Happiness Is?

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June 29th 2017
Published: July 9th 2017
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The latest Danish export is the concept of “hygge”, a word often used to describe contentment with good living and a feeling of happiness. It is a description of nice, cozy, safe and the known. The word is often applied to the concept is the scandic design and interior living that we are familiar with from this part of the world, but it can be applied to almost anything. The “hygge” was good at breakfast in the hotel. I was particularly enjoyed the bread, that was giving off that freshly baked smell. We were up early today on a journey out of the city to the north of Zealand. The Copenhagen Cards were valid in zones 1 to 99, which basically meant that all of the province was in reach. Copenhagen is primarily built on 2 islands – the main city on the southern tip off of Zealand and the airport and southern suburbs are on Amager. The former is actually the 96thlargest island in the world and the second largest island in the Danish world after Greenland. Zealand incidentally has nothing to do with New Zealand, which is named after a Dutch province, although there are arguably some similarities with the changeable weather. We were heading to Hillerod, some 35-40 kilometres north of Copenhagen. The switch from the Metro to the S Trains at Norreport was simple. The S Trains – similar to the S Bahn in Germany - covers the extended suburbs and the frequency of S Train E was every 10 minutes. We didn’t have long to wait and were soon heading north, passing the cruise liner berths at Nordhavn and the new executive flats that are being constructed everywhere. All across the city, industry is moving out to be replaced by waterside living for the wealthy. The suburbs became greener as we sped further north. We arrived at Hillerod in about 35 minutes, the Copenhagen Cards having passed another inspection by the ticket police.

Hillerod is home to the Frederiksborg Castle. The Castle - or Slot as they are known in Danish – is home to the Museum of National History. The original estate was acquired Prince Frederick in 1550, but it was his son Christian 1V, who built the castle. Did you know that the kings of Denmark are alternately named Frederick and Christian? The route to the town centre and Castle are helpfully signposted from the station. A large square opens up on the lake with a statue of what I believe is Frederick. A walkway provides a short cut towards the Castle entrance , but we wandered off down the main street. It was looking sleepy on a Thursday morning. A board in the shape of a figure was out in the pedestrianised section advertising “Normal”. We spied a small antique place to which we would return later in pursuit of some Holmegaard glass. The Castle entrance was at the far end of the pedestrian section. A small group of Japanese tourists were having some form of disagreement amongst themselves near the bridge across the moat. Perhaps they had not checked opening was not until 10 am? They stormed off down the road, shouting at each other. A more amicable group of Japanese waited patiently for the opening time. The highlights of the interior were the Church and the Great Hall. Visitors were actually quite sparse. We retreated into town for coffee and cake. The outdoor burners were on at one of the main establishments in the second square, so we dined outside. After much deliberation, we decided on a small Holmegaard piece by Per Lutken. We negotiated a small discount off the price to make ourselves feel better, before returning to the Castle to see the baroque gardens at the rear. The Frederiksborg Ferry sailed the “most beautiful nautical mile” back to the town. The Copenhagen Cards once again made the fare a freebie.

The tourism complete largely for the day, I was off in search of my first football match of the season. My close season lasted a whole 32 days this year, since the Wearside League Cup Final. Lyngby Boldklub had drawn Bangor City from Wales in their Europa League 1st Qualifying Round. Bangor of course had been on our outbound plane the previous day. The Hillerod express returned to Copenhagen and very conveniently stopped at Lyngby on the way. The ticket police were on hand to remove an older lady, who thought she would use the train for her one stop back to Allerod. She looked most disgruntled at being caught out. You will have got the genera theme already – ticket checking in Denmark is regular, so the chances of being apprehended seemed high. Kongens Lyngby – Kings Lyngby – is a non-descript sort of town. A prosperous commuter town, there was a hive of activity at the upmarket shops on the main street and a steady flow of shoppers in the Lyngby Store Center – an undercover shopping mall just behind. We went in search of something to eat at a competitive price and settled for a food court in the afore mentioned Store Center. Tommi’s Burgers was much better than it sounded. They offered the “deal of the century” – their words, not mine – a deli burger, fries and unlimited soda. We were incorrectly identified as Welsh by the two Turks sitting near us, who inquired if we were heading to the game. I confirmed that we were, but were sitting on the neutral fence. The Lyngby church was an attractive building, but there was little else to detain us in town and we wandered in the direction of the football ground. The backstreets beyond were almost like an old village, rather than part of a large commuter town. It was 45 minutes to kick off, but few folks showing any likelihood that they were also heading to the match.

