Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Copenhagen, Denmark

Day 6 - April 18, 2016


We had to catch the early morning train to Copenhagen the very next day we reached from Estonia. But hey….we are here to visit places….aren’t we. :-). It did take a toll on us, packing unpacking and all over again unpacking packing. But that’s the fun part of travelling.

The train was at 5:21 am and had to take the bus to the station. We had to walk to the bus stand braving the morning temperature which was at 5c…brrrrrr. The train was on time and we were off to Copenhagen. 6 hours of travel time went in a jiffy, thanks to the scenic places through the journey and not to mention snacks and drinks.

The Oresund Bridge connects the Swedish mainland to Denmark, is a combined railway and motorway bridge. It runs about 8kms and the last few kilometers runs below the sea. My brother and I said cheers to that.

Oresund Bridge
The weather in Copenhagen is much higher than Stockholm, but the wind factor plays spoiled sport. It was very chilly when we reached Copenhagen. The first thing we did was to get ourselves a 2 day travel pass that works on all mode of transport within the city be it metro, bus or tram. My cousin helped us to carry our luggage to his home so that we could proceed to Copenhagen city tour.

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and is the most populated city. It was a Viking fishing village back in the 10th century. Copenhagen's landmarks such as Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid Statue, the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces, Frederik's Church, and many museums, restaurants and nightclubs are significant tourist attractions. There are different ways to experience the city, walk, drive, sail, or bicycle your way through Copenhagen. We opted the boat tour.

Nyhavn


Copenhagen is an old harbour and maritime city and one of the most beautiful and enjoyable ways to see it is from a boat sailing down its charming canals. There is a choice to go on a romantic gondola but we settled for the traditional canal tour boat.

During the tour we saw: The Copenhagen Opera House, Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace, the impressive Black Diamond Library, and, of course, the Little Mermaid.
The Little Mermaid

Opera House
The Little Mermaid is the most famous tourist attractions in Copenhagen, located at Langelinje Pier. The sculpture of the little mermaid is made of bronze and granite. It is over 100 years old. The mermaid was a gift from the Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen (Carlsberg) to the City of Copenhagen. I personally did not find it to be a great attraction. There are far better places in Copenhagen that I felt to be much more worthy of a visit....of course this is my personal opinion.

The Copenhagen Opera House is among the most modern opera houses in the world and also the most expensive ever built. The roof is one of the largest canopy structures which equates to the size of three football fields.

Copenhagen is known for its brightly coloured 17th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants built with wood, bricks, and plaster. This is iconic to Denmark.


The tour took us till late in the afternoon. We were all very hungry and head to the restaurant. Some wanted KFC and some wanted to taste Lebanese food. For all KFC lovers, the outlet here serves hot wings, and they are finger licking good, juicy and tasty.

If you have a taste for Lebanese cuisine I would recommend Shawarma Grill House in Frederiksberggade Street.


It is the very first Lebanese restaurant in Copenhagen. The Shawarma and falafel sandwich was superb. After the heavy meal we went straight to my cousin’s home and spend the rest of the evening with them.

Christiania also known as Freetown Christiania is a green and
carefree neighbourhood in Copenhagen. It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government.



The area is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood covering nearly 84 acres. Hash and weed are openly sold here and is legal, hard drugs are banned. Christiania is considered to be the fourth largest tourist attractions in Copenhagen.



After our dinner my cousin, brother and I ventured into Christiania. It was just a walk away from his home. The place was dark and very eerie. We could see some tents with very dim lights selling weeds. I’m told they are sold completely freely in Christiania, even more so than in Amsterdam. We were not going back empty handed, so bought a joint and 3 of us decided to share it. My first ever experience of smoking a weed and it did give a slight kick, probably because we shared, otherwise we might have got stoned. Another tick in my list….hahaha.

Before
After
For your own safety, visitors are advised not to film nor photograph in Christiania, mainly due to the hash dealing, which is illegal in Denmark.

Day 7 - April 19, 2016

The Carlsberg tour

Denmark is the birth place of the famous Danish brewing company Carlsberg (founded in 1847), headquartered at Copenhagen. My brother and I are beer lovers and have tasted this brand many times in our lives. We were certainly not going to miss this opportunity to pay a visit to the brewery.

We took the self-guided tour that takes us through the fascinating story of Carlsberg, and how it has transformed from a local brewery to a global brand. We then moved on to witness the biggest collection of bottles. Carlsberg has the largest collection of unopened beer bottles in the world that contains more than 20,000 bottles of various brands in different shapes and sizes. Finally we enter the brewery where you will see gigantic polished kettles that brews the truly global brand – Carlsberg.

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That’s not all, with every tour ticket there are two complimentary beers included. In the comforts of the historical brew house surroundings we enjoyed the traditional beer right out of the brewery. Bliss……


An authentic brewery experience that will stay with me forever.



The Danish fairy tale –

Amalienborg Palace is one of the many Royal attractions in Denmark which is considered as one of the greatest works of Danish Rococco architecture and built in the 1700’s. The palace is made up of four identical buildings and in the middle of the square is the statue of King Frederik V. Amalienborg is also known for its Royal Guard. The change of the guards happens every day and we watched it too. The guards march through the streets of Copenhagen and end up at Amalienborg, where the changing of the guard takes place at noon.
Amalienborg Palace
Frederik's Church

There are many more places to visit in Copenhagen but we didn’t have the time. We had to catch the flight to Stockholm that evening. But we were happy we could make the best use of our time to visit



Change of guard routine








Copenhagen in 2 days, the moments that we will cherish.

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