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MONTY PYTHON: FRONT ROW SEATS

sunny 13 °C

Danish time being nearly 5 hours ahead of ours causes some jet lag. Still, we were up for breakfast in the hotel. At $14 it was a good dealer a fine breakfast as coffee in many cafes is $6-7. We checked out and left our bags in storage, jaunted to the bus site #1 and avoiding the bike lane as we hopped on the bus.

THE BUS RIDE
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"Let's just toddle along off the bus now, dearie".....(in the middle of the bike lane)
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......................And another cyclist manages to negotiate the BIKE LANE

Tickets can be purchased at the ticket kiosks shown here at stop #1.
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Our entertainment was about to begin. Our driver, I'll call him Juan, must hurry to keep on schedule - no mean feat today. First stop: a young couple hopped on board and showed their tickets. Juan: "No. those tickets are for the other bus line. It will be here soon" Okay. They hop off. Another 3 people question this, saying that their ticket was bought from Hop-on hop-off bus. Juan explains and the trio slowly step down from the bus. Others proffer their tickets and move into the bus. We are running a tad late.

Passengers IN THE BIKE LANES are eager to take the "Hop-on Hop-off" buses.......... No looking right and looking left.
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Now, let me ask you: "Did you notice that the kiosks belong to two different bus companies? How about the buses? They belong to 1/ Tivoli Bus Company and 2/ Red Bus Company."

Juan moves through the streets to the next stop as the p.a. marks out the sights along the way. We pull up by the steps of some formerly grand hotel and an older lady is waiting. She asks "Will this bus take me to the Little Mermaid." Juan replies: "Yes, but I must see your ticket." She scratches in her purse, but it eludes her. She puts her purse on the first step of the bus, and starts a new search. Juan looks at his watch. The lady looks over her shoulder to her two companions and one shuffles down the hotel steps with a ticket in her hand. It is for the other bus line! Juan must explain to them that this is the Red Bus company, and yes it is the Red Line (route which goes past the Little Mermaid) , the other bus company for which they have a ticket, will be able to take them there too. It will also be on their Red Line route! To add another note of Monty Python like humour, both buses are using the moniker "Hop-on-hop-off" buses. I can now imagine John Cleese sitting behind the wheel of the bus looking exasperated as the minutes tick by and he has to do yet another explanation through clenched teeth. The bus ride is pure British humour at its best. Different variations of this scene play out at each stop until Cathrine and I finally get off the bus, gripping our sides, barely suppressing our laughter.

90_IMG_3196.jpg The show is "Compliments of Tivoli Bus Company !"

Our plan was to alight the bus at the Kings Garden and follow the Danish Royal Life Guard's music band from their barracks at Rosenborg Castle across town to Amalienborg. The bus was taking too long for us to carry out this plan, so we asked the driver to let us off at a point that would allow us to walk back to Amalienborg for the changing go the guard at midday. When the Queen is in residence the guard is accompanied by the Royal Guards music band. Ameliasborg is the home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical classical palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard. In the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V. Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace burned on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces. Using my sense of direction, we walked four blocks and were met with a lovely open cobblestoned square flanked by the elegant buildings.

Then I discovered that my iPhone was still on the bus! I took off towards the loop the buses make near the Little Mermaid, hoping to head off Juan. I ran/walked, ran/walked till I pulled up at the bus stop where several buses were taking their 10 minute break. My bus was not there! I identified a bus of the correct company and explained to Combia, the driver, what my dilemma was. I stood with my fingers crossed as he phoned ahead to the other driver. "Danes are very honest." I recited to myself. Combia's face lit up and he gestured to me to hop on the bus so we could retrieve the phone. "No, no. My friend is waiting for me at Ameliasborg." I told him. More phone calls gave the resolution of picking up the phone back at stop #1. With that done, I gave this very helpful grey haired man a heartfelt hug and a big smile and thank you.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD, AMALIENBORG PALACE

I trotted past the Little Mermaid, along the streets to the grand square where most eyes were fixed on the northwest entrance to the grounds. Soon afterwards, the Royal Guard marched in, made a right turn and took their place along the southwestern side of the square. We watched as the Royal Guard marched, stopped, saluted and ceremoniously changed over with their counterparts. Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family from September to April. During this time, and when the queen is in residence, it is possible to see a full changing of the Royal Guard. As the queen was not in residence, this changing of the guard was the limited ceremony that takes place for the remainder of the year. The strains of the drum and flute still in my ears from the previous day helped my enjoy this spectacle.
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With our growing sense of the city, we decided to shortcut through the streets to catch our bus at the Kings Garden. Our plan is to retrieve my phone, then to dash back to our hotel , grab our luggage and hop on the bus once again - the Blue Line which will take us to the airport. Here we will meet the rest of our crew who will be going on to our Art Retreat. Our plans were sound, and we found ourselves soon sitting on the bus taking a new route past the Hippie community, past the national aquarium and on to the airport.

Cathy and I waited at the airport, peering at people milling about, trying to find a familiar face of fellow artists I had met in Newfoundland or of our instructor, who had taught art classes back home some years before. Some time later, Melanie came barreling in with a wide smile across her face and an enthusiastic welcome. Five of us squeezed into the car and started heading for the country. We will be staying in Ryethøjgård Bed & Breakfast in Værløse, 16 km from Copenhagen.

OUR PAINTING VENUE FOR THE WEEK

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The horses are in the meadow just below Ryethøjgård Bed & Breakfast
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.........Apple trees are blooming beside the residence
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The stately old residence shows the elegant style of 1895
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..................Our easels stand ready for us outside the kitchen door.

.................Tomorrow we will paint !......................

Posted by Sue McNicholas 01:01 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

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