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Published: September 13th 2019
The weather we've experienced while in Denmark is tricky. Essentially, be prepared for rain, cold wind or warm sunshine at all times. I thought the weatherman back home had a difficult task. The weather app here is all over the place. One minute it says 80% chance of rain each hour for the rest of the day, the next it says 0%. If you go outside and it's warm and sunny, ten minutes later the clouds cover the sun and you wish you had a heavy jacket.
So, with that in mind, we started our walking tour on Tuesday morning in a drizzle. We had our rain coats, ponchos and umbrellas in our backpacks. We were prepared for anything Mother Nature threw at us. When you travel this far, nothing gets in the way of plans if it can be helped. You make the best of every situation.
Dorte is our guide for a 2 hour walking tour and we set out along the harbor toward Nyhavn (pronounced Nu-Houn) canal. She mixes a little history with the right amount of current day perspective. She points out the half timbered construction of old and even takes us into a courtyard to show an example. Copenhagen has really mixed old and new in brilliant ways. What was founded as a medieval port city has become a vibrant cultural center. Old warehouses are suddenly offices and apartments/housing. They've revitalized an area that could have slowly deteriorated into a beautiful showplace for the world. The National Theater, the Opera House and the new Black Diamond (public library) all have new homes on the harbor.
We walked through the Theater and on to view Amalienborg Palace, the current home to the Danish Royal family, complete with Royal Guard. Four buildings surrounding a huge cobblestone courtyard and the National Cathedral in front with its huge green and gold dome.
The one thing I love discovering about European cities is that you never realize what might only be a block or two away. As we continue our walk back toward our hotel except that we are a few blocks to the north of the harbor, (ok I picked North when it could actually be any direction) we walked into a fantastic neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants. Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Hermes, the Disney Store, H&M and The Body Shop to pharmacies and dollars stores. Throw in some restaurants and art galleries and you have a neighborhood to wander the day away.
It is soon time for Dorte to leave us and we have the whole afternoon and evening ahead to see more sights. We head back to Christiansborg Palace and tour the palace, the ruins underneath which date back to the 1100s, the kitchen with its ginormous collection of copper pots and pans (also baking tins and molds) and the stables. As in most palaces, the rooms are simply stunning. I couldn't pick a favorite if I tried although I'd love to drag a comfy sofa into the library with a pot of tea (technically, the servants would do all of that) and curl up with a good book.
The 400 year old church we tried to visit the day before was now open and close to the palace so we headed over to see what we could see. It's a beautiful Lutheran church with a gorgeous pipe organ. It was the church that the current Queen of Denmark got married in but better than that, it has a sky box. I have no other words for what it might be except sky box. It sits in the balcony on one side and is totally enclosed except for two windows that face the center of the church and the alter. How good of a Christian do you have to be to sit in the sky box on Sunday? I'm lucky they let me in the door most days.
By now the rain had mostly let up and Mom and I were starting to feel the effects of the 5th consecutive day of 18,000 steps combined with sightseeing and we decided to take a break. So as the British love to do, we headed to A.C. Perch's Tea Room. The tea shop is on street level and was opened in 1835. The tea room itself is on the upper level and we were seated with tea/food menus. We settled on a pot of Darjeeling and one of Assam paired with scones, raspberry jam and lemon curd. There are few ways to make Mom and I happier and it was a lovely way to spend an hour or so on a cool day.
Once finished we decided to locate a mailbox and stamps to mail a postcard home. We had been told that #1 7/11 stores sell stamps and #2 that the nearest post office was near the Round Tower. Well, we stopped into the 7/11 nearest the palace and the fella at the counter determined that was a lie! No stamps. So we headed toward the Round Tower not wanting to miss the post office hours. We arrive, ask where the post office is located and were told that there wasn't one! That, too, was a lie!
Ugh!! However, not to be deterred from a good tourist attraction, and because it is covered by our Copenhagen pass, we decide to visit the Round Tower and get a wonderful view of the city. The tower is different from any that I've ever seen as it doesn't have stairs but a ramp that circles round and round til you are near the top. The Tower, as with every tourist attraction, has school children visiting it. I know it won't take much to imagine a group of boys with a ramp that goes round and round in a tower that echos. As they come running, screaming around the bend, one almost runs into Mom and scares her to death. I will only say this: my death stare is a universal language. Message received!
The tower is also large enough that half way up there is a gift shop with restrooms and even a little exhibit space. We take a short break before heading to the top. Once there the view out onto the city is fantastic. Mom started counting spires and turrets as she moved around the circumference. She got to 68 before she lost count because I was talking. I know. No surprise.
When we got back down to the bottom, we asked the young man in the ticket booth for the nearest mailbox and whether he knew where we could get a stamp. Guess what? Of course, the gift shop halfway up the tower sells stamps! Mom headed back up the ramp! (We did manage to locate a mailbox too. They hide in plain sight!)
We walked back to the hotel to rest and clean up for supper. One of the hardest decisions we have to make each day is where to eat. Tonight was no exception except that we had decided to wander back down to the canal for our last night.
It began to drizzle again and the crowds were thin. We picked an Italian restaurant and found a table on the promenade. We each had a blanket to ward off any chill and each tented umbrella had heaters pointed in all 4 directions. We ordered bruschetta, pizza and roasted tomato soup.
As we waited for our food, we kept watching the scene that had been unfolding on the other side of the canal as we walked up. A boat right on the canal had sunk rather quickly this afternoon. All you could see was the mast sticking out of the water. The fire truck was on scene as were two divers that had yet to get in the water. The incident had occurred sometime within the previous two hours as we had just walked past on our way back to the hotel. It hadn't burned and it looked to be a rather expensive boat because they were on the side of the drawbridge that costs a lot of money to raise it to get out.
While we were eating our delicious food, the divers managed to secure the boat so it wouldn't float into another boat and cause damage. Then the firemen packed up and left the scene. I guess the owner with have to make arrangements to recover what he's able.
Back at the hotel, we look at the weather forecast. We would still like to fit a few more sights in before we set sail for Norway the next afternoon. There is a chance it will be sunny and we go to bed with fingers crossed. Mama needs blue sky and sunshine. Here's hoping that the weather gods send the rain back to the plain in Spain!
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