Can’t resist the cliché pic of all time! And despite the corny Danny Kaye song, we did indeed find it completely engaging.
Copenhagen is Scandinavia’s largest city, dating back to the 11th century. The reigning monarch Queen Margrethe II can trace her ancestry back to the Viking Age, making Denmark the world’s oldest kingdom. Cobbled squares, charming narrow streets, many parks and lovely old buildings provide a beautiful backdrop to a lively, modern city famed for its excellent restaurants and air of welcome.
It also has the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s most expensive cities, as we soon discover. It’s extra confusing to figure out what things cost, since 1 DKK is equal to about 15 cents US, a calculation I cannot do in my head.
Having booked this side trip rather unexpectedly, DH and I are woefully underdressed for the frigid, wet weather. On the plus side, the city isn’t very crowded, but it’s easy to see why anyone who actually planned ahead would likely choose a different time of year to visit.We only have about 3.5 days, so we cram in a lot of walking, sightseeing and eating out, plus two nights at the opera (a fabulous production of Il Trovatore and a less-fabulous La Boheme). Definitely a highlight of our month away.
Day One: We check into our excellent hotel, 71 Nyhavn, which overlooks the harbor. We walk around to get oriented, taking a long trek to see the famous Little Mermaid, which is both smaller and closer to shore than I’d expected. Even in this freezing weather, she draws a crowd.
Dinner at Hummer restaurant, a short walk from the hotel, is delicious. They make an oatmeal-crusted whole wheat bread I need to replicate.
Day Two: It’s Sunday and not much is open, plus the opera is a matinée, so we hit the Thorvaldsen, National Museum, and Jewish Museum before our 3 pm curtain. We walk over to the opera house (OMG is it COLD!) and take the ferry back, which is much faster. Apparently you can’t pay on the boat, but the ticket taker takes pity on our ignorance and lets us ride for free. Good thing because I do NOT want to swim back to Nyhavn.
Ugly costumes in lobby, but building is quite beautiful.
Dinner at Havfruen, featuring seafood (the name means “mermaid”) and an odd playlist of 1960s American rock music, is again near the hotel (hey, it’s too damn cold to be very adventurous).
Day Three: We do a little shopping, explore the Round Tower (very cool) and the botanical gardens to kill some time before our late lunch reservation.
Street view from the Round Tower
Schonnemann’s is a landmark restaurant known for its traditional specialties, open-faced sandwiches and many kinds of schnapps. It’s been recommended by two different friends and is not my favorite type of food but turns out to be quite good and, although a tourist destination, it’s also popular with the locals.
Tonight it’s back to the opera house. We’ve now figured out the app for booking the ferry so getting there is a lot more pleasant. Too bad the production kind of sucks — it’s REALLY hard to screw up La Boheme.
Today we visit the Rosenborg Palace which is so dark inside that you can barely tell what you’re looking at, The National Art Museum, and — because we’re unlikely to come back here and should “check the box” — Tivoli Gardens amusement park.
The sky has brightened by the time we get to Tivoli. It IS kind of amusing to watch the little kids squealing while slamming their bumper cars into each other, and it’s less tacky than most of these sorts of places. Anyway, it’s a good distance from the hotel so it provides an excuse for our last long walk.
We’re actually tired of seafood so we opt for a nearby Italian place called La Sirène.
It’s dark, quiet and quirky, and the most fun part of dinner comes towards the end, when somehow we end up chatting with the group at the table next to us. They live up near Oslo, are about our age, one couple has a daughter who lives in Dallas, and all are opera lovers, so we find a lot to talk about.
A delightful conclusion to a very delightful getaway.
Last week of October, 2018