July 31, 2015

Copenhagen 8 – Ting jeg kan lide ved København

Or, things I like about Copenhagen:

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Good design, with restraint:

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Practically the first thing you see when looking out the doors of the M2 Metro from the airport to city centre – industrial, simple but as composed as a painting. (Copenhagen is late coming to rapid transit: only two small lines have been open since 2002.  But construction on the circle line is well underway, which will really make a difference to how they get around.  Yes, less cars, but maybe even less bike use.)

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Free Internet on the rail system.  Not that big a deal these days, but it gives me a chance to mention something odd about Denmark.  I carry an unlocked iPhone with me for travel, and then replace the SIM card for cellular and data use in each country.

But on arriving in Denmark, we couldn’t find a place at the airport that sold SIM cards.  Discovered in town that they’re sold through 7-11 outlets – but none we went to had any left.  And they’re only for cellular service, no data.  Went to computer stores, discovered you have to live in Denmark to get a plan (seemed unlikely, but that’s what they said.)   Full mobile service is expensive and difficult to get.

Having come from Spain, where Vodaphone even has a major Metro stop in Madrid named after it (how much did that cost!), cell and data plans are cheap and easy to get, even in Spanish.  It’s inexplicable that Denmark has made it so difficult, especially when these days a map app is almost essential.   Or a translation app.  So: Det er én ting, jeg ikke kunne lide.

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Bikes, on the other hand, easy to get: small, light, gearless, highly maneuverable, always with a kickstand.  Perfect urban riding: makes you feel Danish.

My bike

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Cobblestone sidewalks, but with smooth tracks for wheels:

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Also useful when training the toddlers on their first bikes:

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Public toilets: free and staffed – almost a definition of civilization.

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Blankets provided for sitting outside in the evening:

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The smoking: not so much.

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Art in public places, statues in public squares, particularly men on horses:

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They’ve really got a thing about that:

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Literally: High horse as King Christian

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And of course, I don’t have to mention the amenities they provide for cycling.  But, of course, I will.

Best example: the covered parking at a major mall – more visible than the entrance.

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Problem: hundreds of spaces provided, still not enough:Fisk parking.

We should all have Copenhagen’s problems.

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