.

Copenhagen is a great town for taking a stroll - but look out for bicycles! Of all the cities we visited, this was the one with the most bikes. They came whizzing by with no apparent concern for pedestrians. It paid to stay alert.

Some of the bikes were quite elaborate. The most interesting were the ones constructed in Christiania, Copenhagen's counter-culture area. Babies were strapped to carriers, bins, and baskets at the front or back of the bikes.

Mathieu was amused to see a street cleaner with his name on the license plate.

 

We started our walk with a tour of Copenhagen's medieval cathedral, Vor Frue Kirke. The building has burned down and been rebuilt several times. The current version is filled with sculptures by Bertel Thorvaldsen.

 
       

Public art was EVERYWHERE.

Some of it was quite traditional, while some appeared to serve no purpose other than to inspire questions (such as "what the heck is that?").

Locals didn't seem to be complaining about spending tax money on "unnecessary" things. What a change from back home.

There were more nudes than we had ever seen, but that was nothing compared to what we would see a few days later...

 
 
       

All of the Danish kings were named Christian or Frederick. King Christian IV was one of the heavy hitters. He left a legacy of monumental buildings, including his little summer house, Rosenborg Castle. We traipsed through room after room, fascinated by the architecture and history of the place. The tour included lots of Danish history, as well as a glimpse of the crown jewels. The castle guards looked impossibly young, although that could be a function of our own advanced years.

 (Sue says "Hey! 40-something isn't that old!").

 

It was a perfect day for a stroll around the grounds of the castle. There was (of course) more art. The park was full of business people with briefcases, retired folk, little kids having story time, and tourists - but there was plenty of elbow room for everyone.

 
       

As usual, all of that walking made us hungry. Dave turned us loose with some good advice about promising areas to look for lunch. We settled on Nyhavn (the "New" Harbor), where we tucked in to some rather interesting sandwiches. Then we raced to catch a boat for a cruise of the canals and harbor.

Narration was offered in several languages, all by the same tour guide (very, very quickly).

 

 

 

The backside of the LIttle Mermaid was singularly unimpressive. We wondered what all the fuss was about.

 

We were much more impressed by the towers and spires that poked up between the other buildings. The best one was the dragon-tail tower of the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Somehow, the photo of that one didn't turn out. You'll just have to go see it for yourself.

 
 
       
Night fell on the city. Cocktail hour beckoned. We made our way back to Ibsens Hotel, where we rendezvoused (is that a word?) with our compatriots. What a treat to be traveling with such a friendly group. Somehow, we all ended up at the same restaurant. Sometimes, the unplanned dinners were the best.   

It just didn't seem right to go to Copenhagen without visiting Tivoli Gardens. The night was clear and warm. Who could resist going on one of the roller coasters? Almost everyone, as it turned out. Brenda and Becky (or was it Carla?) had gone earlier in the day. Sue got Jerry to go on one of the tamer coasters before chancing the big 'un by herself. Woo hoo!

 

2007