Despite the ligament tears in my knee which do need resolving, is the fluid the real reason for the knee pain (as I have suspected)? Our conclusion today is that I probably need to see somebody regarding this when I get back – great more medical appointments.
We headed to Tivoli Gardens which was only one street from the Hotel. This was our Christmas Present from Barry & Ellie and we were very much looking forward to it. It is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and after being visited by Walt Disney is what he actually based Disneyland upon. Yesterday had been the 180th anniversary of its first opening in 1843. There was an excited buzz around the entrance and we managed to bypass the main queue as were redeeming our vouchers.
The park itself has rides set around the outside with the gardens being in the middle. Apart from a couple of steel roller coasters discretely set at the end of the gardens, the rest of the rides are more like old fashioned carnival attractions. It had a feel of the Pleasure Beach at Gt Yarmouth if someone actually cared about it what it looked like once you were in.
Without the boys telling us what we were doing next, we struggled at first mainly because the only map we could find to start with was in Danish. It became easier once we found an English one. We headed to the original 1914 roller coaster which like the Pleasure Beach still had a brakeman. It was delightfully quaint whilst being dishevelled at the same time. No one told you where to stand or which carriage to get on. You just sorted yourself out and it worked. We loved the ride.
We then tried to ride a mine train which was underneath the coaster but it broke as we queued. Barry had recommended ‘The Flying Trunk’ so we went and found that. He described it as surreal but we really enjoyed it. It was a cross between It’s a Small World and Peter Pan but went through several Hans Christen Andersen Stories.
From here we wandered around admiring the beautiful gardens, people and ride watching. We ended up in a lovely café where Karen had a beer and I had my usual Coke Zero. We were pleased that we had been bought tickets as we were not certain we would have come in without them. It is a lovely place and we would highly recommend it.
After walking round further and having our arms stamped for re-entry later we walked across the road to get on the Red Sight Seeing bus. Today we planned to cram everything in.
There was a lovely cooling breeze in the warm sunshine on the open air top deck. We saw parts of Copenhagen we would not have seen without it. The English commentary was amusing as well. My favourite sentence of the afternoon ‘Invited to us to admire the continuing universal dance between the new and old architecture of the buildings in central Copenhagen’. What pretentious twaddle and nonsense. I am not sure if that was just bad translation into English or just complete rubbish.
One of the main reasons for us getting on the bus was to save us the 4 mile round walk to see The Little Mermaid statue. The bus stopped there for 5 minutes where we joined several hundred other people all trying to take the same photos. I had been told it was small but it was larger than I imagined. Not fantastic but I am glad I have seen it.
We completed the tour and got off again at our original joining point. We nipped into Netto and bought some fruit and a couple of buns before going back to our room for a chill period.
After feeling refreshed we headed back into Tivoli Gardens via a different entrance. This led us to all the old traditional carnival stalls. They were fun to see. If they had been free, I would have tried them out but they weren’t so I didn’t.
Instead, we went to ride the mine train which was now working. We were sat in a mine train on water. For some reason we had laser pointers that we assumed we had to shoot at things. There were no instructions in Danish or English. We just had no clue what to do. Karen was convinced at one point that by pressing the laser we were making our carriage move. The scenes made no sense as we passed them. There were no targets to aim our lasers at. Karen was also convinced there was going to be a water flume drop at any point. We came off totally bemused and confused, as we did so it informed us that I had accrued 70 points whilst Karen had scored Zero. The record for the ride today was 24995!
We decided to ride the roller coaster again and it was just as enjoyable as before.
I then tried to persuade Karen onto some of the other rides but she was not convinced she would enjoy any of them so instead we went to the Aquarium that our pass gave us entrance to. There were a few pretty fish and plenty of very ugly ones. There was a separate tank of piranhas with very fearsome teeth.
We were by then getting hungry and had already decided to eat in the gardens as we wanted to be here to see it all lit up. The many pretty restaurants were real proper restaurants and not the standard theme park food that I get so tired of. The prices were no more than we had seen outside the gardens. We settled upon Mazzolis which was Italian. It was great. Karen had a pasta dish with lots of meat whereas I had the most enormous traditional pizza which had just tons of mozzarella, ham and potato. It was very good.
With very full stomachs we waddled back out into the prettiest part of the gardens just as all the lights were coming on. The gardens looked so beautiful with twinkling lights everywhere. We wandered all-round the gardens again as darkness fell taking various photos.
There was a jazz band playing on the main lawn. It was very pleasant although at times they did seem to be all playing different songs at the same time. I ‘get’ the Jazz style, just not when it is freeform. There seemed to be no structure to it and we were not sure when it was ending any more than the people playing. When it did end, they all introduced themselves. I think they were all called Christen.
And so, our fun packed full day in Copenhagen ended. It was a very short walk back to the Hotel only interrupted by a melee of people trying to break up a fight on the pavement.
It was gone 11pm before we turned off the lights. Hope I don’t need another 11 hours sleep tonight!