The title of this blog is how a local told me ‘strawberries and cream’ is pronounced in Danish. Danish is one of the hardest languages to learn in the world, I’ve heard…but most of the Danes know English, probably because most of the world doesn’t know Danish. The name for this dessert, coupled with ‘vaskesuger’ for toilet plunger, and the weird store sign that said ‘flugger farver’, made me think Danish was a pretty cool language!
Copenhagen was a very posh city…the main shopping street reminded me of Paris. This was also the home of Hans Christian Andersen, the famous children’s story writer. Supposedly he wrote ‘The Ugly Duckling’ about himself in that he was tall, lanky, and had a big nose as a kid…maybe him rising up to be a famous writer was the ‘becoming a swan’ thing in his story. There was a cool statue of him in Kongens Have, or ‘The King’s Garden’, which was surrounding Rosenborg Castle.
Not just of him, because this garden was littered with other great statues…for example, a weird troll biting a horse, and a guy on a horse stabbing a snake. Maybe it’s a Scandinavian thing, but I remember Norway having a lot of cool statues, too.
Rosenborg Castle was really something. The outside was awesome, really great for pictures.
The inside of the castle had some really grandiose rooms…tapestries hanging on the walls, the ceilings decorated, elegant furniture. I loved how many of the rooms had their own color schemes, like it was meant to be different as you moved room to room…as if they each had their own theme.
The ‘throne room’ was the highlight, where the throne of the King and the Queen are surrounded by silver lions.
They had another exhibit where they had the crown jewels, and other expensive looking artifacts…I guess that’s why they have guards posted out front.
After this upscale sightseeing I went the opposite route and went to an urban park called Superkilen, in the suburbs of Copenhagen. I saw this written up on CNN about a year ago, and it looked interesting. It was meant to be a celebration of multiculturalism….so there was, among other things, a Thai boxing ring, an elephant slide from Chernobyl, a star-shaped Moroccan fountain, a doughnut sign from a diner in Pennsylvania, a replica basketball court from Somalia, and a model of ‘red square’ featuring both Russian and Chinese influences. The park has received many accolades from artists around the world, but I got the idea the locals still don’t really get it. The city put it in an area that they want to build up, and when I was asking for directions no one seemed to know where it was. Regardless, it was definitely a unique attraction to see.
So what else about Copenhagen? I found this pretty good Mexican place called Chico’s that I went back to a few times…best guacamole in Europe! There was also a very long and nice shopping street that rivaled similar streets in France, and a cool harbor area called Nyhavn that had bars, restaurants, boats, and great views.
I found a great place called the ‘Union Bar’, one of the best bars I’ve been to in Europe. It had a speakeasy theme, so you couldn’t really see the bar from the street. I met a lot of great people here. I met a local Copenhagen Dane who lived in the US for awhile, in Georgia. We talked about soccer and how the US was still getting into it. He told me a cool story about how in the mid-80’s he started and coached a kid’s soccer team in the US, and just recently they went on to win some state championship. I think we both agreed that soccer is definitely a rising sport in America. I met a couple Norwegians…one of my favorite nationalities in Europe…and we talked for a few hours about a little bit of everything. Also, this bar made some great Manhattans…the best I’ve had in a long time!
Even though Copenhagen was cold, rainy, and got dark really early, it was still a great time. I think I could’ve hung with Hans Christian Andersen…he was a traveler, too, and had some great quotes like this one: “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.”