Gundestrup Caldron – National Museum, Copenhagen Largest known sample of European Iron Age silverwork dating 200 BC – 300 AD
Continuing on with my Copenhagen memories…
Another cold and damp day! We are going to the National Museum but first, brunch at Cafe Klimt and we were not disappointed! We bought “clip cards” for the busses and hopped on one to the town hall square, Radhuspladsen. The famed Tivoli Gardens amusement park is next to the square and the central train station is nearby as well. We walked around the building taking pics and then to the museum which isn’t far from there.
It’s a natural history type museum of the area, from prehistoric times to the present. There are some wonderful old artifacts and treasures including some gold and silver, paintings, even burial treasure. It’s a really big museum with free entry but a lot to see in one go. We went around to the bits we most wanted to see, had a coffee in the cafe and later headed back out into the historic centre to browse the shops along the narrow cobbled streets.
Stroget – Actually five adjoining streets, pedestrianized for shoppers in Copenhagen. Starts at the Town Hall square and ends in Kongens Nytorv square.
The Stroget is a long series of 5 streets back to back that has been pedestrianized and set up for shopping. It’s been so well received that other similar shopping areas like it have been implemented in many other European cities.
The shops range from high end department stores and designer shops to low end souvenir kiosks and everything in between. Side and parallel streets have good stores as well including antiques. There’s a flagship Lego store on the Stroget and there are usually buskers and entertainers scattered through the throngs of people. We were mainly after a few souvenirs so didn’t go into the department stores or posh places like the Royal Copenhagen china store though I did drool at the window for a few minutes.
We had trouble again trying to get a place to eat because, it being Friday night, you pretty much needed a reservation anywhere and we didn’t think to do that. We blagged our way into the restaurant next to the hotel, an Italian place called La Rocca but got the distinct feeling we were putting them out. It was a posher place than we anticipated and we really weren’t dressed for it as we usually prefer more casual surroundings but I did catch the waiter off guard when I ordered *in* Italian and said “Grazie”. The service improved every so slightly after that.
As usual with the more upscale restaurants, and something we should have remembered, the portions are small. We had looked at ordering the pizza and didn’t, favouring the ravioli which, when it came, barely covered half the plate but what really annoyed us was seeing someone at the next table be served with a pizza. It was huge and the person ordering it didn’t even eat half of it! The food was good, but we were not happy with the attitude of the staff and the portions and the price which was not cheap. Live and learn!
We were supposed to go to the airport tonight with Dave because his brother was arriving for a visit, and then for drinks but I was still chilled from the day so I opted out and they had a boys’ night out instead. I got a cup of tea from the hotel lobby and busied myself with my journal and the free wifi in the room!
Day four in Copenhagen dawned, yes you guessed it, overcast and chilly. Omelets for breakfast at Klimt and off to catch a bus for the hop on hop off tour to get an overview of the city. The ticket is good for two days if we want to do more tomorrow, though in the end, we didn’t. We caught it at the town hall and went around the main route.
We got round to where the other ubiquitous Copenhagen tourist icon is, the Little Mermaid. Normally this small statue sits on a rock out in the harbour about 10 feet from shore. Copenhagen is Hans Christian Andersen country and this is one of those stops that most of the tourists make to take photos. We wouldn’t have bothered going at all but the bus stopped there.
Guard at Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen
The thing is, the Mermaid statue was actually not there! She was off on a tour of China so she wasn’t sitting on her rock. There’s a large video screen erected in front of it showing a live feed from China where you can see the Mermaid on her/a rock with Chinese tourists looking at her. Bizarre. And the weird thing is, people actually get off the bus and go look and take photos. Of the video screen. *shakes head*
One place we got off was the square at the Amalienborg palaces, a cobbled area that has four nearly identical palaces surrounding it where some of the royal family live. There’s a museum in one of them as well. It’s also a traffic roundabout normally so you would want to be careful. As luck would have it, it was nearly midday and the traffic was all stopped for the daily changing of the palace guard so we got to stand in the centre of the square and watch it. It’s quite nice to watch, not a huge production like the Buckingham Palace one.
Marble Church (Marmorkirken, officially known as Frederik’s Church, for King Frederik V)
We also had a look in the huge Marble Church or Marmorkirken with it’s Baroque dome on top. That’s just a block away and a block to the other direction, on the harbour front is a little park with a big fountain that looks across the harbour to the new Opera house. We walked towards Nyhavn from there, with a coffee stop, By the time the next tour bus came, we just took it back to the start and decided that was enough for one day. We walked down into Stroget to find somewhere to eat though weren’t overly impressed with our lunch. We went back to the hotel before going out again for an early dinner with Dave, his wife and son and his brother. It was nice to meet his wife finally! She owns a shop selling goth and club gear near the university which we also got to see en route to a buffet restaurant called RizRaz. Good food, mostly vegetarian on the buffet but you can also order some meat as an add on.
The evening was another quiet one for me as the men were off to record another radio show. I could have gone but it was a squash with four of us the other night so a fifth would have been too uncomfortable. I left them to it, bought some snacks and curled up with the telly.