Tag Archives: transport

Transport, the fan mile revisited and issues of signage

I last walked the fan mile a month ago, checking out the locations for Eurovision related activities. How’s it all looking now?

On the afternoon of the first semi we started at the central station. There’s a discreet sign on the boards near the clock:

at central station - and that's it

And that’s it. No guidance as to which side of the road to take the bus from once you find the stop, nothing on fares and tickets, alternative forms of transport, the tourist office…there is transport information on the Web, but it’s organiser oriented, confusing and ever-changing, plus there’s very little on the street, and what there is may only be på dansk.

Compare and contrast with Malmö 2013:

At the station, as well as information boards there was a desk manned by volunteers offering Eurovision maps and a pocket sized leaflet with details of buses, trains, ticket prices etc. The butterfly branding acted as a consistent identifier for Eurovision locations and transport – and for fun. Oh, those Swedes.

CPH has tasteful #joinus signs in a font I still have problems with fighting a losing battle with posters for the upcoming European elections, no tasteful minimalism there, creating my old favourite, a jarring disconnect:

I may not be able to vote in Scotland’s referendum but at least I can play my part in deciding whether Denmark joins the European Patent Court.

CPH also has this:

dressing

Also comes in pink. Easy to miss, unless you are looking at your feet and avoiding all eye contact.

Moving on to the fan mile proper, the banners hang but there’s no music playing and some of them are the ‘wrong’ way round.

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At Eurovision Village the concert area on Nytorv felt very Danish, although to be fair there was no concert on at the time, while there were fewer food trucks on Gammeltorv than on Sunday:

No lion dancers or Hamburgers on Højbro Plads yet, and Malmö’s effort defo a bit token:

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Like the events I’ve been to it all felt rather flat and underwhelming, despite the oodles of hype WoCo pushes out.

Before we hop on the boat, just a thought re the harbour bus service. With the changes, I was wondering if it would still be possible to hop on and off. Here’s the stop at Det sorte Diamant/Royal Library:

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På dansk only. Basically, the harbour bus has been turned into a Eurovision shuttle, tough luck if you wanted to use it to go somewhere else.

Anyway, our boat trip to Eurovision Island went swimmingly both ways. We walked on to canal boats and tried out both sides of Nyhavn, oh yes, a free experience, if a little chilly. (Are the regular harbour buses free? How about the 9A?)

Others weren’t so lucky.  On Monday David from Wiwi Bloggs was still calling transportation an absolute disaster (if anyone is still lost, see our post Transport us to Eurovision Island).  He directed particular ire at signage. At Nyhavn “there are multiple locations along the canal where the harbor bus is supposed to dock, but nothing to tell you which location is where it will be”.

Summing up the Danish approach to signage:

As we said before:

After we arrived back at Nyhavn we sighted host Pilou getting into a taxi at Kongens Nytorv – he stopped to congratulate some Icelandic fans, who commented that he looked familiar.

The metro and train home were rammed with Justin Timberlake fans coming back from the concert at 2001 Eurovision venue Parken. Just one more jarring disconnect.

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Eurovision Island (7): quicker to get to Malmö

I popped out to Eurovision Island on my  own yesterday to see how things were going, particularly on the transport front. The fan press pack hasn’t been too complimentary so far – I’ve a haul of quotes I’m going to sit on until after the event, as there are a range of factors at play and extra services from today, but for a sneak peek see Transport us to Eurovision Island.

One comment which tickled me was whether it would actually be quicker to get to Malmö, or the arena in Hyllie, last year’s venue, at least (whatever happened to that option?).

Here’s  a smörgåsbord of options from Rejseplanen for a journey from our south CPH suburb to Refshaleøen:

rejseplanen

And to Hyllie:

malmo

So pretty equal on time, but hands down to Hyllie for ease of access.

I was also interested in signage:

The evidence on the ground – click to scroll.

And #bogwhallerne itself? Part of the diamand in the rough metaphor, or just run out of money?

