"Copenhagen for Christmastime"
Normally we search out sun, sand and sea for our vacations especially in December and January. This trip came about because our daughter was studying in Copenhagen Denmark for her fall semester and my wife insisted that we join her at the end of her studies. To make a long story short, we booked the week after Christmas in Marbella Spain and that kept us from staying in CPH for Christmas day. Looking back we all wished that we could have spent Christmas in CPH.
We arrived in Copenhagen in mid-December and stayed 6 days at the Hotel Danmark.
The Danmark is a comfortable family owned hotel that is across the street from the Radhaus (city hall), two blocks from the Tivoli (worlds oldest amusement park), three blocks from the main train station and also three blocks from the west end of the Stroget (worlds longest pedestrian shopping street). It worked well for us as it was close to the area where my daughter was studying. CPH is a walking friendly city.
We spent an evening at the Tivoli which struck me as a kind of 6 flags from a much earlier time. It has rides and exhibits and many craftsmen and artists with shops and cafes.
We visited the Louisiana Art museum. My daughter was in charge of the day and managed to get us on a southbound train instead of the northbound that we needed to be on so I am confused about the exact location of the Louisiana except to know that it is on the water across the sound from Sweden. (I think. It was snowing and foggy and I was enjoying just being along for the ride). It was another snowy, magical day. The museum was warm and cozy and the view out to the foggy sea in snow covered gardents lit by gas lamps was dreamlike.
The metro is nice but it is still young and is not always convenient to all locations. When we arrived it was snowing. It snowed 5 of the 6 days that we were there. What I still do not understand is where the snow went. Streets were cleared but I barely saw a snow plow or salt truck. Although we heard that this much snow is not ordinary for December, the Danes seemed to take it in stride. It was nothing to see men and women riding bicycles through the snow, in the snow while talking on a cell phone and usually dressed for work.
The weather was actually quite comfortable as the winds were usually calm.
We spent much of our time on the Stroget (Stroll) shopping and dining or meeting our daughter and her friends for lunch, dinner or drinks. At the east end of the Stroget is the neighborhood of Nyhavn. An upscale part of town that has the most beautiful buildings, shops and residences.
During our stay we managed to visit the Rosenburgh Castle to view the museum and learn a bit of Danish history. The Danes it seems have an adventurous past. Learning and collecting flora and fauna from around the known world. We also viewed the crown jewels here.
This is a candy factory/shop that would cause me many problems if it were somewhere near my house. The smells were wonderful and the candy delicious.
We spent one day in the Christianshavn neighborhood. A very nice part of town that once again had me just walking and admiring the buildings, canals and boats. The spiral spired church is Vors Freslers. I call it St Anna’s since the street it is on is Sankt Annaegade and that is much easier for me to remember and pronounce. Near here is a very unique neighborhood that I guess is about 4 square blocks called Christiania. I am told that this area was an abandoned soldiers barracks that was taken over by homeless and “hippies” in the early ‘70s to form a free city that was exempt from most Danish laws. It appears the they have formed their own government and loose infrastructure. If you visit Christiania do not bring a camera. You are warned upon entering that photos are not allowed and I am told that visitors who ignored the warnings have had their camera physically removed and destroyed. When you leave Christiania, the sign proclaims that “you are entering the EU” We found many unique gifts here including some artwork and hand crafted Christmas ornaments.
We spent one day on a side trip to Malmo Sweden. The train trip was nice but it was an exceptionally windy day in CPH and the trains were on a delayed scheduled for some reason and waiting for our train connections was chilling. It was snowing heavily in Malmo and it was a magical day of strolling the streets and shopping for Christmas presents.
It was snowing again (surprise) the morning we left CPH for Spain which made arriving in Alicante Spain that much more of a drastic change.