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A Weekend Break to Copenhagen

Updated: May 7, 2019

Copenhagen has long been on my bucket list, but even though it was close I had never managed to go. So I was pleasantly surprised when a couple of friends I made on an earlier trip to Peru this year contacted me and said did I want to meet up in Denmark. Of course I said yes and a long weekend to Copenhagen was planned.

The plan was for an early morning Saturday flight, 3 days, 2 nights and return Monday evening back home, but to squeeze in as much as possible. After landing and checking into the hotel, I ventured out for a couple hours to look around until my friends arrived. The hotel was near a fun part of the city, New Harbour, covered in busy cafes and bars.

I had heard tales about how expensive it was, but in the end was pleasantly surprised when I got there and started to look around. Well the ice cream was good and reasonable anyway.

First it was off to the Little Mermaid, a small statue on the harbour, commissioned by Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of Carlsberg after watching a Hans Christian Anderson play in the local theatre. The old saying I thought it would be bigger sprung to mind, but I guess it is all in the name really, not sure why I expected a giant. The statue is placed on a rock at the waters edge and is free to see. Considering the damage it has sustained over the years through mainly vandalism and being defaced it is in remarkable shape thanks to the restoration team.

Next off to Kastellet, a well preserved fortress on the harbour built in 1664. The fort contains military buildings still used to this day along with a church and a windmill and is free to enter. The star shape provided the best possible panoramic views for the cannons. Although it has some military use, it is mainly a park for the public now, popular with joggers and tourists.

Walking back to the New Harbour, close by is the Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish Royal family. Unfortunately we missed the changing of the guard, but I did get to a see a friend do a handstand in the square. The grounds are free but there is a charge to go in the palace. Due to time constraints I wasn't able to get back in time to see the inside before leaving Copenhagen.

Fredericks Church, built in 1749, known as Marble Church is the largest dome church in Scandinavia, again free to enter and with a stunning ceiling. Known as the Marble Church because it was originally intended to build the complete church in marble but due to cost this was abandoned.

Our final stop of the evening was Tivoli Gardens, which is a strange place to describe, I think the best description is Disneyland Epcot on acid. It is an amusement park with a sort of world theme, but housing a strange eclectic mix of obscure items, attractions and rides. It has the traditional roller coaster and others, but also some old school fairground stalls. Plenty of restaurants and at the time we visited the Voice 2017 concert in the middle of the park. It is an amazing place and to think it is in the middle of the city is quite remarkable. Saturdays are finished off with a fireworks show at 23:45, closes at midnight.

After walking almost 26km that day and only having 1 hour sleep in 36 hours I was beat so we cheated and got a taxi back to the hotel, a very soft bed awaited.

Sunday morning was time for brunch and time to meet up and plan the day. Brunch was excellent and set us up ready for the harbour boat tour, a great way to see Copenhagen. The 1 hour boat tour was very cheap and run regularly from Nyhaven. The Black Diamond library above was shimmering as per its design in the sun.

The tour took us past The Royal Yacht Dannebrog, fortunately it was in home waters.

Next it was time to conquer my fear of heights, well maybe not conquer but temporarily ignore it and climb 2 towers in the city. The first was the tower at Christiansborg Palace. The building is a government building housing the Prime Ministers office, Parliament and the Supreme Court. The tower was fairly mild, an elevator and a few steps took us to the top. Fortunately the top had large railings to hold humans back, but didn't work well if you dropped your phone.

Below are some of the views from The Tower.

The next visit was the Church of Our Saviour, built in 1682 including the tower, but the spire was not added until much later in 1742. Now this was a knee trembler for me as I have a chronic fear of heights. Fortunately a friend I was with agreed to queue with me and also provide a cushion for me by going in front of me on the way down should I fall.

The first 250 steps were inside the main tower, very steep and tight, but were fine. The next 150 were alfresco and went round an external spire. With a see through railing it certainly made a certain part of my anatomy take notice. The steps just spiraled up to the top of the tower where they just stopped. I really do not know how but holding on for dear life with one hand I did manage to get a few pictures of the view which was stunning.

Unfortunately due to the time it took to queue and get up and down the tower we ran out of time to go back and see the royal palace and castle that day and for my friends who were leaving in the morning. A noble sacrifice, thanks Logan and Shelena. 👍

After a hectic day of sight seeing we retired to Restaurant Salt on the harbour for a meal and to enjoy the company of a special waitress. It was the last day with friends so we drank to a great trip, enjoyed some excellent food and I bid my farewell to partial team Peru.

So the last day, well morning of the trip gave me enough time to visit Rosenborg Castle, originally a royal residence but rarely used in later years. The castle and the treasury are open to the public for a fee. The interior is as you expect, plush and regal and the treasury holds many danish jewels of the royal family from past.

With just enough time left I took a relaxing stroll through the Botanical Gardens.


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