So the journey began this morning at 4:30. We were so worried about over sleeping we set 3 alarms, 2 using alarm clocks we have never used before, so we then spent 5 minutes working out how to turn them off. By 4:45 we were in the car and off to the airport. Luckily, Storm Caroline had abated so the journey was fine and we had sorted the car and checked in by 5:40.
The airport was heaving and instead of going through the usual security channel, we were sent to the end of the concourse and downstairs to what I assume is the “back up” security clearance. GEEK ALERT: This next reference may only make sense to about 2 readers. Remember in the late 70’s when Tom Baker played Doctor Who and for a few episodes he moved to the Tardis’s back up control room which still had the same hexagonal control panel, but instead of being all shiny and Hi Tec it was Victorian steam punk? You do! (If you don’t just pretend you do and we’ll get over this analogy a lot quicker.) Well it was like that. Much smaller, darker and a bit run down. END OF OBSCURE SCIENCE FICTION REFERENCE.
However, they were more thorough than usual. I’m guessing this week’s events with Theresa May have probably put them on high alert. I mean the assassination attempt, not the Brexit debacle. What was new was virtually completely emptying your bag and their obsession with putting everything in separate trays. By the time I had unpacked my camera, iPad, headphones; taken off my belt, emptied my pockets, pulled my trousers back up, taken my coat off (with one hand, the other one still holding my trousers up) I had filled about 6 trays. In fact we kept running out of the trays which caused an even bigger back log. I was then scanned in the YMCA scanner (see here to make sense of that reference), rescanned by hand, removed my shoes, frisked, released, had my bag searched, had our travel mugs swabbed and then finally allowed to continue our journey.
We boarded on time, but then had to wait 30 minutes when they de-iced us. The Jet2 plane next to us looked very festive with a layer of snow on its wings, but apparently pilots don’t like that. Scrooges. The thing is, you know when you stick de-icer on you car windscreen and you get that weird frosted glass effect as the ice melts until you use your windscreen wipers to clear it? We had that effect on our windows, but couldn’t clear them. As we taxied out, Karen said the outside “looked like one of Monet’s paintings from his later period when he was losing his sight”, assuming of course that Monet had moved on from painting water lilies to painting Shell fuel tankers, GateGourmet service vehicles and aeroplane steps. However, once we took off, the windows cleared as the water was forced backwards off the windows as we accelerated…until it froze about 30 seconds later. So much for the antifreeze. The journey was uneventful (unlike May’s trip to Spain. At £6.80 for a pint of beer, Copenhagen isn’t popular with stag do’s and the clientele was altogether more refined).
Once we had landed and were taxiing to the terminal, we got a proper look at the airport (the windows had now defrosted). It looked shiny and new with black glass terminals and air bridges connecting to the Boeing 777’s of Air Canada and SAS. But we weren’t going there. We did a right turn and taxied away to the furthest corner of the airport. I get that budget airlines don’t pay as much to the airports as the bigger airlines, but do they really have to make the terminals so unappealing? I noticed that at the gate at Manchester they have built a new EasyJet waiting area which is basically a portacabin bolted onto the side of the pier. At Copenhagen, the amenities at the gate amount to a 7 Eleven, and it is a long way from the rest of the airport. I mean a seriously long way. (They are gates F on the map above). I was so glad we didn’t have mum and dad with us as we would have had a toilet and meal stop before we even reached baggage reclaim. I know I’m prone to exaggerating but genuinely, I saw a lad coming down the corridor on a skateboard towing his case. I think that was probably the only way he could make his flight on time. Our baggage reclaim belt was also the furtherest that it could have been from the gate, and then we had to double back to find the exit. Karen’s Apple Watch told her that she had actually completed all her steps for the day before we had even reached customs. For such a small country, Copenhagen airport is big.
The next job was to find the metro. I had studied the map and worked out that there was a metro stop about 1 km from our accomodation, and it only took 15 minutes to get into the city centre stop. Unfortunately it took us another 20 minutes of walking to the metro station at the airport. We quickly learned that the Danish word for “train” is “tog” (how cute is that!) and that the Danish word for “metro” is “metro” (less cute, but considerably easier to remember). The queue for the ticket machine in the airport was ridiculously long but we knew there would be more machines at the station so we thought we would get them there.
En route I spotted a machine with no one by it, so quicker than you can say “queue jumping Brit” I was on it. The only problem was that I couldn’t find our stop. I went through various options and got more frustrated until Karen told me that I was using the machine for buying train tickets to go to Sweden. Ah. We walked another half mile to the metro station only to discover that there were only 2 ticket machines for the whole station. So, we queued. Eventually we got to the front, just in time for a helpful passer by to inform the whole queue that we could buy a ticket using the app. The queue then dissipated. Talk about timing.
An hour and five minutes after getting off the plane (I refuse to call it deplaning) we were on our way to the city centre. As I looked around the train it was full of people looking at their phones so wanting to fit in I used the opportunity to reply to a few emails and texts. Then I released that with this section of the metro being overground, I was missing an opportunity to get my first sight of a country I had never visited before, so I put my phone back in my pocket..just in time for the train to descend underground.