|Cafes along the canal in the Nyhavn waterfront district of Copenhagen|
We took a taxi from the airport to the Hotel Maritime, located in the Nyhavn waterfront district. When we paid our driver with a credit card, he advised us to try to avoid using our credit card in Copenhagen because Copenhagen imposes a tax on credit card transactions; instead, he suggested that we exchange some of our US currency for Danish krona and pay for any purchases we might make in Copenhagen with krona, thereby avoiding the tax. We took his advice and withdrew 2,000 krona (about $350) from a nearby ATM machine on the following day and that did, in fact, allow us to avoid taxes on what otherwise would have been credit card transactions. But here’s the rub: when we got back to the US, I compared the exchange rate I got on my ATM withdrawals with the exchange rate I received on my credit card transactions and guess what? When that’s factored in, it all turned out to be a wash: the poorer exchange rate on ATM withdrawals almost exactly offset the tax I otherwise would have incurred on credit card transactions. What you lose on the curves, you make up on the straightaway.
And now back to our hotel. Its location couldn’t have been better: it was in the city center on a quiet street within a few blocks of the Nyhavn canal, the Royal Library, the Royal Theatre, and Christiansborg Palace. The hotel’s staff was pleasant and helpful. And the buffet breakfast included in our room rate turned out to be more than ample. But, despite those three positives – location, staff, and breakfast – the room itself was quite disappointing. It was small, cramped and poorly-appointed and I’d be hard-pressed to recommend the hotel for that reason. Fortunately, though, we spent little time in our room so the disheartening hotel accommodations failed to dampen our spirits.
|Dining in the cafes in the Nyhavn district|
In the late afternoon, after settling into our room, we left the hotel and ambled over to the Nyhavn, seating ourselves at Ved Kajen, one of many nearly indistinguishable outdoor cafes lining the canal. For our first meal in Copenhagen, the choice was almost forced upon us: I ordered a plate of three kinds of herring, Sue ordered a plate of two kinds of smoked salmon, and we shared. Very Danish and very delicious.
Copenhagen is a picture book city, what with all its wonderful fountains and statues, canals and sidewalk cafes, and its extraordinary architecture that makes one feel that he is visiting a medieval kingdom. It is like living in a fairy tale and we played it to the hilt, two carefree wanderers in a foreign land.
|Overhead rides at Tivoli Gardens|
|The Gelfion Fountain in Copenhagen|
|The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen|
On the morning of Tuesday, July 9, we checked out of the Maritime Hotel and took a taxi to the cruise ships pier. We were welcomed aboard the Norwegian Star and finally were ready to begin our Nordic cruise. I’ll tell you about the cruise in my next post.