Copenhagen, Denmark

This is not the first time that I’ve had plans to go to Denmark. It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning in June 2002. The previous day had been my last working in the Norwegian capital city and I had a week of sight-seeing planned. First I would head west, to the fjords around Bergen and then I’d head back, through Oslo into Sweden, down the coast and cross the Oresund Bridge into Denmark.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

But things did not work out that way. I placed my glasses by the side of the sink while I brushed my teeth and watched in horror as my towel pulled them down onto the unforgiving tile floor. One lens survived with a small chip but the other smashed so utterly that I never found all the pieces ((The person that took over the apartment after me probably found them with their feet. Sorry if that was you.)). Unfortunately my vision is so bad that when I go into one of those “your new glasses in an hour” places they just laugh, so I had zero chance of getting new glasses and there was little point in embarking on a journey when I couldn’t really see what I was visiting.

Fortunately I had better luck this time.

Iceskating around Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen, Denmark

I landed on the Friday evening and successfully managed to negotiate the clean and efficient metro system ((Certainly TFL don’t have ‘next train’ times down to the half minute.)). The hotel wasn’t far from one of the main squares in the city, Kongens Nytorv. It’s technically only a few degrees colder than home in London but it feels substantially colder.

Strøget, Copenhagen's main shopping street, Denmark

It’s dark so it’s difficult to make out very much, but I do spot the neon glow of Nyhavn. Traditionally a harbour, it’s now home to a lot of restaurants. A lot of restaurants, I find, whose kitchens close around 22.30, or about the time I checked into the hotel. I dine on cheese puffs and a chocolate bar.

I cover a lot of ground on the Saturday. The hotel is near the Royal Palace but I first head towards the other side of the city, down the main street, Strøget — the longest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe. As the day begins it’s busy but not hectic. It has a nice mix of typical chain stores and smaller, more local shops.

View over Copenhagen from the Rundetårn (round tower), Denmark

At the far end is Rådhuspladsen, town-hall square. It’s a grand building with the Danish hallmark of a Hans Christian Anderson statue and a boulevard named after him. Tivoli, the famous gardens, are also in this area but are closed at this time of the year.

Tivoli, Copenhagen, Denmark

I arc back around, past Christiansborg, the parliament building, back across Strøget and up to Rundetårn, the round tower. From the top of here is a great view over the city. Inside is not exactly as I was expecting. It’s not just a spiral stair-case (or lift) but a long, sloping path.

Changing of the Guard ceremony, Royal Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark

The day ends with a steak in a restaurant along Nyhavn. Much better than yesterdays!

Inside the Rundetårn (round tower), Copenhagen, Denmark

On Sunday I head to the other side of town, seeing the Royal Palace — including the changing of the guard — the Citadel and perhaps the most famous statue in Denmark, Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid). The latter is located quite some way from any other landmark, but even in February there is a large throng of tourists snapping away.

The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue), Copenhagen, Denmark

Overall it was a great weekend. Denmark, just like the other Nordic countries that I’ve been to, manages to combine tradition with modern technology and design unlike any other area I’ve been to. I think that’s why I feel at home there.


3 responses to “Copenhagen, Denmark”

  1. And happy birthday to B! Her take on the weekend can be found on her blog.

  2. Andrew Darlington avatar
    Andrew Darlington

    Yes, it’s weird, that tower accessed by a ramp. We came across one in Seville, don’t know if the same thing applies to Copenhagen but in Spain it was constructed in that way so that rather then climb up all those tedious stairs they could ride on a horse, via the ramp, all the way to the top of the tower. A pretty neat idea…!

  3. Rosalynwz avatar

    well done, guy