Re-creating the 1950 visit.
1950 Poloroid -L-R - Me, Very stern guide in Copenhagen, my sister and my mom
I'd been to Copenhagen before - in 1950 with my parents and sister (when I was 12). We visited Tivoli gardens, and took a ferry out to Hamlet's castle. From Copenhagen we went to Germany which was still divided into four sectors. Now I was visiting again - 59 years later with my 12 year old granddaughter This time we took the Hop-on Hop-off bus to see the city, and we also went to Tivoli Gardens Then we got on a cruise ship for a Baltic cruise
11 June 2009
I had set the timer on the TV to wake us up at 6:45 and it actually did. My back is so painful this morning that I could hardly stand up long enough to take a shower. Breakfast was very good - they had cereal and milk, orange and apple juice various kinds of bread (rye crisp, pumpernickel and white bread) butter, rolls, sliced meats, cheese, liver pate, and Danish. I particularly liked the chocolate one.
My breakfast selection
They also had tea and coffee. Breakfast is 7 to 10:30.
Sitting at the window at breakfast
Yesterday we went to the Tourist Information office and got on at Axeltorv/Tivoli and saw the Little Mermaid.
After breakfast, I hobbled up to the bus stop (which is only about 3 blocks and should be no problem as we know where it is now)
Subway station with bikes
and we got on the first bus of the day for the Red or Mermaid route. The Mermaid (Red) Tour takes 1 hour. Before we got on the bus, I took a photo of this building which was a winning photo in the ugly building contest on VT. It represents Danish industry in this area.
Industriens Hus - an ugly building
Mermaid Tour Stops
Although the name for this place in Danish is Rådhuspladsen, I just call it the Town Hall Square. It is quite big. The biggest thing in it is the Copenhagen Town Hall. Actually, you can see the tower of the Town Hall from many places in Copenhagen, such as the Ferris Wheel at Tivoli Gardens. But there are other towers around the square such as the
Painting on the tower
I took pictures of it thinking it was some historic building or part of the Town Hall.
Town Hall from the Hop on Hop off bus stop
Anyway, the Town Hall was built between 1892 and 1905 and is partly Italian Renaissance and partly medieval Danish architecture. If you are interested in statistics, the tower is 350 ft tall. According to what I read on the internet, the World Clock at the main entrance was designed and constructed by Jens Olsen in 1955 shows not only the time and date but also various astronomical constellations. You might look for that when you are there.
Tower from the side
A statue of Bishop Absalon in gilded copper is over the main entrance
Bishop Absalon in gilded copper
There are also a lot of sculptures in the square. It took us a long time to walk across and we took a lot of pictures of the sculptures which when I got home and looked at my pictures I was surprised to find I was still in Town Hall Square when I took them.
There are four main sculptures
The Dragon Fountain (Danish: Dragespringvandet), depicting a bull and a dragon in combat. This was the one I took a photo of yesterday of my granddaughter chasing the pigeons
Dragon's Leap Fountain
There was also a large statue of Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christen Andersen
Hans Christian Anderson statue
and some things that looked like rhinoceroses with wings
The Lur Blowers are on a column with Lur Horn players at the top .
The Lur was a trumpet-like instrument of the Viking Age. The primary use for the shepherd's lur-horn up to the present to call the cattle home. The statue dates from 1914.
Lur Horn Players
and the fourth one is The Weather Girl (Danish: vejrpigen
Weather Forecast (broken) in 2009
The Weather Girl rides out on a bicycle in good weather. When it rains she comes out of the other side carrying an umbrella. There is a thermometer on the side of the building to show the temparature. When I was there in 1950, the Weather Girl still worked and it was warmer.
My dad's photo of the 1950 weather forecaster
Now it has an advertisement for a Thai restaurant on the top. 1950 on the right - 2009 on the left
Then and Now
- Tourist Information Stopped here yesterday but did not take photos
- Axeltorv/Tivoli (photos yesterday)
Looking out of the red route bus
Statue Danish-Norwegian admiral Niels Juel
We passed palaces and castles like Rosenburg Castle and Amalienborg , and we took picture of the coats of arms on the pediments and other architectural decorations. But I didn't pay much attention to WHICH royal castle it was
Pediment with coat of arms
Green light and archway
I am always on the lookout for lighthouses or the rarer lightships. I saw two in Copenhagen. The first, Danish Lightship Ten (Fyrskip X) was across from the Little Mermaid. The lights were displayed from a lantern atop the mainmast.
Lightship from across the harbor
This peripatetic lightship dates from 1877 but is no longer active as she was decommissioned 1972. The 103 ft wooden lightship with light tower amidships, is painted red with white trim and a white horizontal stripe.
