The Sketch

Our fifth full day in Denmark, and time to return to the centre of Copenhagen for a bit more geocaching action. The central focus of today was the island of Slotsholmen (literally “The Castle Island”, I think). It’s home to some iconic Copenhagen buildings including the Christiansborg Palace and the Borsen. More of those later.

Setting Off

We made our usual start to the morning with some breakfast and then a metro up to Kongens Nytorv. It’s kinda quick and we thought we should walk from there because the centre of Copenhagen is so compact that there’s little point in taking extra metros.

The plan was to clear out the area to the south and west of Kongens Nytorv, including Slotsholmen and as far across as the Central Station.

First up was a lab cache in Kongens Nytorv that I somehow missed on Sunday, and a bit of mooching about in that area covering things we didn’t walk past or couldn’t find last time.

Gammelholm

The “Old Island” lies south-east of KN down the side of Nyhavn. We walked through the middle of it to Tordenskjoldsgade, where there were two caches. One of those was a high terrain traditional. It turned out that this was about 3.5m up in the top of a street sign. It looked like a hooked piece of wire with the cache container down the inside of the pole. We couldn’t quite reach it. My magnet-on-a-stick was about 20cm too short and I can no longer support Ami on my back. Especially not after four solid days of walking. So we grumped our way towards Inderhavnsbroen to walk around the coast of this island.

At the final one on this part Ami spotted some loose sticks lying around on the floor, and we had the thought we might use those to extend our reach at that high-terrain one. To achieve that we would need to fasten the stick to the magnet-on-a-stick. We achieved that using the lanyard from Ami’s student ID. Any port in a storm. It worked well, and the the wire on the cache was magnetic, so that made it really easy to replace. That was a bit of a result.

Slotsholmen

On the next area of interest was the Holmen Kirke, followed by a wander over the bridge onto Slotsholmen.

The biggest and most obvious building on Slotsholmen is the Christiansborg Palace – a place where Danish politics, majestic horses, and tourists collide like a chaotic game of musical chairs. It’s home to the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the King’s state rooms. That all feels a bit “conflict of interest” to me. It clearly used to be completely royal in nature, and hence the surrounding horses. And, of course, the tourists.

If you have a few minutes to queue, you can grab a lift halfway up the central tower and take a pretty good view over the centre of Copenhagen. It’s free, but you might have to queue for a while. It was worth the trip up though, even though I was moaning about the apparent lack of service when we first joined the queue.

Outside of the palace to the west is a large central square, and to the south is a garden area. That was signposted to contain a cafe, but we couldn’t find it. Thankfully, there were still plenty of caches getting ticked off the list. So we kept going.

Taking Stock

At this point though, the sky started to look a bit dodgy. By the time we’d walked out towards Børsen the sky was looking suspect. There was a lab cache there I couldn’t figure out. We walked quickly back to Holmen Kirke to do part of a sequential lab. And then it started to rain properly, so we walked north a bit to find a cafe for lunch.

What we actually found was a rather posh restaurant. It did, however, do nice drinks and had a snacks menu as well as a “proper” lunch menu. So we availed ourselves of some of that whilst waiting for the rain to stop. While we were in there the sun came out again.

Afternoon

After lunch we headed back down past Børsen towards the waterfront and turned west. This lead us along to Langebro and then back up to the west side of Slotsholmen. It was typical city stuff we’d found in Copenhagen so far. Physical caches tended to be magnetic ones stuck to the backs of electrical switch boxes in the street. One on the far side of Langebro was a magentic stuck onto a steel sculture representation of Noah’s Ark. That was probably the most notable.

As with previous days, we were missing quite a few finds, and losing time because of that. By this point in the day we’d probably failed at half a dozen or so. This trend continued as we walked past the National Museum of Denmark.

Time for Fun

Next up was the Tivoli Gardens – a whimsical blend of rollercoasters, roses, and enchantment. Wooden rides mingle with concerts under starlit skies, and dinners in fairy-lit gazebos. None of which we actually went for. Well, Ami thought it sounded a bit naff, and anyway it was way too early in the day to stop.

So we walked round the outside. And then we walked back again because I missed not one, but two lab stages that were all placed on top of each other. So back we went.

Continuing west we crossed over the railway lines for a couple before deciding it was time for another break. By this stage it was about 4pm.

Choo-Choo

The Central Station is a grand brick-built affair. Not big compared to London’s main hubs, but big enough to be busy. It’s strangely uncomplicated though. There’s a single concourse filled with shops and cafes, and then just one route down onto each of 7 platforms supporting 13 sets of tracks. A London station with that many platforms would be twice as big, with all of the extra space used for extra fast food outlets. Copenhagen Station serves a purpose.

You can, of course, go to quite a few nice places from here. As well as the multi-coloured S-Trains covering the suburban area, you get the Danish InterCity and some German trains heading across the islands and then south, plus there are the orange and grey Øresundståg trains running from Helsingør through Copenhagen, across the bridge and up through Sweden as far as Gothenburg.

If you go down to a platform there’s a constant trickle of trains going through. Up on the concourse there’s lots of people. We managed to find an unoccupied slot inside a coffee shop and had a break. Ami stayed there for a while so I could go complete the caches actually inside the station. These were easy enough apart from one virtual where the object to be found was significantly smaller than I imagined.

Rådhuspladsen

Not far from the station is Rådhuspladsen. It’s a large and entirely paved square with the City Hall on one side. It was a pleasant evening and the square was fairly busy.

From my perspective, there was an entire set of labs, plus odd others, and both a trad and a virtual relating to a statue of Hans Christian Andersen. Another statue of HCA. There’s a lot of it about. All of the caches were easy, including one which required ducking into the metro station.

Too Early to Give Up

We sat in the corner of the square for a while and contemplated what to do. We’d cleared the whole area around Slotsholmen and towards the station, but it was a bit early for having dinner. We also didn’t want to go back to the hotel for dinner. We both sort of fancied an Indian. There were a few around, so we agreed to do a bit more caching until we were beaten, and then retire to the nearest.

The extra caches were north of us, alongside Ørstedsparken and up to Nørreport.

Heading back south, we decided eventually to stop caching and get some dinner. It was probably 8pm by this time, so we’d had a long day. The restaurant we tried was Bombay Bistro on Fiolstræde. It was small and very empty. The menu was very limited compared to an average English equivalent. It was definitely a cafe rather than a restaurant. The food we had was pretty good though. So we took our time and enjoyed it.

We didn’t bother with more caches after the restaurant – I’d had enough. We walked as fast as I could manage back along the main shopping street and just north of Slotsholmen. Back at Kongens Nytorv we jumped onboard for the painful 10 minute metro ride home. It had been a long day.