Tuesday was our only full day in Copenhagen so we had to make it count. About a week or so prior I’d looked up some things to do, bypassing most of the museums in favour of outdoor or quirky things. Perhaps we could have crammed more in but in the end we got to enjoy a pleasant day walking around Copenhagen.
First stop was the Royal Library Gardens, a quiet spot near the national museum and Jewish museum, that has a very tall fountain and typical country gardens, all well manicured. The sky was a bit grey at that time of the morning but it was still a pleasant place to be.
Freetown Christiania, billed as an anarchist community, was next, after going for breakfast at a bakery chain we’ve since seen around the place. Christiania was, as expected, a bit wild looking with graffiti everywhere and a homespun feel, and the whiff of marijuana smoke in the air. We strolled through, walking a long way up the peninsula and then down through a separate part of town that was quiet, well ordered and, by the looks of things, expensive. The opera house was nearby…
I really enjoyed walking through these disparate areas, even if we didn’t actually go into anything. We cut across bridges and well-maintained cycle paths into the slightly touristy area of Nyhavn, with its canals, boats and brightly coloured buildings. It reminded me of The Danish Girl and, as I’m sure most people think, found it the prettiest.
We were headed for the Medical Museoin next, which took us past a beautiful domed church (Frederiks Kirke). We went inside for a while (and to sit down, praise be). The inside of the domed roof looks 3D but I’m sure it was just painted to look that way. It was a wonderful spot for a rest.
The Medical Museoin was on the next corner. I’d read a bit about it and, considering we’d had a good time at the Wellcome Collection in London, thought it would be a good option for a visit and something that Glen would find interesting.
I don’t know what it is about museums nowadays but I really struggle to engage in anything to a deep level, usually ready to leave in about 30 minutes. We wandered through the displays, some of them well designed, and others looking a bit slapdash.
There were a few interactive displays that were excellent, however, such as the life game (where you choose different body sections that either increase or decrease your life expectancy) and a pill dispenser that dispenses actual pills (sugar pills I think) based on the options you choose along the way.
The building was once something to do with the early medical profession and was both living apartments as well as laboratories/medical examination rooms etc. It even had an auditorium and a pharmacy. One fact though was that Niels Bohr grew up there!
Glen spent a while looking at the fetuses in jars, finding them educational. Some of the diseases and their effects made me feel a bit ill. I wondered how Dion would handle such a place. There was also a whole display on genes and blood samples that I thought would resonate with Ben.
After about an hour, I was done and my back was starting to hurt so we left. It’s not a big museum and if you’re into medical things, it’s worth a visit.
A Picnic Lunch and the Little Mermaid
We wandered into the Design Museum…for lunch, but left without ordering as they only had open-faced sandwiches. I have a feeling we probably should have visited the displays as well, but we were hungry and that’s not good when trying to learn.
Rather than cough up a huge amount of money for lunch, we went into a nearby supermarket and bought more food than we could eat and went and had a picnic in the park. The sun came out—as did the ducks eager for a handout. It was incredibly pleasant to sit out in the open, beside a river, and chow down.
We walked through the park, capturing beautiful vistas on our phones, seeing cygnets and ducklings, as well as lily pads. I’ve never seen lily pads outside a botanic garden so I was thrilled. We soon approached a church and a fountain—and a lot of tour buses. We were on our way to the Little Mermaid statue.
There was a crowd at this statue on a rock. I got close, took some pictures around the gaggle of tourists and that was it. Tick. We then walked the exceptionally long way back to our hotel, beside train lines and parks and busy roads. We cut through what is probably the gay district as we saw a lot of bars, clubs and shops targeting gay men. At that point though, all I wanted to do was sit down.
Taking it Easy
The rest of the afternoon, once we got back to the hotel, was spent lounging around and recuperating. So much else to see in Copenhagen but I thought we’d done enough to satisfy ourselves. I really like the city and could have spent a few more days there taking it easy, especially as the sunshine and warmth was bliss.
In the evening we went for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant, taking over a table that was probably reserved but we got served anyway in this small hole-in-the-wall place. We walked through a few more streets, cutting closer to the town hall and taking silly photos at the bull-and-fish-monster fountain.
Despite us being home by 9, I was worn out and happy to flick through TV stations for a while. Meanwhile, outside the sun was still shining. In fact it was still up when I closed the curtains at 10:30pm and we went to bed. Daylight savings is great…if you’ve got the stamina to stay up and enjoy it all. We’re going to be in Faroe Islands and Iceland when there’s nearly 24 hours of daylight. That’s going to be interesting.