This morning started with a visit to the Botanic Gardens. There were just a few people strolling or walking their dogs – a pleasant change from the crowds of yesterday. It was nice enough but just lots of different trees and shrubs, rather than flowers. A walk amongst 50 shades of green. There was a butterfly house and a palm house I wanted to visit but it was hot and the sun was beating down. Spending an hour in a glasshouse didn’t appeal.
We picked one of the hottest weeks during a heatwave that had spread across the northern hemisphere. It wasn’t as bad as California which recorded a high of 49C, or Algeria at 51.3C but it was still uncomfortably hot. Walking in blazing sunshine in high temperatures was more tiring than we expected. When you visit a traditionally hot climate, you can often pop into a shop or cafe to cool down but the Danes have never embraced air-conditioning. Their focus is on keeping warm in subzero temperatures. If was often far too hot to spend a lot of time in museums or restaurants.
In search of a cooling breeze, we headed to Amager Strand beach on the far eastern coast of Copenhagen. You can see the bridge to Malmo in Sweden a little further along the coast, fading into the distance but I couldn’t make out the Swedish coast. The sandy beach was a popular area with the locals and was already packed by noon and a steady stream of new visitors were arriving from the train station or on bicycles. We sat on a bench for a while but there wasn’t much to do apart from sunbathe or swim.
A proper seaside town would have slot-machine amusements and a pier. Tacky gift shops selling buckets and spades. Pubs selling two-for-one cocktails and a promenade with interestingly shaped slicks of slippery vomit. Sticks of pink rock with an alarming quantity of E numbers. Kiss Me Quick hats and donkey rides for the children. Spilt beer and broken bottles. Cheap tattoo parlours where you can get ‘Carpa Diam’ tattooed on the back of your neck along with unusual intimate piercings. Feral ten-year olds on bikes boasting about their lastest ASBO. A brawl every evening at 11pm sharp.
These Danes just don’t know how to have fun.
A short metro ride back towards the city found us in Christianshavn. Our guidebook promised us cobbled streets and charming houses and courtyards. After much searching, we found one street with a couple of old houses but that was about it. We caught a bus back to the hotel so Madam could take a nap.