In the 10th grade I was assigned a project on the social customs and ethics within Denmark for my Bioethics course. Here it is, what, five years later and I got a chance to visit the country I had learned is the home of the happiest people in the world. Sadly, my first day there in Copenhagen, I was not able to be among those people in the city who were cheerful and overjoyed. My planned accommodations were not at all what I was expecting, thus I ended up spending money to stay at two hostels. However, all was not lost. Both hostels were very nice, with the second one I stayed at being the #1 rated five star hostel in Europe one year. Both were worth the little money they cost. I had planned on going to the theatre the first night, but when I got there the show had sold out for all three weeks it would be running. I was also very tired, sick with a cold from Paris, and I had just eaten. I went to bed—first day a waste. But enough whining about what went wrong—or right depending how you look at it. The next two days were awesome, and I left wishing I had more time.
The things below are not posted in any particular order; this is just a glimpse at many of the things you can see while you are in Copenhagen. I honestly wish I had more time.
Christiania is a local village where there are basically no rules. They are an anarchic society of people whose values are to simply live freely in a community and do no harm to others. To describe them best I will just say they are hippies. The village has several “squats” which are houses that people apply to live in at little to no costs. Mothers and children are first priority. Perhaps what they are most famous for, especially for tourists, is there weed sales. Don’t worry readers, I did not buy any. I didn’t even want t go. However, there are booths upon booths that you can buy several kinds from, as long as you don’t look “suspicious.” There are also no pictures, phones, or running allowed once inside. I actually did not take this photo, although this particular shot I could have gotten.
Tivoli is, from what my tour guide told me, the second oldest amusement park in the world. It doesn’t compare in size to any theme park I’ve been to, but I do admire how it’s right in the middle of the city. This is the entrance—it was right down the street from where I stayed, but closed for the winter.
This 7Eleven was formerly a bakery where the first of many fires in Denmark were started. The baker burned bread and as his shop caught fire, the wind blew the fire causing damage to two-thirds of the city. He blamed his five year old son who really had nothing to do with it. By the way, 7Eleven is everywhere in Copenhagen.
This statue is of the Famous Lure Blowers. Men with this job a long time ago would sound their instrument to warn Copenhagen and neighboring towns of Viking invasions—Denmark suffered quite a few.
Lesson on Language (in Danish): Fart = Speed. “Thus if you are driving anywhere in Denmark you may see a speedometer say: Your Fart is 40kmph.” Our tour guide, Colin was hilarious. The tour was free; all you do is tip at the end, based on what you think it was worth. You can even leave in the middle of it, and you lose nothing. It was worth staying on—I wish I had done it in Paris. To the left is Colin.
Christianborg Palace is unique because all the houses of parliament are in one place. It is also built in the place where the 1st palace once stood. The palace burned down, was rebuilt, burned down again, and rebuilt again. I got a chance to go in and see the Royal Rooms exhibit. I cannot describe how cool it was to go in. It is still a fully functional palace where they have royal engagements when they have to. It’s so pristine that you have to wear covers over your shoes while touring it. The worst part about it was that you could not take any photos, which is whack considering you have to pay to get in. I googled pics of some of the rooms for your viewing pleasure.
The main table seats 50.
There are also tables along the walls, in front of the windows that can seat more.
|THE GREAT HALL|
Used for entertaining, complete with all glass chandeliers from Venice,
marble floors, and on the walls hang tapestries given
to the queen for her 60th birthday.
|Both thrones were made for the second Palace after the first one burned down. |
When the second palace burned, they were able to save these thrones.
Bishop Absalon: Warrior Archbishop and statesman, hence the battle axe in his hand. He fought because he was Christian and pagans kept burning down the city. He had 27 Kids—odd for a Catholic priest and ended up converting many pagans when their gods did not kill him for pushing over their statues.
I forget what this tall building is called, but looking at my map I think it’s Nikolaj. Either way, it is the oldest church in Copenhagen. For a while it functioned as a fire house, and it was ordered that no building could be taller than it, so that fire men could see where fires were happening.
|Royal Opera House near H.C. Anderson's Street|
Most famous for his fairy tales about Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid, now both Disney flicks, Hans Christian Anderson is Denmark’s most famous author. He was once an aspiring actor where he stayed at the Magasin de Nord across from The Royal Opera House. The Magasin de Nord is now a department store. Across from a hotel that charges €3500/night.
|This anchor commemorates 2,000 soldiers who burned their ships, |
some of the dying in the process, rather than letting the Nazis take them.
Nyhavn, pronounced “Nu-hah-ven”, is perhaps what Denmark is most famous for. This is the part of town that you will see on any post cards here or anything else. It was once there main port for trade and commerce, thus causing it to be a red-light district for a short while. As per my tour guide “Where there is a port, there are sailors. Where there were sailors, there were prostitutes.” In the 1960s they reconstructed it to be more of a family friendly zone, inviting boat parking to fill the docks and make it more aesthetically appealing.
Also to be seen at Nyhavn and at other points in the town is the Changing of the Guard. I saw it twice, the second time I follwed them. They do this EVERYDAY at noon, well they reach Nyhavn at noon.
Check out this video, here they are at Ameiliaborg Palace
St. Anne’s Place is expensive neighborhood where you can find the home of the queen and her family. They live in Ameiliaborg Palace situated right in the middle of the neighborhood and are said to be a really down to earth royal family. That is, they hang out with the locals. This wasn’t meant to be the main palace, but it consists of four similar buildings that make a circle, and are all connected by underground tunnels. One building houses the queen, the other the prince and his wife, one is a museum, and I forget what the other is used for.
About Queen Margrethe (Margaret) II: In her spare time she is an author and translator. In fact, she translated the Danish manuscript of The Lord of the Rings series. She also “smokes like a chimney,” as per my tour guides saying.
The newest opera house built in 2006 by the richest man in Denmark. I forget his name, too. Anyway he picked up the tab for this massive, modern structure that cost ¼ of a billion Euros to build. That’s $325,981,645.15 USD.