In the morning, I schlepped across town to meet my parents at the new hotel we were staying at, the Best Western Mercure. I guess it's a good thing that I don't have luggage yet because it was easier to drag all my stuff. On the way, I stopped off at what is supposedly one of the best bakeries in all of Denmark- Lagkagehuset. I asked the person behind the counter waht her favorite pastry was, and got her top 2- a cinnamon roll and a rhubarb pastry, as well as a sandwich. The sandwich was ok. The rhubarb pastry was delicious! The cinnamon roll was very different from cinnamon buns in the states- it was more of a potato roll filled with cinnamon, but it was actually more delicious in some ways than Cinnabon. We left our luggage at the hotel as it was way too early for check-in and we headed out to sightsee. Since it was still early and not a whole lot was open, we started out by crossing the bridge into Christianshaven. This is a little island neighborhood across the canal from the rest of Copenhagen. It was originally a swampy, wet area, but one of the kings was inspired by Amsterdam and had it filled in. Due to the tax incentives, it was once a merchant area. One of the main sights is a large and beautiful church with an external staircase that goes to the top for one of the best views of Copenhagen. Supposedly, you can also see Sweden from there. We didn't climb it- I don't even think it was open. We continued on to Christiania. At one point in time, part of this island was a military area, but then they abandoned it. During the 70s housing crisis, locals were upset about all this great land being empty, and they just sort of moved in. Today, it is still a hippie community full of artistic types. It also has a "green light district" where pot is openly sold in stores. Everything was shut down when we walked through, but we did get a feel for how artsy it was as all of the buildings were painted with bright, funky murals.
As things were starting to open, we headed back through the shopping district so that I could get shoes. My sneakers were still soaking wet from yesterday and were unusable. I think my mom's feet hurt just looking at me walk around town in my flip-flops, even though they're actually quite comfortable. Really, I think it's the cobblestones that end up killing your feet, regardless of the shoes. Fortunately, there are some flat strips that are maybe made for bikes. If you walk on those instead of the cobblestones, your feet don't hurt nearly as much.
In any case, we made a quick stop at Foot Locker to grab some sneakers. We also stopped at a bakery for a snack, and they had GLITTER CUPCAKES! Yes, the cupcakes were covered in edible glitter, so I had to get one. The next real sight we saw was Rosenborg Castle. We only saw the outside, but this is where the crown jewels are kept. The castle is very cool, and it is situated in a very nice park, where a lot of people were strolling or relaxing. Also, we got lucky and got to hear a bunch of the guards playing music. I'm not sure why, but it was a nice touch. Next, we headed over to the canal street as it was on the way to Amelienborg Palace, where the guards are changed daily at noon. It was a very cool experience- basically like a mini parade. The guard band comes parading in, playing fun music. Then, the guards put on a show of moving around. I thought it was hilarious that some of them had swords, some had guns, and some had both. However, it was the regular police who were keeping the crowd out of the way of the show. At this point, we figured the hotel might have our room ready for check in, and since my parents didn't sleep so much on the plane, naptime was the goal. Unfortunately, it started raining on our way home, so we were diverted into a sandwich shop where I got an unremarkable lunch. When we did get to the hotel, we had to wait a little and then were able to get into the room for a nap.
Rested, we hiked back over to the nearest canal area and got on one of the canal boat tours. The tour guide showed us lots of sights and told us all about them, quickly, in 3 languages. Perhaps because she was rushed or because she does this all day/every day she was pretty unemotional and dry. A recording could have done as well. We did need her to remind us to sit several times as we went under bridges. There's no way this ride would be allowed in the US as people would be intentionally bumping their heads and suing up the wazoo. Fortunately, we weren't in the US, so we got to go on a cool tour that involved going under some very short bridges. In addition to the various bridges, we saw various famous buildings and some of the areas of town we hadn't been to, including the (back of the) Little Mermaid. Overall, it was a relaxing and informative tour- a good activity to follow up an almost-sleepless flight and a day of extensive walking.
We took Stroget (the shopping street area) back, and got to see the last few seconds of a fire juggling show. Yesterday, I had seen a guy playing really good music on bottles. I think there are a lot of good street performers in that area and it just depends on how lucky you are as to who you get. All over town, there are these little hot dog stands selling all sorts of interesting Danish hotdogs. Luckily, I found an organic hotdog stand in the Stroget area and tried a veggie dog, "Danish style." The bun was not the standard potato roll. It was fluffy on the inside, but a bit crispy on the outside. Also it had seeds in it. On top of the dog went ketchup, mustard, crispy fried/dried onions, raw onions, and bread & butter pickles. In addition to being the first time I've had ketchup since I was a kid, this hot dog was definitely something speacial. There was a lot on it, but it tasted very clean and crisp. It may have been the best hotdog I've had and I will definitely try to recreate it at home. I'm glad I had the hotdog as the cafe we had dinner at served very small portions and I would have gone away hungry if I hadn't. Of course, maybe then I would have gotten something to eat at Tivoli, but I don't think it would have been as good as the hotdog. Tivoli is the second-oldest amusement park. It was modeled after some gardens in Italy, and they do a very good job of having pretty flowers all over the place. They also have the things you would expect at an amusement park- a few rides (although we didn't go on any), games that are impossible to win (although we did see some people walking around with 2-foot by 1-foot candy bar prizes, and overpriced food. However, in addition to the standard overpriced food, there are apparently some of the best restaurants in town within the park. People come here for fine dining, which is definitely not what I usually associate with an amusement park. I guess I don't usually associate going on a beautiful walk with an amusement park either, but Tivoli is a very nice and beautiful place to go for a walk. I'm not sure about the amusements though. When we first walked in, there was a large crowd (of adults, mostly) watching a show involving a clown and a bear (a person in a bear suit) wearing a tutu. It looked a little odd. The rides seemed like county-fair type rides as opposed to amusement park rides. Perhaps that's what people here enjoy.
What I'm enjoying is that my luggage arrived and so now I have all my stuff, plus my new stuff, plus the stuff my parents brought me, and no room in my luggage for any of it.