jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 93 [02 May 09] – Copenhagen

Posted in Copenhagen by jn82 on May 2, 2009

Today was a pretty chill day as we just got onto the tourist bus again and headed out to a few places only. We covered most of the main sites in the city centre area over the last two days, so the places we went to today were those which are out of walking distance.

The first place we got to was the little mermaid statue. This is probably Copenhagen’s most famous tourist site, and there were so many kids here yesterday afternoon that we specially got onto the bus again early this morning (okay 10am is not that early) in the hope that there will be less tourists here today. The statue is about the size of an average girl, and it sits on a big rock surrounded my smaller rocks facing the water. This would actually be a very nice setting except for the fact that there are power stations with huge smoke stacks in the background! Poor little mermaid, having to look at these objects of pollution everyday.

The Little Mermaid.

There were much fewer tourists and kids here today, so we managed to get our pictures after waiting about 15 minutes for everyone else to take theirs. I really detest other tourists and the little kids who climb all over the place.

Back on the bus, we stopped only a few minutes later at the very nice area of Nyhavn. There are many bars, restaurants and cafes situated in very colourful buildings that face a harbour. We were just here to snap a few pictures before jumping back on the next bus.

Nyhavn.

Heading back to the city centre on the “mermaid” route tour bus, we changed to the “Carlsberg” route bus and headed to, you guessed it, the old Carlsberg brewery, which is now just more of a visitor centre and only brews the specilised range of Jacobson beers. Having been to countless wineries and beer breweries, we were familiar with the instruments and process of alcohol making, so this was pretty boring. I can tell you that the name Carlsberg originated from J.C. Jacobson (the founder) naming the beer after his son Carl and the hilly area (berg) that the brewery is situated upon. The visitor holds the world record for containing the most number of different beer bottles.

Some of the 18,000+ (and counting) beer bottles from around the world.

The Carlsberg visitor centre.

The highlight of the trip was probably the two free beers we get at the end of the tour. Okay, not actually free because the tour cost 60kr. I decided to have a glass of Carl’s Ale and a Jacobson’s Limited Edition, which were not that nice.

As I said, a pretty chill day with not much walking around. Tomorrow, we are on the train for most of the day from Copenhagen to Oslo.

Today’s pictures here.

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Day 92 [01 May 09] – Copenhagen

Posted in Copenhagen by jn82 on May 1, 2009

After breakfast at the hotel (which included instant noodles surprisingly), we decided to be a bit lazy today and get around via the “hop on hop off” tourist sightseeing bus instead of walking. The two day ticket which includes all three bus routes, with unlimited rides, priced at 150kr (S$40) is not exactly cheap, but makes economic sense given that a single trip on any route costs 120kr. The first bus route we would get on is the “mermaid” route, where we would get off at the Rosenborg Slot, the little mermaid statue and Amalienborg to walk around ahev have a look.

Rosenborg Slot is a 17th century castle built by Christian IV in the Dutch Renaissance style and stands at the edge of Kongens Have (King’s Gardens). In the castle, there are rooms with glorious marbled and painted ceilings, gilded mirrors, Dutch tapestries, and gold- and enemal- ware.

Rosenborg Slot.

Frederik III’s marble room.

Christian V’s room.

Christian VI’s room.

The thrones of the king (1655) and queen (1731) are guarded by three silver lions from 1670.

Just beside the castle in an ajoining basement is the Royal Treasury, home to the Danish crown jewels.

Crown of Christian V (1665 – 70).

Crown of Christian IV (1595) and the Queen’s crown (1731).

Other Danish crown regalia.

After getting back on the bus, 10 minutes later we alighted again, this time at the statue of the little mermaid. There were hundreds of people here this afternoon, so we decided to come here first thing tomorrow morning to get our pictures and avoid the crowds! The next stop on the bus tour wasAmalienborg Palace, home to the royal family since 1794. The palace consists of four austere mansions surrounding the central square and guarded by sentries.

Amalienborg Palace.

30 minutes later and we were back on the bus, headed back to the city centre, where we had a fast food lunch before getting on the “Christiania” route bus tour. This was not an extremely interesting route, as it covered the smaller sites in the city such as the black diamond, Christiansborg, Strøget, the free city (i.e. hippy colony) of Christiania, Holmen, Marriot hotel, Our Savious Church, the Old Copenhagen Stock Exchange etc etc. I did not feel like taking pictures as the bus was moving all the time.

Hope to wake up early tomorrow and repeat the “mermaid” route first, followed by the “Carlsberg” route bus tour, which stops at the Carlsberg brewery.

Today’s pictures here.

Day 91 [30 Apr 09] – Copenhagen

Posted in Copenhagen by jn82 on April 30, 2009

*I will be able to upload pictures again! USB controller still malfunctioning, but I can transfer picture files via my travel mate’s computer and wireless networking.*

After a 16 hour overnight train ride from Amsterdam, we got into Copenhagen this morning around 11am. The train ride was better than expected, as we managed to get the upper bunks on the six bed couchettes (three on each side), so we had ample place to leave our belongings above the door.

After a very short walk from København H, the main train station, we got to out hotel. We could not find any hostel accomodation within our price range and in the city, so had to settle for a S$95 per person twin hotel room. Extremely expensive, but so is everything else in Copenhagen as we will find out over the course of the day.

Once we were done with checking in and emails, we headed to Slotsholmen, an island seperated from the city centre by a moat-like canal on three sides and the harbour on the other side. There are supposedly many things to see here, such as Christiansborg Palace (that comprises of the royal reception chambers Slots-og Ejendomysstyrelsen, parliament and the supreme court), theatre museum (museum of royal coaches), Tøjhusmuseet (armoury museum), ruins of Absalon’s fortress, Thorvldsens museums and the royal library. We could not be bothered checking out so many places, so headed for a guided tour of the royal reception chambers only. This is an ornate Renaissance hall where the queen entertains heads of state. unfortunately no photography allowed inside.

Christiansborg Palace.

Exterior of the royal reception chambers.

Entry point of the royal reception chambers.

The Royal Library gardens.

Thorvaldsens Museum.

The interior of the royal reception chambers was very grand, much like many of the palaces we have seen in other cities. The royal family does not actually stay here, nor have they ever stayed here, and it is used strictly only for official functions. Other parts of the palace are used by the prime minister’s office, the supreme court and when parliament convenes.

After the palace, we just walked around the city for a bit before heading back to the hotel.

City hall.

City centre.

After exploring around the city today, I have the feeling that Copenhagen is a city without much character or identity. Sure you have a few token landmarks such as Tivoli gardens and the little mermaid statue and a well known cafe culture, but apart from that, the city lacks the buzz of many of the other cities we have been to. I hope that I will have a different opinion of the city after the next two days of sightseeing coming up here.

Today’s pictures here.