Wider view of the lightship
This Danish vessel is said to be the world's oldest surviving lightship. During its long career it served many stations around the Danish coastline. Moored near Tower Bridge in London, it was converted into a restaurant in 2005. In February 2008 ir was moored at the Sun Pier in Chatham, on the Medway. On 10 May 2008, the ship was spotted under tow through the Kiel Canal in Germany, on its way back to the Baltic. By July the ship was in København, moored in the Refshaleøen neighborhood, where I saw in in June 2009
The Fyrskib No. XI (Lightship No. 11)
Fyrskib No. XI (Lightship No. 11)
is now a private residence moored on the Frederiksholm Canal in Copenhagen, very near the Christiansborg Slot (Castle) The ship from 1878 was decommissioned in 1977. This ship was never powered (i.e. it was towed onto the site and anchored). It served from 1919 to 1977 on the Drogden station. In 1977 it was sold to an artist, Bo Bonfils, who built additional superstructure to serve as a residence and studio. The current owner, Stig Romain Andresen, bought the ship in 2005.
Fyrskib No. XI (Lightship No. 11)
* The Little Mermaid
This is a large fountain on the harbour front. It features a large-scale group of animal figures being driven by the legendary Norse goddess, Gef.
Gefjun at the plow
St Albans is the only Anglican/Episcopal church in Denmark. It is known as the English Church.
The English Church
It is part of the Church of England´s Diocese in Europe.
Side door from the bus
It is right next to the Gefion Fountain so it was mentioned on the HOHO bus tour.
Side of the church beside the fountain
- Nyhavn/Kongens Nytorv
Nyhavn rainbow painted houses
Nyhavn is part of the original Copenhagen Harbor in the 12th century. It is where canal tours start and there are old sailing vessels moored here. In Denmark, it's not only allowed to sit and drink in the street, it's a common practice. It is considered part of the concept of "Hygge
" - have fun, relax, enjoy the weather, get into a good mood.
Handicapped ladies room sign at dock
Fishmonger's wife statue near Hojbro Plads
The Lion of Søren Kierkegaards Plads
The Isted Lion is a Danish war monument originally intended as a monument of the Danish victory over Schleswig-Holstein in the Battle of Isted (Idstedt) on July 25, 1850 — at its time the largest battle in Scandinavian history. The Danish sculptor Herman Wilhelm Bissen traveled to Paris to study an actual lion in the Jardin des Plantes. He created a life-size model before returning to Denmark.
The finished monument is approximately four meters tall, and carried the following inscription: Isted den 25. Juli 1850. Det danske Folk reiste dette Minde (translated as: Isted, 25 July 1850. The Danish people set this memorial)
The statue was unveiled on the 12th anniversary of the battle, July 25, 1862, at St. Mary's Cemetery in Flensburg, Schleswig's largest city. Among the celebrities attending the ceremony was writer Hans Christian Andersen.
The Lion of Søren
Erecting the monument in Flensburg rather than Copenhagen or Isted, was seen as a provocation by the region's German nationalists who opposed the Danish claim to sovereignty over the area. The decision to let the lion face south reinforced this feeling. It was moved to Berlin by Prussian authorities and remained there until 1945 when it was returned to Denmark as a gift from the United States Army
Lion and Lioness
This photo is of a copy of Auguste Cain sculpture (French: Lion et lionne se disputant un sanglier
). As indicated by the name, it shows a lion and a lioness fighting over a wild boar. The sculpture was created in 1879 and the copy was installed at the site in 1889 as a gift from Carl Jacobsen's Albertina Foundation
B's photo of unidenified equestrian
We didn't stay here at the Raddisson, but if we had taken the cruise line's hotel option, this would be where we would have stayed.
Cruise Ship Digs
Since it was the cruise line's choice, it must have been good. But it was way too expensive for my budget (it would have been about 1395DKK or $261 a night) so we opted for a smaller hotel which was $100/night less. I took a picture of it from the bus because I was curious about what such an expensive hotel would look like. There is another Radisson Blu hotel (easy to get them confused) which has rooms that overlook Tivoli Gardens. If I was going to stay at one of them, the one across from the railway station would be my preference.This one has cable television, Free high-speed Internet access, restaurants, a casino, and babysitting.
Ivy covered building
Although, by USA standards, Copenhagen is an old city, it isn't a static showplace. In addition to the old buildings, the hop-on-hop-off bus tour took us to see the modern buildings of Copenhagen too. We saw the Black Diamond library among other buildings.
