This was the most recent journey we made (except for the few days in Dublin but those were for professional reasons, so technically they do not count). Never been to Copenhagen before, neither me nor my lass so we came up with the idea of going there for a long weekend. Plans were made, looked at train and flight connections and settled on taking taking the train from Dortmund to Copenhagen. Flights were either way too expensive or too complicated, like flying from Dortmund to London, then from London to Aarhus or Billund and then via train to Copenhagen. So train it was, and tickets were bought well in advance, like a month or so.
God, i really started to hate trains…
There are two train connections available, first one going from Dortmund to Hamburg and from Hamburg on to Copenhagen via Kolding and Middelfart and the second one from Dortmund to Hamburg, then from Hamburg to Puttgarden where the train goes onto a ferry which leaves from Puttgarden and arrives at Roedby (Funen) in Denmark, from where the train continues right to Copenhagen. The latter one takes approx. 8 hours, the route via Kolding takes like close to 11 hours. No question, we went for the shorter route and were wondering how that whole “train on a ferry thing” would work out.
Couple of days before we had to leave i heard something about possible delays because of some issue with the tracks near Essen Central, and went right to www.bahn.de to check for possible delays on the day of our departue. Guess what, a delay of approx. 25 minutes for the train from Dortmund to Hamburg was predicted on the date we were supposed to leave. Since we had like only a quarter of an hour in Hamburg to change trains that 25 minutes delay would have made us miss our connection in Hamburg and we wouldn’t have made the train to the ferry. Kept an eye on the train connection and possible delays every now and then and was quite happy to see that for the day of our departure no delay was predicted on the website (checked on the evening of November 27th).
On the morning of November 28th we left for Dortmund Central at like 5:11am to make sure we have plenty of time to catch the train which was supposed to leave Dortmund at 6:25am. Arrived at the Central Station, got ourselves a steaming hot coffee and went straight to platform 8, the platform the train was leaving from. And what we saw when we arrived at platform 8 made me go “Whoa…..wtf??”. IC 2214 (that’s the train we had to take) had a delay of 20 minutes (why the heck was there no delay warning on their website the day before, they must have known that there will be delays yet they didn’t display any online). That 20 minute delay became a 35 minute delay eventually and we entered the train knowing that we would miss the connection in Hamburg. Since the Deutsche Bahn isn’t known for their punctuality we had no hope that we would arrive just in time because the train catching up on the delay. To make matters worse the train was also rerouted and stopped in Hamm, which added another 15 minutes to the delay. Good bye ferry. The journey to Hamburg felt a bit like this
Anyway, we arrived in Hamburg about an hour late (give or take a few minutes) and had to ask for an alternate route. The lady at the information desk informed us about the next train that leaves for Copenhagen from Hamburg Altona and we could use that as an alternative. So we took the S-Bahn to Hamburg Altona and then the train to Copenhagen. Bad news, that was the train we didn’t want to take from the very start as it goes all the way up to Kolding / Middelfart. Having no other choices we took said train and had another like seven and a half hours fun sitting on our arses doing nothing but either watching a movie on the tablet or listening to music. Finally arrived in Copenhagen at around 5pm, totally exhausted from like 11 hours on a train (and loads of money spent on coffee which is ridiculously expensive when bought in trains……FU Deutsche Bahn).
Arrived in Copenhagen
In a nutshell, we reached Copenhagen Central at about 5ish in the afternoon, exhausted, hungry and thirsty. Went straight for the ATM to get some Danish Kroner for food and beverage. Outside the central station there were a number of Hot Dog stalls, so we grabbed one Hot Dog each, got us a Coke and then went back inside the Central Station to figure out which train to take to the Hotel in Tarnby. Took us a few minutes to get that sorted, and we took the S-Tog (english: commuter train) to Tarnby, went straight for the hotel to check in and get rid of our baggage (which started to become really heavy and annoying, though we thought we were traveling lightly.
The hotel we booked a room in is a budget hotel located about a 10 minutes train ride away from the city center. Though it is a budget one, it was very nice and the room we booked (double) was very clean, staff was extremely professional and polite and it had free Wi-Fi throughout the entire hotel, not only the lounge/lobby. Coffee was 10 Danish Kroner (except for breakfast where you could grab as much coffee as you wanted). Sure, could have booked a room right in the city center but then why book like 4 stars and pay six times the amount when you are out and about pretty much all of the day and just need a place to sleep? I can only recommend Go Hotel Copenhagen and if we should visit Copenhagen again we certainly will book this hotel again. So we checked in, brought our bags up to our room and then went back to the train station to catch a train to the city center again.
Copenhagen City Center
Took slightly less than 10 minutes to get from Tarnby back to the city center. It was like 7 pm and we decided to take a walk down the shopping mile which is quite long (roughly 3km). Right at the central station i noticed a somewhat unusual vehicle, something i have never seen before. I always thought those Hot Dog stalls were kinda static, like the owner locks it down in the evening, then goes home and returns to it the next morning. Boy was i wrong, in Copenhagen the stall owners take their stalls home with them it seems hehe.
Since there are so many stalls you see a lot of them in traffic from i guess 8pm onwards. There are two types of those moveable stalls, the small moped ones like in the pictures above and then there are stalls that the owners like pull with the support of a motor. Never seen that before, but quite funny if you see dozens of them in the traffic. And believe me, there are many many stalls in the city center.
Down the shopping mile we went to see numerous stores that sell things like postcards, souvenirs, gifts and kitsch as well as a number of Lego stores and of course street musicians. Usual suspects were there too, like clothing stores, restaurants, fast food stalls, etc. Weather wasn’t too good really, and to top it off it became somewhat windy. What also caught our attention were people standing there looking like Kenny from Southpark holding signposts that advertised new restaurants. The way they looked they must have been standing there for hours and i wonder if they get paid for it or if it is some sort of friendly turn. If the latter then i probably would look for new friends that do not make me stand in the cold for hours. A few more pictures of the shopping mile coming up now:
I could ramble on a bit more about Copenhagen but will do so in the second part of this blog post which should be online pretty soon. There will be some info on Tivoli (the famous funfair) and Nyhavn (also very popular). So stay tuned and check back within the next days. Have to sort the pics to post first :)