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30 June 2005

waiting for the all powerful

when i checked into my hostel yesterday, the staff person, olivia, gave me a free guide called 'playtime, a non-commerical guide for tourists on a low budget in copenhagen' put out by an organization called use it. great guide; exactly what a traveling me needs. it outlines several different walking tours and transportation options and includes tons of other useful information. that's two thousand pounds of useful information. think about it. heavy, isn't it? i'm going to write use it and tell them how much i appreciated their guide.

today i followed one of the walking tours outlined in this guide. covered a lot of danish ground. i'll let the pictures tell the story, but in summary, i saw some danish people, danish buildings, danish fish, danish birds, and danish insects. many times when a fly lands on me i think to myself, 'that's not an american fly, that's a [in this case] danish fly. i wonder if he has an accent.' ha. then i try to imagine the fly speaking danish. for some reason this always makes me laugh inside, sometimes outside, and the fly becomes no longer a pesky little insect, but a danish gentleman or lady dropping in to say hello, in his or her native tongue of course. hello danish fly, thank you for stopping by.

the guide indicated the inner city tour would take approximately three hours, but i believe i spent close to double that, stopping here and there for pictures or to walk the entire way around a building or to take a nap next to the black diamond. i can't remember the last raining day; the weather has been that great. today the sun was out and i was sleepy near the end of my tour. i saw several people reading and laying out by the water, and my 'sit down and rest for a few minutes' turned into a 'lie down and sleep for an hour'. i did consider the fact that the sun was shining brightly and i wasn't wearing any sun protection, but only briefly, dismissing the burn potential. my skin is probably the darkest it's ever been; my almost three months of walking outside must have conditioned my skin beyond burn level. what a great nap. i woke up and continued the tour and was soon back near the beginning. here i sat for about a half an hour and watched some americans sing american music in front of the 7-11.

random points:

. the copenhagen street lights aren't situated on posts, they are hung from a complex network of cables. seems like maintenance of this system would be more onerous, but it is very interesting.

. copenhagen is the most bike friendly city i've visited to date. i've heard that the bike reigns supreme in amsterdam, but copenhagen must be close behind. there are bike lanes in the streets and there are special traffic signals just for the bikers. this brings me to my next point.

. 99% of the people i observed, including those driving a motor vehicle as well as bikers and pedestrians, obeyed the traffic signals. i think i only saw one person j-walk today and when a biker crossed the street against the light, two separate car drivers honked their horns repeatedly with accompanying grimacing facial expression even though the biker wasn't affecting their course. i waited with others to cross the street until little red person in the pedestrian signal changed to a little green person... even though there was absolutely no traffic in site. everyone just stood there waiting for the all powerful signal to change.

. the guidebook indicated that the little mermaid is the most photographed woman in copenhagen.

. during the tour, i stopped in at a 7-11 to grab a drink and a twix, and while i stood outside eating it, i saw this sticker. the words at the top read 'while you were sleeping'. image of gary coleman. the word at the bottom: 'innocent'. bizarre, eh?

. i had had my chuck taylors on yesterday as they're ideal airport footwear. didn't feel like digging out my new hiking boots today. at the end of the day today, i had blisters on both of my feet. i haven't really taken a close look yet, but i know they're there. i'd guess very small; the pain isn't too bad. i think i hadn't tied the laces tightly enough and my feet were able to move around a bit in the shoes as i walked. first blisters of the trip. i've been pretty concious about taking care of my feet. without them i wouldn't get very far. i'll have to see what the damage is in the morning.

back in the hostel room i met nick. went out in the lounge to write a bit. nick came out and i invited him to sit down. very cool guy. canadian from montreal, living in seattle enrolled in a phd program for astronomy, biking down to slovenia with his friend currently living in lund, sweden. even though we talked about where we'd been and where we were going, i didn't get that traveler competition vibe from him. at all. talked about biking and i asked him about tycho brahe. determined that nick is the type of person with whom i could go on a month long bike tour.

while brushing my teeth i noticed the very stylish 'i fell asleep in the sun with my sunglasses on' bandito mask. apparently i'm not beyond burn level. went to sleep on the tower. two girls sleeping on the lower tower tiers; i put their accent on australian or new zealand. they seem to stick to themselves, i wouldn't use the term 'unfriendly'. not open. slightly uncharacteristic of the accent.

posted by paul on Thu 30 Jun 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)

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