Black Diamond Library
There are a lot of interesting steeples and towers in Copenhagen. Sometimes it was hard to tell if they were religious or secular. The Town Hall has a tall tower and so does the railroad station. Sometimes hotels have towers on them.
Unicorn Church steeple
The Unicorn Church steeple is a very skinny steeple with inter-twined dragon tails.
Church of St. Nicholas Tower
The Church of St. Nicholas has a pierced tower which was almost lost due to fire when the church was almost burned to the ground in 1795. The main building was torn down and only the solid tower remained.
Church of St. Nicholas Tower
When the church was rebuilt, it was too costly to replace the steeple, so Carl Jacobsen financed its reconstruction in 1911. Today, Sct Nikolaj Church primarily hosts exhibitions of contemporary art.
Big flower pot
My granddaughter was particularly intrigued by the story of Bishop Absolon who was characterized as a Warrier Bishop. The bus tour mentioned that the statue had many pounds of lead in the hind legs of the horse to allow the rearing position.
Absalon was a well educated man, born around 1128 into a powerful Sealand family. In 1167, there was just a small settlement of wattle and daub fishing huts on the site of present day Copenhagen, and little else.
Bishop Absolon began building a stone fortress on the site now occupied by Christiansborg Castle. It served as a base from which to destroy the Wendish pirates. It also became a thriving trading centre and became an important stop on the route from Roskilde to southern Sweden. Absalon died in 1201 and is buried in the church of the monastery founded by his family in Sorø.
The statue of Absalon was erected on Højbro Plads in 1902 and was created by sculptor Vilhelm Bissen (1836-1913) in bronze and the plinth is made of granite, with an engraved belt praising Absalon as a mighty brave warrior.
As it ended we caught the green route bus which overlaps the Red Tour
Green Christiania Tour
- Main Station/Grand Hotel
- DGI Sports Centre (originally I had planned to stop here and use their pools)
I'm sure we passed Christiansborg Castle Square because we have these pictures of a statue which I think is of Christian IX in the middle.
It is the site of a complex of government buildings, including the Parliament, Supreme Court, and Prime Minister's office, but we only saw it from the bus. I understand that the royal family has not lived at Christianborg for over 200 years, but uses the palace for special occasions. You can't wander around the palace alone, but there is a 50-minute English language tour of the palace for 60 kroner.
The most intriguing steeple (which we could not get a good picture of from the bus) was Our Saviour's Church which has a spiral staircase around the outside.
Our Saviour’s Church
The building was consecrated in 1696. The tower with its characteristic spiral steeple built by Laurits de Thurah was finished in 1752 when King Frederik V personally climbed up to the top of it.
This tour also took us past the infamous Christiania area
which was described on the bus tour as a kind of "hippie-free-love area" where people smoked marijuana in defiance of the laws of Denmark.
Freetown Hippie Community
We passed it on the Green Route of the hop on hop off bus. Originally the area was founded by squatters in a former military area in the early 70s. From an official point of view, Christiania is regarded as a large commune. Its cannabis trade was tolerated by authorities until 2004. B thought it was funny.
Freetown Hippie Community
This is what the Wikipedia article says: After the military moved out, the area was only guarded by a few watchmen and there was sporadic trespassing of homeless people using the empty buildings. On 4 September, 1971, inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhood broke down the fence to take over parts of the unused area as a playground for their children.
Although the takeover was not necessarily organized in the beginning, some claim this happened as a protest against the Danish government. At the time there was a lack of affordable housing in Copenhagen.
On 26 September, 1971, Christiania was declared open by Jacob Ludvigsen, a well-known provo (ironically, the provo movement was founded in 1965 by an anti-smoking activist, Robert Jasper Grootveld) and journalist who published a magazine called Hovedbladet ('The main paper'), which was intended for and successfully distributed to mostly young people. ...
His article (translated) said:
"Christiania is the land of the settlers. It is the so far biggest opportunity to build up a society from scratch - while nevertheless still incorporating the remaining constructions. Own electricity plant, a bath-house, a giant athletics building, where all the seekers of peace could have their grand meditation - and yoga center. Halls where theater groups can feel at home. Buildings for the stoners who are too paranoid and weak to participate in the race...Yes for those who feel the beating of the pioneer heart there can be no doubt as to the purpose of Christiania. It ıs the part of the city which has been kept secret to us - but no more" It is infamous for the pot smokers - but of course pot is illegal in Denmark.
Allotment gardens from the bus
On the Hop on Hop off bus tour we learned about the garden allotments. In Danish culture the allotment garden has become a symbol of blue-collar culture - with all the positives and negatives associated with that.
