Disoriented in Denmark... Scatterbrained in Scandinavia... or all three at once!
I have to confess that for the past several days I have being feeling somewhat confused. I had no idea that Oslo and Copenhagen could have so many similarities. For example: their money has the same name (kroner); the languages overlap to a large degree; both cities are clean, modern and attractive; the weather is on the damp and chilly side; and, yeah, everything’s still expensive. Half the time I have no idea which country I’m in! I mean, I am the first to admit that I have no sense of direction and that only takes a corner or two before I am hopelessly lost, but I am usually able to point to my current location on a world map without having to stop and think about it. It might be better if we’d spent longer in each place, but, like Norway, we’re only making a brief pit stop in Denmark.
The reason I wanted to visit Copenhagen in the first place was because I saw the Hans Christian Andersen movie with Danny Kaye when I was a kid, and I really like his fairy stories, so I wanted to see Hans C.’s house and the Little Mermaid statue. Smart people would have done their homework, however, and discovered that Mr. A. was not actually born in Copenhagen but Odense, two hours outside the city. Smart people would also have factored in enough time to take a day trip to Odense in order to see said house and museum. I, sadly, was not a smart person, so the nearest I got to anything Hans-related was looking at a plaque on a wall next to a house he stayed in when he visited Copenhagen.
I did see the Little Mermaid, though, when I went on a canal boat ride. It was almost impossible to get a decent photo, though, ‘cos of all the people taking pictures on the shore. (Blooming tourists – they spoil everything!) Never mind, that’s why graphics editing programs were invented, right?
I think the most unusual evening we spent in Copenhagen was at the famous Tivioli Gardens theme park. I’m not a huge fan of these places, as a rule – got no stomach for the gut-churning rides – but as our hotel was just round the corner we decided to give it a shot. We also chose to go at night so we could see all the pretty lights.
As I say, I don’t like fast rides much, and I’m not good with heights, so what possessed me to go on this thing I cannot say:
This is the Star Flyer, the world’s tallest carousel. High, innit? Pete says I crushed his hand the entire time we were up there. I was pretty brave, though; I didn’t scream my head off, and I even opened my eyes at one point!
Pete, the big showoff, likes all those fast, head-spinning rides, and doesn’t even have the decency to feel ill afterwards like normal people. Here he is looking smug:
Tivoli is more than an amusement park, though. It has extensive sculptured gardens, a variety of restaurants, and a concerts and theatrical performances throughout the day.
We had a great time, and I would recommend it for both kids and adults. One thing I would say, though, is invest in the prepaid armbands that allow you to go on the rides as many times as you like. They may seem expensive, but it’s better value for money than buying tokens individually.
Before I go, I have some info for anyone who is considering visiting Denmark:
When it comes to eating out here, veggie options are thin on the ground! I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t like to eat meat every day of the week, and I’ve had a heck of a job trying to satisfy my non-carnivorous cravings. If you are lucky enough to find a menu that has a vegetarian section, it usually only has a few items, and one of those will be pizza. However, we accidentally stumbled upon a solution. We’d dropped into a pub called The Southern Cross (being honorary Kiwis, we had to with a name like that!) and got talking to the landlord. He recommended a nearby buffet restaurant which operated on an all-you-can-eat-in-an-hour policy. For a bit extra, you can add an all-you-can-drink option from the bar. This place was excellent! It had a humungous salad bar, a few hot meat-based options, plus pasta, so Pete and I were both able to (over)indulge.
So if you’re in Copenhagen, you might want to check ‘em out:
Ad Libitum at Rådhuspladsen 75, Copenhagen
The Southern Cross at Løngangstræde 37 Copenhagen (good if you like watching sport on TV!)