This blog is a translation of my original blog, written in French (publication dates are kept).

June 14, 2009

Copenhagen Beach: yes, you can even bath!

Forget your preconceived ideas about Scandinavia: yes, you can find bathing beaches there. Of course this is the case for Copenhagen, a city fully dedicated to the sea, with its harbor and its beach. Its artificial beach. Since the Baltic doesn't have so much waves and tides, in the 30s, was created in the south of Copenhagen on the island of Amager, the well-named "Amager Strand Park" (strand means beach in Danish).

But there was a problem: the sand didn't want to stay, and worse, the coastline is oriented north-east: not so good. So, the Danes had the idea of building an island to form a sort of lagoon. And it's fairly new, it dates from 2005 only. The island is connected to the mainland by 3 bridges.

Please have a look:

They built some kind of big blocks in rough concrete, numbered from 1 to 5, which shelter showers, toilets, and ice cream dealers. And they are connected by a sort of walk in smooth concrete, which zigzags through the first half and is straight in the other. The place is invaded by roller skaters (I don't even want to talk about the cyclists). Actually, this is the only decent roller skating spot I know in Copenhagen.

There are also facilities for making windsurfing, kite-surfing and diving. And there is a small marina nearby.

But my favorite place is definitely the Kastrup Søbad ( = sea or lake, and bad = bath). It's soooo design and soooo Danish, and it was just made for the purpose of ... bathing in the sea. It is a delicate wooden piece of architecture, connected to the land by a pontoon, with dedicated steps to bask in the sun, showers, lockers, two diving boards and a bunch of swaggerers on. And there is even a small platform to swim to, just like that.

So I have tested it, of course, but it was during the Pentecost weekend, remember, it was so hot at that time (it has deteriorated since, sniff). The water temperature? Well, if you're used to swim in the Atlantic, the Baltic might not be a problem for you (something like 18 celcius degrees?). In fact, the Baltic is not as cold as you could imagine, after all, it is quite shallow and there is hardly no current.

Otherwise regarding the view, you have a lot to admire. When you face the sea, from right to left you see in that order:
- At the end of the beach the marina
- At the waterfront the airport of Kastrup with direct view of aircrafts landing or taking off, it depends on the day (and you can see the control tower as well)
- The Øresund Bridge
- In front of you Malmö
- A little further a group of wind turbines
- And on your left some factory chimneys

And if it doesn't please you, then turn around to the other side, face the sun, and check out the quiet residential area of southern Copenhagen, full of greenery.

Slip into your swimsuits!