What could go wrong?
The singing from the cellar bar in down town Copenhagen, Denmark, sounded like a bunch of footy fans enjoying a few beers before a match.
So my wife, Marie and I decided this bar was for us.
When I breasted the bar, and ordered a beer and a glass of wine, the barman, dressed in his leather outfit, was extremely pleasant.
But then he suggested I return to my wife, and he would bring our drinks.
It was then, that poor stupid me, woke up to the fact we were in a gay bar.
The lads kept singing, while laughing, as they looked our way. We had our drinks, quite quickly as it turned out, and left.
It was my 2002 rugby league supporters tour of Europe, except there was no rugby league.
I had taken tours, with a league involvement, in 1990, ’94 and ’98, but this one was purely travel and culture.
We had started in Amsterdam (two nights – see ‘European Odyssey Tour’) before moving on to Hamburg in Germany, where we also spent two nights.
We had driven to Hamburg, from our Vollendam hotel, via Bremen.
In Hamburg, the girls on the Reeperbahn reported for duty, and even though Marie and I were walking arm in arm, they still reached out for me, as we walked with tour fellow tour members, Don and Heather Munro, towards a restaurant which had been recommended to us. It is the girls’ duty, I suppose.
Little sleep, as there was a night club near our hotel in the St Pauli district, which operated until 8 a.m. Not a gay one of course. In fact, I think it was.
After lunch our group explored a beautiful forest area, to the south of Hamburg, where there was a lovely market, with great beer stalls.
On the trip to Copenhagen, we had a two hour strop at the Baltic sea port of Lubeck in Germany.
On our first full day in Denmark, we had enjoyed a morning cruise in Copenhagen, before venturing, by train, to a forest/lake area to the west of Copenhagen for lunch with prominent rowing identities, Morten and Helle Espersen, who were friends of my tour members, Ray and Val Ebert. Ray is a rowing icon in Australia, particularly in relation to his commentary at race meetings, and has hosted many international rowing officials, coaches and teams.
The traditional lunch was the highlight of our time in Denmark, and there was no need for dinner.
The next day our coach driver, Marc Kollwelter from Luxembourg, put on a movie – ‘Miss Congeniality’. I recommended he desist with movies after that effort.
It was back into Germany for the next leg of our trip, starting with three nights in Berlin.
More down the track.
Photo 1: Steve Ricketts in Copenhagen 2002
Photo 2: Royal Guard, Copenhagen 2002.