Friday, November 13, 2015

København, Denmark Day 2.

Right. Day 2 of Denmark before I forget.

(I've probably forgotton half of it by now anyway.)

Day 2. Friday.

Due to the absurdly long rest that we had the night before, I managed to do some googling of things to do in Copenhagen (CPH). Admittedly there's a lot of museums (cough) like any other European cities (albeit Denmark is actually Scandinavian, or Schengen? you read and tell me) so personally to us, there's probably not much to do. But one thing that we did manage to find out is the free walking tour they have daily. So armed with thousands of excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, we headed up and early to the City Hall Square where the meeting point is.

I said up and early because our previous Euro trips have shown that 11am to be the time when we're both still scrambling over tiny hotel room deciding who should have a shower first.

And guys, the tour was, fan-tas-tic.

For something as free as the air you breathe in, I'll say it again, it was, fan-tas-tic.

They work on a tip basis, so do give them some tip, whatever you think the tour is worth for.

The City Hall Square

Our tour guide, Rikke, born and bred in Denmark, a true Dane. She's hillarious and funny but not in a weird way. You know sometimes when people try to be funny and make jokes but everyone else are not getting it and in the end there's only awkward silence and polite nods? That is definitely not her.

If you look closely at the corner of the building there's actually a thermometer showing current temperature. It's not as obvious in the daylight but as you scroll/read this post further, we'll see it a bit better in a different picture. (in a tour guide voice)

And here's the biggest fact that we learnt during the trip - Carlsberg is actually originally from Denmark. We kept getting it confused with Guinness, which is obviously Irish, hence the surprise. But anyways, above is the place where Carlsberg founder, JC Jacobsen was born. He named the company, Carlsberg, after his son, Carl Jacobsen. Well not that we drink anyway, but it's nice to know the history around something you see so commonly that even Carlsberg and Guinness become mixed up.

Here's another fact around CPH. They had two big fires in the 1700s destroying most of the city. After the second fire in 1795, the new buildings were built such that the corners were cut out, ie no sharp corners. This was to allow the fire trucks to get to the streets around the city centre, since fires were a big thing during that time. And guess what, the City Hall that we saw earlier is actually the fourth city hall of CPH, after the first two burned down in fire. The third one is now used as a court, and the fourth one is what you see today.

Hotel D'Angleterre, a 5-star hotel where the Nazi camped during their stay in Copenhagen. It is Adam's dream that one day we'll get to stay there, although I highly doubt that I ever want to come to Copenhagen, again. But one fine day, that is.

A march from the palace to I'm not sure where, and I've also forgotten what was the occasion.

Nyhavn (pronouned new-haan), the bit of Copenhagen that you see on postcards. It's a lovely place to hang around, but slightly more expensive than everywhere else in the city. Reminded me a bit of the Nine Streets of Amsterdam, but to be fair Amsterdam is a whole lot of canals, so it's kinda pointless to compare the two, really.

My favourite thing about Denmark - their monarchy! This is actually a palace, there's another two buildings of almost similar architecture for different royal families who live there. And while we thought Queen Elizabeth of United Kingdom has been around since, you know, forever, the monarchy of Denmark is actually the oldest in the Europe. It has been said that when Queen Elizabeth came to visit the royal family in Denmark, she had to bow to them because their monarchy is much older than UK's. To what extent is this true, I have no idea.

Another fascinating fact (good pun?) about the Danish monarchy is that they are of very humble people. In the above picture you see the Princess Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark cycling with her two kids. Remember how I said the Danes cycle everywhere? Even the royals cycle you see! She met the Prince of Denmark, Prince Frederik in Sydney during Olympics, where she had no idea who he was. If you google up their love story, it seems like some kind of a perfect modern-day fairytale, where a prince met a commoner and have loads of beautiful children (four, to be exact).

But anyways, back to being humble, their children all went to public schools, and refused to be treated as the royalty. And as you can see even their palace is not of a high-gated well-secluded area away from sights of the commoner (like us). We even caught her on camera, chilling cycling like nobody's business with her two kids. Ahh happy life.

Copenhagen Opera House, one of the most expensive opera houses ever built.

** Tour ended somewhere around here. **

But seriously guys, if you ever go to any European cities that offer free walking tour and you have no specific plans, might as well give it a go. We wondered why hadn't we done that before in other cities. It was so worth it that the cheapskate in us didn't mind tipping Rikke for the tour.

Three hours of sakit kaki, no regrets.

Here we can see one of the most disappointing landmarks, The Little Mermaid. Although admittedly it is some kind of a must-see in Copenhagen. Don't be deceived by this picture, it's absolutely tiny, and sits absolutely still (haha). We only went to see her because we were in the area, if not, I'll definitely give it a pass. And people, honestly, forget it. Unless you're a big fan of HC Andersen, the original author of he fairytale Little Mermaid, in which case you'd probably get one of the biggest satisfaction in life by seeing this very patient lady waiting for the love of her life, until today (or ever).

Adam was so amused by the cycling route here in Copenhagen that I had to take this picture. 

(Only to came back to UK and realise that the UK also have something like this, albeit not as sophisticated).

And that sums up the day. We went back to the hotel for a bit then left again in the evening to the second oldest theme park in the world - Tivoli, which will hopefully be in a different post because it's just a whole load of pictures.

All in all we walked for a total of nine hours, me in the bloody boots and whatnot. Survived, phew.

And as promised, here is the giant thermometer at the city that we saw earlier. At night.

See that thing on the right most? Just under the Thai sign (not very Danish I suppose). It was 10°C that night. 

Itu je.

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