Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Much ado about nothing

Act 1, Scene 1 Copenhagen.

The day started relatively benign. I had made it into town before realising that I had left my camera at home and so I turned back (I had stopped to take a photo of the back of a bus which has something hilarious like "John's Turistfartbus" or something). By the time I eventually made it into town I had missed the first bus of the day to take me to Christiania, and so I hung out with 180 Chileans who were in Copenhagen to watch Chile take on Denmark in football. It was a 1-all draw, I believe.

On the bus to Christiania, we past by a lot of old buildings, including the police building - possibly the most boring building in all of Copenhagen. This is a city which prides itself on its history and architecture, but the police building is dull and boring in its solid plaster finish (sorry dad). We also saw the 'Black Diamond' Copenhagen historical library which has something like 480 rooms in it, each one lockable. Here's a picture just for you, Chelsea:

I think I make a very poor tourist - I do my best to pay attention to the facts and interesting info but really once I've heard it I'm sure I forget most of it. It's all very interesting at the time though.

I got off the bus at Our Saviour's Cathedral, as I had taken enough photos of churches and not yet been inside any in Europe yet. Also this cathedral is the tallest point in Copenhagen (that is, if my memory serves me correctly), so I saw to climb its tower - fear of heights be damned!

True enough, it was high. Even more interesting was that the staircase narrowed the higher up you got, which (along with the very poorly placed handrail) made moving upwards even trickier. Fortunately I didn't freak out with the height to any amount that crippled me, so I took my photographic proof that I did it and proceeded back down again.

I then hiked a little further up the road to Christiania, a hippy commune that exists separately to Copenhagen designed to 'be truly free'. Basically a bunch of hippies broke into some abandoned army barracks and started squatting. The Danish tacitly allowed it to happen, and now there's a whole community in there, selling marijuana and related products/paraphernalia.

You're not allowed to take photos in there, as marijuana is illegal in Denmark and the natives don't take kindly to any kind of evidence leaving the commune. After missing my tour bus again, and the next one not arriving for another hour, I decided to walk back into the centre of town. It's lucky for me that Copenhagen has two or three tall towers which act as landmarks for the city, so that anytime I'm turned around I can just find one of the towers and head to it.

During my wanderings I found parliament and a really old theatre - unfortunately I wasn't able to take a tour of parliament today, but I did sneak into the old theatre which has been around for a couple of centuries. They even had an old Hans Christian Anderson manuscript on display. Seeing this manuscript reminded me that I had intended to spend some more time with the little mermaid, and so I quickened back to town and onto the mermaid tour.

As we approached Rosenborg's Castle, the tour guide (it's a tape recorded tour, so I've heard the same snippets several times now), said that this was a 'must see' while in Copenhagen. So I jumped off the bus here, knowing that I could just get on another one and still have time for the mermaid, and entered the summer castle of King Fredrich.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks Steve. Every room is lockable?! Like a dream come true.