Friday, May 22, 2009

6'0 is not tall

I am experiencing something here that has never ever happened to me before--I am of average height. It makes me want to stand up straighter and it is a very odd feeling. The tall, blonde, blue-eyed Swedes have obviously migrated south into Denmark. There are beautiful, tall people here roaming the streets everywhere. And for the first time in my life, 6'0 isn't tall. How about that?

I went to Tivoli Gardens this morning and the term "garden" is slightly misleading. Actually, quite misleading. It's more of a b-level amusement park for children. It's a bit small and loads of rides for children. It was quite expensive to enter, but it was colorful and European, kind of like a European Enchanted Village (Federal Way, WA). But I did manage to find delicious Belgian waffles wafting through the air that drew my nose straight to it. I requested a waffle with chocolate sauce. I am not a chocolate person, but when presented with true European chocolate that is the real thing and not that waxy stuff you find everywhere else, I quickly and effortlessly morph into a chocolate lover. This chocolate sauce did not disappoint. I was actually licking the wrapper and getting chocolate all over my face like a little kid. People were coming by and laughing at me. It was fabulous.

Then I went to tourist information to ask how to get to the address that had the fitness expo to pick up my number and timing chip. Imagine this--the tourist office had numbers! You had to pick a number to get helped. A European city with order? Say it isn't so!! How wonderful! The place was clean and white and everyone was helpful and sweet.

I found the bus, determined (on my own thank you very much) which side of the street to be on, and then got on a bus that ended up going a different route than what the tourist information said it would...did I panic? Nope! Still found the stop I needed, followed the map and found the expo. I also asked a man sitting next to me on a bench if he could point out the start line to me on a map. He then proceeded to tell me stories of the London marathon, the Berlin marathon and American marathons. He was so kind and nice and fun to talk to. Copenhagen so far is a level above in kindness. They are the friendliest people.

I then managed to find my bus back and got a beautiful tour of the city in the process, all for 21 krones. Copenhagen is a biking city like Amsterdam, with canals and blondes wizzing by on bikes. Beautiful open squares with centuries old buildings and tulips blooming about. It's a breathtaking and clean city.

The place where I am staying, however, is definitely not the Marriott. When walking toward my hotel I saw the infamous "H" out front. I have determined throughout my travels that when a hotel has an "H" outside, it stands for "Help me, I am a ghetto hotel and have to let you know I actually am a hotel because I look so different than any Hilton." So when I saw the H, I knew I wouldn't be living in the lap of luxury. I was right. But the location is fantastic. I am literally across the street from the train station that takes me to and from the airport. I just walked a block from the train this morning with my luggage. I am 5 minutes from Tivoli, 5 minutes from the Hard Rock Cafe, 10-12 minutes walk from the start and finish of the marathon, 10 minutes or so from all the tours, 15 minutes or a little more from shopping. It's great. But I do have a pretty low level hotel. Oh well. I can't have everything.