Kapoors Year 7: Europe/Ecuador/Peru travel blog

First Time We've Been On A Metro With No Driver, Completely Controlled...

It Was Very Easy To Find Our Apartment, Right Across From What...

We've Don't Overlook The Canal, But Walk Beside It To And From...

This Little Houseboat Reminds Me Of The One I Lived In For...

When In Denmark, Do As The Danes Do - Kanelsnagel, A Cinnamon...

These Towers On The Bridge Are So Unusual, They Remind Me Of...

What A Beautiful Sight On A Sunny Day, Like Everywhere Now, Cranes...

This Attractive Building Is The Old Stock Exchange

The Corkscrew Tower Really Caught My Attention

I Thought They Looked Like Crocodiles, But Read That They Are Dragons...

The Major Tourist Season Is Over Mid-Sept But Not All Of The...

The Danish (Dansk) Flag On A Windy Afternoon

The Christianborg Palace, Home Of Denmark's Parliament

There Are Loads Of Shops Selling Everything Under The Sun, Including These...

There Are Loads Of Shops Selling Everything Under The Sun, Including These...

The Famous Stork Fountain Was A 25th Wedding Anniversary Present To Crown...

We Won't Make It Out To Legoland In Western Denmark, But Stopped...

We Passed Through A Large Open Square And Admired The People Drinking...

Our Route Took Us Past The Entrance To The Famous Tivoli Gardens,...

As We Began To Head Back To Our Apartment Across The Canal,...

This Had Been A Terrific Exploratory Walk, Good For The Mind And...

This Large Dark Building Was A Bit Of A Mystery Until I...

The Clouds Were Beginning To Engulf The Blue Sky, This Graffiti Elephant...

We Turned Towards Our Apartment In Christianshavn, Walking Past Colourful Old Buildings

A Few Hardy Souls Were Sitting Canal Side, Enjoying A Coffee, We...

Day Two Saw Us Set Off Once Again, I Spotted This Work...

I Don't Think I Ever Remember Seeing Street Lights Strung Across The...

We Took A Different Route Through The City To Reach The Popular...

Visitors Climb To The Top Of The Tower On A Wide Bricked...

The Views Over The Latin Quarter Were Great, We Were Able To...

The Wrought-Iron Railings Are Decorated With The Crest And Initials Of The...

The Top Of The Tower Holds The World's Oldest Functioning Observatory

Halfway Down We Stopped To See An Art Display In The Former...

The Café Served Terrific Coffee, But It Was The Upside-Down-Backwards Clock That...

We Strolled Over To The Old Port Canal Of Nyhavn, Loads Of...

This Fellow Was Either Enjoying The Sun, Or Recovering From Too Much...

This Building Had A 'Red Light' Sign, This May Have Been A...

Not A Thing For Us To Eat At This Restaurant, They Could...

We Could Easily Find Our Way 'Home', Our Apartment Is Right Under...

We Visited The Copenhagen Museum And Learned That The City Was Originally...

I Was Delighted To See The Model Of The Original Settlement Built...

However, Our Favourite Museum Was The Carlsberg Glyptotek, With Its Central Winter...

A Great Deal Of The Exhibits Are Sculptures, This One Sits In...

One Room Was Almost Entirely Devoted To Rodin, Here Is His Famous...

Late That Evening We Visited The 'Freetown' Of Christiania, A Hippy-Dippy Neighbourhood...

I Wasn't Allowed To Take Photos In The 'Green Zone', Too Much...

I Thought This Little Green Zone Was Quite Cute, Great Use For...

Once We Were Out Of The Green Zone, I Was Invited To...

These Are Pretty Much What So Many Of The Residents And Guests...

No Cars On The Lanes Of Christiania, Here's A Cycle Parking Area,...

The Next Day We Set Off To Explore More Of The City,...

The Botanical Garden Is Quite Lovely, It Will Be Even More Beautiful...

It's Not Often That You Are Actually Invited To Sit On The...

I Was Surprised To See These Crocus Blooming In The Fall, I...

We Plunged Back Into The Old Streets Of Copenhagen, Quite A Change...

On Our Way Back To Our Neighbourhood Across The Channel, We Stopped...

It's An Impressive New Wing That Was Added On To The Existing...

People Were Sunning Themselves On The Terrace Between The Glass Walls And...

The Buildings On The Other Side Were A Terrific Complement To The...

The Light Was Incredible As We Made Our Way 'Home' Across The...

We'd Been Waiting For A Good Day To Climb The Tower Of...

There Are 400 Steps From Ground Level To The Very, Very Narrow...

The Last 160 Steps Are Outside, Offering Great Views Of The City...

I Was More Than A Little Dizzy After Climbing Down, So We...

I'd Come To See The Two Tired Elephants Holding Up The Massive...

One Last Foray Into Copenhagen, We Passed The New Opera House Situated...

