Sunday, April 16, 2006

Wonderful, wonderful, Copenhagen

At school, one of our deputy Heads asked how many had heard the song Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen. Most of us had, but none of us had a clue where it was. We are just back from a short city break to Copenhagen, Capital of Denmark. I'd visited more than 20 years previously (and unexpectedly) in transit from Paris to Oslo, promised myself another visit and finally got round to returning.

Tivoli was a definite must, the romantic pleasure gardens in the heart of town a couple of minutes walk from our Hotel. Although bitterly cold, we went in every day, buying writstbands for the rides on one of them. My favourite was the Rutschebanen, their 1914 wooden rollercoaster that still features a brakeman (5 rows back in this photo), something rather uncommon in Britain now (only Great Yarmouth Scenic Railway springs to mind).

We also went to Bakken, reputedly the oldest amusement park in the world and a complete contrast to Tivoli, being in a large country parkland forest with a background of trees rather than copper domed towers. It also has an old woodie, this time with the brakeman right at the back.

Another visit was the Round Tower, the Experimentarium and the Zoo as well as the National Museum, the Post & Telephone museum and the Little Mermaid. To fulfill my urge to go up high structures, we went to Vor Frelsers Kirke with the staircase round the outside of the spire, a very strange experience indeed.

Two let-downs- some ruins under the Parliament building were closed for refurbishment and the Town Hall tower was unexpectedly closed- probably because of Easter, but no signs saying so (& I can read/speak a little Danish from my Norway experiences as it is similar to Norwegian).

Something Copenhagen is famous for is Hot Dogs... I'm not quite sure why as they weren't anything unusual, just widely available from street kiosks all over town. Our favourites were the French style, where they spike a hole down the bun, squirt mayo inside then squeeze the sausage in afterwards.

Is Copenhagen wonderful? Yes it is. Charming, urban, cosmopolitan, vibrant, relaxed, friendly, very European and the most relaxed of the nordic countries in culture. Rather expensive though! By the way, if you have been humming it, the song was by Danny Kaye...

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