Friday, August 24, 2007

Where is the warmth in global warming?

Well, we are coming to the end of another glorious English summer, featuring scenes in London such as this:


And this:

Okay, well, that last one is actually Blackpool, but I am including it to emphasise how completely rubbish summer in England has proven to be.

It is actually the wettest summer England has ever had since they began keeping records 240 years ago.

Since I had been hearing choruses of "Just wait until summer" and "London is so great during the summer" for months leading up to July I feel severely ripped off. The long nights I had pictured of dining al fresco and sitting in parks drinking bottles of wine til 10 o'clock at night have never eventuated.

It has been terrible for ice-cream manufacturers and clothing stores but apparently very good for travel agents and pizza chains.

I never even got an opportunity to retire my brolly from permanent item in handbag status. Ah well.

Just having a bit of a whinge. Apparently we are going to get a small respite this weekend, with temperatures of 26! All the Aussies are banding together and having, of course, a barbie to celebrate the last little bit of warmth before the descent into the real doom and gloom of winter.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I wish I were a Princess too

It reached a peak during their engagement-wedding period, but my minor obsession with Princess Mary had petered out for a while. Until, that is, I arrived in Copenhagen. Then it all came flooding back! I am a sad sad person. I know it. I kept imagining what it must have been like for her when she first moved over to be with Frederik, anonymously wandering the streets, thinking, 'One day this will all be mine...' or something to that effect.

Anyway, now I've got that out of my system, I can say that I really enjoyed Copenhagen. It had a bit more character then Oslo with the addition of canals, which always add to a place's prettiness quotient I think. One of the things we did was take a canal tour, which enabled us to see lovely things like this:

And some interesting (what I assume is) modern Scandinavian architecture like this:

And this (their Opera house):

We also rode bikes around the city which was a great way to see a lot of the sights. Of course the Little Mermaid was on the list, although in reality she is ruined by the hundreds of tourists snapping away, Americans who actually wade out into the water and climb up on the statute even though everyone else is trying to take their photo, and canal tours like ours coming up from behind to take a look.

And of course, I had to have a look at the Palace, which actually consists of four palaces, and I was not exactly sure which one Mary and Fred lived in, but I was excited all the same.

Copenhagen seemed like an extremely liberal and relaxed city, as evidenced by the 24 hour porn on free to air tv! Helpfully, we were staying in the red light district (not intentionally but inevitably when you choose a two star hotel), so we got to see that first hand! I don't know what they are putting in the water up there, or if there's just not enough to do, or if it's so cold most of the year that there's nothing else to do, but yeah. Lots of that.

It was also a city full of buffets. Everywhere you looked, a pizza buffet. And if it weren't for me getting fussy, that's what the boys would have eaten the whole time. Ick.

But I really enjoyed the city centre, which basically consisted on one long high street intercepted by fountains and square and lined with cafes and restaurants. There was obviously a big restaurant culture, similar to Adelaide's, which of course was a big plus.

Anyway, I would thoroughly recommend Copenhagen, it had a good mix of old and new, trendy but accessible, liberal and traditional. Put it on your lists.