Today we farewelled our beautiful Regal Princess, and while I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, I am confirmed in my opinion that the Royal and the Regal are just a bit too big for my preference. Give me the Diamond or the Sea Princess any day! 🙂 It’s a shame they have three more Royal class ships in the pipeline as so far, no plans to replace the smaller ships as they get moved on. We shall just have to see what happens. Some windmills off the coast of Denmark… they look so beautiful dotting the seascape. Down town Copenhagen – the architecture is very typical northern European. Love it!More trolls in the souvenir shops… there must be some massive factory somewhere churning out trolls with different Scandinavian flags!
With the weather being so beautiful this morning, we decided to take a canal ride to get a look at the city from the water. It was a wonderful trip through the town. Copenhagen was originally a Viking fishing village back in the 10th century, and only became the capital of Denmark some 500 years later in the early 15th century… some of these old buildings and old boats definitely take you back. The Copenhagen Opera House is, err, interesting. It doesn’t quite blend with the rest of the city’s neoclassical architecture though. The whole of the canal ride felt like traveling through one large Marina… so many yachts and boats. Many people living in houseboats. It looks like a lovely lifestyle for the locals. The canal boats are obviously designed to *just* fit under the canal bridges – when passing under some of them, we had barely 10 inches of clearance on each side. Stunning photo of the canal and a canal boat – complete with non-image forming spectral highlights for your enjoyment!
It was around the start of the 17th century that Copenhagen began to concrete its position as a regional power center with the development of institutions like universities, defense structures, and armed forces. They apparently suffered considerably from the plague and bad fires in the 18th century, which then forced the city to undergo another period of growth and development. This saw considerable reconstruction in the Fredriksstaden district and the founding of many cultural institutions, like the History Museum and the Royal Theatre… but it was the 19th century disasters, such as Nelson attacking the Danish/Norweigan fleet and bombarding the city, that stimulated the Danish Golden Age, which brought the final neoclassical look to Copenhagen’s architecture.
We went exploring on foot after our canal tour and first stop was the Rundetaarn – also known as the Round Tower. It is a 17th century tower right in the middle of central Copenhagen. It was an architectural structure built by Christian IV as an astronomical observatory.
Directly connected to the Round Tower is the Trinitatis Church. Also built in the 17th century, it was built to provide services to the students at the nearby Cophenhagen University and is part of the Trinitatis Complex which has an acadmic library as well.
View from our lunch spot at the Dubliner pub… why we gravitate to Irish pubs, I’ll never know! It’s probably got something to do with the certainty there will be cider!
After lunch, and some work (public transport investigations ahoy!), we set off on a bit of an adventure away from the usual tourist traps. And we thought we better do this today, while the weather was fine. 🙂 A few months ago, I stumbled onto some photos of an art project by a Danish artist by the name of Thomas Dambo. Dambo has created the ‘6 Forgotten Giants’, a project that scattered six large wooden sculptures throughout some of Copenhagen’s neglected parklands across several kilometers of parklands. The sculptures are made from recycled wooden materials, including wooden pallets, and they have been placed in areas of natural beauty that were pretty much neglected by Copenhagen residents as they cycled past on their commutes. The areas chosen were known for being places of high crime and homelessness, and the aim was to bring the city people back into the areas of natural beauty and encourage them to explore their own city. So we went out to Vallensbaek on the trains and went for a walk in the swamplands. 🙂 The area reminded me very much of the Minnippi Parklands near home, but larger, and of course with very different forest foliage. Love the weeping willows. We tramped about a bit, and then the GPS had us go off the path – Dambo has provided the exact locations of the Giants by GPS coordinates only so they can be a bit tricky to find 🙂 The map is deliberately vague.
We quite enjoyed our little wander about in the wilderness… nice flat easy walking helps with that, and the weather, as I said was stunning to too hot?! (What’s with that Copenhagen? 22C and kinda hot and sticky in the sun?)
And then we through the trees, we saw Little Tilde – my favourite of the Forgotten Giants. This art project is super cool! Totally worth the 40+mins on public transport and the walk in the forest. borys for scale! 🙂 After visiting with Little Tilde for a while, we thought we would try and find another Forgotten Giant, Thomas on the Mountain. The name should have given it away, but he was a couple of kilometers away and not as easy to find. Past some more swamps, wildlife and birds. Great herons, swans and lots of different ducks. Then up a bloody steep mountain track! I am really quite proud of myself for having made it up actually. My neck was clicking that stupid nauseating way it does, but we got up there! And here he is, lounging in a clearing up the steep hill, overlooking the valley.
If we have more time over the next few days we may go looking for some more Forgotten Giants. I think they are amazing. We would never have left the center of town if I had not seen these sculptures on some random Internet listicle. Thanks, Buzzfeed – there is something I never thought I would ever say!
After our tramp in the prettish kind of wilderness on the outskirts of town, we went to check into our hotel, and then found ourselves at… *drumroll please* another Irish pub for dinner – Rosie McGees. Very nice place, great ambiance, wonderful service, nice and quiet and good value food. Seems this area near our hotel is swamped by UK type pubs – there is the Scottish Pub, the Old English Pub, Rosie McGees and several more. We may have to try them all. Great dry ciders for the people.
Catch you all tomorrow, I’m exhausted!