Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Denmark! (Copenhagen)

Well, I've finally located a camera that I can use for getting pictures of the yarn that I bought in Denmark, so we can move on!

We arrived late at night from Sweden and walked all of about a block and a half from the train station to our hotel and promptly crashed.

The next morning, we set out to do as much as we could, given that we were going to be there only for a couple of days. In fact, if I remember correctly, we were only there basically for one day (not counting the days of travel as complete days).

So, we went first on the Self-Guided Walk -- "Stroget and Copenhagen's Heart and Soul" from Rick Steve's Scandinavia 2007 book. To do this walk, we started at the Radhuspladsen (City Hall Square). There we saw the Radhus (big surprise) -- City Hall. It is a beautiful building and I could show you image after image of little details on the building.

As a side note, I think that of all the places we went, Copenhagen surprised me the most. I had never thought much about it, but it turns out to be a very beautiful city and I would love to go back.

From the Radhus (where there is, of course, a big statue of Hans Christian Andersen (you can find the text of a lot of his stories for free here), who is Danish), we looked across the square to see the Weather Girls on what is now the Phillips building. Here they are:
They are meant to predict the weather and when it is nice out, the girl on the bicycle is supposed to be showing and when it is going to rain, the one with the umbrella should be out. As you can see, they are somewhere in between in this photo. Apparently, they have been stuck there for quite a while. In other words, years, I think. It's almost nicer this way, though, because despite the fact you can't count on them to tell you the weather, you can see them both better this way!

From the Radhus, you can also see the Tivoli Gardens (if the link doesn't show a page in English, look for the tiny English flag in the upper left hand corner of the website). It is a rather large park and it would have been wonderful to see what was inside, but alas, we didn't have enough time!

According to Rick Steves, "In 1843, magazine publisher Georg Carstensen convinced the king to let him build a pleasure garden outside the [former] walls of crowded Copenhagen. The king quickly agreed, knowing that happy people care less about fighting for democracy." (pg. 56) Well then! Sounds like a reasonable assessment, I think.

From the Radhuspladsen, we walked on to the Stroget, which is a pedestrian shopping mall. What this means is that it's along a street (so it's not like a mall in the U.S. -- one huge building, but it's also not a strip mall) that is closed to car traffic, which allows pedestrians to spill into the "street" and walk all over the place, while window shopping (and shopping for real, no doubt).

Here is a picture of part of the Stroget. The people are all standing in one place because they are watching a street performance (break dancers).

Besides tourists, there was an abundance of bicycles. I don't have any good photos of them, but wow were there a lot!!

At a few points along the Stroget walk, we wandered off the main drag and found some other cool things to look at. One of those things was the Copenhagen University. It had some beautiful buildings and a wonderful interior. We couldn't imagine going to school at a place that looked like this as you walked in to go to class:

Here is an outside photo of one of the University buildings (I think -- or it was right near it at least) and I thought it was magnificent. Like so many of the other buildings in Copenhagen, it had all kinds of wonderful little details on it, but I can't bring myself to upload the bazillion photos I have of the details, so we'll stick with this:

Sadly, it doesn't tell you much. It's a cool photo, though, right?

Near that building, too, we saw Niels and had to take his picture for my father-in-law, since he's a physicist. Niels was apparently a faculty member at Copenhagen, but he fled the Nazis and that's how he ended up in the U.S. If you don't know who Niels Bohr is, join the club, but I can tell you that he won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1922. I can also tell you that he worked on the atomic bomb . . . .
I can also tell you that he wasn't real pretty.

From the Stroget portion of the walk, we ended up walking over to the Little Mermaid.

I'm sure you can't really tell this from my words, but we walked a LONG ways. Rick recommends doing this on bicycle, if I remember correctly, but we didn't have a bicycle and we are very stubborn, so we carried on.

Here is one of the things that we saw near the statue of the Little Mermaid:
Why do I have this photo? Do you see the windmills in the background? There were a LOT of windmills in Europe and Andrew made me photograph all of them. So, here is one of those photos. Exciting, no?

On the way back to Nyhavn where we took a boat trip, via a really old, but functioning army barracks, we walked by this gorgeous thing:
I have better photos of the structure, but you can't see how pretty the grounds around it are, so I settled on this. Anyway, it's a church, pretty clearly. All I can tell you about it is that it's an Anglican church built entirely of flint.

From there we went on a boat tour that departed from Nyhavn:

I forget our tour guide's name, but she spoke 4 languages. Yes, really. Crazy, huh? It wasn't the best boat tour ever (we took a really good one in London a few years ago), but I think this is because the woman couldn't really ad lib at all, since she would state something and then repeat it in three different languages. You pretty much have to stick to a script in that situation, I think

On our boat tour we saw some interesting buildings and some interesting people:
I suspect he's one of the inhabitants of the liberal, alternate-reality outpost in the city called Christiania.

That's just a guess though . . . .

Okay, so I think I've gone on plenty. I will leave you with this. The next day, before boarding the train for Amsterdam, we went to Sommerfuglen, which was a terrific store. It looks small, but they had some delicious stash and the women who worked there were great.

It was the best yarn shop I saw while we were in Europe -- hands down. They had a great variety and lots of good stuff knit up. Should you need it for some reason, they also have English-Danish translation for knitting patterns on their website! (Click on "Tips and Advice," then "Glossary.")

For our Danish yarn purchase, we got a kid mohair/merino blend and it soft and beautiful! And, no, I still don't know how this is all going to go together, especially given the different weights of yarn, but we'll see:

I couldn't get a picture that showed the colors too well, but I think this is the best one I have.

Wow! That was a long post!

1 comment:

shirley said...

Nice post. It shows how rich could a literature be in terms of translation.Through translating shows the rich blend of knowledge and culture in a society.Whether in Danish translation or in any foreign language translation helps one to get acquainted with the thoughts, traditions, principles and actions of the people from the region.