Having been to Copenhagen quite a few times I hadn’t planned to stop and rest however a couple of good reasons enticed me to follow my own advice from a few days ago, and stop to smell the roses.
The weather was one reason. Denmark is enjoying ridiculously good weather with cloudless skies and mid 20 C ( 80 F ) temperatures. Secondly the campsite I have chosen which is a mere 6 km from the centre of town, @Charlottelundfort , is ridiculously good. Accessing the campsite invloves crossing a moat to the epicentre of what was once the fort and my tent pitch sits atop the ramparts with views over the camp and surrounding beach. Facilities are outstanding too. Thirdly, @Copenhagen is just simply a beautiful city where people seemingly walk around with a permanent smile planted on their faces. Eye wateringly expensive it might be, however in this weather there aren’t too many cities that can rival it for natural beauty and charm.
Town planners have done their best to ensure that modern architecture does not flourish at the expense of history and the National Libray is a good example of marrying the two styles.
Even the Opera house is multi functional with its 32 meter high roof also doubling as a high dive platform that once a year hosts the international diving series.
So too one of the largest paper recycling plants that sits harbourside. It’s roof will be transformed next winter into an artificial ski slope complete with a forest of pine trees.
Of course no visit to Copenhagen would be complete without viewing the famous “The Little Mermaid”. Last time I was here she was on loan to Shanghai and in her place they had erected a huge screen that televised her live from China so visitors to Copenhagen could still enjoy a view of her. If she could have a think bubble above her head you’d have to wonder what she would make of the thousands of tourists who clamber over the rocks to have their photo taken with her. I know what I was thinking.
In a city where bicycle numbers are greater than actual residents I am surprised that the local council even bothered to engage with the cycle scheme you see in other major cities. Little wonder every docking station I passed was completely full.
A poor photo that does no justice to these two wonderful men. Meet Klaus (left) and John(right) They run an outdoor shop in Central Copenhagen called B-Wild. I spent an engaging half hour with them discussing all manner of camping matters, with Klaus doing his best to entice me to ride a 1,200 km bicycle circuit in Alaska. (Fear not KSR, he failed!) They both struck me as the sort of men who were born with a fishing rod in one hand and a wood axe in the other, probably catch salmon with their bare hands and have a grizzly bear for a pet. If you are ever in town and need to buy an inflatable mattress for your tent, a pair of waterproof trousers , or simply want to have a chat with two down to earth Danes then these are your men.
Copenhagen’s famous “Church of our Saviour”. It’s golden spriral staircase runs around the external edge of the 295 foot (90 meters) spire and was constructed in 1752. They build em to last in this part of the world.
The “Marble Church”. The foundation stone was laid in 1749 however it’s architect died in 1754 before completion. There soon followed a squeeze in public funding so construction ground to a pace not too dissimilar to Australian government funded projects. Think snail pace. So much so that the church was finally inaugurated in 1894. That makes it a 145 year construction project and still probably quicker than you’d see back in the UK or Australia .
The dome itself is one of the largest in Europe and could comfortably house that topping crown within itself.
Interior of the dome as seen from one of the centre pews. In an effort to make the church as accessible as possible admission is free. Not something you see often for such a tourist attraction and certainly not in a city where they charge you for a glass of tap water or where a cappuccino will cost you £5.00 (AUD$ 8.83 or USD$ 6.69)
The historical stock exchange. 3 dragon tails and bodies adorn the spire. The original architect wanted them to be crocodiles but having never seen one he opted for dragons to represent the 3 major economies of the area , Denmark, Norway, Sweden. Hadn’t seen a crocodile but had seen a dragon?????
Only in such a design driven city as Copenhagen do you see a working display of paper lampshades being made (Le Klint) that draws plenty of street viewers. Maybe it’s the mindset of having cycled almost 4,000 km but for some reason I stood their transfixed as she made a quite beautiful lampshade. #ineedtogetalife
One of many canal side cafes / bars. Not sure there’s too many better ways to spend a stunning spring day in Copenhagen.
When I pressed Klaus (he of wood chopping - salmon fishing - grizzly bear fame) for somewhere to eat lunch he suggested Cafe Europa at the main intersection of the major shopping steeets as “a good place to sit and people watch “. He wasn’t wrong .
More on the cycling phenomena that is Copenhagen . Last year it was voted the best city in the world for cycling and also “the most liveable city”. Such is the regard for cycling that there is over 390 km of designated cycle ways within the city limits and when Bill Clinton visited here in 1997 he was gifted a bike that was named “First Bike”. There is over 10,000 km of cycle routes in the entire country and 41% of residents in Copenhagen use a bike to commute. I Googled how many bike stores there were in Copenhagen and it coughed up more pages than the Beijing phone directory.