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From the heart of England to Finland: Day 3 / 2 August 2009

Handing Baby 'Dummies' from a Tree

A Tree in Stockholm park with hanging 'Dummies

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Paul Darke blogs the trip from Lubeck, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark.

After a good nights sleep we woke up a little later than usual, throwing myself in a strangely deep bath of the kind only hotels ever have. Sadly we we missed breakfast which, for a change, was included in the bill - €144 for the night in the Movenpick. Having paid we wandered into town and had a quick photo-op in front of the main gate, slanted gatehouse entrance to Lubeck. A fascinating sleeping lion guarded the entrance to the gate.   

Back to the car and we then into town so we could buy some marzipan - the very thing Lubeck is famous for. The store was a cavern of the most amazing sculptures all made of marzipan: town scenes, the Brandenburg Gate, Mr Marzipan himself and a beautiful ship of six sails with canons, crew and harbour. Craft or art? To take ones craft to perfection makes you an artist in my book - even if it was only a sculpture of marzipan. Just so you know, I hate eating marzipan.

I would go back to Lubeck again. Another £40 of petrol and then off to Puttgarden for the next ferry to Rodby. Travelling from Germany to Denmark on a 45 minute ferry cut out an extra six hours driving. We were on the ferry (an extra €136 return) and moving in under 10 minutes and were parked next to an accessible lift that was ramped. Excellent service! No complaints (though I never checked out the toilets).

It was then 100 miles from Rodby to Copenhagen. We did it in no time. We had some anxiety in finding the Radisson hotel. Usual problems: high cost - 2200 Danish Kroner (about £220) for two nights - and no real accessibility. Luckily the floor is a closed unit so will just sit on the loo and be hosed down. There is no other way as cannot even get the wheelchair in the toilet/ shower room!

It was getting late and we were hungry so we wandered up the road and found the restaurant Alleade opposite the Frederiksberg park. The waitress was excellent. She explained the whole menu in english. I can just about get by with a french menu - but danish!  I stuck with the Vienna Schnitzel (wrong but nice). For the three of us a further 598 kroner. I did drink too much coke - which may explain my late night headache. It was nice though. 

The locals wrapped themselves up in blankets (orange in this cafe and green in the one next door). It was a very warm, muggy evening and not too cold even for me (a lilly-livered southern weakling). Once we finished eating we went for a stroll round the park, by which time it was almost dark. We had no anxiety and felt no threat as there were lots of people about; runners, families and teenagers just having fun.

As the sun finally set we discovered a work of art that combined social conscience, wit and wisdom with a critique of the passing of time: a Dummy Tree!  Quite literally a tree - in the middle of a park - with thousands of babies' dummies and a few baby bottles, hanging from its branches. May be it was just a clever way of getting young children to give up their dummies, but it was very moving and captured the transient nature of childhood. It was an engaging piece of art that was challenging, entertaining, as well as being functional!

Back at the hotel I confirmed that breakfast was not included in the price. But for the first time wifi was! Unfortunately (despite great views across Copenhagen) we were on the 11th floor. Given my fear of heights I didn't particularly welcome such a high room. The size of the sprinklers in the room did not endear me to it either. Still I am disabled. I am used to the idea that we will burn first!

Keywords: disability art,