When it comes to the Hop on Hop off bus, it’s best to let your inner tourist shine
I had heard that the best way to get an introduction to a city is a Hop on, Hop off bus. For your typical Copenhagen tourist maybe; not for me.
To me that sounded just way too “touristy.” There was no way I was going to do that.
For once in my life, I was wrong.
First we had to get our tickets.
The Copenhagen visitor’s center was located directly across the street from the Tivoli Gardens’ main entrance. That part was was easy. After pretty much wasting our time at the Hans Christian Anderson museum a block away (cheesy!), we walked outside and caught our bus. It was a red, double-decker number – and after only five lessons the previous week of Pimsleur Danish, I greeted the driver. He asked me if I was British because I spoke Danish with a British accent.
We got on our bus and began to ride. It was actually a fabulous idea. First we drove to a district right on the sea, with high rise (and high priced) condominiums. Around the corner, sitting in the water, was the bronze statue of “The Little Mermaid” (they call her Den Lille Havfrue) sitting peacefully in the water. Tourists were everywhere. I was thinking how very beautiful she was. Then a German man waded out to her and put his hands on her breasts while his wife took pictures. Ugh!
The real lesson of The Little Mermaid is “don’t give up your voice for a man”.
We passed the Stroget, Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square) and Nyhavn harbor. We went to Amalienbourg Castle where we were charmed by little children from the preschool playing and dancing on the lawn.
The driver pointed out barracks from World War II, the Black Diamond (the newer part of the Royal Library) and canal after beautiful canal.
At Rosenborg Castle we got out to see the Crown Jewels. I bypassed the fantastic collection of weapons and headed directly downstairs to the jewels. What can I say? I am a crow and I like shiny things.
Compared to the Smithsonian these were not jewels under heavy security. I was surprised to see, on the lower floor of the Rosenborg, the rubies, diamonds, sapphires, gold, gold and more gold. I could easily see how a jewelry designer could be inspired to recreate these pieces in vermeil and rhinestones.
Every time we were done in a place, we waited a few minutes and we dutifully got back on the bus. Then one time we didn’t.
We knew the time had come for us to “hop off.” We left the red bus behind feeling as if we owned the city. We walked and walked and walked and knew exactly where we were headed. We were ready to touch the city for ourselves.
*photo of Black Diamond courtesy of RachelIH from flickr and photo of Rosenborg Castle by Leslie