Posts Tagged With: Hot Dogs

Last Day in Copenhagen

 

Brooke enjoying some wine in ole 4026Our wonderfully relaxing and easy-living nine day Baltic Sea cruise has come to an end. The time has come to leave the boat. We started the day with one final delicious breakfast buffet at our favorite spot on Deck 11 of ye olde Norwegian Sun. And, for the last time, walked away from the table without worrying about  settling a check or removing a single dish. After docking in Copenhagen, Brooke and I attempted to remain onboard as long as we could but around 9:00 AM the crew pulled us off kicking and screaming. It was quite a scene that disturbed some of the older passengers. In all seriousness, we’ve enjoyed the cruise but we’re ready for what’s next.

Copenhagen's most famous art musemSo, we find ourselves back in Copenhagen for one last day before we close the book on our Northern European leg. Now off the boat and away from the all-English all-accomodating lifestyle, we’re back to the little things being a touch more difficult and occasionally frustrating. Today’s particular challenge was our attempt to spend some time in the local library. We figured a Copenhagen “bibliotek” would be a good place to cool our heels for a few hours, flip through some travel books and hop online. We were able to pinpoint the location, determine walking directions, and check the hours. But what the Danish language website did not make clear is that this funky library is open on Sunday only to library card holders who must swipe their way in via key card. See? Frustrating. Also, please don’t alert the Copenhagen Transit Authorities, but due to issues with the ticket machine, we managed to take a pair of rides on the local trains without forking over a single dime.

Philospohical Phil!We did manage to make a visit to the renowned Glyptotek museum in central Copenhagen. The museum offers free admissions on Sundays and boasts an impressive art collection started in 1882 by beer baron Carl Jacobsen of Carlsberg fame (see our post mentioning Carlsberg here). Jacobsen also donated, among others, the sea-side dwelling Little Mermaid statue that is forever associated with Copenhagen. We strolled through a handful of the galleries, enjoyed some of the architectural features of the museum building as much as the art and took in some great paintings and sculptures. There was art by Degas, Manet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Rodin, Gaughin and two dozen other European artists and painters I should probably know but have already forgotten. The sculpture gallery was loaded with marble and bronze creations and was positively great, although I wouldn’t want to be there at night. My personal favorite was a sculpture of Perseus severing Medusa’s head in action. We were kind of thrilled when we saw that the museum was the home of Rodin’s iconic “The Thinker” as part of a comprehensive Rodin gallery. But that was until we learned that there are like twenty other “original” casts of the statue throughout the world. Maybe not as special, but the Glypoteck is still a great museum.

Amazing lunchOf course, for lunch, we couldn’t resist one last hot dog. This time we asked around for the best hot dog in the city. We went gourmet with arguably the best deluxe wiener in town from Nimb. These dogs were a bit more expensive, but they delivered the goods. Gourmet taste-bud satisfaction from one end of the bun to the other.

Final impressions of Copenhagen? It’s kind of a great city. Locals give off a vibe of general contentment – they seem especially merry whilst mounted on bicycles. The town is sophisticated, forward thinking and awash in eye-brow raising design. Highbrow, but accessible. Expensive, but doable. The town even managed to surge my own bit of creativity. Growing up, my friends and I used to watch a lot of professional wrestling. We were always coming up with ideas for new gimmicks for the wrestlers to use in the rings. I now have a fantastic concept: The Angry Dane. He’s big, he’s blonde and he rides a bicycle to the ring which he locks to the ringpost once he arrives. During his match, The Angry Dane illegally uses the Bicycle as a weapon against his opponent. The announcers will call that move the “Twelve Speed.” Pure gold. Someone get me Vince McMahon on the phone.

