Copenhagen - a medley of old and new

Trip Start Jul 30, 2013
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Trip End Aug 18, 2013

Flag of Denmark  , Capital Region,
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's August, it's scorching hot in Dubai. It's also that time of the year when people pack their bags, beat the humdrum of daily life and go on a vacation. And, not surprisingly on the night of 30th July, my better half and I packed our bags, said a silent good bye to the sweltering summer heat, albeit for a few days and headed up north to Scandinavia.
After a long, tiring journey, we finally reached Copenhagen – the first of a series of stops in our quest to discover Scandinavia - it's people, culture and much-talked about attractions.
 
Though exhausted, the excitement of being in a new country got the better of us as it was a bright sunny day and we wanted to make the most of it. After taking a short nap, we started to explore the city from Copenhagen City Hall. Situated at the City Hall Square in central Copenhagen, it’s a beautiful, historic building with grand corridors, ornately decorated staircases and vibrant colors. It's also an ideal place to chill and observe people, holiday-makers and locals alike. From the city center just a stone's throw away is the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe - Strøget Street.
 
Strøget is a walking street with narrow, smaller streets panning out from it. It runs from City Hall Square to Kongens Nytorv and houses many well known fashion stores – both expensive and budget-friendly, souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes. Look up and down the side streets, you will find a treasure trove of hidden sights and attractions of Copenhagen such as the Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke), where Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary were married and the Stork Fountain at Amagertorv Square. As we strolled through the many streets, we found ourselves lost among the charming buildings both historic and modern.
 
You can not be in Copenhagen and not visit The Little Mermaid, another popular tourist attraction and an iconic landmark born out of a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Remember Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea? They are some well known fairy tales written by H. C. Andersen, a Danish writer and poet. It took us a fair amount of walking and a little bit of exploring to find the place as it is situated a little far from the city center. It’s one of those places that can be easily overlooked, if you are not aware of it's existence. Literally the size of a young girl and perched on the rocks looking out to the sea, the Mermaid was tiny, unimposing and beautiful. 

As the dusk fell, we were back in Strøget, a perfect place to relax after a long tiring day. We rested our tired legs sitting in one of the cafes, sipping local beer and savoring a delicious dessert.

Nyhavn is a waterfront and canal stretching from Kongens Nytorv (King’s Square) to the sea harbor. In the olden days, it was used a gateway to the sea from the old inner city. On either side of the canal, it is lined with brightly colored 17th and 18th century townhouses which are used today as bars, restaurants and cafes. We took a stroll along the canal and enjoyed a leisure lunch in one of the restaurants that serve local cuisine, with street-music performers playing in the background. Bliss..!
 
Situated just opposite the central station, Tivoli Gardens is equally popular among the tourists as well as locals. Opened in 1843, Tivoli inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland. It is beautifully landscaped with flower beds, fountains, architecturally wonderful buildings, a concert hall, an open air theater, restaurants, cafes and fun rides. We had the chance to witness Fredagsrock, a live music festival featuring The Raveonettes and Sort Sol - top guns of Danish Rock entertain the crowd (which actually turned up in large numbers) with some head banging and eclectic music.
 



3 days in Copenhagen and we were still left with 2 more days to go with lot of time to spare. So we decided to give the Copenhagen Zoo a visit. With unique facilities for polar bears, North-Atlantic birds and seals, The Arctic Ring was undoubtedly the highlight of the zoo. I should say, we enjoyed watching the Polar Bear. There was also an African pygmy goat pen, where you can climb in and stroke the goats. I did not hesitate to climb in with kids around me and their parents watching over them. Let's admit it, we all want to feel like a kid all over again! My husband was a little reluctant and had to be coaxed to join the fun. All in all, it was an eventful day and we were not disappointed at all! 
  
After spending a good amount of time and taking in the best of Denmark, our stay in Denmark was coming to an end. On the last day, we decided to stay in the hotel, relax and do nothing, feel fresh and top notch for the next leg of our Scandinavian tour - "The Land of Fire and Ice"! Stay connected to know more about our adventures in Iceland! Also do read my entries on Roskilde and let me what you think.
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