The journey from New York to Zurich, then to Copenhagen was uneventful. SAS, like British Midlands, charges for everything but the air on their flights. Oh, they do give tea and water away, but that is about it.
My focus on day three was getting to my hotel, The First Hotel Excelsior, a little gem in the center of Copenhagen.
Kasper Hjolt and his TESLA, photo by Larry Eder
My journey to Copenhagen was uneventful. Well, except for the German couple who, rudely, put their seats back so far I could : a) see guys nose hairs, b) watched TV screen in my seat cross eyed. My seat mate, six inches taller than me and more cramped in, was beside himself.
The SAS flight was nice, and relaxed. SAS is frightfully efficient, and charges for all on the plane but water and tea (and air). Reasonable prices, nice sandwiches, my row was not full and no one moved their seat so far back that they were sitting on me. I do believe the people who can not follow simple travel etiquette should not be allowed to travel.
My arrival into Copenhagen was relaxed. Fifteen minutes for our bags, which was fine, as I purchased a diet soft drink and check the old email. Bag arrived and I went to look for the IAAF desk.
At each event on the IAAF schedule, there is a desk, with volunteers, where you are checked in and a volunteer driver or a bus token is provided and you are on your way. I was fortunate enough to run into Kasper, my volunteer driver. Kasper Hjolt works for Leaseplan.com, the largest auto leasing company in Europe, which leases TESLAs. Caspar is a runner and his running club volunteered to assist in the race. Caspar spoke to his manager,who had the foresight to see that LeasePlan.com coming on as a national sponsor would be a great move for his company. Showing off electric cars, such as the TESLA is a great tie in to the culture of running. Kasper Hjolt not only volunteered, he had ten drivers from his company as volunteers, taking miscreants such as myself, and also sport dignitaries, I might add, to and from the event site.
So, I took my first ride in a TESLA! It was quiet, even more so than my father's Ford Sport Hybrid. The TESLA accelerates well, and I loved the computer screen, that guided you on the drive, as well as showed websites. This screen was about a foot tall by ten inches wide!
TESLA map/live web screen, photo by Larry Eder
Kasper was quite enthusiastic. He knew lots about the TESLA (Norway is biggest market because no taxes on electric cars. In Denmark, HUGE taxes on autos after 2006, so many use bikes and walking as their transport in Copenhagen.) Kasper is the kind of guy you want on your Sunday long run, he could tell stories and laugh at your jokes, even the bad ones, at the appropriate times.
Our drive to Copenhagen downtown was uneventful, and Caspar dropped me off in the front of The First Hotel Excelsior. Built in 1905, the rooms are a combo of the new and old. Nice size rooms, modern bathrooms, a comfortable bed and good TV. and a pretty modest hotel rate of $151. Includes a nice breakfast and wonderful wifi.
The manager, when queried about where to walk, told me that while the area around the hotel could be rather seedy, it was a great city for running and walking. I walked 5k that night, through downtown, taking pictures and doing an audio review of my first day in Copenhagen.
The very colorful Men's entertainment club across the street described the exotic dancers as formidable, but formidable had two ds! That struck me as significant.
Later that evening, as I was returning from dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant (Bistro Kivi, great crab soup and vegetarian plate), I had a short exchange with a denizen of the night. While an offer of services was made, I respectfully declined and we continued on our separate quests.
Copenhagen is a walker's city, with lovely restaurants, bike friendly streets and fun shops. I even found a Casio machine shop!
Before I collapsed, I did get to watch David Duchovny in Californication, Whether in English or Danish, Californication is a great way to end an evening.
Thanks again to Kasper Hjolt, the driver liaison, who took his time and drove me around the city of Copenhagen. A most enjoyable adventure continues....
Kasper Hjolt and his amazing TESLA, unfocused photo by Larry Eder