Transport us to Eurovision Island

Update: changes from 5 May (see Visit Copenhagen’s PDF map):

  • bus 9A runs to Eurovision Island, more frequent during peak hours, around 25 mins from central station (really?)
  • OTOH bus 40 stops running the whole way to Refshaleøen
  • harbour boats start running from Nyhavn, the ones which don’t run at the mo, voyage takes around 10 mins

Plus an email from Billetlugen yields up:

  • it’s a 15 minute walk from the bus and boat stops to the ticket only zone and security checks
  • for evening shows the ticket only zone opens three hours before the show starts, doors open two hours before
  • plan your journey with Movia; best ticket option – if you have a Danish mobile subscription a 12 hour Event SMS-billet costs DK 20 for zones 1-4 and DK 40 for all zones, if you don’t a City Pass is DK 80 : D
  • parking at Amager wotsit now free! if you bought a pass it shall be refunded; a bit more prodding and the shuttle boats/buses will surely go free too
  • there’s free wifi and a cloakroom (DK 30)
  • things you can’t take in: professional photo equipment, food and drink, bottles/tins, weapons and weaponalikes, laser pens, big bags – and animals

I  don’t mind admitting I’m a bit obsessed with the #escdk transport issue. How’s it going so far?

The fan press pack arrived over the weekend. Out first were ESCKAZ/Mike and Daniel, who frankly should have been better prepared, zipping across the harbour and, by the looks of things, not buying tickets. This society works on trusts, guys – man up!

Otherwise, a mixed bag:

  • Eurovision Times/Lynn Kenway (First look): Having seen ESCKAZ’s detours using the waterboats (are they off them yet?!), we took the safer route and got the 9A bus to the opera and walked. And walked. And walked. And then we walked all the way around the island. And then we walked all the way back to the opera as the no 40 bus only runs once an hour at weekends from the arena. Never again. 
  • Eurovision Times/Lynn Kenway (Day 1): We then had a boat fiasco, don’t ask, the transport links and information here is just awful quite frankly. We found the ESCXtra and Eurovision Insight guys so we got over to Eurovision Island and got lost together there. After too much walking we got checked in and got our accreditation passes.
  • The Eurovisionary/David Elder: After a bus journey, a seven mile walk and a water taxi ride across the Kattegat, oh and then a three mile hike across some industrial wasteland (carefully negotiating the barbed wire fences), we managed to find the accreditation tent. 
  • On Europe/Monty?: NOT The walk from the bus to the centre. Not because of the views and stuff, but because its just a tad too long. Lovely rustic views though.
  • WiwibloggsSeveral of us caught a public bus to the B&W Hallerne. When we got off we ended up in an apartment complex where hippie youths were smoking marijuana. They kindly directed us through this hole in a fence, which led to B&W. The giant concrete block may seem severe to some, but I think it’s kind of edgy and cool.

All that effort and then…

Once you get to the Refshaløen island itself, it’s not quite so pretty. The area is desolate, run down, overgrown, derelict. The venue must be one of the biggest, and ugliest (from the outside) buildings ever to host a Eurovision Song Contest and there is little to suggest everything opens tomorrow and Monday. We’re sure it’ll all be lovely inside though.

Oh Lynn…but panic over! 

Our trip to work is now by boat. We have travel that the city of CPH have given to us for free which includes all trains, buses and the like but, most of all, a boat trip. The same boat youve all been reading about – yes, it really exists and yes it does get you to Eurovision Island.

Plus there are shuttle buses laid on for press. Free travel and shuttle buses, what’s not to like?

Things may well get going again though when those without accreditation turn up, although the emergency arrangements should help. Anyone biking?

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fleet of new city bikes outside the town hall

Some advice from me:

  • it’s not worth taking the metro from Kongens Nytorv to Christianshavn unless it’s chucking it down – it’s a short walk over the bridge
  • don’t buy a single ticket – DK 24 for a 10 min boat ride, anyone?

