Copenhagen, I love you - Part 2
We decide to do the very European thing and hire bikes for a ride around Copenhagen. Now it's been a while since I hopped on a bike but it's true once you learn to ride you don't forget. It took me about 10 mins to get used to the sensation and balance again but after that I was feeling pretty good. My bike even had a basket for me to put my camera bag and drink bottle in, score!
The bike lanes in Copenhagen are very well marked and generous, so it's pretty comfortable to bike around, especially along the waterfront and more touristy areas. We end up biking all the way out to the Little Mermaid Statue for a closer look.
The tour guide told us about the history of the Little Mermaid statue, and how a few years ago when the statue was lent to another display for a year, they actually set up a live stream of the statue for visitors so they would not miss out on seeing her.
After our bike adventures, we hunt around in search of some smørrebrød, the traditional danish open sandwich, but the café recommended to us was not open sadly, so we opted for some pizza from a fancy bakery. Next to the bakery in Magasin du Nord is an organic chocolate boutique, Summerbird, that sells some of the best chocolates I've ever had. We were offered some samples of their Amber Passion Almond chocolate and I bought 2 boxes of it.
Our plan was to head to Tivoli Gardens in the evening in time for the lights to come on, so we had a few hours to wander the streets and grab a cup of coffee. I stumbled across a really nice shoe store called Losaal and ended up having a chat with the owner there, George, who turns out to be an expat Australian. He over hear me saying 'yeaaaah' and asked if we were Australian of course, and we have a laugh about our accents, rugby and Lord of the Rings.
It turns out that he's been living in Copenhagen for many years, demonstrated by the effortless Danish he converses with the other customers in, and we chat about life in Copenhagen. He tells us that its not as great as it sounds, moving there, but I am not discouraged. We leave, having purchased a nice new handbag by Danish brand, Royal Republiq, and head towards Tivoli.
Tivoli Gardens opened in 1843 and has a really interesting and extensive history. It was in fact the inspiration for Hans Christian Andersen's the Nightingale as well as Walt Disney's Disneyland.
It's a strange mixture of things, and I don't know quite exactly how to describe it other than a bit magical. When we walked in at around 5pm, the sky was still very light and there was barely anyone inside, it almost felt like an abandoned amusement park, but once the lights started coming on, you could see and feel the place come alive.
Unfortunately, the weather got quite bad not long after we arrive and it progresses to decline until neither of us can bear the icy wind and rain any longer and we head home. It's a shame as I would have liked to have gone on some of the rides...
The next day we take a train out to Malmö, the Swedish city connected to Copenhagen by the Øresund bridge, less than half an hour away. Malmö at one point actually did belong to Denmark and was it's second biggest city for some time.
The city is quite beautiful, but we immediately notice that it has a more urban vibe to it, unlike Copenhagen. It feel more like a city than a tourist destination, and in a shoulder season like now, there isn't all that much to do in there. We walk around the city center for a bit, and then head to a couple of the museums.
The first one is the Moderna Museet Malmö, and the second is the Malmö Konstmuseum, which is Scandinavia's oldest surviving Renaissance Castle, and also hosts a pretty nice museum.
Entry into the art museum is free, and we thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition on Polish avant garde artists Katarzyna Kobro and Wladyslaw Strzeminski. The castle museum was also really interesting, with an exhibition called Perpetual Uncertainty, about art and radioactivity.
One of my favourite pieces was a video by Isao Hashimoto, who has mapped out the location of the 2053 nuclear explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998. Make sure to take a look at the video because it really is quite fascinating and a little scary. It stops in 1998 but I would be really interested to see the data for the last 20 year because I have no doubt we will see some scary things.
Another particularly interesting piece was a documentary about Uranium ore from an experimental mine at Kvanefjeld, by Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway. It's fascinating to hear about the residents from the area and the arguments for and against it, if you have time I would highly recommend finding it and watching it.
Our museum visits have tired us out so we head home to Copenhagen and stop by the Torvehallerne food hall to pick up some dinner.
The next day is our last in Copenhagen and I'm pretty sad. I don't want to leave this amazing city. We start the day with an easy climb up a church tower, only like 500 really steep steps.
The Church of Our Savior is a really intriguing building with a gold spiral spire. The climb to the top is pretty cramped, with many places feeling very tight and difficult to squeeze around. The view at the top is worth it though, you get to see one of the best view of Copenhagen. We were lucky to even go up as when we came back down, the line was cut and no one else was allowed to enter due to the fierce winds.
After that serious battering, we do a final bit of shopping around the city. We accidentally wander into a very hipster neighbourhood, where there are a gaggle of girls posing on the streets being photographed. I take inspiration from this and get Maurizio to pose for a few shots as well so we can blend in like the locals. To my surprise, they don't turn out that badly, guess they were onto something in that street.
I suddenly remembered my very urgent and desperate desire to ride a swan boat around a lake after we saw one the other day, so I drag Maurizio down to the waterfront to hire one. We get one for 1/2 and hour and pedal around the lake. It's so beautiful and peaceful, and the weather is absolutely perfect, there's no better way to end our time in Copenhagen.