Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Trip Comments

I'll post some pictures after I have a chance to go thru them all, and I might try to do some sort of trip summary, but in the big picture sense, suffice it to say that we had a very good time and for the most part we're sorry we had to return.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

We had great weather -- sure there were days where we had a bit of rain, but it was sunny most days, and more importantly, it was a much cooler August than we're used to in DC.

Prices in Copenhagen and London are very expensive compared with those in the U.S. No doubt that's due in some part to the decline of the dollar recently, but I figure they never were "cheap."

We had a small room in Copenhagen. In fact, no space was used to create a separate shower -- instead, the shower was created by pulling a curtain between the toilet and sink area, and showering in the sink area.

For a beer lover, Copenhagen is a great city -- two great Belgian-focused bars, an English-focused bar, a very good brewpub (and a second one that's pretty good), and a couple of excellent beer stores.

The public transportation in both cities looked pretty complex, but while our lack of the language left us using just one line on the Copenhagen system (from hotel to one of two stops in the center of the city), we were quickly able to figure out the London Underground.

Both Copenhagen and London had lots of green space, and we spent a fair amount of time enjoying the parks in both cities. Other than Portland and perhaps Seattle, I'm not sure what cities come close in the U.S.

Similarly, bicyclists were everywhere in Copenhagen, and all roads had lanes for them. Given the high price of gas (a friend we were with had to tank up his Chevy van (not too many of those in the city), and it cost him $130 (at the station selling gas at a low price he hadn't seen in months)), and the relatively compact city, this shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but it was still nice to see. People in suits and all other types of clothes (though rarely shorts -- Kathy thought I stuck out) rode them, presumably the cooler climate helping to keep sweating at tolerable levels.

Call me cheap, but I had no desire to spend 16 pounds (8 pounds per person = ~$14.50) to see the interior of Westminster Abbey, or of St. Paul's. From the outside they both look like beautiful churches, but there's a limit.

While you can "do" Copenhagen in a few days, we quickly realized it was hopeless to attempt the same for London, deciding that we'd need more time (and more money) to take it in as much as we'd want. As it was, we still did plenty, we just decided it wasn't worth running all over the place in an attempt to do it all.

After a week in London hitting lots of different pubs and trying lots of different beers, I'm in no hurry to try another cask bitter any time soon -- something like 95% of the beers we tried there were in this narrow style range or a close cousin's (had we gone in the winter time there would have been greater variety). I knew so little about the style before we visited, owing to their limited availability in the U.S., and now I feel I know more than I want to.


Debbie D said...

Glad you're home, and that you had a good time. Sure missed you.

LoryKC said...

Welcome home! Have a beer from Oregon and relax a bit! ; )
Glad to hear you all had a good time!

Nat&Jim said...

Great that you had a good time!!! So sorry I wasn't able to email anything - had some not so good things with unhealthy family members going on.
Hah - I can totally understand you are done with cask bitter for now. I'm not a big fan of it anyway - after a whole lot of them all of them taste like stale hops - don't they ;-)

Mary P. said...

Welcome back! The 8 pounds for St Paul's would've been worth it if they're still letting people go right up to the cupola on top: terrific view of the city! (NOW she tells me...)

Your feelings about cask bitter are similar to mine about single malt Scotch. I now refuse to try any more, no matter how enthusiastic my persuader is. And those Scotch fanatics can be persuasive - can't believe everyone won't love their particular favourite!! Seems a waste of expensive liquor to feed it to someone to whom it all tastes like lighter fluid. Ick.