Hidden Valley Waterfall

Hidden Valley Waterfall

Friday, August 16, 2013

Copenhagen, Denmark....stop 1

I decided a long time ago, that I wanted to travel the Scandinavian countries. For one, they always seemed to intrigue me. And secondly, getting from one to the next is easy. So this summer, I did just that. When I left China, I headed to Copenhagen, Denmark. Now, many people will rush through countries visiting several cities. I like to spend a few days in a place, so I only did the capital cities while here this summer. I figured I can always come back to see more at another time.

Copenhagen is just as charming as one would expect it to be. I just wandered around the streets my first day, getting a feel for it all. Because the city is so small, I actually walked farther than I thought I would. I would up at Christiania. This is a "freetown" in Copenhagen. It began with uprisings in the 1960's, with a commune squatting on former military grounds. Today, you can still buy, sell, and smoke pot here - semi-legally. While it is technically illegal, a blind eye is turned inside this community. People sell tie-dyed clothes, smoke week, drink beer, eat at hip cafes, and just all seem to peacefully enjoy being together. It's quite a place. I didn't take many pictures, as there are tons of signs asking people not to, especially on "Pusher Street" as it's known - where you see tables upon tables with bricks of different weeks. But, here is one picture I did take in areas permitted: (for some reason, I can't seem to locate a few others, but you can google Christiania to see more).

As I continued to just walk the city, exploring (often I do this for an entire day, to avoid following the "must do" intineraries that you often see), I came across the Tower, as it is known. It is an old observatory tower, now turned into a great view point of the city, as well as an art gallery inside. The views over the city were beautiful. And fortunately, the climb up was mostly ramp, in lieu of stairs that you find at many lookout points. My knees do not like stairs,so this was a nice change. Hmmm....as I am going through my albums to select photos, so many seem to be missing. I guess that is yet another project for me - to figure out where all of my photos are. Well, the city view is on my Facebook album of Denmark, if you are really feeling like you need to see it. 

Another nice spot in the city is the famous Nyhavn docks. This is the row of brightly colored houses, where ships dock, tour boats pick up, and people love to eat along the sidewalks and people watch - or be seen. 

 I did do the harbor cruise, as I was told it was something very nice and I shouldn't miss it. I was not impressed to say the least. I was particularly unimpressed with a certain landmark statue that people flock to, as did I. I'm sure most will know what this is:

Much smaller than I anticipated.

Copenhagen has so many wonderful things to see though. And there is such beauty surrounding so much of the city. For example, Rosenborg Castle. It is completely adorable and picturesque. :)  

While trolling around the city, I also came across the Carlsberg Brewery. And while I am a huge fan of beer, I was not in the mood that day (shocking!) to visit a brewery. I did, however, stop to enjoy the Elephant Towers (some call it Elephant Alley), which is outside. I also learned that Carlsberg was the first to use the swastika symbol, not Hitler, which meant something completely different.

I am not a huge fan of museums, but I do enjoy sculptures a great deal, and I always enjoy free things. So, on the Sunday that the museum was free, I went to the Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, which is built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg Beer. It is an impressive collection with pieces from the Greek and Roman periods, Egyptian works, French and Danish pieces, and other European works as well, ranging from paintings to sculptures of all sizes.  One piece I found that sticks out is this - a sad little girl, who is holding her dead bird.

 While I did not go to Tivoli, the oldest amusement park, I did treat myself to something. I am a sucker for antique markets or flea markets of any kind. Well, I found one right in the town square on the weekend. I found something that I thought was absolutely fun and a great conversation piece and I just had to have it. Did I pay more than I should have? Yep. Did I have to lug this heavy thing around for 6 more countries? Yep. But, am I thrilled that I now own it and can enjoy the memories of it? You bet. Meet my fish.

I've realized over the years that I have an odd fascination with locks and keys - particularly antique ones. So, when I saw him, I couldn't resist!! He is now sitting on a table in my apartment in China, and I ultimately plan to hang him from a meat hook on a wall as artwork. But, I can only put so many holes in walls here due to renting and I've already pushed the limits with other artwork I've purchased here. For now, the fish rests on a doily with my plant. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Copenhagen and would recommend it to anyone who wants to visit somewhere in Scandinavia. I am not sure of other cities in Denmark, but this one is worth the time. 

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