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Published: August 4th 2017
We arrived at our hotel which was a 15min walk from the central railway station and the centre of the City, so that was pretty good. It was early afternoon on the 27th
July. The weather was overcast and not too warm, so after having a rest (nap) we had been up since 4:30am, we wandered back to the station area as nearby was the “Tivoli Gardens”. This is in fact the second oldest amusement park in history, the first one actually was started in Denmark too. The Tivoli opened in 1843. The Danes apparently love this place and it was indeed packed at around 5pm on this dull Thursday afternoon. It is a huge park and apparently Walt Disney visited here in 1955 and copied the ambience of the place to incorporate it into his own Disneyland.
Apart from some modern (scary) rides it took Joyce and I back to our childhood as there were shooting galleries, dodgems, carousels, waterslides, rollercoasters etc. etc. The park also holds free concerts during the summer on a nightly basis.
Copenhagen has a population of 1.1m people and after Amsterdam, is the most friendly bike city in Europe. There
are over 390 kms of dedicated bike lanes. We were quite surprised how few cars there were on the road and the main reason we were told is because vehicles attract a tax rate of 200%, no wonder people use their bikes!
We came across a bike graveyard!
The next day it was unexpectedly sunny and warm which was great as we had booked a three 3 hour walking tour. We were told that this has been the worst summer that Denmark has had in 40 years, so we really were lucky today.
Joyce and I prefer these guided walks to the Hop on Hop off city bus tours as we feel that we get more detailed information and can absorb more and you can interact with the guide. These tours are normally free of charge and the guides only earn through tips. So, the better the tour that they give the more they earn, so you are normally guaranteed a tour with a good bit of humour thrown in. Our guide today was actually an Aussie who had lived in Copenhagen for 14 years so he was very happy to
chat to us as we walked around.
We were told that the first born son of the monarch is always named either Kristian or Frederik, and always named on an alternative basis.
The guide told us about the reigning Monarch of Denmark, Queen Margrethe who was born in 1940. She is held in high regard by the people and when you learn about her accomplishments you can understand why:
She is an accomplished painter and has held many art shows (under a pseudonym).
She illustrated and translated the Danish edition of Lord of The Rings.
She is an accomplished translator, fluent in Danish, French, English, Swedish and German.
She has designed and made costumes for the Royal Danish Ballet and for herself.
She studied prehistoric archaeology at Cambridge, Political science at Aarhus University,
This dock area serviced the Market area in the 17th Century.
attended the Sorbonne and the London School of Economics.
Apart from when they meet in the UK, she has a higher royal rank than Queen Elizabeth, who would have to curtsey to her if they met. However her husband of 50 years cannot speak Danish!
After the tour we wandered around the main shopping streets, visited a few more historic buildings and strolled through the botanic gardens in the warm evening sunshine. We had an early dinner and then returned to the hotel straight away, we were really tired after being on our feet for about 8 hours.
The weather turned a little unpleasant the next day, a bit drizzly and a little on the chilly side.
We walked around the city again going to places that we did not cover on the walking tour.
We ventured intoFreetown Christiania which is a green and car-free neighbourhood in Copenhagen, best known for its autonomous inhabitants’ different way of life. It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely
independent of the Danish government. Freetown Christiania is a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues, cheap and organic eateries, It is a society within a society, for an example you cannot buy a house in Christiania. You have to apply for it, and if successful, it is given to you. Visitors are advised not to film nor photograph in Christiania, especially not in the area in and around Pusher Street, mainly due to the hash dealing, which is conducted in the open even though it is illegal in the rest of Denmark.
I have never smoked a joint and I was willing to buy one and give it a go, but Joyce soon put the kaibosh
on that idea! They also sold cakes infused with marijuana and we recalled a friend of ours, naming no names, had a bad experience some years ago when his daughter put some into cakes at a party at their place and our unnamed friend unwittingly ate a few of them and ended up in hospital!
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