"" Writer's Wanderings: Denmark -- Copenhagen

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Denmark -- Copenhagen

Our last port before disembarking in Amsterdam was Copenhagen. Our 28 days of truly spectacular weather disintegrated in Copenhagen. Other days when we were out exploring, we usually got some breaks if the weather was rainy. This day it rained the whole morning that we spent out and about.

As we exited the gangway and passed the shops that line the pier, we noticed a new addition since we'd last been there. A grownup version of the Little Mermaid--a very grownup buxom towering mermaid that was added to the cruise harbor in 2007. How many people would think that was the Little Mermaid?

A few minutes later, we came upon the real Little Mermaid, Den Lille Havfrue, the statue that reminds us of Hans Christian Anderson's famous story. This is the city where he lived and worked. The statue actually has a story that says she is a sea king's daughter who must wait on her rock for 300 years before she can enter the world of humans. She only has 204 more to go.

The walk into town is very pretty taking you along the shore and then through gardens, coming out on a plaza near a bridge where you have the beautiful view of St. Alban's church and the Gefion Fountain which is a bronze goddess commandeering four oxen who are snorting water spray.

A few more minutes and you can look down a road at the magnificent dome of Frederikskirke, the marble church. So far so good. We were following the Google map I made. At an intersection near the church, we encountered several people who looked lost. I became an international tourist guide of sorts as a group of Chinese asked if I knew in which direction the castle was and then a Dutch couple asked if I knew where the Nyhaven area was. I was feeling pretty smart as I showed my map and gave directions. The feeling wasn't to last.

We arrived at Nyhaven, a canal along which Hans Christian Anderson lived--in three different places. It's a lovely quaint area filled on one side with all sorts of restaurants and cafes. Since it was starting to spit a little rain again, we opted for our morning cappuccinos under some umbrella covered tables with a view of two of the places where Anderson lived, #18 the orange building and #20 the red one. We also walked down to #67 where there is a plaque in the facade indicating his former residence but it's a dull building compared to the others.

From Nyhaven we walked up a ways into the downtown area where there is a large department store. Since the rain was getting heavier, we took shelter inside and rode the escalators all the way to the top exploring each level as we did. One thing I've noticed in all our travels is that merchandisers have a universal language when it comes to SALE!

At the top of the department store, is a food court but unlike our malls, these tables were all covered in linen. I imagine the view would have been much better without the rain and the poor angel sitting on the ledge certainly looked forlorn in overcast gray skies.

Outside again, we headed in the direction of the Rosenburg Castle. Everything was going well and then it happened. A little side street that looked inviting and led to another and soon we were off our map and completely turned around. We tried asking directions of a German couple but it got lost in translation. After several twists and turns, we finally ended up at the Castle where we could see in the distance the royal guard we thought were preparing for their march to Amalienborg palace to change guards. Unfortunately we discovered that we were way too early for the march (never totally trust the travel guides).

The rain became heavier. We were tired. A dry room and a good lunch sounded best. We wound our way back to the ship, past the buxom mermaid, and called it a day.

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