We recently came back from a wonderful trip to the Baltic region. The first stop on our journey was the city of Copenhagen in the country of Denmark. We arrived at our hotel, the First Hotel Vesterbro by 9am and amazingly enough, they had a room ready for us. The hotel was very conveniently located near a supermarket and a great little shop that carried wonderful fresh fruit. It was nice to be able to get provisions close at hand. The hotel as also about 3 blocks from the Central train station and only 4 blocks from Tivoli. While it wasn't a four star hotel by American standards, the bedroom was always clean, there was a decent buffet breakfast, and the front desk staff was very helpful. The only real negative is that Danish air conditioning is not quite up to the standards of American air conditioning.
On our first day, after unpacking a little, we took a walk all the way down Stroget to Nyhaven.Stroget is the main pedestrian-only shopping street, over a mile long (plus the walk to the Radhuspladsen, where Stroget begins).At Nyhavn (the most popular canal with lots of outdoor cafes, we had lunch at Nyhavns Faergekro – we had different types of smorrebrod (open faced sandwiches). From Nyhaven we took a narrated canal cruise which was really AWESOME!!We saw the new funky modern opera house, Christiana, the old shipyard and barracks which have been turned into apartments, a battle ship that accidently targeted a neighborhood while on training and got decommissioned as a result, Trekroner island, the Little Mermaid, the yacht owned by the owner of the Miami Heat, Amelienborg, Christianavn, Christianborg, Torvel’s museum and many REALLLLLLY low bridges.
After the cruise, we had dinner at Restaurant Els just at the beginning of Nyhavn and was able to listen to Jazz Festival concert (the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, with over 900 concerts and performances in 10 days, started the day we arrived, and there were free concerts practically on every corner on Stroget. After listening to some music, we walked back down Stroget to Hotel 27 and the ICE BAR!
Here are some photos of our hotel, Nyhaven, the canal cruise and the Ice Bar. Click on the photos to enlarge the images!
On our next day in Copenhagen we taxied to Carlsberg Brewery, played with the elephants out frontand took the tour, which included the world's largest collection of unopened beer bottles. From there, we walked through Fredericksberg Have to FredericksbErg Slot – only to discover that it was NOT FredericksbOrg Slot – where we wanted to go.Just one letter (and a 40 minute train ride) off…but we did see a bride and groom who were using the Slot for their wedding. In a moment of bravery, we took the public bus back to the hotel. It was very clean, cheap and convenient (and fortunately, the hotel was just several miles down Vesterbrogade, the same street that ran in front of the Slot. Later in the day we went to Tivoli Gardens and it was just magical.We wandered around for several hours playing old fashioned carnival games (including my personal favorite, skeeball).Mark won me a bouncy heart (and a stuffed cat that I gave to a young girl) playing the horse race game where your horse moves depending on the numbered slot you roll your ball into.Mark RULES at that game.We watched people screaming on the free fall ride and then went to dinner at Faergekroen Bryghus overlooking the lake.Mark had the schnitzel and I had the lamb shank braised in beer – YUMMY.Mark had too much sun in his eyes but it was a nice evening.After dinner we wandered around and watched the lights come on in the park and listened to a free concert as part of the Jazz Festival. Watching the lights come over Nimb, the Moorish styled building in the park was wonderful (it is the "signature" photo on our website).
On our third day in Copenhagen we went off to visit the correct Frederick – FredericksbOrg Slot in Hillerod.We took a train from Central Station (annoying automatic ticket machines which require a pin number even for an AmEx card which is NOT given out routinely in the U.S.) and then walked through the picturesque town to the castle.It was very pretty with a lake (moat) surrounding it, but admittedly I am not a big fan of Danish old world paintings and furniture.We walked around the gardens for a while and then took a small ferry boat around the lake back to the main town square.After getting back to Copenhagen we went to Canton Restaurant for dinner across the street from our hotel. Here are some photos from Fredericksborg Slot.
Our fourth day in Copenhagen was supposed to be cool and rainy – and ended up being warm and sunny until 3pm, then it got a little cool and drizzled for like 5 minutes, and then got mostly sunny again.Everyone probably thought we are nuts, but we wanted cool and partly cloudy – temperatures were running a good 5-10 degrees warmer than anticipated.Next time we're going to pack a little bit extra for unexpectedly warm weather.