We Visited The Nearby Amalienborg Palace, The Residence Of The Royal Family

We Arrived Just Before Noon So That We Could Watch The Changing...

Then On A Little Further Past The Gefron Fountain, Huge, Mighty And...

A Side Trip West Of The Palace Allowed Us To See The...

But The Perfect Way To End A Visit To Copenhagen, Is To...


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BACKGROUND

There is evidence of fishing villages existing for millennia on the shores of the narrow stretch of water that separates the modern countries of Denmark and Sweden. In the 12th century, the locals called upon Bishop Absalom to build a fort on a small island in order to protect them from prowling pirates. A city eventually took root there, built upon the wealth of the herring fishery.

In the 15th century, København (‘købe’ meaning ‘the buy’ and ‘havn’ meaning ‘harbour’) replaced Roskilde as the capital of Denmark. The city was transformed by the flamboyant King Christian IV (1588-1648). He controlled most of Scandinavia from his capital, but he eventually bankrupted his treasury with his international forays and ambitious building projects. By the early 19th century, other empires surpassed the once mighty Danes.

Today, Copenhagen is considered the ‘cool’ capital of Scandinavia. The beauty of the historic buildings is intermixed with cutting edge modern architecture. The skyline is filled with copper spires; the attractive squares are still paved with cobblestones but the hippest of cafés and Michelin-starred restaurants vie for attention with world-class museums and stunning glass buildings leaning at all angles against the sky.

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

We left the heavy rains in Bergen, Norway and flew directly into Copenhagen’s sunshine at noon. A state-of-the-art metro (no drivers on the trains) quickly took us the 10km into the city, passing by our station at Christianhavn before crossing the channel into the core. We had booked a small apartment two blocks from the metro station, and after picking up the keys at a neighbouring café, we settled into our new home for the coming week.

I’ve wanted to come to Copenhagen ever since I met a lovely woman named Lisa Anderson in the Metropole Hotel in Khartoum, Sudan in 1973. I was briefly on my own in Khartoum, and when I emerged from my room, I saw this older woman sitting in the lobby pouring a glass of cold beer for herself. I smiled at her warmly and she asked if I would help her out by sharing the large bottle of beer with her. It must have been nearly 45C that afternoon, and I was both thirsty and a little lonely, so I happily accepted.

I learned that Lisa and her husband had retired from their jobs in Copenhagen, and had come to the Sudan to volunteer in the middle of almost nowhere. Tag Anderson had been a bricklayer, and he had come to teach his skills to the villagers in a rural district. They had been in the Sudan for several months already, and Lisa had come on her own to the capital to stock up on supplies for the months to come.

We saw each other over the course of the next few days, and then Lisa set off to rejoin her husband. We kept in touch with annual Christmas cards for the next twenty years or so, and then the cards stopped. Lisa wrote to me when her dear husband died, but as they were childless, there was no one to inform me when she passed away. I never did get the opportunity to see her again, and that’s unfortunate. I regret that I no longer have her address; it would have been nice to walk by her house and see where she had lived all those years after returning from Africa.

Our first morning dawned bright and sunny and we heard the carillon chiming every hour from the tower of the Church of Our Saviour right next door. We set off along the nearby canal, reminded a little of the lovely canals in Amsterdam, but as soon as we started across the Knipplesbro Bridge, it was clear we were in a very different city indeed. From our vantage point, we could see many dramatic modern glass buildings here and there along the waterfront and in between the massive brick and stone structures, crowned with towering copper-tinged spires.

We spent the next several days walking different routes through the city, ticking off the most famous sights, and enjoying the streetscapes and the little out of the way corners that most tourists miss in their rush to see Copenhagen on the fly. The Old Stock Exchange, The Christianborg Palace, The Stork Fountain, The Tivoli Gardens, The Rondetaarn, The Carlsberg Glyptotek, Nyhavn, The Danish Design Museum, The Royal Library (Black Diamond) and last but not least, The Little Mermaid.

We loved the apartment we rented and especially its proximity to all the major sights in Copenhagen, so when we learned that it was available for an additional two days, we decided to extend our stay so that we could make at least one day trip out of Copenhagen in order to see the striking Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the castle made famous by Shakespeare, Elsinore at the town north of the city called Helsingør.

After nine nights in Copenhagen, after feeling like we had only begun to scratch the surface of this fascinating city, we purchased train tickets for the 5-hour journey to Stockholm. We would be able to take the train directly from the Central Station, cross the fixed-link bridge and make our way across the southern part of the Swedish peninsula, from one capital to another.

There is clearly so much more to see in Copenhagen, and in Denmark as well, however, Sweden, Finland and the Baltic States are beckoning and with the leaves on the trees beginning to turn colour, we knew we couldn’t dawdle any longer or the snow would be flying before we made our way into Eastern Europe and south into Poland and Hungary.

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