Stop-over in Copenhagen

I´ve been to Copenhagen twice before, but trying to manage a days’ layover isnt easy. But, with a landing time of 12 noon and a departure time of 22:00, noone wants to sit around at an airport that long, no matter how nice, so here’s what I did and you should do too.

water lilies on the ponds

water lilies on the ponds

1.) Leave the airport: There’s a train every 20 minutes from Copenhagen airport to Copenhagen central station, and it only takes a little over 15 minutes to travel. Once you’ve arrived in the central station, you’re in the heart of Copenhagen and within walking distance to all the main sights, shopping streets and drinking/eating spots.

Denmark's Little Mermaid

Denmark’s Little Mermaid

2.) Go to Tivoli: If its summer, and you’re a Disneyland/theme-park kind of person, spend the day at this fun park. There are roller coasters, green parks, yummy concessions and all sorts of other fun stuff, and entrance is only 110DK (around €15).

3.) Walk around the pedestrian shopping streets. Even if youre just a window shopper, or only looking for the cafes or bars to visit on the way, its a lively street of people watching and lovely surprises, and delicious Danish street hot dog stands.

summer is the time for bicycling

summer is the time for bicycling

4.) Visit the parks: especially around any castle or sea-side. You’ll find the (in)famous little mermaid statue, and one beautiful star-shaped fortress.

5.) Drink Carlsberg: or any other cold drink in the sunshine

Nyhovn near sunset time

Nyhovn near sunset time

6.) Visit Nyhavn, the cozy little harbour full of sailboats and restaurant patios. Mingle or people watch, or just eat and drink, and you’ll still feel like you’ve had the most romantic day in Denmark

Picturesque Nicaragua

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majestic Volcan Concepcion in Isla Ometepe

Leaving Costa Rica was actually pretty simple, as far as the scheduling and prices of buses, but I got so torn when I arrived in Liberia because I had the choice of going back south into the country and visiting Monteverde cloud forest but had so much anxiety about getting stuck in a bus for 2 days or having a bridge collapse under us that I decided to head north into nearby Nicaragua instead. It took 3 buses, a taxi and a ferry in a whole day of travel but I went straight to my first destination: Isla Ometepe. It is this beautiful island formed by 2 huge volcanoes that rise so high up from the middle of Lake Nicaragua, a fresh water body of water so big you’d swear you were in the ocean as you crossed the rough waves to get to Volcan Concepcion. It’s the most picturesque, perfectly symmetrical, cone shaped volcano, with a little bit of white cloud on its peak, and I’d definitely suggest anyone going to Nicaragua to be sure to spend some time on this sleepy island. However, don’t take the overnight ferry to Granada since traveling from 12 to 5 am on a rocky, oily smelling cargo ship doesn’t really let you appreciate the lake or the pitch black scenery going by. And, getting sea sick makes it much worse. So does drinking 3 double pina coladas before embarking… live and learn I guess.

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A view of Mombacho Mountain behind the colonial-style roofs popular in all the sleepy colonial towns

I arrived in Granada, the most popular destination for tourists in Nicaragua, and it was pretty easy to see why. It looked like a post card from Cuba, with so many colourful, 1-storey homes and degraded colonial churches and facades scattered around the walkable, cobblestone town. I couchsurfed here too, but with one Spaniard and an American, since it seems half the town are actually foreigners who came and never left.

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so many of the home fronts looked like colourful play houses straight from Havana

I spent one day with a couple American guys, one whose name is Guy and is a retired, professional cyclist and the other who owns a bike rental company in Granada. It was appropriate we spent a day biking together to nearby Lago de Apoyo, a big crater lake you can swim in, but on the way home I decided I was the weakest link in our bike gang so I traded my bike for a horse since riding those is more my forte. To my pleasant surprise, the pregnant belly on this mare made her waddle like an Icelandic tolter – perfect for sitting bareback.

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this boy traded my rental bike for his horse on the way home from crater lake in Granada