Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 13 - Copenhagen

Day 13
- Quotes of the day
- Rain, thunder, and lightning
- Roskilde
- Dinner in the hood

Let me be cruel, not unnatural;
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.

In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed

We are seeing an amazing number of kids under 5 and lots of pregnant women (even very pregnant women on bikes).

We get a brief note from our exchangers, they have managed to hang on at the beach long enough that the sun came out for a few days (and there was fog all around them, north and south). Here, we are having torrential storms. Seems pretty clear that we are locked into some zero sum weather pattern with them.

Lunch is sandwiches from Lagkagehuset, tuna and chicken, eating in today. We both notice they don’t quite get the filling all the way down the baguette, hmmmmm…$23 including some crackers I can’t resist.

As we drive out for Roskilde, we decide to head west through Copenhagen. This gives us our first (and only) opportunity to personally activate the lowering of the bollard for us to cross over from Holmen the short way out. Down goes the bollard, green goes the light, over we go, nervously. All is fine, we decide to come back via freeway and the back route, so that is why it’s our only experience with lowering bollards (demeaning bollards, cutting down bollards, putting bollards six feet under?).

Then with the weather clearing to just overcast, we complete the 40 kilometer drive and head for the Viking ship museum and a tour on the fiord. The museum has pieces of real ships sunk a thousand years ago (see pics). They also have replicas floating in the water outside; you can even book a trip on them. We go to pay the museum fee ($20 each) and one of the Visa devices is broken and the other will not accept our card (debit only). This causes a bit of friction between us, I think that three museums in a row (prime tourist spots) that don’t take an international credit card sinks the country to second world status (overstated, I admit), and of course DB is telling me I have it wrong. Other than Germany, where tourist spots did take Visa, it was only the restaurants that didn’t and they didn’t pretend to take only certain types of Visa cards, I haven’t been anywhere including China and India and Argentina where they are this adamant about not taking Visa. Doubt this is part of the financial crisis, it sure doesn’t make all that much sense to me in a country that is so damn expensive.

The other semi-plausible possibility is that since they charge a 2.5 - 4% fee to use Visa, nobody does and the staff doing the ringing up has grown so rusty they can't remember how to use the machine when signature is required. That does happen, shouldn't at places with as high Visa traffic as tourist museums.

We head over to the boat ride on the fiord, they are sold out for the 3pm tour, the only time other than Noma something has been booked full and we can’t get in. We decide not to wait for the 7pm cruise, tour the town on foot (KB: check out the pics of the Danish Fat Boy recliner), clearly this is not the chi-chi area of Copenhagen we are used to, more like Modesto than SF. The other two pics: famous cathedral (massive, brick, done over different eras) and a nini-model of Roskilde.

Then head back to our place to once again find the Tour de France at just the right spot with top contenders on the time trial course, and another spurt of heavy rain. Lance climbs back on the podium, Alberto is golden.

It is still raining lightly, we decide for dinner to ride our bikes over to the local spot where we had brunch on Sunday, Yes, you read correctly, we rode our bikes in the rain to dinner. Einor unenes Copenhagenerens. Rhetorical question: they do this in winter?

Frederiks Bastion (or is it Christians Bastion? Maybe next year they change the name?) for dinner. We are two of the only five diners tonight. And, the food is extraordinary, a first course of potato and onion soup topped with burnt onion salt (rich and extremely good, made to be shared) and four small (very small) fresh Icelandic shrimp with 4 small elderberries (I think) and some other exotic local seasoning and herbs, served on a plate of ice, with dry ice underneath so the dish comes in its own fog. We eat these with our fingers, almost too delicate and beautiful to eat with forks. Too small to share and too good not to, we each get two exquisite mouthfuls. UNBELIEVABLE! This guy could be a top sushi chef just on presentation alone.

Main courses: one of chicken, the other of rooster, both excellent, one with beets done three different ways, the other with fresh carrots, and of course the bowl of new potatoes. Then we share a dense small (phew!) slice of chocolate cake (sort of like a decadence, though I think there is some flour) and served on shregr (my spelling), which is a tart yogurt made by the restaurant. Bottle of sauvignon blanc/viognier blend, total is $180.

We chat up the chef over dessert, not hard as his night of cooking is over. He’s local, spent two years cooking in Oslo. His food is very impressive and he is really working hard to get the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through and enhance what you’re eating, not overwhelm the food, my kind of guy!

Ride back, it isn’t raining, thankfully. We hear from our exchange partners that things have looked up at the beach, they’ve been roaming up and down the coast and even playing tennis and sitting by the pool (on other hand, my dips have come to an end with the eternal overcast and intermittent rain).

1 comment:

  1. We do ride the bike during the winter :-)