A visit to the Botanical Gardens was first today, in sunshine, actual sunshine! Clear skies and a very brisk west wind meant that both the butterfly and palm houses were very welcome after a brief look in the geological museum.
Back to Torvehallerne for the second glass house and to gaze at more foodie delights. Then a bite to eat and some more Christmas shopping, which of course had to include the Lego store.
Finally, to The Round Tower, finished in 1642, built by Christian IV as an observatory and the oldest still functioning in Europe. We held out and were rewarded with some gaps in the cloud. Mars! At least, it was small, slightly orange and not nearly as big as the clock tower!
Apparently Peter the Great rode up to the top of the tower on horseback. Now there is an annual unicycle race up and down again!
The aquarium is shaped like a whirlpool with different aquatic life in each of the five ‘arms’. Probably the most fascinating were the two sea otters Agnes and Mojoe, watching them either lying on a bed of ice, picking up the cubes and crunching them into their mouths, or slipping through the water with silky smooth ease. The tropical arm yielded some enormous Amazonian fish, pirhana and a bat and the coral arm, some weedy sea dragons.
The food hall at Torvehallerne consists of two indoor food stall markets under glass and an outside flower, fruit and veg market. Copenhagen has been voted the number one city to visit this year by Lonely Planet and in the last decade has become a culinary hot spot.
Tivoli comes alive after dark and is a true family attraction; there’s something for everyone. From old fashioned shoot to win stands to the horrors of the ‘Vertigo’ ride, shops selling Christmas baubles, light shows and every kind of food you can imagine, oh and of course, plenty of roasted nuts, hot chocolate and gløgg stalls. Hurrah!
We caught the train out to Helsingør, to Kronborg Slot, or Elsinore, where Shakespeare’s Hamlet is set, to explore it and the annual Christmas Market. Plenty of hot chocolate and mulled wine, plus some dancing elves and Santa for good measure.
Then back into the rainy city centre to Christiansborg Palace Royal Reception rooms, which are still used for state occasions. The tapestries in the great hall tell 1000 years of Danish history from the Vikings to now and the bright colours offset some of the opulence within other rooms.
Next, Glyptoteket to gaze at the paintings of Odilón Redon at the ‘Into the Dream’ exhibition and whose mastery of black really is something. The Carlsberg beer magnate Carl Jacobsen was a prolific collector of sculpture and French contemporary artwork and opened the Museum to show off the pieces. He also funded the excavation of many of the Egyptian artifacts also housed.
Thought we’d make the most of it not actually raining and go to the north eastern edge of Copenhagen to see The Little Mermaid. She is indeed smaller than you imagine, surrounded by lots of people and slippery boulders. The hen party provided further entertainment!
Then a meander back to the hotel, via the Castle (a star shaped fort akin to Plymouth Citadel in shape, but whereas the Citadel is walled, this simply has grassed ramparts) various Christmas markets and Nyhavn harbour (a little like Plymouth Barbican).
An early coach to London meant time to meander in London before catching an onward coach to Gatwick. It was intended to be a cultural visit, but one, I got completely sidetracked with pink pelicans and two, there was a bag size limit in the National Gallery.