It would be a nice gesture if the Nyhavn boats on show nights were free, to help with speedy boarding – but OTOH who’s going to check?

Tame The Danes

This may come as a surprise, but surveys have shown that a lot of tourists find The Danes a tad closed and unhelpful, particularly on the street. The #escdk volunteers have had special training in making eye contact, but DR has taken it upon itself to try to spread the message to the rest of the population through a series of videos featuring bow tied comms consultant Henrik Menk. Here he is on how to give a stranger directions:

Finally, here’s a list of my posts on transport issues:

The harbour bus stop story: alternative arrangements in hand?

CaptureUpdate, 28 April: spotted on Visit Copenhagen’s PDF map! The key part reads: The harbour bus stops are located at the end of Nyhavn, on both sides of the entrance to the harbour. 

Still reckon not quite ready, mind…

If you want a straight answer go to the organ grinder not the city branders extraordinaire. Visit Copenhagen have repeatedly ignored my tweets regarding the harbour bus stop story. Dårlig stil, guys.

On Facebook, the blessed Lone from Movia tells @esckaz Andy:

Yes you are absolutely correct – the bus stop ”Nyhavn” is under construction from the 3rd of March – 01st of June.

However, temporary solutions has been made during the “Gran Prix” from the 05th of May to the 10th of May, so you can use the bus from “Nyhavn”.

For bus read boat…what the temporary solutions might be, we don’t know, but this is a major step forward, and will help me sleep at night.

Some signage might be an idea – I hung around at the top of Nyhavn yesterday next to the building site, that’s how I get my entertainment these days, and there were a lot of confused people from around the globe in evidence, but no boats, obv.

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Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

BTW that Facebook wall is a joy. Lone has my very best.

Landlubbers! Walk to Eurovision Island

The plan for yesterday was to track the walk from the metro at Christianshavn to Eurovision Island, give or take. ESC Reporter suspects 10-15 minutes for the 3km walk is optimistic, which it is – Rejseplanen doesn’t offer searches solely by foot, but tracks the last leg from Fabrikmestervej to #bogwhallerne as taking 20 minutes. 3km/1.86 miles at a steady walking pace should take around 45 mins. Maybe the 15 mins is for bikes.

I’ll do a controlled test another day. We had way too much fun exploring Holmen, in particular watching the bus sluse going up and down, before finishing off with a quick check of what’s occuring on Eurovision Island itself.

holmen
our Holmen tour – explore further on Google Maps

It’s worth making the detour to Papirøen, directly across the water from Nyhavn, not least to verify that the bridge still isn’t finished and there’s no progress on the supposed boat stop at Nyhavn. It seems likely that the rather larger boats run by tour operators – and leaving from the heart of Nyhavn – will play a major role on the night.

harbour bus sailing resolutely past Nyhavn
992 harbour bus sailing resolutely past Nyhavn
no progress from last week
no progress from last week

Papirøen (Paper Island – from 1958-2013 it housed a newspaper warehouse) is home to the just opened Copenhagen Street Food, described as a ‘sustainable food market’. It wasn’t exactly buzzing on Easter Sunday but will surely have a bit more life about it in May:

Copenhagen Street Food
Copenhagen Street Food – 30-40 stands are planned
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get that view!

Now as we know the 9A is at the heart of the #escdk bus solution. At the moment it putters down Prinsessegade as far as Operaen, troubled only by the bus sluse, which gently frees the way:

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Past Operaen there are great shots to be had:

the Danish Navy at rest
the Danish Navy at rest
a diamond in the rough?
a diamond in the rough?

No branding or building sites involved at all. Get it while you can!

The harbour bus stop story so far

Update, 27 April: alternative arrangements in hand?

On  Wednesday Host City CPH revealed the #escdk travel guide. Frankly it’s about as confusing and long winded as ours. At the top is this picture:

photo: Ty Stange

Rather different from the picture I took on Tuesday:

What’s going on? Here’s the short version – thanks to @esckaz for his support in picking all this apart.

