Friday, 16 June 2017

Friday 16 June - Copenhagen

Where’s Bertie? He's in the same car park as he was in last night, although he did spend the day elsewhere. It's just gone 5pm as I type this and there seems to be a party going on behind us, so we'll see how it sounds later before deciding to stay here again tonight.

Sometime around 2005, maybe 2006, I made a short visit to Copenhagen. I spent two long days sitting in a conference room, by myself, reading contracts. On the evening I went out for a meal, which did give the opportunity to see a tiny snapshot of the city, but otherwise the only thing I saw was the inside of a hotel room.

The brief glimpse I had on that trip was enough to make me want to see more and, finally, over a decade later, I did that today.

Given the choice between leaving Bertie where he was and catching the metro into the city, or driving to another free parking spot three kilometres closer from where we could walk, we opted for the latter. That meant that rather than getting transport direct to the centre, we walked across Christianshavn, taking a little detour on our way to look at the unique spire of Vors Frelsers Kirke:

Church spire or helter-skelter? The final 150 steps, of the 400 that lead to the tip, spiral up the outside, getting narrower as they go.

I didn't fancy the ascent myself, and we were there before opening time anyway, so onwards we went, getting a view that told us that they like their copper roofs and their towers and spires in these parts:

The spire on the far left is on the stock exchange building. The next one is on Christiansborg Palace. I was told what the others were, I'm sure, but I've now forgotten

Heading over to the colourful tourist trap that is Nyhavn ('New Harbour', a short dead-end canal), I sampled the best preserved antique toilet facilities that I've ever come across, before talking Mick into taking an hour-long sight-seeing boat trip (yep, it was boat-averse me who had to convince Mick!). Given the choice between the company selling their tours for 80DKK and the adjacent one selling theirs for 40DKK, we went for the expensive option, featuring a real live tour guide giving a comprehensive narrative as we went.

Happy to be on a boat trip!

It was good, allowing us to see the key sights of the city with no effort.

Having saved lots of walking time, we thus had all afternoon free to visit the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (an art museum).

After a walk across town, with a pause for lunch on the way, then another pause to watch the rides at Tivoli Park (an amusement park dating from the mid nineteenth century)...

...we arrived at the impressive-looking building that houses the museum. As it turned out, the exterior of the building was nothing to the interior. I know not what the building was originally, but it's very grand. I was too busy looking at the exhibits in the most spectacular of the rooms to think to take a photo, but here's a snap of a different one:

We sped through the Egyptian, Greek and Mediterranean collections as they were largely similar to collections we have seen elsewhere. The stars of the show were the 'modern' art and sculpture (mid nineteenth century to second world war), featuring a huge collection of Rodin sculptures and Gauguin paintings not to mention an impressive array by Van Goch, Cezanne, Monet, Manet, Picasso and Renoir. The 95DKK entrance fee had been higher than we had expected, but I adjudged it to have been well worth it.

Leaving the art behind, we should then have gone in search of a bookshop to right our lack of a map of Sweden and Norway, as the one I ordered didn't arrive before we left home. We didn't find the enthusiasm to do that though, so maplessly we returned to Bertie and swiftly moved back to last night's location. It was so quiet here last night; it's so noisy just now!

Just one other comment before I go: bicycles! It is remarkable quite how many bicycles are being ridden around this city. Far more than there are cars being driven, I'm sure. I particularly like the ones with two wheels at the front, in between which sits either a child carrying box or a load carrying box. A huge cat den/scratching post, the musical instruments for a whole band or another bicycle: they can all be carried by pedal power.

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