Travel

Have a wheely good tour time

Near Copenhagen’s botanic garden.
Near Copenhagen’s botanic garden. COPENHAGEN TOURISM

WHY is it people always compare difficult tasks with riding a bike?

Who said riding was easy?

For people with no co-ordination, like me, nothing could be further from the truth.

I think Mark Twain hit the nail on the head when he said "get a bicycle - you will not regret it - if you live".

Thankfully, the only injuries I sustained while cycling through Copenhagen in Denmark were a few bumps and bruises.

But it was not from a lack of trying to injure myself. I managed to slide down gutters, rear-end a few fellow cyclists and run into a sign post.

There is nothing like cycling through a city, especially one where about 35% of the one million or so people who inhabit the city use this two-wheeled contraption as their main form of transport.

It is by far the best way to see the city and if you practise, like I did, you can even manage to snap some photos of the sights you see along the way.

Or if you are looking for a safer way to capture a Kodak moment, you can just pull off the path, but make sure to use your hand signals because I caused a three-bike pile-up when I forgot to do that.

The are about 340km of dedicated bike lanes in the city, which means just as Queen's hit song from 1978 says "I want to ride my bike - I want to ride it where I like", you actually can.

Copenhagen, which is home to the Australia's now Danish Princess Mary, is flat which makes it ideal for cycling.

But if you are not athletic, and can't see yourself on a bike or just want to see the sights without having to drive yourself, you should take a spin in a rickshaw.

It is a bicycle taxi, similar to those you see in Asia.

The drivers can take you on a single fare or tours around the city, all for a reasonable price.

Most of the drivers I encountered were young university students working to pay their way through their courses.

Rickshaws are so much fun and, if you have a few friends with you, the men who ride them will race each other through the streets of this incredible city.

If you are looking for a bit more excitement, I would recommend a kayaking trip through the canals because it provides a different perspective of the city.

But beware if you are not feeling athletic. We did a two-hour tour and I was ready to call it quits after the first hour.

I nearly jumped out of the kayak and kissed the tour guide when he suggested half way through the paddle we would stop and have a cold drink.

But what I didn't realise at the time, was we weren't actually getting out of the kayaks, but stopping at a floating bar.

It was definitely the highlight of the tour and might I add the best Pepsi I had ever tasted.

Copenhagen is a city with a rich 100-year history and the brightest future as it leads the way in sustainable and green living.

The city's skyline dates back to medieval times with Renaissance copper domes, spires and bell towers, but town planning has allowed modern architecture to weave into the equation.

As far as sightseeing goes, the sky is the limit. I only just scratched the surface, visiting The Opera House, amusement park Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg Palace (home to the Royal Family), Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid statue, The Round Tower which looks over the city, picturesque Nyhavn - where all the tall ships dock - and the Danish Architecture Centre.

By far the most incredible thing I did (and for anyone who takes pride in being a shopaholic), was browse through the hundreds of shops along Strøget, which is the world's longest pedestrian street. It was magical but I spent way too much money there.

A few places I wished to visit and will endeavour to visit next time are The National Museum, and the Carlsberg Brewery.

By the end of my time in the city I had seen it from the water, the street level and from a bell tower and I also got to see it from the sky.

This writer was a guest of Copenhagen Tourism and Emirates.

IF YOU GO

How to get there: Emirates fly from Brisbane to Copenhagen (with a stopover in Dubai). Economy from $1890.

Where to stay: Copenhagen Admiral Hotel from $80

Where to eat: Try Nimb Brasserie (Tivoli Gardens), Pate Pate or Restaurant of Ofelia.

>> Read more travel stories.

Topics:  copenhagen, denmark, travel, travelling


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