The last week has gone by in a blur, and finally there is a chance to write. As Mico said yesterday morning, we had our wedding and then it seemed we woke up to find ourselves in Copenhagen. Our wedding day, June 10, in Porvoo, was all we could have asked for, and in spite of a lot of work, as it was really DIY (with no running water for dishes, etc.), we really had the time of our lives. The weather, around 30 degrees, was unusually hot for the time of year, but with the sea breeze very comfortable, and the cottage was like our own little paradise set amongst tall wild flowers and grasses. After our last guests left we spent the evening going back and forth between the sauna and the sea, and were still out there swimming at 4:00 a.m. At this time of year when Finland does not experience true night-time it felt very magical.
With barely time to catch our breath we returned home on the 12th to get ready to leave again on the 14th, and arrived on the overnight ferry from Turku, Finland in Stockholm, Sweden at dawn on the 15th. Grabbing cappuccinos in the old town we set off over some 650 kilometres (over the course of nine hours) to Copenhagen. It was a long and exhausting day, particularly for Mico who is the sole driver here as I don't drive a manual. The saving grace for the otherwise dull and monotonous scenery was a charming town by the name of Norrköping, which we stumbled across as we made a stop to stretch our legs, and whose claim to fame, we were told by a local character (in a brown leather apron and smoking a wooden pipe), is the longest boulevard of trees in Europe. There we did a food run for lunch goodies - a baguette from the "Bread Boutique"(love the name), a French triple cream brie from the local cheese shop, and lightly smoked salmon from the local fish market. Heaven!
So far so good, but what goes up must come down, and our turn came when we arrived in Copenhagen without reservations. Looking online back home we found things pricey for the customary amenities and decided to wing it and see what we found on arrival - imagining perhaps searching for a B&B outside of town, if necessary. Arriving ragged at 5:00 p.m., however, we had no energy left for anything so went to the local tourist office for assistance. We would not have much selection, we were told, but there would be something, and much to our surprise two minutes later it seemed we were really in luck. We would have our own "spacious apartment" with private bathroom (one thing I didn't want to compromise on, though somewhat rare in Copenhagen) and with Jacuzzi tub even(!) - also included. a sitting room and nice courtyard. We were excited.
We met the owners at what we thought was our apartment, only to be whisked across the hall after a brief conversation - "this", she said, "is your room" - or mouse-hole as I like to call it. The room contained two single beds, a coat rack, and two fold out chairs which Mico had to fold up and tuck under the bed in order to fit our two suitcases and ourselves in there, taking one out to use as a laptop table as needed. There was a mystery door in the room, which I somehow imagined lead to the sitting room and bathroom. The private bathroom, it turned out was in the owners' apartment across the hall and shared with other guests - we can consider ourselves fortunate there was only one at the same time as us, as apparently there can be as many as ten. Having to go in the middle of the night, or to shower in the morning, one could only hope not to run into other apartment dwellers while scurrying past the common stairwell in nightclothes. Behind the mystery door was someone else's room. There was no sitting room, unless you wanted to sit in the owners' apartment at their sparse table set (oddly) amongst student lockers, clothes and shoes. Locking the door was near impossible as it was hanging somehow and had to be forced and lifted - I couldn't do it, and Mico broke a sweat each time as he fought with it. The shower head was so clogged that rinsing shampoo and conditioner out of my hair involved a 30 minute dance amongst the scarce plops that fell. It was noisy. Unsurprisingly, the Internet did not function properly either. I could only grimace each time as I passed the owners en route to the facilities.
If this were the price of a hostel I would not complain, but for what we paid we should have had a decent hotel room. I rank this the second worst place I have ever stayed at. First prize still goes to the place that suggested I should wring out the toilet paper after using it and "recycle".
If visiting Copenhagen do not stay at Old City Apartments on Skindergade!
Our spirits were lifted yesterday with a day of sightseeing, and there is certainly plenty of lovely old architecture to be found, and the canal area of Nyhavn was a particular favourite for me. A visit to Rosenberg Castle was also very enjoyable and gave a sense of Danish history. Perhaps due to our negative experience with the accommodations, however, we were happy to leave this morning and don't have any desire to return.
We arrived in Lubeck, Germany today and now have a 50 m2 apartment with full kitchen and all we could need, for a third of the price of the place in Copenhagen. All is well again.