Copenhagen Sept 2016_2429 – Around and about Tivoli Gardens

We made a short notice booking to Copenhagen, Jayne had the first week in September booked off and we wanted to try and do a city break. Five nights hardly seemed enough but the short flight was ok. We flew over home heading east on a beautiful morning. I love flying over an area that I know and being able to see it from above. We had been warned that Copenhagen was expensive-it was! I hadn’t done any research before we set off but on the flight over, I read that taxis were expensive, so it was best to use the Metro from the airport, it isn’t far in to the city and the Metro was fairly easy to use. However! We should have caught the train, I read this whist we were sat on the Metro it has to be said! The nearest Metro stop, which I was frantically trying to work out, using my phone, travelling in and out of tunnels, turned out to be a 1.5 mile walk from our hotel, the rail station was .5. Never mind we were there to walk-subject to my lately diagnosed arthritic ankle, we just didn’t want to be towing suitcases over cobbled pavements at the same time.

We were staying in the Tivoli Hotel which was described as central, it is near Central Station but you wouldn’t describe it as central to the city. Our room wasn’t ready but we could upgrade for a modest amount plus we realised it would be a good idea to include breakfast in the upgrade deal. A good move as it turned out. Our room overlooked the train lines-all twelve of them!! We could already hear train brakes squealing along with the thump thump of steel wheels rolling over points and joints. It’s true to say that Central Station is a 24/7 operation. The overnight noise didn’t bother Jayne but I could hear it all night.

We dumped our stuff and I loaded up with the backpack and camera and we were straight out there. Copenhagen is a relatively small city but there is a lot to see. We were soon finding out that it has an extensive network of canals and bridges and these are a major feature of life in the city. Pan flat, the cyclist rules, There appeared to be twice as many bikes as residents, with countless thousands propped up everywhere you went. Where ever you looked there was silent conveyor of sit up and beg cycles being ridden in all directions. You soon got used to looking over your shoulder before making a move. The vast majority of bikes are left unlocked and almost no one wears a helmet ( I’m a no helmet man, much to the annoyance of the helmet zealots). Copenhagen is reputedly the happiest place in the world and it certainly came across as friendly and relaxed. It is, though, one of the most expensive cities in the world and two burgers and two small glasses of wine at Nyhavn cost us £50. Comically, there were four people, local to us, shouting out Jayne’s name, they had seen us going past and we had a laugh about the prices, They were sat drinking beer at £8.50 a pint. Despite the expense, the place was packed with people parting with their money. Wages are very high locally, as are the taxes. The high wages and high costs must feed each other in an upward spiral I would have thought.

Unfortunately the cost of entering buildings to go up towers etc. for a higher view of the city was also very expensive (to us). The tower at Christiansborg Palace is free but restricted by the lift system and you don’t get to the top, it does also open later than the others so you have a chance of seeing sunset over the city. Unfortunately the lifts were out of order on one of our best weather days. We did get to go up the day after but it was dull and I wasn’t overly impressed. The spiral tower across in Christiana, The Church of Our Saviour, was far more impressive. We climbed the tower here just after it opened on a stunning morning and the views are fantastic. There will be incredible bottlenecks when it’s busy though on the corkscrew stairs that get progressively narrower towards the top. Some people hog it to take endless selfies at the top and it is extremely tight up there, you can’t move up until they come down.

As usual, we tried to get to some out of the way places, with only five days and mixed weather though we had enough mainstream destinations to see. We had a day of heavy rain so we went back to the rail station which was a good indoor (and free!) destination, and made umbrellas and the rain the focal point of that days photos. The entire Danish navy seemed to be at anchor, we just missed an open day on one ship. Some I could photograph, others were guarded and had restrictions, I got the evil eye from a couple of guards as the spotted the big Canon in my hand. I can’t imagine that they could police the Japanese and stop them from getting their photos and selfies though. I always act very openly with the camera and if people look at me suspiciously I smile and give them the thumbs up. In a rail station I usually ask the police. In Central Station the police were in their station and I never saw one move out, it is covered by extensive CCTV but there were some very unpleasant people, drinking and watching for people being careless with their belongings. We were lucky to be in the station on Sunday as a tourist steam train arrived, it sat at the platform belching smoke and steam for fifteen minutes, it was also coming back in an hour so we had an expensive coffee and waited to see it again. There was big military event outside the Christiansborg Palace on Monday, with a parade through the city that came past just as we were in a good spot to view it. The area was full of soldiers wearing their medals. We haven’t discovered the reason, although someone suggested a passing out parade for new recruits. Maybe the ships were in port for this as well.

Tivoli Gardens is another big draw and we went in, again it was fairly expensive, it had been a stunning day and the biggest problem was contrast, with deep shadows and a bright blue sky. We stayed until dark, it opens late and is very colourful. We went on the world’s highest carousel and got flung around 260 odd feet in the air. Luckily, we also found a bar that served wine at ‘only’ £5.60 a glass so we sat and watched people have fun screaming and shrieking above us.

There are many buildings with copper domes, entire copper roofs, even modern buildings are often clad in either brass or copper to blend in with the ancient buildings around them. Like every city we have visited, tower cranes are in abundance. There is a lot of development going on and unfortunately a lot of it is around buildings that you would want to photograph. We walked 12 to 14 mile every day and took in most of the sights. We didn’t really do any interiors, only towers and the railway station. At the time of writing I haven’t looked at what I’ve got, I have around 3000 shots, some on the G1X which I used when it was raining heavily as it easy to put in a pocket. I have a lot less time for editing these days so it will be a long process I think. To save time I am going to create a list of generic tags that I can copy and paste to each upload – the time saving is enormous – so apologies to anyone who gets a photo of a canal when they wanted a steam train or vice versa.

As seen on Flickr (Mark Schofield @ JB Schofield ) for this crazy evil building. Original date: 2017-01-20 07:41:32