Monday, June 10, 2013

Copenhagen: City of Bikes

[Prologue re: traveling with extremely limited internet access. Okay, maybe it wasn’t like losing an appendage, but I definitely did felt the loss of not being able to email my friends and post the blog as I went. The house where we stayed didn’t have a connection so every once in a while I’d peddle to the nearby library and use their wifi for a few minutes to check my email on my phone and say a quick hello to Peter and Cheryl; it would never occur to me to miss my work email while traveling, but it was a little strange not to keep in close touch with my friends or post to the blog every night – the whole point of the blog being to document a trip, as much as I can, while it happens, since I will have forgotten so much by the next day. That being the case, I wrote the posts each evening and saved them and I am inserting the photos now and uploading. – M. June 21, 2013]
I think people know about Amsterdam's bike culture but I can't imagine it has anything on Copenhagen. Most city streets have designated bike lanes with designated bike traffic signals, there are huge parking lots for bikes near the Metro stations, the commuter train we take from the little town where we're staying into the city has designated train cars for bikes, and even the highways out of town have bike lanes -- the entire population seems to travel by bicycle. The country being so flat - it's no wonder; the country being so cold... not sure how that factors in so many months of the year - probably not at all, they're hearty folks, these Danes.
bike parking lot in Copenhagen
I arrived two days ago after a quick transfer in Reykjavik. Ellen met me at the airport in Copenhagen and we took the Metro to the S train (the commuter line) to the town of Sølrod Strand, a little town south of Copenhagen where Chuck and Ellen had rented a little holiday cottage. Chuck, Ellen, the kids, and Susan, a friend from Sacramento, had arrived the previous day and settled into this great little seaside bungalow. It was a ten minute walk from the S Train station to the cottage which is at the very end of a dead-end road; the backyard has a gate right to the beach – nothing fancy but very comfortable for the six of us with easy access to Copenhagen.  
bike car on the S Train
The rest of the day was spent visiting with some of Ellen's relatives who dropped by to greet me. Ellen picked this town for our base because it’s where her cousin Laila and Laila’s husband Bo live. I also took a nap as I hadn't slept at all on the overnight flight to Reykjavik; we had an early dinner on the back porch where we have so far eaten all our meals, the dining room in this house promises to go totally unused given the glassed in back porch, and then we all went to bed early with the northern night sky still completely full of light.
 
our little cottage
dinner on the back porch
Chuck, Steen, Susan, Torunn, Ellen
 
the gate connecting our backyard to the beach is just beyond the big tree to the right

the stretch of beach behind our cottage