It all started here...

It all started here...

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Debarkation, Copenhagen, and Norwegian Air

HAL Zuiderdam Debarkation and a Day in Copenhagen
Monday May 29, 2017
Weather: Cloudy

Time to leave this beautiful ship and we were dragging our feet and tried to stay as long as we could on board. After our last breakfast in the main dining room, we gathered our things and waited in our cabins for the announcement to get off the ship. We picked the last available slot to leave because we were not in any hurry to get to our rental apartment anyway but they still called the colors quickly, before the scheduled time. As we got off, the captain was standing there at the gangway, saying 'good-bye' to all the passengers. I am going to miss this gorgeous ship and hopefully someday we will return for another trip.

We were almost the last ones to be out so finding our luggage was pretty easy. Then we got in the end of the long taxi line, patiently waiting for our turn for the ride to town. Again, it was very organized and the line moved along quickly. 

Almost to the front of the taxi line.

On our way to the rental apartment. With the tinted windows on the van these pictures turned out to be too dark, unfortunately.

After we checked in with the owner of the Amazing Apartments and settled down in the same penthouse unit on the top floor of the building we were ready to go out and explore Copenhagen on our own. First, we went to Domhusets Smorrebrod, which was just a few doors down from the apartment, for some Danish sandwiches to go. ChC read that this place is very popular among locals and things will go very fast if we do not get there early. Fortunately, there were still choices when we were there so we picked out what we wanted before a line started to form behind us. Everything was good, from the roast-beef that I got to fried fish MOR had, fresh and delicious! ChC got something interesting which I don't remember what it was. Prices were very good also and the ladies were very patient and helpful. If anyone is in the Stroget area, just walk a block down and get the taste of Denmark here: Domhusets Smorrebrod, Kattesundet 18, Copenhagen 1458, Denmark. You won't regret it but make sure you are there before noon and they only open for lunch.

A tiny storefront but they serve great food.

With lunch in hands we walked down Stroget towards Nyhavn one more time.

Stroget (Pedestrian Street)

Copenhagen King's Square

Royal Copenhagen

Stork Fountain


Enjoying our delicious sandwiches before getting on the tour boat. 

Bar and restaurant side of Nyhavn.

Canal Boat Tour (DFDS)

We still had the discount coupons that were given to us by Magnus when we were on the walking tour. Not sure how much the discount was, we just paid whatever they told us to and boarded the boat waiting there. We did this same tour in 2008 when we came here on the Carnival Splendor Baltic cruise and stopped here for a port day.

The Royal Danish Playhouse

Copenhagen Opera House

Ubaden Saelen (Submarine Saelen-a naval museum) near the Royal Danish Naval Academy

and other naval ships in the same area.

Nyholm Central Guardhouse and the Battery at the Naval Base.

Some interesting sculptures along the water front.

On the back side of the Little Mermaid this time. Not too bad a crowd, actually.

The most photographed statue in Copenhagen.

St. Alban's Church

The float plane parked near Langlinie Park.

Iver Huitfeldt Memorial

David statue and the Statens Museum area

Amelienborg and Marble Church (Frederik's Church)

Our boat turned into the Christiania area.

Church of Our Saviour with the corkscrew spire. It should be fun climbing up there for the young and energetic ones.

The Royal Library

We had to duck every time we went under a bridge.

The spire top at the old Stock Exchange building.


Old containers turned into apartments.

We were told that Hans Christian Andersen stayed here at this white house in Nyhavn when he lived in Copenhagen.

Back to Nyhavn

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Copenhagen
After an hour on the boat tour, we were back at Nyhavn to continue our day in Copenhagen. Our plan was to walk up Gothersgade toward Rosenborg Castle for a glimpse of that part of the city and maybe have a look at the Botanical Garden up the street before reaching the Torvehallerne Market.

Rosenborg Castle Garden (King's Garden)
This is a huge garden at the Rosenborg Castle. We only went in through the King's Gate and walked along the one path along Gothersgade and then got back out. Not really going all the way inside but still got a taste of how beautiful this garden is.

One of the several statues along the path we went on.


The Horse and the Lion sculpture.

Knight's Path, an avenue lined with lime trees.

