It seems like we can’t arrive in a city without having something go wrong. In Stockholm it was the ATM rejecting my pin. In Copenhagen, we just couldn’t catch a break.
We quietly left Erik’s apartment at 7am, not wanting to miss our 8:13 train. We left so early because we wanted to make it to Copenhagen in time for a 2:00 church service. We got on the train smoothly enough, and although I planned to stay up and prepare for our arrival in Copenhagen, I fell asleep for about 4 of the 5 hours. But that was ok. I was still a bit jet lagged. Sam slept most of the trip too. Here is where the real fun starts.
So our train pulled up at about 1:20. Sam bought 2 Copenhagen Cards for us (my Visa still isn’t working) because they get us into a bunch of museums and stuff and also give us free public transportation. At that point we were trying to figure out where to go for the church service. The map we found online said that the church was in Soborg. So we looked on the map at the train station and found it. We asked the information desk how to get there and got on the indicated train. We quickly realized that we would not make it in time for church, because this train was going WAY out into the country side. We both commented on not realizing how far it was, but didn’t think much more of it.
When we arrived at Hillerod (the station where we would have to switch to the Soborg train) we had missed the connection by 5 minutes. There wouldn’t be another one for an hour. So since we were hungry and tired we decided to eat some lunch while we waited. We eventually decided that we would just head back to the city, because by the time we got out to the church it would basically be over anyway.
So we got on the train headed back into town. After sitting on the train for 10 minutes waiting for it to leave, Sam realized she had left her purse in the cafe. We hopped off the train, I grabbed the purse, and the train left without us. Ugh. So we had to wait another 20 minutes for the next one. By the time we finally got back to the main station it was 5pm.
As we sat at the main station trying to figure out what to do next, I looked down at the map and saw Hillerod, the station we had just been at where we had missed the connecting train. I compared the location to my memory of the map indicating the church, and realized in horror that Hillerod was WAY farther than the church should have been. We looked more closely at the map and saw that there were 2 Soborgs. The one we wanted to get to was 10 minutes away. We had wasted 4 hours going back and forth to the wrong place.
Now, for any non-Mormons reading this post, a Bishop is the leader of the local congregation, and they are always very helpful. Since our Couch Surfing requests had been denied and we were so frustrated from our train debacle, we thought it would be a good idea to try calling the local Bishop for help finding a place to stay. So we found his number online and gave him a call. He asked us to meet him at the local church building and gave us the address. The correct address.
This is where the story takes a happy turn. We found the church building, and got to see the beautiful LDS Temple that was just around the corner. The Bishop found a place for us to stay with a wonderful family from the church. And we got to meet a dozen or so of the local youth members at a late night church meeting.
In hindsight, I realize that calling this a “disaster” might be a bit of an exaggeration. But at the time it sure seemed disastrous. What started as a 4 hour wild goose chase to nowhere turned out to actually work out in the end, and gave me a fun new story to tell about my first day in Copenhagen.