Monday, August 13, 2007

Copenhagen: Day Trip #2

My train mishap, which I wrote about before and which you can read about here, happened on my second trip to Denmark. My initial itinerary was supposed to be the following:

  • 12-2: Head to Helsingor to visit Kronborg Castle
  • 2-5: Late lunch + trip to Louisiana Museum
  • 5-6: Return to Copenhagen
  • 6-7: visit the Round Tower, which is open til 8pm
  • 7-8: take photos in Ameliaborg Castle, and have one more photo taken in
  • 8 onwards: have dinner in Tivoli and walk around
Unfortunately, I ended up in Kronborg Castle by 2pm and in Louisiana Museum at 330pm. And by the time I got back to Copenhagen, I was way too tired and hungry to do the rest of the stuff, apart from having dinner in Tivoli and walking around in it.

Anyways, I am still glad I did get to visit a couple of places. Before I left the Philippines, my friend Anne told me I should visit the “Hamlet castle”. During my research, I learned that Hamlet castle was actually Kronborg Slot, is sometimes referred to as the Hamlet Castle because apparently, Shakespeare patterned the castle in his play Hamlet after Kronborg Slot.

The Louisiana Museum is also worth a visit, not only because it has a good collection of art (mostly contemporary) but also because it has a beautiful garden with unique modern art sculptures all around the garden. From there, you have a good view of the beach which is just right next to it.

The biggest mistake I made though was that I thought that you could walk right up to the beach from the museum gardens, and at 4:45pm (15 minutes before the museum would close), I decided to walk towards the beach and passed through a revolving door that said Exit only. I was tired and spent and paid little attention to that sign up until I had crossed to the other side, during which time it sunk in that now I was no longer in museum grounds. Sh*t! So instead of being able to take photos in the beautiful gardens, I was now walking quickly along the beach to try and get back into the main entrance. But apparently the way back to the main entrance was a long walk, and with very little time left before the museum would close, I just decided to walk along the beach. I also took this photo of the beautiful landscape next to the museum.

I was back in Copenhagen by around 7pm, but before having dinner, I decided to walk down Stroget, to take some photos that I was unable to take during my first day trip. Stroget is Europe's longest pedestrian street which goes from the Radhuspladsen (or City Hall Square) to Kongens Nytorv. Walking down this street, you will see lots of great European architecture, souvenir shops, big Brand-name stores, and even a few squares and fountains. Here’s a shot of an interesting fountain in Radhuspladsen.

I finally grab my buffet dinner and a Carlsberg beer before walking around in Tivoli. I didn’t get on any of the rides since my Copenhagen day pass only included free entrance to the Tivoli ground but not into the rides. But anyway, I’m not an amusement park type of person and there was no way I was getting on the rides without friends with me (plus, I was exhausted) so I decided to just take some snapshots of the many rides there. This is apparently the highest carousel in the world

Despite all the troubles I encountered with transportation during my second visit, my trip to Copenhagen and Denmark was still a lot of fun. I would love another chance to visit though, so that I can see the few sights that I missed when I was there, such as Amalienborg Slot and the Round Tower. And also to have a better photo taken of me at the Little Mermaid. =)

Monday, August 06, 2007

More on my first day trip to Copenhagen

Here are a few more interesting photos and stories I took on my first day-trip to Copenhagen (might be better of course if you read my previous post about my Copenhagen trip first).

I took this in one of the rooms of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Check out the floor. I’ve never seen a museum with a multi-colored checkerboard floor like this:

My trip to Copenhagen came a day after a European Cup qualifying match with Sweden. It was an intense match that was tied at 3-3 with a minute left during regular time before a crazy series of events resulted in the referee awarding Sweden with a 3-0 win. How so? Well, with a minute left, a penalty was awarded to Sweden that somehow enraged one of the Danes watching the match, so much so that he went on the pitch and tried to punch the referee. The ref decided to leave the pitch which led to the game being abandoned, and after about ten minutes, the officials ruled that Sweden would win that match 3-0. Crazy, ey? Well, as it was the day after a huge match, quite a few areas in the capital were actually littered with beer cans. That includes the grass surrounding this statue in the middle of Kongens Nytorv (or the King's New Square) where thousands of fans gathered to watch the game from a large TV that was set up in that area night before.

