The Little Mermaid and Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen

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December 5th 2013
Published: December 7th 2013
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This morning we caught the train to Østerport Station so that we could see the statue of The Little Mermaid. Based on the character from the story by Hans Christian Andersen the statue is considered to be symbolic of Copenhagen. I'm sure the area where The Little Mermaid is located must be lovely in the spring and summer, but in winter it is was rather grey and desolate. The other major detraction is the factory (power station?) across the water belching plumes of smoke into the air.

As we left The Little Mermaid the weather turned from bad to worse. Already cold and grey and windy it started to rain! Having bought a puffer jacket without a hood I dragged my waterproof shell, with its hood, out of my bag and struggled into it. We were out and about in weather that we wouldn't dream of going out in at home. The things you do when you are a tourist and you only have a couple of days to see the sights!!

With rain dripping off our noses (pretty much the only skin exposed!) Bernie navigated us perfectly ... back to Rosenborg Castle, which we visited yesterday afternoon. Oops, he was meaning to take us to Amalienborg Palace. The funniest thing is that we photographed a church on our way to Rosenborg Castle. We didn't realise it at the time, but it was the back of the Marble Church that is right opposite the palace!!

As luck would have it, when we did arrive at Amalienborg Palace we were just in time for the changing of the guard. We hung about in the rain and watched for a while as the new squad marched around from guard point to guard point exchanging the new guards for the old. The amazing thing about this was that there were no barricades, just a handful of Politiet to make sure that the tourists weren't actually standing where the guards needed to march. A far cry from the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace that takes place behind a fence. Of course in the summer the ceremony may not be as accessible?

After watching a few exchanges we took refuge from the weather in the museum that is set up in Christian VIII's Palace. Interiors from a number of other mansions have been moved to the Museum at Amalienborg Palace to showcase the private apartments of the Glücksburg dynasty of the Danish royal family over 150 years. From the second floor we could see a bit more of the changing of the guard ceremony which concluded with a marching band. Maybe we should have stayed out in the courtyard for a bit longer to see the grand finale of the changing of the guard but really, it was just too cold and wet!!

Since Mary didn't invite us in for lunch we headed next to the canal boat tours in rapidly deteriorating weather. We were just in time for the 2.20pm boat so we had to walk quickly from the ticket booth to the next bridge where the boat was waiting. When we reached the road that we had to cross to reach the boat we encountered a zebra crossing with traffic lights wrapped in plastic?? The car coming from our left stopped so we stepped out onto the crossing only to have a car coming from our right brake heavily to avoid us. This caused the driver behind to honk long and loudly. At the boat the French speaking guide exclaimed over how we had elicited an angry honk from a Danish Driver. Apparently the Danes rarely exhibit any signs of road rage.

Once again, I'm sure the canal boat cruise must be lovely on a warm sunny day in one of the open topped boats. In today's weather we had an enclosed boat ... which promptly steamed up so that we could hardly see a thing!! Not to mention the fact that the wind was so strong there were white caps on the canal. Bernie cracked the window open a few time to take photos of the sights that were being pointed out to us, but when the wash started breaking almost right over the boat even that attempt at snapping a few of Copenhagen's points of interest had to be abandoned!! The ticket for the canal boat was also included in our Copenhagen card so we were redeeming money we had already spent. It's not like we paid extra to spend an hour cooped up on a steamy boat in the company of a dozen or so French tourists. It was a bit of a lark really and everyone had a good laugh about it.

So, once again at three in the afternoon we hadn't had lunch. The weather was so horrible by this stage that all the street stalls were packed up and even some of the shops looked like they had closed early because of the storm forecast to hit at about 6.00pm. So we made do with a late lunch at McDonalds. Cannot even remember the last time that we ate McDonalds at home or away; it's been quite a while. It was warm and dry and at least we knew that we would be hungry again by dinner time! After eating we made haste to get back to the hotel before the worst of the weather arrived.

At the hotel the girl on the desk said that everyone was a bit worried about the storm. Normally they don't have really bad storms, but they had one forecast at the end of October and everyone was a bit relaxed about it, but when it hit it was really severe and caused a considerable amount of damage. She said that everyone was feeling a bit nervous about what this storm might bring. Safely in out of the weather and the impending storm we spent a bit of time in our tiny room before heading back down for our free glass of wine during Wine Hour. While we were downstairs we asked if it was possible to book into the restaurant next door for dinner. Unfortunately, no, they were fully booked. So we booked to eat in at the hotel's Pop-up Restaurant.

Back in our room we tried to follow what was happening with the weather, but we could only get coverage in Danish. From the pictures we could tell that it was pretty wild and there was flooding - we just couldn't tell exactly where and the weather didn't seem really bad in Central Copenhagen. What we could tell though was that air and rail service were being disrupted. Lucky our train to Stockholm is tomorrow?!

The Pop-up Restaurant is run by a restaurant that is based in West Jutland. The tourist season has finished in that part of Denmark so the restaurant was basing itself at the Andersen Hotel in Copenhagen from October until mid-December to advertise what is on offer in West Jutland in the summer. Talk about one extreme and the other - McDonald's for lunch and a fine dining experience for dinner. The food was delicious, but really expensive. Well worth it though, even if just to avoid going out again in the weather!

12.48 km

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