In our guidebook there were a lot of things not to do in Copenhagen. Walk into cycle lanes, complement the Swedes too much (see yesterdays blog) and jay walk. Jaywalking is not illegal like it is in some states in America, but they are very code compliant here. And you stray into a cycle lane at your peril.
I thought I was used to European cycle lanes (especially after our Dutch adventure) but here they are hardcore. When you are waiting to cross the road you will find an army of cyclists between you and the line of cars. When the lights change it’s like the beginning of the Tour de France (if on the tour they cycled whilst on the phone, carrying a Christmas tree, eating or in some cases, all three).
As for the no jaywalking, they really do take that seriously. One day we came to a set of lights to cross a cycle path. When we got there, there were about a dozen cyclists ready to start the Tour. On the the other side of path were approximately half a dozen pedestrians waiting to cross. The lights changed, the cyclists rode off and we waited for the green man. We waited and waited. Just to say, there were no cyclists to be seen and the path was so narrow that we could literally lean out and shake hands with the people stood on the other side, but the man was on red so we all stayed stood, just looking at each other. After about 20 seconds, one person broke ranks and stepped into the road.
If this was a comedy sketch, then at this point a horde of cyclists would have come around the corner and have knocked the rule breaker to the ground, but this is real life. She just crossed and quickly continued with her life. But the looks she got from the others could have killed her dead. About 5 seconds earlier I was thinking “surely we can cross?” but after witnessing the “Danish Stare” I decided it was best to stay stood where I was. 20 seconds later we all crossed safely.
Well that’s your lot from Denmark. We are spent up (literally) and coming home. I like Copenhagen and the Danes, but I do not like their prices. After four days here I am just about accepting that £4 is ok for a cup of coffee and £10 for a hot dog from a stall at the Christmas market is perfectly reasonable. I’m accepting it, but I can’t afford to like it! Anyway, au revoir until next time.