Allotment gardens with pavillions from the bus
In Copenhagen an association named "Arbejdernes Værn" (lit. "The Worker's Protection") founded the first allotment gardens in 1891 so that the people who came to the city from the country and were used to growing their own food could rent some land and grew some vegetables and be more self-sufficient. By 1904 there were some 6.000 allotment gardens in Copenhagen - about 30% of the number in Denmark as a whole. During the First World War, vegetables from the allotments became an important food supply to Denmark. The number of allotment gardens grew and by 2001 the number of allotment gardens was estimated to about 62 thousand. Today most allotment gardens are on land owned by the municipality which rents the land to an allotment association. The association in turn gives each member a plot of land. To preserve allotment gardens as something that is available for all kinds of people the membership charge is set significantly below what a market price would be. Since allotments are often placed on attractive plots of land, this has led to huge waiting lists for membership in many allotment associations.The big day to get out into the garden was and is Sunday.
Close-up of a house on an allotment
To make it easier to work, the allotment owners started building structures on their allotment to shelter or rest in. The quirky houses aren't built according to architectural standards. These pavilions can range in size from an old rebuilt railway car to a small summer house. Many people live there the entire summer. It is not allowed to live there year-round. The houses were the main feature of the allotments that was pointed out to us.
Pavillion/ houses on allotments
We got off the bus about 12:45 and the next yellow line bus didn't come until 1315, plus it was raining and I wanted lunch. Because I thought my granddaughter might like to shop, I started walking down the famous pedestrian shopping street called Strøget.
In the Rain
Strøget is not actually the name of a specific street, but a connection between the west and east part of Copenhagen. But first she wanted to go to the Hans Christian Anderson museum and Ripley's. I agreed to Hans' museum, so we went to that. They gave us coins which we put into a turnstile to enter.
Window with appliance to see people in the street below
It had a lot of dioramas with illustration of various tales - not just the Little Mermaid but the
The Little Match Girl
The Emperor's New Clothes
The Tin Soldier
and was kind of interesting.
Hans Christen's study
I don't remember exactly what we paid and the website price list is very fuzzy and hard to read, but I think that my granddaughter paid 5.4 DK and I paid 6.7. But we didn't get out until 12:25 which meant we missed the yellow bus. We started at the Frederiksberggade end of Strøget, but we didn't get very far before we stopped for lunch. There are plenty of places to eat, and not just Burger King and McDonalds.
Entering the pedestrian street
We stopped for lunch at a place called Shawarma for lunch. There was a downstairs which operated like a fast food sandwich place. We climbed to the upstairs
Us on the stairs reflected in the mirror
where the barman would go and get us the food from downstairs - sort of like A1A Aleworks in St. Augustine in reverse - in St. Augustine, the bartender would go and get food from the restaurant upstairs. We ate looking out at the people walking up and down the street in the rain. I didn't realize it at the time but this isn't really a Danish restaurant at all, but a Lebanese one.
Part of the English menu
My granddaughter had vegetarian humus for DK 35 with two pieces of
and I had marinated grilled beef with fries and a salad for DK 79. I had seen a big side of beef downstairs, but it was sort of disappointing as the beef was a little tough.
marinated grilled beef with fries and salad DK 79
We sat by the window and watched the people in the street below - McDonalds was right in our view.
Looking out of McDonalds across the street
B admired some dresses that were on sale out on front of the stores (under an awning because it was raining), but I could not get her to try any on.
Sundresses on sale
We came downstairs and got ice cream
Ice cream menu
And ate it Out of the rain in front of a glove shop
We decided to skip the Yellow Line which includes the Zoo, and Carlsberg and just went back to the hotel. So we walked around the corner to a taxi stand and got a taxi back to the hotel.
It was recommended to me that I take this boat tour rather than the bus tour of Copenhagen. And I would really have liked to do so.
Dock with boats
But on the first day our plane got in late, we were jet lagged and I didn't get out to start touring until after the last boat left. And on the second day, B left her voucher for the boat back at the hotel. Plus the whole time we were in Copenhagen it was really cold and rainy and was pretty chilly and damp.
Canal from the bus
Like the Hop on Hop off bus, there are three routes all without a guide. The Green
tour boat sails from the centre of Copenhagen (Nyhavn) via the Opera and Battery Sixtus. Then there is the Little Mermaid, Langelinie/the cruise ship harbour, The Trekroner Fortress, Halvandet/Copenhagen´s beach club and then Amaliehaven/The Royal residence on the way back to Nyhavn. The Orange
line leaves from Nyhavn, and the route includes Homen, the North Atlantic Cultural House, Christianshavns Torv, The Black Diamant, Gammel Strand/the old fishermen´s village. The Blue
Route includes Islands Brygge/outdoor swimming facility, the Hotel Marriott, and Fisketorvet
B took a nap. She thought we should rent the hotel bicycles, but really it wouldn't have been a good idea in the rain. I don't know how much the bikes at the hotel cost, but there is a place near the RR station and their prices are
One day 95 DKK
Add one day 45 DKK
One week 365 DKK
Add one day 30 DKK
Lights, basket or helmet per day 10 DKK
We could also have taken a bike tour of the city.
