Inspired by the last Blogsherpa Carnival, I’ve decided to begin yet another sporadic series – the magic of cities. Don’t know why I haven’t thought of that before – it’s a fun subject and I do like cities.
In focus today is København – or Copenhagen, also known as the King’s City (despite the fact that the ruling monarch is a queen – the very popular Queen Margrethe)
As I’ve mentioned, I spent a weekend in Copenhagen with heaps of fellow travel bloggers at TBEX two weeks ago. Although November isn’t the ideal time to visit this fairy-tale city, most of the bloggers enjoyed Copenhagen, despite missing two of the city’s most famous attractions: The Tivoli Gardens and the Little Mermaid.
The little Mermaid is currently in Shanghai for the World Expo – and Tivoli re-opened last week, in time for its magic Christmas market.
A visit to Tivoli Gardens is a must when in Copenhagen, and most especially if you’re travelling with children. After a visiting Tivoli, Walt Disney was inspired to create Disneyland. More on Tivoli here.
If you happen to be in Copenhagen in the romjul period – the week between Christmas and New Year’s – I recommend stopping by the Tivoli Fireworks Festival!
Looking back, I see I’ve been to Copenhagen not 20, but closer to 40 times. Yet, I’ve never visited Nørrebro. Guided by Henrik from Wonderful Copenhagen, a group of us TBEXers did a walking tour of of this latest of Copenhagen’s hot (in more ways than one) spots. Beginning at Assistens kirkegården (the Assistent Cemetery) final resting place of H.C. Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard, Niels Bohr, and other famous Danes, we stopped to have a look at heaps of quaint and curious little shops and cafes, including the delightful Relæ restaurant, recently opened by Christian Puglisi, former chef at the world’s best restaurant Noma, the beautiful and delicate Kiin Kiin, one of just a few Thai restaurants awarded with a coveted Michelin star, the fun and lively microbreweri Nørrebro Bryghus, and the charming Cafe Cubanito.
Sadly, I lack photos from our walking tour. As I said, this neighbourhood is hot in more ways than one: After having snapped a photo of a restaurant, I was, shall we say, approached by a very angry man and his friends, demanding I delete the photo immediately. I hadn’t noticed them at all; apparently they had been hanging outside the restaurant.
The ring-leader was afraid he might be in my photo. Fair enough: had he asked nicely, I would have deleted the photo. He was anything but nice. Furious, threatening, twice my size, he was extremely in-my-face. The only sane thing to do, would have been to delete and walk away. Trouble is, arguing is second nature to me. I told him (not that politely, I’ll admit) I’d check the photo and if he was in it, I’d delete it. However, he was having none of that, threatening to smash the camera. Not hearing a word I said, he grabbed the camera, walked restlessly and furiously up and down the lane, screaming that he would smash it. As it turned out, he didn’t. The chef managed to calm him down enough to get my camera back but, sadly, not before every last photo had been deleted.
So there you are: one of those experiences that are a bit harrowing when you’re in the middle of it, but an interesting anecdote later. The moral must be: do visit Nørrebro; it’s an interesting neighbourhood. Just be aware of your surroundings. I’m frequently in Copenhagen, so I’ll be going back to check out a few more interesting venues we didn’t have time for, including Rust, the nightclub named for the Matthias Rust who landed a small plane on Moscow’s Red Square towards the end of the Cold War and the cafes Sebastopol and Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus.