Part 1 of a series of indeterminate length, covering my road to near financial ruin through Copenhagen, Lubeck and Hamburg.


On possibly our last family holiday while our children can still stand us, we flew to Denmark with Ryanair.  Approaching 100 flights with Ryanair, and never late.

Mr O’Leary is obviously keen to please British travellers who apparently may soon lose their ability to visit Europe, allowing our family group to sit in four different rows, all of which had empty seats. Ryanair would actually have to throw me out of the plane in mid-air for me to criticise their business model.

Denmark may be an expensive city (unless you’re from Sweden), but the Copenhagen Card proved a good investment, covering all transport and museums, rather than just a 25% discount on the leather factory you don’t want to visit.

But what about the hot dogs at the airport ?, I hear you ask.


Not bad.

As the metro approached our hotel at Bella Center, my heart soared;


But sadly we were booked into the Youth Hostel rather than the adjacent Marriot, which at least left enough for the beer budget.

We took the bus to Valby, a suburb just west of Carlsberg, using the inescapable logic that you’ll get best burger value in the burbs. It works in Twickenham, surely ?

Halifax is the Byron of the Copenhagen burger world.



At those prices the house Pilsner and the Ale 16 worked out at £7 and £8 a pint.  That would be as good as it got.  The Pils was a match for the Camden you get in Byron, the smooth and malty Ale drunk too quickly by Mrs RM for me to give you a proper assessment.

A decent beer selection on tap for a pub, let alone a neighbourhood restaurant.



In contrast, Halifax had lunchtime burgers for a tenner, and worth that just for the circular object (I’ll call it rosti) accompanying the meat feast.


But that wasn’t the highlight.  Presumably for our benefit, we were treated to the soundtrack;

  • Vera Lynn
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Beirut

Now that’s what I call music.


We then made Mrs RM hobble on her bad feet to Sondermarken park, home to Copenhagen’s premier attraction, the cisterns.

What you see below is ART.  The boys weren’t impressed. I love dank caves.


Copenhagen Zoo is next door. I’ll spare you pictures of caged animals.


Instead, here’s a picture of the house beer.


Two key lessons from our first Danish afternoon;

  1. They do say “Hi”, just like they do in Borgen.
  2. They don’t swear at you when you walk in front of their bikes (more cyclists than Cambridge).

That alone must be worth paying an extra quid a pint for.






  1. 100 flights with Ryanair; that’s 94 my family and I! Our flights were all full though, and yes they arrived on time, or were even early!

    I’ve a friend in Copenhagen who I keep meaning to look up. The city was cold and wet on my one previous visit; which was by Interrail in July 1975. It was expensive back then, but I would like to return, so will follow your write-ups with interest.

    ps. Hamburg is another city I’ve visited; but only fleetingly. You don’t see much on a business trip, apart from the airport, the hotel, the factory you are visiting and then the airport again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never thought I’d ever say go for Beirut.

    On our trip the highlight was watching the Mikkeller mile. Four laps where the participants had to neck a can of Mikkeller at the end of each lap. So Danish.


  3. If it’s only near financial ruin. I was thinking those menu prices looked quite cheap, but then that’s knowing Copenhagen prices, and the hit the sterling exchange rate has taken in the last year or so.
    I also take it that younger son didn’t bankrupt himself in the record shop owned by the ex Mercyful Fate guitarist?
    Germany must have felt so cheap in comparison.


      1. Martin, while I’d agree that Dublin has some cracking old school pubs, I would think of Copenhagen as having a bit more variety of styles of boozer, a bit more heterogeneity.


      2. You’re probably right, I didn’t see many examples of boozers in the centre and Norrebro(or suburb I stayed in) more tasting cafes. Lubeck, as we’ll see, was sensational for boozers.


      3. You certainly ended up in one very central boozer! There are some in residential areas, but I reckon a lottery win and a minimum of a fortnight to really get to grips.


  4. I sympathise with you for your punctuality record. All those flights and not a single farce inducing a delay refund.

    What is the burger accompaniment in the little blue ramakin type dish thing?

    How much money did you manage to collect out of the cave?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unbelievably, the blue ramekin contained garlic butter, possibly a first. If you’re going to bust your calories allowance, go the whole hog.

      I don’t wish to disclose the 307 krona I fished out of the cave, in case it needs declaring in future Brexit negotiations or something.


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