Silently, like agents of death, they stalk the streets.

(this post is for Wednesday, 14 September 2011)

I’m referring of course to bicycles. These silent assassins are both convenient and deadly. Convenient for the rider, and deadly for pedestrians. Copenhagen took a decision in the 1960’s and 1970’s to reduce traffic congestion by making the city more bicycle-friendly. It’s already bicycle-friendly given it’s lack of hills, but by providing dedicated lanes to cyclists, people took to cycling as a mode of transport, well, like a Copenhagener to cycling. To the point that bicycle traffic congestion is now becoming a problem.

It seems that there are no bounds to bicycle transport. We have seen delivery men transporting up to four cases of beer on a bike (although this might have been a student), a pregnant mother cycling with her toddler in a compartment on the front of the bike and even a sexy woman in a miniskirt wearing stilettos on a bike. As a pedestrian, one has the ensure that you don’t walk in the bike lane. Cyclists expect you to not be there and will mow you down in a heartbeat should they find you there. I suspect there is a bicycle mafia that prowl the streets of Copenhagen, mowing tourists down in the bike lanes. I say this, as it happened to me on my first trip here. All I heard was a ‘tring tring!’ of a bell before the impact. So far we’ve been good at avoiding these silent assassins.

Something else that is to be feared in Copenhagen as the bakeries. These bakes the most feared of all pastries – the Copenhagen. These come in all kinds of flavours, and each one of them absolutely delicious. Washed down with coffee, one can see why cycling is mandatory in Copenhagen – if inhabitants didn’t cycle, the name Copenhagen would be followed by ‘rotund’. And this is something we are doing our best at not avoiding.

One last thing of note in Copenhagen, is ‘The Little Mermaid’. I have no idea of the legend of the Little Mermaid, but it could be equated to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre – you’ve heard all about it, made your way all the way there to see it, and when you do, you wonder why you bothered. We went there, but only because the way there is pretty, and it’s alongside an equivalent five-pointed castle to that which we have in Cape Town. For some reason, The Little Mermaid must be heavily punted in China and Japan, as each time I have been there, it’s been difficult to see the little statue behind the little people.

No matter, it was pretty itself, if a little pointless. I thought the industrial district across the canal was of more interest. At least those images were…

     Aperture: ƒ/4 Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II Focal length: 50mm ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/250s
This entry was posted in Copenhagen, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.