A large group of Danish fans were drinking outside the club bar and offices, but there was no sign of a ticket office. A steward pointed us in the right direction at the far end of the complex. A ticket office was a bit of an overstatement – ticket tent was more the mark. I requested 2 tickets. The response in the usual perfect English we had begun to expect was “You will want to sit with the people from Wales”. I suggested not, pointing out the distinction between England and Wales. A roar of laughter emerged from the Danes behind us in the queue, who were highly amused by the remark. “You can sit with the best fans in the world then – Lyngby Boldklub” . The tickets at 130 DKK were actually a piece of printed colour A4 with a bar code on and had no apparent seat number on them. The suggestion was you could sit where you like, although it later emerged that the tickets sold in advance on the internet had seat numbers on them. Result. Chaos. It was a massive crowd by my standards these days - i.e. more than a few hundred. We were turfed out and ended up nearer the Bangor section, sitting with the coaches of the Lyngby Summer Soccer Camp. Once again somebody rolled up late and indicated they had the two seats were now occupying. Our new associates, politely explained that was not the case and to stay put. “There is room for everyone” They helpfully assisted us with a puzzle that had been pre-occupying us for the last couple of days – the reason why older teenagers were wandering round in sailor hats with their names on, looking highly pleased with themselves? It transpires it is some form of graduation from high school tradition. The hats are worn as a sign of finishing school. Hats with a red band indicate one type of high school / college and a blue band indicates another. The wearing of hats is accompanied by the large intake of alcohol for a couple of weeks, which possibly explains the happy mood.

The game itself was a dull affair. Lyngby totally dominated the first half. Bangor relied on a couple of set pieces as a counter. Their goalkeeper performed a few minor miracles to keep the score to 1-0 at the break. The Lyngby playmaker went off at half time and they fell apart. Bangor were unlucky not to grab an equaliser. Taylor-Fletcher was clean through on the keeper and failed to produce a finish. The Bangor fans were left to count themselves unlucky and hope for better things back in Wales.

A swift walk back to the railway station and within 45 minutes of the end of the game, we were back in Copenhagen City Centre. We alighted one stop before the central rail station to visit a design icon. The SAS Royal Hotel is to some a non-descript tower block. However to others it is recognized as the home of the Egg and the Swan, two of the chairs that Arne Jacobsen designed for the lobby. The hotel was originally the tallest skyscraper in Denmark and the interiors right down to the cutlery in the restaurant were his work. Today, it is a Radisson Blu - only Room 606 is apparently in original decor. We sat in the lobby and tried the respective Swan and Egg chairs and thought of the Swan back home. The staff are clearly used to furniture tourists and didn't bat an eye lid. I t was a short walk for a familiarization stroll round Tivoli Gardens. We would be back tomorrow, courtesy of that Copenhagen Card free entry.

Appendix 1

Europa Cup Qualifying Round 1 (First Leg)

Lyngby Boldklub 1 Bangor City 0

Date: Thursday 29th June 2017 @ 1830 Hours

Venue: Lyngby Stadium, Lyngby, Denmark

Attendance: 2,574

Goals: 1-0 (B Blume 10 Mins)

Additional photos below
Photos: 73, Displayed: 28


9th July 2017
Frederiksborg Castle

Great set up!
9th July 2017
Frederiksborg Castle

Love those ceilings!
9th July 2017

Looks positively sinful LOL
9th July 2017

Mansard roof
Did you know that these Mansard style roofs were sometimes used in the old days for tax evasion. This was when property owners were taxed by the number of floors in their building/house below the roof line. The Mansard style of roof made the top floor liveable – and tax free. ( I dabble in architecture LOL)
9th July 2017

I think I'd like Denmark! I like Danish furniture & Danish pastries :o)

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