The Denmark Airport Bids Adieu

Now, we’re off to Romania and Bulgaria as we open the door on our Eastern European segment. We start by visiting yet two more nations that we know virtually nothing about. (As always, we’re open to suggestions!) A pair of flights from Copenhagen to Vienna and then Vienna to Bucharest and yet another quick time change where we jump ahead two hours. We selected a landing spot in Bucharest in part because of it’s Eastern European location in relation to points Westward and in part because, well, it sounded like an interesting place to visit. It’s so cool that this trip has allowed us to point to a strange, new location on a map and just go. By tomorrow, we should have some new insight into yet another town that seems to be begging to be discovered. We’ve already begun reading up on Romania to prep a bit for our visit by taking a sneak peek at the culture, food and airport taxi scams.

For the next month, our schedule gives us much more flexibility on where to go and when. Our next scheduled flight isn’t until Mid-October. Little by little, I’m discovering that the world is such a big place, but it is also a finite place as well. Who knows what we’ll see, but the odds are that it will be worth sharing.

-Phil

Brooke studying a painting in the Glyptotek’s French Impressionist wing.

 

Our final dinner in the Norwegian Sun! Ah, we’ll miss meals like this.

Another look at the outstanding sculpture gallery in the Denmark museum.

Our exceptional bartender Maxwell from the Windjammer of the Norwegian Sun. He took good care of us many nights.

Categories: City Visits, Copenhagen, Destinations, Differences, Eating, Europe, Flights, Museums, Unusual Experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Japanese Baseball!

Tokyo Dome ScoreboardIf you had asked me back in June what was a “must do” on our trip, I would have said hitting up some international sporting events. Cricket, Rugby or even Sumo Wrestling. Want to see some sports live and in action. Yesterday, our evening in Tokyo brought us the highlight of the day and one of my favorite moments of the trip so far – attending a Yomiuri Giants baseball game at the Tokyo Dome!

Holy crap on a stick, this was cool! It was baseball…in Japan. Brooke and I had an amazing time watching the game against The Hiroshima Carp (one of only 12 other teams in the league.) Wow, what an experience. Our seats were relatively high up, but the entire space was relatively small for a dome so we could see it all. The Giants wear the exact same colors of the San Francisco Giants and the team had six mascots running around the field. Six of them! Also of note were that ALL of the beer vendors were women. There were working hard: hustling up and down the aisles with min-kegs strapped to their back and big smiles and colorful outfits. And, yeah, the beers may still cost $10, but at least it was a high quality Asahi brew served by a very cute girl!

...And there were two more mascots after this!Tigers fans are loud and amazingBut the most eye-popping part of the baseball game was the crowd. Through every inning, a small brass band and loud drum led the entire stadium in a wide variety of cheers, songs and chants. Hard to do it justice in this post, but the enthusiasm and energy was infectious and constant. Every batter had his own song and when a homerun was hit – look out – the roof almost came off the place. I’ve never seen anything like it! It was like a college football game with a drum corps and even a vocal (but polite) visitors section. Remarkable. I love baseball in the states, always have, and now I think I love baseball in Japan.

The game play was exactly the same as in America and it was a high-quality competitive match up. As good as any MLB game (and there were some American players on each team). No 7th inning stretch, but there was plenty of singing. We never could find the bullpen- believe it to be behind the stands. And, sure, the Tokyo Dome is a little bit on the older side, but who cares?  With a nearly sold out crowd and those never-ending chants, the good guys won 5-0. To celebrate the win, the home team lined up and bowed to the fans! We never knew what was going to happen next. After the game, player #25 Takahashi was honored for hitting his 300th home run. At least we think that’s what was going on…baseball may be an international language, but the signs and announcements were still in Japanese. After a small ceremony, he rode on the back of a golf-cart and threw out several autographed baseballs to eager fans waiting in the outfield stands! The game is so fan friendly that it’s dizzying. A night out at the ballpark was anything but ordinary and an absurd amount of fun. Go Giants!

-Phil

Brooke and Phil at Tokyo Dome!

Categories: Destinations, Eating, Exploring, Japan, Landmarks, Self Guided Tours, Sports, Temples, Tokyo | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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