Please excuse me if I am wrong, but to many non-Scandinavians, we all seem the same. When getting to know us, however, you quickly realize that the Swedes are rather trendy and nonchalant, the Danes are into their design, casual city biking, smoking and drinking and the Norwegians are trolls that just emerged from the deep, deep woods.
… or something like that. Either way, there is a difference and it is fun to check out our neighboring countries.
Very early Saturday morning we jumped out of bed, full of excitement! – We were heading to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark for a quick visit. Our plane left at 7:50 AM and we had 39 hours to indulge in all of what Copenhagen has on offer. Of the three Scandinavian capital cities, it is safe to claim that Copenhagen is the most cosmopolitan of the three. Modern architecture is nicely blended with old gorgeous castles and monuments. Denmark has had money and power for a much longer period of time than Norway has and the long history is obvious through the abundance of grand buildings and artwork.
We started our city exploration with a little boat cruise. Our trip started out in the area of Nyhavn (The New Harbour). The canal was dug out to enable goods to be delivered closer to the city centre. Since then, it has been the locale of many a party for “sailors and ladies of pleasure” (quote from our guide Claudia) and the home to many artists. The author Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote The Ugly Duckling lived in the area for large parts of his life.
The boats used for these mini cruises are very low, so that they can make it under the many bridges. Denmark is flat like a pancake and in order to keep city biking cruisy, the bridges are all at the same height as the roads. No ups and downs here.
The black building below, is part of the royal library. The facade consists of 2500 m2 of black granite from Zimbabwe. Each block weights 75 kg and has been polished in Italy. The orientation of the building and how the sun and water reflects on it, makes it look like it is constantly shimmering and it is therefore called the black diamond.
The Little Mermaid is a world known bronze sculpture. She is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale with the same name. The statue was made in 1913 and has apparently been the victim of several cases of vandalism since. They are considering moving her further out into the harbor to make her less accessible.
The New Royal Theater was constructed in 2008 and is beautifully located on the waterfront. Copenhagen’s Opera building was erected a few years earlier and is on the opposite side of the water.
We continued our adventures on dry land through busy streets and not so busy parks, to The National Gallery of Denmark.
The National Gallery is home to art from the past 700 years. Some of which I found not-so-interesting, and some that I LOVED! I must admit I am more inspired and intrigued by the new than the old.
The National Gallery consists of two buildings. One old and one new. Older art was displayed in the older building and modern art in the new building. The two worlds were tied together by bridges and an incredibly light filled indoor-outdoor type space. The artist Danh Vo had been given the current honor of displaying his exhibition We The People (Detail) in this area. Metal pieces identical to those of The Statue of Liberty, except they had not been put together, were scattered around. (Much easier to transport that way…!)
In between all the sightseeing, we most definitely found ourselves some time for chilling out with some beers and people watching. In the afternoon, we met up with two friends from Norway who we had planned the trip with. They had arrived a day before us because Erik had won a trip with a fighter plane! As guessed, it had been awesome! Copenhagen has an enormous variety of bars, cafes and restaurant. We hopped from one to the other. What a great time!
The next day, we continued our adventure walk by heading to the Glyptotek. It is an art museum home to many impressive sculptures. The building itself is also pretty cool, as it has a big open space filled with palm trees and benches. A great little spot to sit and dream of warm, tropical places!
To finish off our great time in Copenhagen, we went to Tivoli! It opened in 1843 and is the world second oldest amusement park, after Dyrehavsbakken in a nearby city from 1583! The Danes know how to have fun! Tivoli is open in three seasons: Summer, Halloween and Christmas. We hit it on the last day of their Halloween theme. It was great! Some 20000 pumpkins, lights, sounds and rides.
Not long after that, we were on the plane back to Oslo. When time is limited, nano-vacays are the way to go!
Hope everybody is doing great. We would love to hear from you! Hej Hej for now.