Welcome to amazing Copenhagen, Denmark. The city of Hans Christian Andersen and statistically, some of the happiest people on earth. This wonderful city is full of colour, history, pomp and ceremony and unique lifestyle choices. I found it to be a warm and welcoming city with a bustling undercurrent that you can’t help but fall in love with.
Visiting Copenhagen in summer means you can enjoy the midnight sun; 6.30pm meant the day was wide awake and I was ready to explore. My first night was spent in the bohemian quarter of the city not far from Christiania; not recommended but interesting. Very quickly I learnt to dodge pushbikes as they rushed along the street as this is the main form of transportation for local people here.
I walked across bridges and to the main shopping area of Copenhagen which was bustling into the late evening hours.
Next day, I crossed the river again and went up Torvegade Street onto the main island of the city. I visited the beautiful old harbour of Nyhavns but nothing opened early for breakfast or coffee so I kept exploring.
I walked along the river edge and admired the nicer side of the city of Copenhagen. This part of Copenhagen included the Royal Cast Collection Museum with their “alternate” statue of David out front, and the Amalienborg Palace; the actual royal residence and very accessible to all. I saw the mechanical man statue and walked along with all the joggers and cyclists that were out early.
I finally reached the Little Mermaid statue inspired by the novel the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson. It was a quiet time to see her as no one else was around.
I walked to the park and found the old St Alban’s Church, and the Kastellet fortress where the soldiers still train. As I walked back along Amaliegade I stopped to take photos of the palace where Princess Mary and the rest of the royal family live. The guards stand prominently positioned and look lovely dressed in their uniforms of blue, black and grey.
Now hungry, I was surprised to see that most cafes did not open until 9am here. I chose a little cafe at Nyhavn looking out onto the amazing old port of Copenhagen and its beautiful buildings. It was such a lovely day, sunny and already I had seen some lovely sights of the city. I had a Danish breakfast of rolls, egg, fruit, and coffee which was nice.
Next on the itinerary, was a boat cruise around the waterways of Copenhagen; a great way to view the city. It left from Nyhavn and had a comic tour guide who brought the city to life for us. We sailed past beautiful buildings and I was fascinated to see the large shed that held the Eurovision Song contest of 2014 and also Christianshavn and the very luxurious area of apartments nearby. It was a nice way to see the city.
Once the tour had finished, I went to see the changing of the guard at the palace. It was such a warm day at this point and we waited in the sun for the guards to march.
I took the metro from Kongens Nytorv Station to Christianshavn Station where I walked to the Church of our Saviour to climb the steeple. The church is a baroque church built in 1682, most famous for its corkscrew spire with an external winding staircase that you climb to the top on. I learnt that it also had the largest carillon in northern Europe that plays tunes every hour through the day. Once at the top, it was a fast turnaround to allow the next person passage.
I felt I had earned an ice-cream once I descended, so I went across the road to buy a Danish ice-cream which I enjoyed while walking through Freetown Christiania visiting the alternate Pusher Street. Once I entered the “Green Zone” I realised that I was not in “Kansas City” any more. This area is regarded as a large commune here in Copenhagen where established laws allow those here to do pretty much whatever they like. Photos were not allowed and enforced by security.
I walked over the bridge and back into the main street of Ostergade where I continued south toward Tivoli Gardens. It was certainly touristy and crowded but warm in the sunshine..
Tivoli Gardens was amazing. There were many rides to try, and there was a major production being set up for a concert on the main stage. The gardens host many musicians here.
As I walked to our hotel for the night, I couldn’t resist a stop at the most amazing bakery; after all I had not had a Danish pastry; It was incredible.
Our accommodation tonight was spent at the beautiful Hotel D’Angleterre just near the Royal Danish Ballet Theatre. This is such a beautiful hotel and hosts guests that are seeking something really special for their stay here in Copenhagen.
Next morning, I wanted to see the Rosenborg Palace and its gardens. This castle is a renaissance castle originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606. It was used as a royal residence until around 1710. I found the gardens were simplistic and calming.
Breakfast this morning was an authentic Danish breakfast of grod; extremely nutty and seedy rye porridge, and Rugbrod; a bread made of one third whole rye grains served with cheese. It was interesting and very filling. After breakfast, I had two hours before making my way to the ship to begin my Baltic cruise. On the Kobmagergade, I found the Royal Smushi Cafe that I had read about. Here they create dollsize Danish open sandwiches; like sushi. The owner made a special order for me at 10am as the “smushi” does not get served until 12pm. It was so cute.
My taxi to the port followed the palace soldiers as the drive is right through the royal palace roadways. It was a unique and slow way to travel with a group of ten guards walking ahead of my taxi; you have to love Copenhagen.
All in all, I found this city full of vibrance with a deep history and locals who are beautifully friendly. I hope to go back someday.
By Tammi Sirett, Clean Cruising
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