Copenhagen 2

Copenhagen Travel Blog

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Copenhagen/København II

Copenhagen Part I

Picking up from where I left....It was almost 3 in the afternoon by the time I completed all the earlier said things and grabbed a bite.... So post this, was the stroll on the Strøget, which claims to be the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe. It starts from the townhall and goes right down till the new harbor. If u r stand facing the Town Hall then look at your left, it's the one between the Burger King and 7/11. Shops, restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlors, pubs, street performers, museums, churches, squares... its got everything including some big names in the fashion world like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Marlboro, Boss and more. Strolling along the street u cant help but notice the multicultural mileau of the city. Danish, Indians/Pakis, Lankans, Moroccans/Algerians, Chinese/Koreans/Japanese and people from many other places. Copenhagen is a metropolis.

A little down the street, in one of the bylanes, is something called Rundetårn (Round Tower). Its something like a city observatory which isnt too high for that matter. Seven and a half 360 degree turns and a flight of few steps leads you to the top of the Round Tower. As I mentioned earlier its neither too tall or spectacular but the view u get from the top is def worth a visit. Maybe so, beacuse all the buildings in the vicinity arent very tall themselves. We are right now in one of the oldest part of the city, with red brick roofs, cathedrals, cobbled streets and a lot of history attached.

Halfway down the street there is a beautiful water spouter at Gammel Torv (Old Square) called Storkespringvandet. In earlier days the midwives used to hold hands and dance around it after graduation. Some medieval fertility ritual it sounds :-). I saw something similar in Munich, only that the butchers used to dance around that fountain when they completed their apprenticeship.

Towards the end of the street is Kongens Nytorv. The equestrian statue of King Christian V stands tall n proud and has witnessed many a young people dancing around it when the matriculate. (Whats with all the dancing around things and the Danes??). The monarch rides over a prostrate figure of a man, who symbolises envy. The statue was made of gilded lead which meant that the horse began to collapse under the king, and repairs had to be carried out from time to time. If u look closely then the man who is lying down is supporting the horse with his knee. Finally, in 1946 it was considered necessary to replace the lead sculpture with a new one cast in bronze.

At Nytorv there was an exhibition of
Steve Blooms phototgraphs.. all of them relating to wildlife shot all over the world India, US, Canada Africe, Europe, Australia and they were beautiful. This poster adorns my bedroom walls.

Just ahead of Kongens Nytorv is Nyhavn (New Harbor). This is one of the liveliest area of Copenhagen. Brightly colored buildings on either side of the water inlet with lotsa cafes, bars & restaurants and lotsa people hanging out there. Nyhavn in olden days was the heaven for sailors, who after their long months at the sea came to get 'fresh' here. But all thats passe now and what remains is def way better. Cruises start from Nyhavn every hour which take u on a 1 hour trip and show you around the place. Its good for my tired legs who have carried me around the whole day.
It also allows you to see from close quarters the Royal Danish boat, which is always ready to set sail if the need arises.
And now it was time to bid goodbye to Copenhagen and return to the good old Aalborg. One thing to note is that most of the attractions in Copenhagen are within walkable distance, so if u r in good shape it shouldnt be tough to see around. For others theres the tram, the buses and the metro. Maps to these n the city along with pamphlets of the major happenings n attactions are available at the tourist office which is bang opposite the Hard Rock Cafe - Copenhagen. Start walking left when u exit the Central Station and its on the first traffic light.

Some other pics from the trip:-

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Surprisingly even after a year in Denmark, I hadn't seen the city. Well not a surprise considering that after staying in Delhi for 23 years I haven't seen the Qutub Minar. Copenhagen gets its name from it's Danish name København which literally is formed due to the amalgamation of the words Køben n Havn which means Merchant's Harbor. The city is a welcome break from the small town Aalborg where I stay. Of the 5.3 million inhabitants of Denmark 1.5 stay here. Well its neither too big nor too small... just the right size.

I started my day by going to the city hall the Rådhus and the square in front of it Rådhuspladsen (the Town Hall Square). It is the perfect place to start your tour of Copenhagen. It has the main bus station, hotels, restaurants and is in close proximity to Tivoli, Strøget (shopping street) and the tourist office is just about 200 mtrs down the road on Vesterbrogade.
The building was built at the start of the 20th Century and since then has been the political centre of Copenhagen. Its quite big and majestic from the outside and if u wish u can go in and have a look around n inside. The clock tower stands at 106m but the clock was placed in the tower in 1955. What purpose did it serve prior to that???? They also offer guided tours in the hall but I didnt atend one. Oh...and free washrooms as well.
On the right side of the building is Hans Christian Andersen Boulevarden and a statue of the great writer who gave us fairy tales like The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes and many more.

The bronze statue has shining thighs due the no of people who insist on sitting in it's lap and getting themselves clicked. Thanx to those bottoms at least something is shining.
Next up was the Amalienborg Palace. It consists of 4 seperate buildings, Christian VII, Christian VIII, Frederik VIII and Christian IX's Palace, built in rococo style and is where the Danish Royal family live. The equestrian statue in the middle of the square is Frederik V, the founder of Amalienborg. The Armaliemborg palaces have been home to the royal family since 1794 when the Christianborg Palace burnt down.

The Palace is guarded by the royal guards in their furry bear skin hats and once a day there is a changing of the guard at noon. The Royal Guards leaves the Rosenborg Castle at 11:30am in route to Amalienborg. Aftewards, the guard returns to Rosenborg. If the Queen is in the palace there is a band which accompanies the guards. Sadly, the Queen chose to be away when I paid her a visit... Can you believe that??? :-D
On one end of the square is Frederiks Kirke (Frederik’s Church) and on the other end is a beautiful fountain which overlooks the water front.On the other end of the water front is the Copenhagen Opera House designed by tbe Danish architect Henning Larsen (BTW Sydney opera House is also designed by a Danish architect Jørn Utzon).
The next thing I visited is a symbol of Denmark and something u would have def heard about - Den Lille Havfrue or The Little Mermaid... now fellas... the key word here is 'Little'.. believe me... its hardly noticeable..blink-and-you-will-miss-it types.
The little Mermaid sits at the waters edge with her back to the sea. This statue was inspired by The Little Mermaid fairy Tale by Hans Christian Anderson. The statue, made by artist Edvard Eriksen using his wife Elaine as the model, is made of bronze and was erected in 1913. A gift from the brewer Carl Jacobsen, of Carlsberg fame, to the city. The little one has suffered a tough life I must say. She has been decapitated twice and been covered in paint several times. Did someone say 'Living Dangerously’?
The next stop was Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady). This church is one of the most sober and simple one I have visited so far and yet so beautiful and impressive. The present church is the sixth to be built on the same site. After the fifth church was burned down during the bombardment of the town in 1807 the architect Christian Friedrich Hansen created the present classical building in 1811-29.

It has a two-storeyed interior. Behind the altar is Thorvaldsen's figure of Christ and along the walls the Twelve Apostles (on plinths). The church has witnessed many royal weddings and crownings, the latest being the marriage of The
Crown Prince Frederik and his lady love (now the) Crown Princess Mary on May 14, 2004.

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photo by: the_bill