Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Copenhagen Trip - Day One

Our flight from Minneapolis left on time at 9:40 pm last night. Wynn was dressed in her pajamas to be ready to fall asleep on the airplane. Ann was packing a melatonin sleep aid, and I was carrying Tylenol PM, plus sleep masks for all of us.

Wynn stayed awake while we waited to board and as we taxied out for takeoff. Our seats were the middle three in the row on our 767; as it was a night flight it didn’t really matter about getting a window seat, yet we didn’t have to share space with anyone else. Wynn was out within 20 minutes of takeoff and stayed asleep until about an hour before landing, so about 6-1/2 hours. Ann got about 5-1/2 hours of zzzzs, and I managed to get about 4 – off and on, not in a solid block. (I just couldn’t figure out where to put my long legs…) That’s a personal best for Ann and me on long trips, and nothing surprising at all for Wynnie.

We got into Amsterdam about 15 minutes behind schedule, each of us still a bit tired and hungry despite having varying amounts of food on the flight. (I was the only one of us still awake for the dinner service; Wynn didn’t really eat her breakfast sandwich.) With about 2 hours between flights, we had enough time for a sorely needed McDonald’s break (as it was about breakfast-time back in Minnesota) before going through passport control and another security scan.

The scanner we went through at Amsterdam was an old-school magnetometer, so passengers weren’t being asked to take off their shoes. Wynn danced through it and got a beep; she had to go through again – and got another beep. We took her shoes off and put them with the bag going through the x-ray. Ann went through to the other side with no problem while I stayed behind (with 10 people behind me) – and Wynn froze up, utterly refusing to go through the scanner. Ann was encouraging her to walk, the security agents were getting antsy, and there were now 20 people behind us. She wasn’t listening to either of us, so I gave her butt a little push and she tottered through the portal without a beep. We collected our materials at the end of the line, and Wynn started crying the big tears of embarrassment and being scared and not wanting to be forced to do something.

The KLM flight to Copenhagen was a breeze; partly cloudy skies and good views of northern Europe for a short hop. Wynn was back in good spirits and being charming for the cabin crew, and arrival at Copenhagen airport was drama-free. I picked up rail passes out in the ticketing lobby and we took the train to the Osterport station – the neighborhood where our hotel is. It was a 15-minute walk from the train station to the hotel, something we do regularly in our neighborhood, but after 12 hours in transit, those cobblestones were a rough slog.

Our hotel room is quite nice – full size bathroom, a functional kitchen, plus a separate bedroom. There’s a Netto grocery store just around the corner (bigger than a convenience store, smaller than a ‘real’ grocery – kind of like an Aldi, but with name-brands) where we picked up chicken, eggs, bread, milk, vegetables, and juice so we could make our own dinner tonight. It’s nice after a day of hard travel to have a home-cooked meal.

It was about 7:45pm local time when we finished dinner, but our internal clocks haven’t tuned to local time yet – and sunset here is about 10 pm. So we walked several blocks down to the harborside to see the Little Mermaid statue. Wow, they aren’t kidding about the “little” part. Plenty of tourists around to take pictures of her, though. Wynn wants to come back and pose on the rocks near the statue.

She finally got into bed about 10pm local time – that’s about 3pm Minnesota time. Sunrise here is just after 4am – but we’re hoping to all sleep in late tomorrow.

There are places we’d definitely like to see on this trip, but for now we’re going to take it easy – more of a picnic-in-the-park trip rather than a race-around adventure.

It's 10:45 pm Danish time - about 3:45 Central time. This is probably when we'll be posting each day, so please check in with us each afternoon!

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