Friday, 28 October 2016

Copenhagen Denmark

DAY 1: Copenhagen The Danish Capital

From City Hall Square to Round Tower

After some seriously delicious Danish patisserie as breakfast at Andersen Bakery near Central Station, just a stone's throw away was the long queue for the very useful Copenhagen Card, which, unfortunately, could be purchased in a limited number of locations open only after 09:00. It was a good plan to climb up to all highest points for the city's panoramas under the sunshine that morning, but with misleading opening times of City Hall Tower available online we could do nothing more than admiring the cityscape right from the charming City Hall Square before walking 10 minutes northeast to Round Tower for the best bird's-eye view, which was nice but nothing exceptional as Copenhagen, after all, was never anything like a medieval town with fairy-tale rooftops and some kind of hilltop castle nor was it a coastal picturesque one like Venice or Lisbon. There were interesting art exhibitions on the way up. 
It was particularly delightful exploring a city on foot on a sunny day. We enjoyed the walk back south until Christiansborg Palace.

Christiansborg Palace

Even though the Palace did not look like much from the outside, the Royal Reception Rooms were captivating. Also included in the visit were Royal Stables, Royal Kitchen, and Ruins of Absalon's Castle.  
For some more panoramas from different angles, we also ascended up Copenhagen's highest tower, The Tower, which was 106 meters high and open to public free of charge. The painful queue was the price to pay.

The iconic Nyhavn

Even with a tight itinerary, some shooting time at the iconic Nyhavn, the most photographed area in all of Copenhagen and a narrow port full of beautiful ships from the old times lined by rows of colourful buildings that have been kept like they are now since 17th - 18th century, on the way to Amalienborg Palace was just irresistible especially because the azure background could not be guaranteed on the remaining two days of our short weekend trip. 
Here's another one taken at around sunset the next day:

Amalienborg Palace 

Centred on a nice big courtyard, each of the four mansions, or palaces of Amalienborg looks pretty ordinary. The museum which presents the private interiors of the most recent kings and queens and an exhibit on the monarchy today with its many traditions, however, is worth a visit.
Just opposite Amalienborg to the northwest is the Frederik's Church.  This younger and smaller sibling of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome is still very impressive.

Rosenborg Castle

We managed to make a full tour of the most eye-catching castle in the city of Copenhagen just before it closed at 17:00. The Castle's interiors were among the finest works. Originally built as a summer house in 1606, the museum today featured royal collections including the crown jewels, the coronation carpet, and the throne chair of Denmark.

The Little Mermaid

A short bus journey followed by a 15-minute walk we were there among the crowds at the viewpoint of this iconic landmark. Obviously, it was not that much of a thing, in our opinion at least. Also around the area there were also Kastellet and Gefion Fountain. 

Tivoli Gardens

A full-day walking was rewarded by a delicious Danish dinner at Grøften inside Tivoli Gardens. They seriously knew how to make sauces best paired with different herring dishes. One thing I would say, I should have been told that in order to get to the restaurant we needed an entry ticket to Tivoli Gardens. We were glad our powerful Copenhagen Cards solved the problem.
After the big meal it was nice to enjoy a leisurely stroll within the lively Tivoli Gardens. 

DAY 2: Frederiksborg Castle + Malmö

Frederiksborg Castle

Breakfast at Lagkagehuset was simply good but Andersen Bakery was preferable because of its wider range of options. From the nearby Nørreport Station, we spent a total of one hour travelling by train, bus, and on foot, and finally arrived at Frederiksborg Castle, the largest Renaissance Castle in Scandinavia built in the early decades of the 17th century. Under the clouds we decided to admire its grand exterior later hopefully under the sunshine, after a visit to the staterooms which were just as impressive.

A few hours in Sweden

From Frederiksborg Castle we travelled all the way back south to Copenhagen Airport where we started a 20-minute train journey to Malmo, our only destination in Sweden throughout the 3-day weekend trip. The city was totally dead on a Sunday. We managed to do a little bit of sightseeing before a rainstorm struck in the late afternoon. This half-day excursion was brief but we welcomed a new entry into our "Countries We Have Been".
Back in Copenhagen we had a satisfying dinner at Cap Horn right at Nyhavn with the best views possible. The evening ended up romantic with light rain dropped on the overhead parasols and the Copenhagen's icon shrouded in mist in the twilight.

DAY 3: Kronborg Castle + Open Sandwiches & Sportskage

Kronborg Castle

This might have been the most unlucky trip of our travel life. In this cloudy and windy morning under light rain we travelled to the farthest north to visit Kronborg Castle, one of northern Europe's finest Renaissance castles built in 1574-1585, a monumental military fortress surrounded by considerable fortifications with bastions and ravelins, and probably the most famous Danish castle, known worldwide from Shakespeare's Hamlet. The deadly dull Castle's interiors is offset by a brilliant play performed by a couple of actors and an actress within different rooms in a sequence.

Restaurant Schønnemann

Late lunch at the famous Schønnemann was a bit pricey but quality open sandwiches accompanied by some sweet schnapps were real match made in heaven. 

Conditori La Glace

A short walk south was Conditori La Glace, the oldest confectionery in Denmark, founded in 1870, with beautiful interiors with quaint old rooms. Sport's Cake, the house speciality developed by Conditori La Glace itself in 1891, consisting of crushed nougat, whipped cream, a macaron base, and caramelised profiteroles, was tasty but even just one slice filled us both up, leaving us no room for a selection of gourmet patisserie available there. 

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