Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tour of Copenhagen

Irene and I

Today was the only day that we had free and the only reason we weren’t leaving was because there were no flights out!  That was good for us.  It was decided that we would head into Copenhagen to have a look around and the best thing was that I have a friend, Irene Koch Pedersen, who lives in Copenhagen and she had agreed to meet us to show us around.

Irene works for MS Denmark and 2 ½ years ago she had been in Melbourne with her boyfriend for a year working with MS Australia, so that is how I met her.  Thank god for mobile phones!!  We were taking the train in to the central station from Ringsted, so via text messages I was able to let her know roughly when we would be at the station.  We arrived after about a 40 minute train ride and as we exited the platform via the escalator there she was!  She hasn’t changed a bit in the last 2 ½ years!  It was great to see her and introductions were made all round.

We decided to walk down to the canal past the National Museum, past the Christiansborg Palace which houses the Danish Parliament and to the Canal Cruises.  This is a one hour cruise through the canals around Copenhagen, touching most of the tourist sites.  We figured since we only really had the afternoon it was probably the best way to see everything.  Once we were on board we headed through the canals passing some amazing buildings, Holmen’s Church, The Old Stock Exchange and out in to a wider body of water, past the Playhouse, the Opera and through an area that is made up of manmade islands.  But these islands were made 300 years ago!  This used to be the naval yards and now house luxury living quarters.  The interesting thing is that they are all flats, no houses.  On one side of the canal is Christianshavn, this area is populated with a mix of business people, artists, eccentrics and families, but are considered to be an entity of their own!

We went through this area then out to see the Little Mermaid statue (thanks to Hans Christian Andersen).  Across from the Little Mermaid is a large gun ship which we were told once had an accidental firing which hit the captains summer house!  Rumour had it that his mother-in-law was staying there!!  I guess that is one way to get rid of a mother-in-law!

Flag on right is Mary's residence
 The cruise then continued past the Amalienborg palace, the royalresidence and in the distance you can see the Marble Church with an amazing huge dome.  The flag was up on Mary and Fred’s part of the palace but we didn’t see them give us a wave when we went by.  It was then back into the narrow canal and we went through the narrowest bridge in Copenhagen and it was narrow, the boat just fit through!\

 Once the canal cruise was finished we did a bit of souvenir shopping then headed to lunch.  Irene had organised a table for us at the Post & Tele Museum.  It was right up top of the building and we were able to overlook all the roof tops of Copenhagen!  It was an amazing view and the food was excellent!  Great choice by Irene!  It was then time for shopping!  So many places to go into and look around but very expensive in most stores!  It was then time to head back to the train station, walking through the many sides streets and past the Tivoli gardens.  If we had more time it would have been great to explore a bit more but we had to be back for our last team dinner!

Team Staff
 The dinner was great and the chef at our hotel made a special cake (banana) with homemade rhubarb ice cream for us!  But all good things must come to an end.  It has been a very successful campaign for the Aussie’s.  I have been amazed at the support provided by all the staff and the friendships built with the other athletes.  It has been a fantastic 2 weeks and I look forward to being part of this team in the future.

I am looking forward to getting home but now the hard work starts!  The next step is in all of our own hands and if we want it bad enough each one of us will make it happen.  We have to learn from where we have been, adapt and adjust our efforts to be even more effective.

Every day, every encounter, and every outcome is a new opportunity to move forward.  We have to keep focused on our goals and continue to strive.  Some of us had disappointments while here but they are just as much a part of the process as successes.

Thank you to all those who have supported me from here and home (both Canada and Australia).  You will never know how much it has meant to know that you were all behind me!  But as I said earlier, the hard stuff is about to begin!!

No comments:

Post a Comment