A visit with Sue & Phil

Trip Start Dec 19, 2010
Trip End Dec 19, 2011

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Where I stayed
Sue & Phil's House

Flag of Denmark  , Zealand,
Monday, February 21, 2011

After visiting Copenhagen I think it is a city that is better experienced by living there rather than being a tourist. There are not a lot of 'sights' to see, the main attractions being The Little Mermaid and New Harbour. There are very pretty parts of the city, especially some of the canals that are lined with beautiful brightly coloured buildings, I just feel compared to some other European cities I have visited it is missing the ‘wow’ factor. For those museum lovers there are plenty of museums for you to visit, however I must admit I was a little disappointed in them. Not quite up to the standard of some other museums I have been too, which I thought was interesting for such a large international city like Copenhagen. In saying all that I am glad that I stayed the week, it gave me an opportunity to explore different parts of the city each day in a relaxed manner and when it was too cold or I’d simply had enough I could take myself home and enjoy the warmth.

I was very fortunate with the weather for the entire week, I had snow for the first couple of days, blue skies for the middle of the week and the last day was overcast and yucky so overall it was great weather to explore, albeit chilly weather with the maximum temperature getting to approximately minus 2 during the day.

I filled my days walking the pedestrian shopping street, which is a very long but not very wide cobblestoned street filled with fashion shops, cafes, pubs, souvenir shops etc, at the south end of the street is the city hall and the city hall square where I saw a few demonstrations taking place. Apparently the Danes love to get behind a cause. I climbed the Round Tower, which is an old observatory tower that is still in use. The view over the city from the top was amazing and was made even more amazing because this was one of the snowy days and all the roof tops were covered in a white blanket of snow.

A trip to Copenhagen is not complete without a visit to the castles. I visited Amalienborg Castle that has a museum where you can view rooms from the Royal family past and where Prince Frederick and Princess Mary are currently living. I was lucky enough to time my exit from the museum just has the changing of the guards ceremony was started, which was interesting to see. Following on from Amalienborg castle, I went to Rosenborg Castle and was able to walk through the rooms of the castle and see all the rooms and then down into the basement to view the weaponry and crown jewels. On another day I visited Kastelet, which is an military island and fortress that is still in use. You can walk across a bridge and enter but only during specific hours and you can only allowed to walk down the main road and visit the church, all other areas are off limits. Just outside the fortress walls is a beautiful church, that stands on the banks of a pond with willow trees dipping into the water. It is a beautiful church and again with the pond being frozen and snow all around it was very picturesque. A short walk from here along the shoreline, you will find the famous Little Mermaid. I was lucky enough to time this adventure with the arrival of a Trafalgar Tours bus. She sits just beyond the shore and is smaller than I anticipated although I wasn’t expecting to be wowed as everything I had read about her was that she was a big disappointment to most people who visited her. Sue informed me later that night that she is not the original mermaid; she has been stolen and beheaded a few times over the years. They have the original mould of her stored away safely and so when someone violates her she is simply recast and set back on her rock.

Because Copenhagen is made up of islands they have water taxis that cross the harbour, considering the water was frozen the whole time I was there I found it interesting that the taxi’s continued to run. The water when you were travelling across the harbour looked like clouds and you just sailed on through. Walking around town for the most part wasn’t bad unless the wind picked up and then it felt like someone was giving your cheeks a massage with an ice cube, the rest of my body was fine, it was always your face.

On the weekend I was able to hang out with Sue and Phil, we went for a stroll through Christiana one afternoon and then out to dinner with some of their friends. Christiana is the ‘free state’ of Denmark. Some even claim they are not part of Denmark, I’m not going to get into the political side of things but a brief explanation is that Christiania was founded  in 1971 when hippies moved into unused military barracks and creating their own ‘free town’ with their own laws.

My last day in Copenhagen, we had a lazy morning and then headed out to the Carlsberg Glyptotek. The Glyptotek is a museum that houses Greek & Egyptian ancient and modern art. The actual building it is in is the original Carlsberg brewery that Carlsberg donated to the city of Copenhagen some years ago. Afterwards we headed to a traditional Danish restaurant so I could try Smorrebrod, a traditional Danish lunch. Smorrebrod, are open sandwiches; you get one piece of bread usually rye bread and then toppings on top and you eat it with a knife and fork (apparently the Danes don’t like to eat with their hands). A traditional topping for a Smorrebrod would be something along the lines of marinated herring with curry sauce and pickles, something along those lines. I didn’t have herring but what we did have was really nice.

I’m packing my bags again tonight; it’s hard to believe this week has flown by. Another big thanks to Phil and Sue for being wonderful hosts for the week, I’m sure I will back to visit over the summer months J

Heading to Bristol tomorrow which will be my last stop for a little while, so hopefully the 2nd last time I have to pack my bag for a few months.

I have a few interviews lined up for when I get to Bristol so will keep you all posted on my progress. 
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