Saturday, 10 September 2011

A long weekend in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a beautiful city and Danes are lovely people.

We recently spent the British August bank holiday in Copenhagen. Arriving early on the Friday morning after an uncomfortable Easyjet flight from Stansted we disembarked in glorious sunshine. Copenhagen airport is, like the rest of Copenhagen, beautifully designed, terrifically efficient (average time through security: 6 minutes) and welcoming. The newly built and still expanding metro service (which incidentally is suicide proof!) takes you straight from the terminal to the city centre in under 15 minutes and for not many Kroner. And from the city centre just about everything is within walking distance.

I'm no travel writer so here is a photo illustrated list of my prevailing thoughts and impressions of this magnificent city:

Copenhagen has a lot of parks and public gardens. You can spend a day just walking around parks if you wanted to. Locals seem to use them too. When the weather was good we saw Danes pitched in parks with crates of Carlsberg/Tuborg. Below is the most beautiful of all the parks, the Botanic Gardens:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


Danes do design. The state museum for modern design is a good example of this. I just wish my photography could do it justice:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


Even the children's play area is stylish and 'designed':

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


Herons are a common site in the many parks and gardens. So much so there are statues of them dotted around the city:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


These terracotta buildings used to be army barracks but they seem to be domestic dwellings nowadays. I thought they looked stunning and enjoyed photographing them:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


This windmill resides at the centre of an active fort, surrounded by a star-shaped moat:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


There is a _lot_ of graffiti in Copenhagen, this was one of the less permanent examples:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


Danes love their statues. Below is the famous Little Mermaid statue, a frequent victim of political activists. Below that is a statue we found en route which we mistook for the little mermaid. I'm divided as to which one I prefer:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


We came across some crazy Danes. Here are some of them:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


Just about every famous Danish person in history was called Christian. Here is the city's much loved Hans Christian Anderson, children's author and figurehead for the city:

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


Copenhagen is a city of canals. This one completely separated the state offices from the mainland. It was frequently circumnavigated by tourist barges not much smaller than the archways of the many bridges that cross it.

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


Back to more striking architecture and this is the new university library. Its like a glass battleship beached along the canal. Inside it has expansive concrete balconies and stairways at inconvenient angles, curvy passageways and a pretty reasonable cafe.

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


Christiania is an odd place. It is a self ruling community established in the seventies at a disused military base. It is now a haven for soft drug users, hippies and graffiti artists seeking something approaching immunity from the law. It is a surprisingly popular tourist destination. You are prohibited from running and taking photographs - both activities 'make people nervous'. Below is the entrance to this place.

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


If you want a beer in Copenhagen you have a choice of Carlsberg or Tuborg. Both are now brewed by Carlsberg brewery and it could be argued are indistinguishable. Drinking out is not cheap in Copenhagen. Even though the brewery is a stone throw from the centre. We took a S-train out of the city to visit it. There is a quaint museum charting the history of brewing in Denmark and an impressive, world record breaking, collection of bottled beer.

From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


From Copenhagen, Summer 2011


As part of the preparations for our visit I compiled a Google map with markers of all the places to visit. Since I don't have a camera with geo-tagging capabilities (yet) I've embedded the map below so I can remember where we went and what we saw (and photographed):


View Copenhagen Trip Aug '11 in a larger map

All my photos from this trip are in this Picasa web album:

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