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Published: January 6th 2008
For my next Christmas market experience, I headed to Copenhagen, to celebrate Richard's 30th birthday (love all the birthday weekends away you get invited to when you live in London!).
The Christmas markets in Copenhagen are held in the Tivoli, which is a big park like area in the middle of the city - with rides! They are therefore much bigger and more spread out than those in Nuremberg. The stalls are in more permanent structures and sell a bigger range of goods - including more clothing, toys and gifts. There is also much more space between the stalls which, as it turns out, is necessary, because of the size of the strollers used by all the Danes! They are like small armoured vehicles. And, like said vehicles, you fail to avoid them at your peril. The main issue is that there are so many of them. We postulated that breeding might be the only interesting thing for Danes to do in the cold, but who knows. That was only a small annoyance though - offset by a couple of glasses of gluhwein!
The markets are especially beautiful by night - with more fairy lights than I have ever
seen in the trees, and lanterns lining the pathways. Reminds me of that bit from Pollyanna where she talks about the 100's of chinese lanterns "stretching as far the eye can see".... We took Richard on a birthday ride on the best swinging chairs I have ever seen. Not only do they rotate, but they are lifted 80m into the air while doing so! They gave a great view over the lights of Tivoli as the sun set, but man, it was cold!!!!
Instead of the Nuremberg 'purchase your memorial mulled wine cup' system (or return it and get a refund on the deposit), the Tivoli had a system with plastic cups for which you paid a deposit, and then returned in a machine, where your deposit was refunded. A good way to reduce litter! The mulled wine in Copenhagen is a bit different (yes I am becoming a bit of a connoisseur - ironic as I don't even like it that much), only one type, with actual raisons in it. Consume those at your peril I suppose - like the fruit in fruit punch.
As well as checking out the markets, we viewed some of the other
sights of Copenhagen. We went to see the mermaid - disproportionately popular given the distance from town, size and fact that her 'tail' is not particularly mermaidy. While I had been warned of this, the visit had to be made! We also checked out the colourful buildings by the canals, the main square, some of the local outdoor ice rinks - although no skating for us - and the castle, including the crown jewels. Reckon I could wear a tiara every now and then. We managed to catch the changing of the guard - although we could not see 'our Mary' and Fred looking out their window as their building is covered in scaffolding. Some shopping proved compulsory - if only to warm up in between our outside wanderings - it was freezing!
For Richard's birthday, we had a celebratory breakfast and then a lovely Japanese dinner. All in all - a great time (although my brother came down with an extremely bad cold on day 2 and found it difficult to enjoy himself after that).
Happy 30th Richard!
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