I also spotted a bike in the bottom of one of the canals. I just hope that no one fell into the canal along with it.

But that’s not the only foreign object I was not expecting to see in the water. This guy was swimming in the canal, but what made it worse was that it was in the garbage-filled part. I guess I wouldn’t mind swimming in this canal, so long as it was not in this part where lots of trash was floating around. Why this guy was in there, I have no idea. But his friends were cheering him on.

There also seemed to be a bit of a fracas in one of the restaurants along Nyhavn while I was there. There were two guys being held down on the ground by people who seemed to be civilians. Either that or they were security guards of police officers in plain clothes. Anyways, there was broken glass all around, and two of the guys – one of the guys being held down and one of the guys doing the holding down – had blood on them. In a few minutes, a police car came and two officers stepped out of the car and handcuffed one of the guys before he was led into the back of the car. A few minutes later, another cop car came and the other guy got handcuffed and led into it. I asked one of the waiters what happened and all he told was “wrong people.” I decided not to probe any further than that. I also decided not to take any photos since it didn’t feel appropriate. But it was a very interesting experience for me to see something like that.

I do have this photo of two interesting looking trees, though. I saw them while walking from Rosenborg Slot to the Little Mermaid sculpture.

Copenhagen: Day Trip # 1

Based on what I read about Copenhagen, I decided two days would be enough for me to experience everything I wanted to see and do in this capital of Denmark. But since it is only an hour away by train from Lund, I decided to take two day-trips instead of staying overnight there. That way, I wouldn’t need to spend money for a hotel.

So I took my first real trip to Copenhagen on a bright sunny Sunday. I say real trip because I had been to Copenhagen a few times prior to this, but only to the airport, which for me doesn’t count as an actual visit to that country.

I started off my day by spending some time in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. This Museum houses the personal collection of the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries, Carl Jacobsen (1842-1914). It contains numerous brilliant and interesting artworks and ancient relics from all over the world, and entrance is free on Sundays which made the trip even better for me. My favorite part of the museum was the sculpture section, and it is definitely worth spending some time appreciating the sculptures of Rodin and French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeux.

(This sculpture is entitled Ugolino and his Sons)

My next stop was the Christiansborg Slot. They were doing some renovations to the main tower as you will see in the picture below. I decided to take the guided tour in this royal palace and in the process, learned a few interesting things about Denmark and its rich history. For instance, one of their past kings, Christian IX, is considered to be the father-in-law of Europe because his many children ended up as royalty in different European countries. You can read more about him and his family here (it really is quite unique).

I then walked over to Nyhavn, or the new harbor, where you can find lots of interesting places to eat. I was thinking about eating in one of the restaurants that lined the canal, but I decided I didn’t want to spend too much on food, so I ended up just looking around and taking photos, and having a hotdog and Coke Zero for lunch.

After my quick lunch, I head towards Rosenborg Slot. It is located right in the center of Rosenborg Park. And as it was a bright sunny day, the park was littered with people lying on the grass and basking in the mid-afternoon sunshine. I actually got shouted at by a guard for having my photo taken at the Treasury building using my tripod, which I didn’t know was not allowed.

I rounded up my day with a visit to – well you guessed it – the Little Mermaid. Or Den lille havfrue, as it is called in Danish. I mean, a real tourist-y trip to this lively city would not be complete without having your photo taken in this landmark. I’ve read that you will always have a fairly big crowd gathered around the Little Mermaid, and it was true when I got there. Nevertheless, I managed to get quite close to it and have someone take my picture.

My only issue with this trip was the fact that I didn’t have time to get a haircut before I got there. My hair was still okay at the start of my trip, but towards the end of the day, the wind and my sweat had made my hair a mess, so I’m not all too pleased with my photos, or at least the ones taken of me beginning late-afternoon LOL. Yeah, yeah I know, I’m vain. :)