My picture is taken from the right hand side of Nyhavn as you walk towards the harbour, showing the current 993 harbour bus stop. The 993 (Movia details) shuttles between Nyhavn and the Opera.

Host City CPH’s pic is taken from next to the Royal Playhouse, a short stroll from the left hand side of Nyhavn. A Google Image search reveals that it’s not a current image – among previous uses are a Huffington Post article from 2013, Copenhagen flexes its mussels, and a Danish tourist guide from 2012. Tsk tsk.

According to Movia, the 992 harbour bus, which plies the full route as far as Eurovision Island, is not stopping at Nyhavn at the moment due to works next to the Royal Playhouse:

992movia
click to go the page – maybe it’s been updated?

The stop is not due to reopen until 1 June. That’s why I didn’t go looking there on Tuesday.

Repeated requests to Visit Copenhagen to shed some light on #escdk harbour buses beyond the current skeleton details have merely elicited the information that the stop is the stop next to the Royal Playhouse.

Which yesterday looked like this:

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Rather than this:

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Nordre Tolbod, Movia’s suggested alternative to the closed stop at Nyhavn

We’re taking the (regular) bus.

The Eurovision Fan Mile: before

On Tuesday I took a stroll down the Eurovision Fan Mile – backwards. My mobile tracking device tells me that from the middle of Nyhavn (forgot to turn it on) to the top of Rådhuspladsen is a shade over a mile, hurra! With photo stops it took me 30 minutes to walk.

Before we set off towards Rådhuspladsen though let’s imagine we’ve just made it to Kongens Nytorv, “the finest and largest square of the city” and want to take the shuttle boat to Eurovision Island.

Kongens Nytorv

Currently a building site due to works for the new Metro City Ring (current ETA ~2020). If you are emerging from the metro bear right to get to Nyhavn. Simples.

Coming from Strøget, bear left. This will take you past a 10m2 space which will be occupied by a herd of plastic horses during the summer, and quite possibly by our friends from Malmö during #escdk. The back wall is covered by Happy Wall, an “analog interactive pixel screen”which passers-by can turn into messages aka artworks.

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Nyhavn and shuttle boats

Nyhavn, yer classic CPH, lots of heritage, history and hygge. Bottom right you’ll find the 993 shuttle boat stop – see our travel guide for more on arriving by water. Visit Copenhagen’s travel guide offers a rather different vista which we’re still trying to get to the bottom of  – here’s the full story.

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Strøget and the squares

Back on message, if you must you can translate Strøget as ‘walking street’ – it’s the original pedestrian precinct, dating from 1962. Actually several streets punctuated by a series of squares (torv, plads), but don’t worry about it.

The shops aren’t much to write home about – a better bet is to duck down the side streets. This church is now an art gallery.

St Nikolaj Church/Nikolaj Kunsthal
St Nikolaj Church/Nikolaj Kunsthal

Pressing on, walking ‘up’ Strøget the first square you come to is Højbro Plads, the potential home for Chinese liondancers and Hamburgers:

Højbro Plads
Højbro Plads

Next up, Eurovision Village, aka Gammeltorv/Nytorv. Hang a left across Nytorv and it’s no distance to Huset and the Euro Fan Café:

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Rådhuspladsen and the countdown clock

Same deal as Kongens Nytorv, building site. As we’ve seen efforts are being made to cheer things up with a range of artworks being established around Byens Hegn (the City Fence; Facebook). Here there’s Suburbia, a photo exhibition exploring suburban areas at night.

We love the gimcrack countdown clock so much we’ve started a photo gallery – if you are in CPH for #escdk and get a picture of the clock in action, do send it to us!

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BTW sorry for the grey filter. According to the weather forecast the sun should come out next Wednesday, and things tend to brighten up a tad by May.

Now, let’s get this party started!

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Featured image at top of post via Blogilkar. Bottom left: Knippelsbro, leads to Christianshavn.