Sunday, November 6, 2011

On the Road: Copenhagen

Our 19-day fall trip started with 4 nights in Copenhagen; we spent the first day at Tivoli Gardens, which opened in 1843 and is said to have inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland.

Doug's at the main entrance gate at Vesterbrogade; it was built in 1896.

There are dozens of restaurants and food pavilions throughout the 20-acre amusement park; the Moorish-style Restaurant Nimb is one of the most distinctive and beautifully landscaped.

Although Tivoli Gardens is situated in the heart of the city, it's planted with almost 1,000 trees and 400,000 flowers, which were still lovely in early September.

When it opened, the 2 main attractions were a carousel with horses and a wooden roller coaster, but over the years it has expanded its amusement rides and taken on a Great America-feel.

Doug and I skipped the rides, opting instead for the open-air stage performances and walking the lovely grounds.

Friends with relatives living in Copenhagen suggested that we have dinner at Groften, which opened in 1874 next to the Pantomime Theatre - the oldest building in Tivoli Gardens.

Although it was busy, serving an average of 1,200 guests a day, the service was great, food was delicious - a real value!

Today Nyhavn is lined with bars, restaurants, cafes and jazz clubs; the 328-yard canal was dug by soldiers in the 1670s and enabled ships loaded with merchandise to sail into the center of Copenhagen.

The DFDS guided canal-harbor cruise we took from Nyhavn was a fantastic way to see beautiful Copenhagen and its major historic sights and attractions.

It was interesting to see Copenhagen's most famous landmark, The Little Mermaid, from the water. The bronze-cast figure debuted in 1913. Unfortunately over the years it has been the victim of vandals, who've doused her with paint and cut off her head three times. Subsequently, the tiny figure on a rock has been moved a little further towards the sea.

One of the most unique sights to see from the water is the 19th century Royal Library (Det Kongelige Bibliotek) and the recent ultra-modern "Black Diamond" extension, featuring black glass and granite imported from Zimbabwe.

Mention "winter garden" and Danes know you're referring to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, a world-class museum with thousands of ancient statues, mosaics and artifacts. The glass-domed winter garden and adjacent cafe offer a beautiful, quiet oasis.

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, founded by the Carlsberg Brewery and across the street from Tivoli Gardens, houses the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris.

Doug's checking out the "Burghers of Calais."

A statue of Denmark's most famous resident, Hans Christian Andersen, is across from City Hall; it's a great photo op!

Tour buses always stop at The Little Mermaid; Doug didn't venture down closer because of a steep incline and slippery rocks at the water's edge.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

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