We did see quite a bit of the sights of Copenhagen. B took 192 pictures, and I took 149, so she feels she is 'winning'.
My daughter-in-law told my granddaughter that there wouldn't be graffiti or vandalism in European cities, and my granddaughter was disappointed to find that this was not so. So she took a lot of pictures of what she thought was vandalism - she included graffiti in this
Near our hotel
I remembered going to Tivoli in 1950 and we rode a new type roller coaster which part of it went into a mountain. So I especially wanted to take my granddaughter. But it was really raining quite hard and was cold. We didn't actually ride on the train in Copenhagen, but we did walk through the station on our way to Tivoli. I had been recommended to take note of the architecture particularly, but I don't have any good pictures of it.
Railroad Station Clock
and out the other side and in the side entrance of Tivoli
Woman, Man, Woman
I bought unlimited ride tickets which were 400 DK each. I should not have bothered and just bought individual tickets because we couldn't do that many rides. Each single ticket is 20 DK. so we would have to use 20 tickets to get our "money's worth"
Lights at Twilight
Fountain and statues
Tivoli flower closeup
I thought it would be nice to walk around Tivoli at night and see the lights and hear the music. And there WAS music - there was a group playing in a bandstand. Unfortunately, even though it was June, the weather was rainy and cold. So we didn't sit and listen to the music very long.
Bandstand at night
People listening in the rain
First, we went on the Ferris Wheel.
Fountains below from the ferris wheel
Looking past my ear
Looking down on the ride from the Ferris Wheel
Across the park
We went around twice (which we could do because it was rainy and no one was waiting) because I wanted to have a second chance to take pictures of the town. The Ferris wheel is one of the real classics at Tivoli, and the views from it are great - even in the rain
Out over town
View from the top
After we did the Ferris Wheel, we took the Mine ride. I really wanted to take one of the original roller coasters that I had taken in 1950, but I didn't know which ride that was - all I remembered was that it went inside at one point. It wasn't this one. I was a good ride to take in that it was starting to rain, and most of it was inside. It was mostly little boats on water, and some scary things popping out - there wasn't much of a roller coaster to it. It was a two ticket ride (40 DK)
From outside Tivoli you can see the top of this ride which is called the
Spinning Top Ride
People sit in swings, and the center starts to spin and the swings spin out to the side as the center that they are attached to goes up to the top of the tower, and then comes down again.
Swings at Tivoli
Bottom of the tower
My granddaughter took several pictures of this ride from outside the park, so when we went in, she wanted to ride on it. This ride isn't the most expensive (it only takes two tickets) or the newest ride - that is call Vertigo and takes four tickets. Each single ticket is 20 DK.
I took photos of the tower rides from the ground as she rode it.There is an impressive 360-degree panorama view from the Star Flyer – but she did not take her camera up with her - I did not venture that high.
B coming back to me after the ride
Then I saw a Danish restaurant called
Divan 2 Restaurant
and the menu outside said they had smorgesbord, but what I didn't realize was that it was only for lunch (the menu being in Danish I couldn't read it all). This was a fancy gormet restaurant, and we weren't really dressed for it. They put us in the back with the non-alcoholic muslim women and men with no coats or ties.
Table decoration at the restaurant
B and I both had appetizers
Seafood bisque (115DK)
and she had risotto (95 DK). I tried the
blanched asparagus 175 DK
but I found it disappointing as it didn't taste like asparagus. The little shrimp and sauce with it was nice but not worth 175 DK. Then we both had
Strawberries Romanov for dessert (125DK ea)
While we were there, they did something to some steaks that involved a brandy flambe which was quite spectacular.
Set up for the brandy flambe
B had two cokes, and I had cranberry juice. The bill was not only a horrible 584DK but they added 25% tax onto it and then an additional 3% for a foreign credit card. So I guess I will have to wait to try smorgesbord. When we walked back though the train station, I was sitting resting while B went to look at something. I saw a map of the station and went over to it,
Map of the station
and so I wasn't where she expected to see me when she came out. I saw her running around and called but she didn't hear me, so I moved out closer to the central clock,
The big clock inside
and she finally came around again I was able to flag her down.
Tomorrow is Embarkation Day