Travel: Copenhagen, Denmark – August 2004

Copenhagen: A great place to spend a long weekend

August: I knew nothing about Copenhagen, I was thinking: big city, globalised so that nothing of local flavour would stand out, expensive, noisy, no nature….

I was wrong. Delightfully wrong.  I landed – I jumped on a bus from Airport to right outside my hotel – totally easy – the ride was really nice and allowed me to realise how friendly Copenhagen was – got checked in – dropped off bags – munched on some food and started walking. Found a small plaza lined with bars. First drink. Huge glass of Carlsberg: delish. £5. But delish. I suddenly knew I was going to love this city.

Moved on to Nyhavn – the atmosphere of the place was fantastic – again, ultra friendly and relaxed. Walked on to see the Little Mermaid – passing some impressive yachts – then strolled back and spent the rest of the night drinking coffee and cognac outside by this harbour.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Nyhaven

Nyhaven

Travel photo - Copenhagen - The Little Mermaid sculpture

The Little Mermaid

Travel photo - Copenhagen - wooden carving of female figure

Female carved from fallen tree trunk

Every morning and every night I would walk 20 mins from/or back to the hotel I was staying at. During the walk I passed a huge fallen tree trunk, which somebody had carved this figure out of an upright standing tree limb.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Statue

Travel photo – Copenhagen – Statue

I quickly got into my swing of things – exploring the city and then found myself a cafe where I could spend a few hours sitting and writing. I found a fab place overlooking Thorvaldsen’s Museum and the Christiansborg Palace, where I could sit outside supping delish coffee, working on written notes for the new novel I was planning to write: Iron Man Project.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Spiral

Green Spiral

Near Slotsholmsgade.  The age of the structures, with their copper covered roofs and sculptures, comes through the bright green patina. And spirals – they’re everywhere in the city. Some kind of subconscious theme for the folks of Copenhagen? I don’t know.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Spiral walkway outside church tower

Our Saviours Church

More spirals – the baroque spire has broad wooden stairwell that leads up to much narrower platforms and almost vertical stairs, which lead higher into cramped spaces beside the solid grey bells, with ladders that take you ever higher until you find yourself clambering out onto a narrow ridge – way way up – that goes around the base of the spire, and then climbs up, as a spiralling ramp, around the outside of the spire to the very top. If you don’t like heights don’t even think about trying it because the “safety rail” may as well not be there. You’re literally hugging onto the sloping structure of the tower behind your back.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Clown

Tivoli – Clown

Tivoli. A Victorian-era amusement park in the heart of the city.  A lot of tourist rags warn about going to this place. I disagree. Okay, so in the day time it is full of hyper-active kids, but by time the darkness comes to the sky and all the lights are on, the whole place is thoroughly old-world and magical. I didn’t do any of the rides, but walking around, enjoying the atmosphere and spending an hour or so in a dark but very cosey bar supping beer, perfect.  The place has a long-standing association with clowns.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Helsingor

Helsingor

Helsingor sounds like it should be in Lord of The Rings. It was my birthday and I wanted to see Kronborg Castle, where Shakespeare based his Hamlet (all linked in with Saxo and Kydd).

It was all easy. Grabbed a train direct to Helsingor and the walked 20 minutes to the castle; Helsingor probably has many facets to it but the part I saw was tinged with the smell of sea brine, and had this old-world port atmosphere I really liked.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Helsingor -Old Ship Sails

Helsingor

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle

I don’t know what I was expecting but nothing as majestic – radiating cold power – old and yet still beautiful as this. Started in the 12th Century, it’s been in this current form since the 1500’s.

Dark tower; I took this from inside the castle forecourt, which is surrounded on all sides by the imposing inner walls and is lined with small turrets and towers. This image reminds me of something from a horror film, especially with the creatures flapping around it against a brooding sky.

Climbing out from the subterranean passages and chambers that honeycomb the whole area beneath the castle; perpetually cold and damp all year round it must have been a grim existence for the 1000’s of soldiers who had to live down there.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Round Tower Observatory

Round Tower Observatory

This was one of my favourite parts of the city – true Old World and very Cthulhu Mythos. This illustration is of the tower when it was built-in the 1640’s! Built as an observatory – it provides a fantastic view across the city, but getting to the top is just as much part of the pleasure. There are almost no rooms inside. The whole interior of the tower is like climbing up inside a sea-shell, one vast spirally ramp, with curved vaulted ceilings. Notice the windows on the illustration are not level; all the windows are rising up with the ramp. I could picture dark minds participating in Cthulhoid rites during this fervent period of Occultism.

Travel photo - Copenhagen - Inside Round Tower Observatory

Inside Round Tower Observatory

Another spiral – this is the interior of the tower: it goes up and round from the entrace doorway, right up to the roof.

Travel photo - Copenhagen -outside Round Tower Observatory

Outside Round Tower Observatory

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David J Rodger – DATA

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