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Denmark: A Long Weekend With The Happiest People in The World!
If you’re happy and you know it, go to #Denmark. I wanted to experience both the #culture of city life and the stunning Danish countryside. So, I headed on a journey of fabulous design aesthetics, world famous #history and where delectable treats abound.
After an incredible time in the Danish countryside, I had the pleasure of continuing my trip and reveling in the electric ambiance of the festive season by heading to the capital city, Copenhagen.
reveling in the electric ambiance of the festive season by heading to the capital city, Copenhagen
I arrived by train from Kokkedal (30km north of the city) to the central district, and was eager to explore. I was a tad early for check-in, so dropped my bags off at the hotel and shimmied to the shops, as the seasonal sales were in full swing. I was thrilled to find that the shopping area is pedestrianized, which makes it easier to get around and navigate around the eager shoppers (myself included).
Additionally I prefer to explore on foot with maps in hand, and camera ever-ready. I stopped off at Acne, and then headed to an antique dealer to look at out of the ordinary pieces of furniture and lighting. As I didn’t have much space in my luggage (the pitfalls of tiny suitcases!), I only left with a few trinkets, and have promised myself I shall head back more prepared next time.
For a full day of exploring, I decided to map out a route that started off at my hotel, within a short walking distance of Norreport train station, in a loop with stop offs along the way at major Copenhagen hotspots. A friend of mine has spent a lot of time here, so she also recommended lots of hidden gems that I brought along with me on the print out.
Hotel Skt Petri
Guided Segway Tour in Copenhagen
Visit Frederiksborg Castle
First stop was the Royal Danish Library, a marvellous glass building that houses the Royal Collection of literary marvels. It was freezing for the duration of my trip, so it was another ski coat and cashmere sweater day, yet the sun was shining beautifully so I was able to get great shots of the architectural features and buildings across the water.
I was able to get great shots of the architectural features and buildings across the water
As it is within the Danish Royal Library grounds (in the old Gallery House), I then headed to the Danish Jewish Museum – yet another architectural treat. The architect Daniel Libeskind designed the space inspired by and based on the Hebrew word ‘Mitzvah’, so each corner presents a new angled edge, and it is superbly in harmony with the permanent exhibitions and temporary displays. As most Danish design is based on aesthetic and functionality without compromising either, there is evidence of both, sometimes covert at other times overt, in every structure and decor.
As soon as I left the Museum, the sun was slowly being engulfed into the horizon, so I made my way back to my hotel meandering through the barracks, with a quick stop at Lagkagehuse for fluffy Danish pastries, baked swirls, and the most delectable melt-in-your-mouth hot chocolate I have tasted in a long ol’ while. It made a pleasant change from gulps of Aquavit! I also stopped off at a nearby supermarket for more bread and gravadlax salmon. I had a light supper, watched the sunset over the Copenhagen skyline, and had an early night.
Danish design is based on aesthetic and functionality
As it was another day of walking, day two in the city required lots of energy and even more layers. I picked up where I left off (in my loop), and headed towards the water’s edge. First stop was Nyhavn, the famous and kaleidoscopic row of buildings that embody a slice of the rich local history of Copenhagen. Afterwards, I carried on along the water to have a quick glimpse of the Operaen, Copenhagen Opera House, across the way (as I didn’t have time to take the boat or drive to the actual building – it is certainly on my “next time” list), and then headed to Amalianborg Palace – the collection of complexes that make up the Danish Royal Family’s home.
My rumbling tummy ought to have been a giveaway as to what time it was…on the way to my next stop I was terribly hungry, yet I couldn’t resist a stroll in a couple of independent art galleries, before a speedy lunch near Langelinie Pavillone.
yet I couldn’t resist a stroll in a couple of independent art galleries
As I was in the city that was once home to Hans Christian Andersen, the author of The Little Mermaid, I heard lots of stories about him (including whilst on a walking tour at Nyhavn, earlier in the day) and had to explore the area that houses the homage to his famous fairy tale, The Little Mermaid.
It was soon time to head back to my hotel, to repack and prepare for my trip back home. I made another pit-stop at Amalienborg (again), as I saw lots of activity. Much to my surprise, there were several horses and horse guards lined up, they were practicing for a parade where the Queen of Denmark and her family would be the following day. It was a shame to have missed the next day’s activities, but in the same breath I was thrilled to have taken home many wonderful memories, and even made a new friend who is originally from Hong Kong yet now resides in England. That is the joy of travelling, I never know the experiences that await, nor who I’m going to meet next...