Day 25-1. Copenhagen; sightseeing.
The day started with breakfast. In hotels it is always a strange experience especially if you only stay there one night. Although there will be a bowl of bread somewhere and a plate of cheese, a coffee machine and some fresh orange juice they are never in the same place in every hotel. Added to this is the range of nationalities all obsessed with their own codes of good behaviour, looking slightly suspiciously at guests of other nations.
In our case we were still in the slightly sleepy 'where is the veggie stuff' mode so making a good impression was the last thing on our minds. After the usual pfaffing about we ended up with a satisfactory quantity of veggie friendly food, and found a table on the edge of the dining room. The food was fine except that the bread rolls were not fresh, something in my experience that no self respecting German would accept. I discovered that in Holland where there are lots of Germans on holiday the campsites order in really fresh rolls every morning. Even in a budget hotel in Cologne the bread rolls were really fresh, not to mention at a campsite near Cuxhaven in late October a few days before it shut for the season.
If I have any Germanic genes in my body, (according to my dear mother I do. Apparently one of her mother's father's grandfathers married an Austrian or German woman) they were very probably seething by now but suppressed by my English habit of complaining quietly under my breath and making a mental note to add this establishment down in my personal list of places where 'one should not expect fresh bread rolls'. We finished breakfast after a couple of hotel buffet second helpings. We were more worried that we'd be hungry in an hour than what conclusions our fellow diners were making about British and Canadian nationals.
Having arrived in the dining room towards the end of the breakfast period we had to check out fairly quickly, so once we had eaten our fill we headed back to our room. The gear we had not packed yet was stuffed into our bags with some haste, the next time we would unpack would be tomorrow in Utrecht so packing nicely was not important. On reaching reception Damae discovered that:
a) we could leave our bags in a locked room next to the reception and
b) leave our bikes in the courtyard until we wanted to pick them up.
This was a great relief as although our bags could have gone in left luggage finding a safe place for the bikes would have been a bit of a problem.
Apart from the earlier issue 'viz ze brötchen' the hotel had been ideal for us. The locked courtyard was great and meant we had no bike worries at all. Now relieved of baggage and bikes, we headed out into the sunny breezy morning and made a bee-line for the Urania cycle shop. This we found in a few minutes and once we had found the entrance to the shop we started wandering around inside. The range of bikes was interesting, there were a whole load of Danish brands we hadn't seen before. The formerly British brand of my youth, Raleigh had a presence here (it was nice to see the trademark Raleigh front forks again after a couple of decades) and this dealer also sold Batavus bikes from the Netherlands.
We ended up in the basement with a chap who worked there part time, his main income being derived from teaching. This Monday morning was extremely quiet so I guess he was more than happy to tell us about the Danish bike market. It turns out that no-one makes frames or bikes any more in Denmark, and all the brands with Danish sounding names are made in the Far East (as are some of the English sounding brands). He commented that some of the brands were not ideally suited to Copenhagen's sea climate and the salt they put on the roads in winter especially in the sense of corrosion resistance. He also pointed to another Japanese sounding brand, that I think we saw in Goteborg which was one of the better ones, he said offering mountain, tour and hybrid bikes at very reasonable prices.