Curiosity: forget “Cherchez la femme” (Look for the woman.) “Cherchez l’histoire.” (Look for the story.)
We realized nine years ago, when we nearly missed a flight to Italy to board a cruise ship, that we should always plan a couple of extra days at the port of departure, both to avoid disaster in case of unexpected delays and to allow time to explore the departure city on our own. Thus it was not an accident that our Delta Airlines flight was about an hour from landing in Amsterdam on the morning of August 8, when a power failure of Delta Airlines computer systems grounded flights, causing cancellation of about 1,000 of 6,000 flights that day and more than 500 flights scheduled for the following day. Our connecting flight to Copenhagen was on KLM, so we didn’t know there was a problem until we read about it the next day in the NY Times.
Bleary-eyed, we noticed that our room overlooks Tivoli Gardens and amusement park. We learned later that the structure that looks like a mosque is a hotel and restaurant. The construction zone in the foreground is for expansion of the hotel and extension of the gardens
We napped for a couple of hours, then set out in the general direction of the little mermaid. Copenhagen is like the entire country: a cluster of islands intersected by canals and lakes. At the small canal on our way to the big one called Harbor Circle, we saw an old light ship (marked by the arrow) It’s now a houseboat.
We saw people gathered in a lovely garden courtyard behind the parliament building and went to see what sort of event was about to begin. There were no posters, just a lot of mostly young people gathered in clusters, apparently waiting for something.
A sudden cloudburst sent us and others without umbrellas under the portico of the Jewish History Museum that faces the courtyard. Then it was obvious: they were all playing Pokemon Go.
We headed out when the rain stopped, looking for an interesting place to eat. Nyhavn is another small canal, once a notorious red light district frequented by rowdy sailors. Now it’s lined by restaurants. Even in summer, patio seating features heat lamps and blankets.
The still family-owned LEGO company is headquartered in Denmark. We saw three LEGO stores on our walk. I thought these girls were cute.
Back at the hotel, Tivoli Gardens looked much more exciting in the dark. We were ready for more sleep.