Coping with Copenhagen

For all my complaints about the hotel, I still slept soundly last night. Then again, I could probably have lain down on concrete and slept, I was that tired.

It’s been a long time since we had a proper European breakfast in a hotel. The Japanese call their buffets “Vikings” so perhaps it was appropriate to have on in the land of the Vikings.

After breakfast we set out to explore Copenhagen and, if we have time, head over to Malmo in Sweden as well.

We purchase a Copenhagen card from the tourist office, probably a waste of money, then follow the trail on their map.

It’s been a while since we explored a European city and experienced the history and grand architecture. Copenhagen has more than its fair share of churches, palaces and other major buildings.

We begin along the Stroget shopping street, full of brand stores and tourist junk, then detour to the Vor Frue Church with its statues of Moses and David. Nearby is Copenhagen University with it own collection of statues. One of them is Niels Bohr, father of the atom.

The nearby Round Tower was used as an astronomical observatory. The most famous Danish astronomer, with his own statue outside, was Tycho Brahe. His calculations still had Earth as the centre of the solar system (and the universe), but with the other known planets orbiting the sun.

The Kings Garden once grew produce for royalty, but is now a strolling park. Royalty still has a presence, with Rosenborg Castle housing the Danish crown jewels. We decline to visit, the entry fee not included in the visitor Pass. Instead we watch Danish army soldier practice for a parade, marching around to drums and a piccolo.

Across the road is the National Gallery of Denmark. Inside is both old and modern art from Denmark and elsewhere in Europe, taking us back in time to our previous journeys to Europe before Alex was born.

Alex just wants to make his own art, sketching with the supplied pencils and paper.

When we finally escape we make our way to Sankt Paul’s Gade, where there are some interesting historic buildings, though Alex is more excited by the old cars parked out the front of them.

One thing we notice in Copenhagen is the preponderance of electric vehicles, including Teslas. This may be due to the number of chargers available on the streets.

Walking along we reach the Kastellet, a fortress and moat in the shape of a shuriken star. Walking along the steep earthen ramparts we have a good view of the harbour.

Alongside the harbour is Copenhagen’s most famous (and underwhelming) sight, the Little Mermaid statue. Fortunately, most of the tourist hordes are elsewhere and there is a chance to take the requisite photos beside her, attracting the attention of another of Hans Christian Anderson’s other famous subjects, mature ugly ducklings (aka swans)

Onwards we go, strolling along the harbour front, past the visiting French warship, until we reach the Amalieborg Palace.

We are starving, it’s well after lunch. Google Maps says the nearest restaurant is the Amalie, serving local food. They kindly squeeze us in and we order pickled herring, salmon cakes and roast beef and egg.

It doesn’t necessarily sound it, but the food was delicious.

However, upon emerging and getting a bit confused between the splendidly ornate marble church and the palace we missed out on the entry time for touring the palace interior.

It wasn’t even three PM yet and already the sky was dimming.

We farewelled the bearskin hatted guards and continued on the famous Nyhavn, where colourful shops and restaurants line a canal filled with wooden boats.

Further along the tacky Guiness World Records museum was still open, providing some fun photo and challenge opportunities.

By now we were all utterly exhausted. Alex’s fitness tracker said he’d done 30,000 steps. He still had enough energy to visit the Lego Shop (save it until tomorrow), but complains about the other shops we visit.

In desperation, we again eat hamburgers, but this time at the local Max Burgers. They are juicy, some much better than last night, though my stomach feels a little overwhelmed from eating them.

We struggle through the last stage. Though it is closed until February, the Tivoli Gardens and amusement rides are beautifully lit at night. We pass the Glyptotek, a library/gallery, and finally arrive back at the hotel.

I’ve enjoyed our tour of Copenhagen and regret not having even longer here to see more. The locals are so friendly and helpful too.

Next is the promised Lego House.

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