Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mambo Italiano

Fortunately there were no fires in the night, or other catastrophes requiring the use of the dubious emergency exit. Breakfast in the hotel restored my faith in such establishments. It wasn't quite up to the standards of the Swallow St George in Harrogate, but it was still an eat all you can affair, only with a more continental feel. There was cereal, fruit, yoghurt, Danish pastries (of course), fresh bread and boiled eggs. There were platters of cold meats, cheeses and pates. Croissants and other assorted goodies. Reasoning that I'd already paid for this, I tanked up. The Horse Doctor doesn't do mornings, and particularly doesn't do eating in the morning, so she had to watch, nursing a cup of coffee whilst I shovelled.

Afterwards, me feeling bloated but strangely triumphant, we walked back to Kobenhavn central station and took a train to Roskilde.

Roskilde was once the capital, and its cathedral houses the royal dead. Perhaps it's something to do with being close to the water, but the Danes don't seem to like burying their royalty. Instead they put them in stone caskets, in ornate chapels. The kings are all either called Frederik or Christian, which is very confusing too. The cathedral is littered with the dead, all very macabre.

But not half as scary as my encounter with the Italian ladies. I had innocently repaired to the gentleman's toilets, as one has to do after a couple of pints of Carlsberg, and was calmly doing my business, standing at the ornate urinals, when suddenly the room filled with women. Not beautiful young ladies, lissom and lithe, but those severe-looking mamas even Al Pacino is afraid of. It's remarkable how the flow can dry up in such situations, and I endured scowls aplenty as I made sure to wash my hands very carefully.

Outside, the reason for the incursion became apparent. A busload of Italian tourists had arrived in town, no doubt having driven there all the way from Milan without stopping. Everyone wanted the loo, and the queue outside the ladies snaked around the square. The more desperate, or less precious, had decided that they would use the gents as well, and scare off any men with their scowling and bristly moustaches. I had been unfortunate enough to be in the toilets when they arrived, fortunate enough to escape unscathed.

Back in Copenhagen (and where did the G come from? It's Kobenhavn in Danish - that's havn as in haven or harbour - how did the English mangle that into a G?) we found a brewpub with the imaginative name of The Brewpub. At least it was descriptive, and true to its name, it served beers brewed on the premises. We, of course, had to sample them all, and very good they were too. The place even had the decency to serve food, so we spent the whole evening there, staggering back to our hotel far later than intended. I dread to see the damage inflicted on my credit card.


Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

The Swallow St. George is a seedy hotel title just begging to be used in one of Stuart's books.

More desperate or less precious - lol James! Poor you! And I thought Italian men were bad.

August 23, 2006 9:01 pm  

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