After breakfast we took a quick taxi ride over to Rosenborg Slot, and saw the crown jewels and other historical artifacts.We met a group of Florida and Georgia tourists from the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas who kindly took our photo, and warned us about folks on their cruise getting pickpocketed in St. Petersberg and Tallinn – we decided that Sharon would leave her engagement ring in the safe on those two stops, particularly Tallinn where we planned to wander around on our own without a group tour (we avoided group tours whenever possible - but they are essential for St. Petersberg).But they otherwise loved the cities.We briefly stopped into the Botanisk Have ("Have" - "garden" in Danish) but decided to concentrate on Rosenborg (another mostly dark baroque palace – but not quite as dark as Fredericksborg).After touring the castle we wandered through Rosenborg Have and Kongens Have and caught part of a Jazz Festival concert while relaxing under the trees with about 500 families (it was a “Jazz for Kids” event).Then we headed off to Amelienborg Slot, stopping along the way at Ida Davidson Café (a “1000 Places to See”) but alas, closed for the entire month of July.We then swung by Marmokierken with a stunning domed roof before visiting the Royal Palace.Inside Amelienborg we met a couple from New York who was walking around at about the same place.We all thought the rooms were overstuffed – my theory was the first visiting dignitary to a king learned the king liked pipes, so every visitor thereafter brought a pipe – hence, 30 pipes on a desk!
We got a good recommendation for lunch from one of the guys at the palace but alas – closed on Monday – so off we went back to Nyhaven.We had lunch at S.A.R.S. Kommandoren where we had an excellent – although windy – lunch outside.I had the very yummy shrimps with smoked salmon on toast.Mark had a “fine” shrimps with egg.Dessert was just ok – Mark liked the vanilla ice cream more than I liked the chocolate cake it came with.We met a gentleman from Brazil who was traveling (it’s kind of hard not to meet your table neighbors at outdoor cafes – the tables are really close together).Afterwards we strolled all the way back down Stroget and caught another Jazz Festival concert and did a little dancing in the street again.We stopped in several shops but other than 2 magnets, bought nothing.Danish design definitely is not our “thing.”
After resting in the room a bit we decided to make tonight our second Tivoli evening since the weather forecast was for very high probability of rain on Tuesday.Mark and I jointly won me avery cute teddy bear, now known as Tivol the Teddy Bear and I actually WON a game of roll the ball to make the horse race in a field of 12!!!The prize wasn’t much (I chose a deck of cards) but it was fun to win.We ate dinner at Perlen, ok, nothing fabulous.
On our fifth and final full day in Copenhagen we went to Ny Carlsberg Glypotek (art museum).We visited the entire Ny Carlsberg Glypotek museum, spending the most time in the Ancient World Area.The galleries spanned from 12,000 BC to about 600 AD, organized very nicely in a chronological fashion.There was also a very nice “winter garden” central courtyard from which the galleries spanned, and which contained a few sculptures.Unfortunately, in a moment of instant Karma, Mark and I got on an elevator and another couple was trying to get on with us but the doors were closing.We looked for the “open door” button but couldn’t figure it out in Danish.The doors closed without the other couple.Mark and I got off the elevator and we both immediately and simultaneously failed to notice a small step which we both walked off quite hard – Mark irritating his back, me irritating my left knee.Ugh.
After the Glypotek, we walked across Hans Christian Anderson Boulevard to look for a place for lunch.After walking around for a while we ended up back toward Stroget and ate in a downstairs restaurant in the last square before Radhuspladsen.The food was interesting – I got the variety platter which contained the usual yummy smoked salmon!!!After lunch we walked back to our hotel via a short side stop on Axeltorv to try to find the Zum Biergarten which was going to be having a Jazz Festival concert.After checking out the place we decided it was not exactly our thing.For dinner we decided to wander down the street in our “neighborhood”.We looked at Li Li – an ultra trendy Thai restaurant which stated on its menu that “we do not make any changes”.We went somewhere else - ________, a lovely decorated Chinese restaurant.I had some yummy spareribs and crispy shrimp.Mark had the largest spring roll I have ever seen as well as a beef dish.We both had the same dessert – excellent strawberry ice cream with a chocolate covered crepe.After dinner we got on with the packing.
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