Rosenborg Barracks

Rosenborg Castle

Botanical Garden
Across the street from the Rosenborg Castle is the Botanical Garden. This was a good find and I was surprised at how beautiful this place was. Again, due to the time limit, we only went in for a peek, barely walking around a little corner of the park but it proved to be a good place to spend a couple of hours for someone staying longer in town.

A small garden shop near the entrance of the park. Free entry.

Such a pretty pond.

Almost like a painting.

Then we crossed the street to the shopping area to the Torvehallerne Market.

One of the two buildings of the market.

Originally we planned on getting some food from the market and maybe make ourselves a nice dinner. But after much consideration we decided against it. Just did not want to do all that work of cooking and cleaning. Things were quite expensive here also.

After walking around a bit we left the market to go back to the apartment. We were all very tired by now.

Frederiksborgade near the Norreport Station

Round Tower

Back to the courtyard of the apartment.

A view of the building inside the courtyard.

The kitchen of the other unit. This is an extra unit that we received the keys to so that we can use the bathroom there next door to our penthouse unit. We were told that we were free to use this unit also but other than using the bathroom we did not really use any part of this.

This is a one-bedroom unit.

We were too tired to do anything else that evening. We bought some take away food from a couple of places on Stroget and had a simple dinner that night then went to bed early to get ready for our flights home the next morning. I wanted to go to Tivoli on one of the evenings here this time but still didn't make it because of the passport incident. I guess we just have to come back to Copenhagen!

Copenhagen-Stockholm-Los Angeles on Norwegian Air
Tuesday May 30, 2017
To check out of the apartment, we just had to leave the keys on the kitchen counter before leaving the building. Allie, the apartment owner, already arranged a taxi van to pick us up this morning at 7:00. We got a little worried when the time came and the driver did not show up. Thank goodness he made it about 10 minutes later. He said he was stuck because a truck was trying to make a turn at a one-way street. It would be very difficult to find a taxi van without prearranging it. 

Not a pretty entrance to the rental apartment.

Waiting for our taxi van outside the apartment.

Stroget is less than half a block up the street. A great location in Copenhagen.

The Last Surprise

As soon as we were dropped off at the airport terminal we had to do the self check-in using the kiosks there. I am not a fan of machines but that was the only way to go. All of us checked in OK but the two holding their new passports were denied checking in. We went to the check-in counter and explained what had happened to the stolen passports but after some long discussions the airlines did not want to take the risk and denied boarding for the two who had their new passports. Their reasoning was that the numbers on the new passports did not match their US visas which they think will create problems when they get to the US even with the proof of their visa receipts. The airlines are responsible if they carry passengers without valid legal documentations. Now what should we do? Norwegian Air suggested they go to the US Embassy and get new visas but who knows how many days that will take? It sounded like that the only option now is for them to fly back to Taiwan directly instead of coming back to California with us. That was exactly what they did. We found the ticket counter at the other end of the terminal and the gentleman there was able to find seats on a KLM flight taking them back to Taipei via Amsterdam for a hefty sum of $1,500 USD per ticket one way. Terribly expensive but at least we knew that they will be back to their homeland without further problems. 

We bid farewell after going through security, the two of them went to the KLM gate and the four of us went to Norwegien Air. 

Our plane

Waiting to board our flight to Stockholm.

Finally ready to leave Copenhagen.

Uneventful on this short flight.

Arriving Stockholm.

We had to go through another passport check at the gate here before boarding our flight to LAX. 

This time we had the bulkhead seats which made it much more comfortable for the long flight. Our tickets included meals on board, free check-in baggage, and seat selection. For a little over $300 one way, it was not a bad deal at all.

I probably touched the buttons on my camera by accident so these pictures turned out too dark but the first meal was not bad at all. It came with a pasta salad, a main, and a dessert.

The problem could be that they might make mistakes delivering the meals. SIL did not get served on the first meal so we had to ask the stewardess for her order. They need to have a better system to keep track of their customers.

The second meal was a pretty simple snack with a sandwich and drinks.

Overall, I think it was good value flying Norwegian Air. We could have done it without the meals but we figured with our month-long luggage we might as well pay a little extra and it was well worth it. We arrived LAX on time but our plane had to wait and taxi around the airport for close to an hour  before it was able to park at the terminal. Our month long trip had ended and it was great to be home again!

I will post my thoughts about this trip in my next entry if time permits.