It’d be pretty pompous to pretend you know a city after only 48 hours and write a tourist guide about it. So that’s exactly what I’ll do, sticking to these 3 words : pretty damn good.
The rest of this major threat to TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and The Rough Guide combined is a few pictures and a enough comments to justify my claim to the blogger title 😉 As usual, click-the-pics for much larger and nicer versions.
Flying in from Lapland on a winter skiing / aurora trip (see B&W pictures and colour pictures here), we settled in the nice hotel Bethel on touristy Nyhavn canal. The canal is vaguely reminiscent of Amsterdan without the cuteness or the weed and with more of a rustic industrial appeal.
Part of the canal is occupied by tacky tourist trap restaurants, but it’s definitely worth the stroll to the larger canal leading to the citadel, port and into the Øresund strait.
For great local food and ambiance we were directed to the Skindbusten restaurant. The name, which translates to Leather Pants is not really a good indicator of what to expect inside. Far from your average Hell’s Angel joint, Skindbuksen seemed to be the sort of artist meet up place that gives Woody Allen the jitters. Food was fabulous (though rather pricy) and the atmosphere incredible.
OK. So, tourist information and sales pitches out of the way, what’s Copenhagen like ? Actually not the pretty city I was expecting (the weather didn’t help) but very pleasant : compact, pedestrian and jam-packed with interesting sights, museums and shops.
Did I mention freezing ? Wet and freezing ?
My wife was on a designer spree, seeking out all the names we only see in magazines in France. I was after hiking gear and art galleries. My kids had their own goals. The 4 of us raided all the pastry bakers and chocolate factories we could lay our eyes on.
Did you say design ? Admirably, this expensive lamp is everywhere to be seen, including in administrative buildings. In France, we hang cheap imported neon in ours. Different views on defending one’s economy, I guess …
Visiting the city by foot is wonderfully relaxing (and not at all a freeze your ba..s off experience), even on week-ends, because of the relative absence of crowds and the silent pedestrian avenues that go on for miles in every direction.
Copenhagen is host to kings, queens and castles. In the rather bleak conditions, some castles were simply too drab to include in this photo account, but other regal mansions we more up to the task. This here lad, for instance :
We are told Christiansborg Palalce is home to the parliament but I’m pretty sure it really serves as the embassy of Transylvania and the Dark Count watches from the top of the tower.
The Queen’s castle, below, makes for a much more amiable setting for princess stories.
Not unlike their Brittish counterparts, the guards themselves are a bit of a disappointment. Young and frail, you just don’t imagine them warding off a Dragon and fighting Viking armies for their majesty’s safety. Plus the music accompanying the whole ceremony does have a few surprising Disneyland passages to them that don’t push credibility far beyond Noddy levels. Good job the setting,lighting and snow made for great photo opportunities.
Actually, there’s a lot to be said in favour of visiting countries when the weather is not at its best, if you enjoy a photo slant in your escapades. Luckily for you, in Copenhaguen, that’s roughly 320 days a year. Just pop in anytime, bring a jumper or three and shoot the lovely light 😉
When the teenage warriors have finished their evening hoopla, turn around, though, and the opera house feels much more majestic. Although distant, it is a sight to behold. Next time you go, make sure you time your visit with one of the outdoor projections of the indoor action. Must be wonderful to listen to Faust in the snow on a June evening.
Copenhagen can also boast dealership of a very exotic motorcar (if it can be called that), the Tesla Roadster. If you don’t know who Telsa was, I do warmly recommend you brush up your physics history in this very authoritative video.
The car manufacturer named after him produces electric vehicles in a bold attempt to alter mindsets spearheaded by the wryneckly gorgeous Roadster. These little gems were everywhere in the city, charging up from poles like cute little puppies on leashes with far cleaner emissions.
At the end of the day, although each of our individual chases was very successful, it is the architecture that leaves me with the fondest memories.
Again quite like Britain, Copenhagen seems to have the knack for blending modern with venerable. I’ll then leave you with a set of pictures from the Black Diamond library.
Be seeing you !
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