Tag Archives: Copenhagen

Returning to Norway

Board Emerald Princess – Wednesday 17 July

A travelling day and a transfer to Emerald Princess at the Frihavnen pier just north of the Langelinie promenade. Easy boarding by 1315.  We saw the Maitre d’ re our dinner table (and were surprised later to find he was able to organise our table with a window view astern; a large table was not possible due to a full passenger load.  We sailed for Norway (again) at 1800, this time for Oslo – which is roughly the same latitude as Bergen.  We saw – in the distance – some castles in (Royal) Northern Denmark, and the Swedish coastline on the starboard side for several hours.

The Captain warned us of rough seas overnight.  We take on the pilot at 0600 before entering the Oslofjodem; around 0800 we are to transit the Droback narrows and then on through the picturesque fjords to Oslo by 1000.

Tonight we visited Crooners briefly to hear the pianist/singer, before adjourning to the Explorers lounge for singing/dancing to Accent.

Some observations:

  • We all know about New Zealand .. Denmark has ‘old Zealand’ or simply Zealand – in the North Zealand above Copenhagen, etc
  • Several Royal palaces are in North Zealand
  • Denmark around Copenhagen is incredibly flat.  As we headed north, some mountains emerged.
  • The weather in Copenhagen mostly took time to warm up; an early sunrise was soon followed by a period of heat mid-morning or overcast conditions; from noon on, the odds of a brisk breeze were high.  Today started off overcast, then sunny for most of the afternoon.
  • Our taxi driver was a Denmark born Pakistani who spoke English well as well as his two other languages.  He said there was quite a community of Pakistani people, but nowhere near the numbers in the UK.  His father emigrated at age 25, 45 years ago.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Copenhagen.


Farewell Copenhagen

Copenhagen – Tuesday 16 July

Another walk on this our final day of sightseeing in Copenhagen.  We have searched and asked what else we should do and short of a day trip to the country, there is little else.  We could have visited some museums rather than passing by, but still we have been very satisfied with our visit to this city.  It is a city steeped in history and historic buildings, that is now converting its industrial waterfront for greater use by the community (we haven’t seen anyone playing water volley ball in the four enclosures opposite; we are also curious about what looks like a skate ramp down to a dead-end in the canal side re-development).

Christiansborg Palace Map
Christiansborg Palace Entry – the Riding Ground in the foreground is being refurbished
Christiansborg Palace Throne Room
Christiansborg Palace Great Hall with the Queen’s Tapestries
Christiansborg Palace Chapel

Today we walked up to the Royal Library and ducked behind it into the  Christiansborg Palace grounds.  Admittedly that was the rear entrance, as opposed to the main entry, but visitor friendly signs were distinctly absent.  We had the benefit of a map we photographed as we ducked behind the library, so after trying one entrance to the palace, we went looking for the Royal Stables.  All was quiet, a sign showed we were in the right place but nothing about opening hours (if any).  What’s more the Riding Ground was being dug up.  Eventually, we spoke to a worker who informed us that the stables would open at 1330 but all the horses had been sent north.  She recommended visiting the Palace and Chapel, and showed us the way.

So we inspected the Royal Reception Rooms but the Parliament only had one guided tour a day in English and the ruins were closed.  Very impressive rooms.

We then found our way to the Palace Chapel under the ‘Secret Passage’ (allowing the family to keep dry to/from the chapel).

A view in Laederstraede (parallel to Stroget, exclusive)
Let’s play – in Vester Voldgade

A coffee in Hojbro Plads then a walk up to Kongens Nytorv (the State Theatre area) for some retail therapy.  We returned down Laeerstraede (retail and restaurants; parallel to, but less crowded than Stroget) to Vester Voldgade (more restaurants), past the National Museum, and so back to the hotel.

Another great day in Copenhagen.

Tomorrow we board Emerald Princess for the next chapter of our adventure in Northern Europe.

Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot), on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, is the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister’s Office and the Danish Supreme Court. Also, several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel and the Royal Stables.

The palace is thus the house of Denmark’s three supreme powers: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power. It is the only building in the world that houses all three of a country’s branches of government.

The Royal Stables (De Kongelige Stalde) is the mews (i.e. combined stables and carriage house) of the Danish Monarchy which provides the ceremonial transport for the Danish Royal Family during state events and festive occasions. The Royal Stables are located at Christiansborg Palace on the island of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1789 the number of horses reached a peak with 270 horses stabled. Today, there were no horses in residence but normally there are about 20 horses in the Royal Stables.

The Royal Stables are regularly open to the public. The state coaches and other carriages are kept there, along with about 20 horses (normally)We did not visit the stables today.

Christiansborg Palace Chapel (Church of Denmark = Lutheran) is part the palace which is at the disposal of the Danish Monarch. It is used for religious ceremonies for members of the Danish Royal Family, most notably baptisms, confirmations and official lying in state. It is also used by the Danish Parliament for the Church service in connection with the opening of parliament.


Just as we can see cruise liners departing Copenhagen, we can see – in the far distance – the Öresund or Øresund Bridge (Danish: Øresundsbroen, Swedish: Öresundsbron, joint hybrid name: Øresundsbron) is a double-track railway and dual carriageway bridge-tunnel across the Øresund strait between Scania (southernmost Sweden) and Denmark.

The bridge runs nearly 8 km (5 miles) from the Swedish coast to the artificial island of Peberholm, which lies in the middle of the strait. The remainder of the link is by a 4 km (2.5 mile) tunnel from Peberholm to the Danish island of Amager. The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, and connects two major metropolitan areas: Copenhagen, the Danish capital city, and the major Swedish city of Malmö. It connects the road and rail networks of Scandinavia with those of Central and Western Europe.

See various photos of the bridge on this link.

My favourite is this one.  Imagine driving down into that hole!


See the Copenhagen Image Gallery on this blog

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and there are more on our Flickr pages

In search of Hans and the Little Mermaid

Copenhagen – Monday 15 July

Today’s walk was a marathon compared with the previous day, even ‘though we walked a shorter time!  Our trek was wider in search of some we missed yesterday (Hans), and some new sights (The Little Mermaid).  We caught a taxi from Langelinie to Nyhavn where we took a canal cruise.

The weather was briefly warmer than Sunday reaching 22c, but the breeze picked up.

After returning to Nyhavn, we had an early dinner (fish & chips along with a well-deserved beer) then walked back to the hotel.

Contemplating dinner
Hans Christian Andersen near Copenhagen Town Hall

Hans Christian Andersen, often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen; April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen’s popularity is not limited to children; his stories—called eventyr, or “fairy-tales”—express themes that transcend age and nationality.

Andersen’s fairy tales, which have been translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West’s collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films.

The Round Tower or Rundetårn

The Rundetårn (Round Tower) is a 17th-century tower located in central Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the many architectural projects of Christian IV, it was built as an astronomical observatory. It is most noted for its 7.5-turn helical corridor leading to the top, and for the expansive views it affords over Copenhagen.

The tower is part of the Trinitatis Complex which also provided the scholars of the time with a university chapel, the Trinitatis Church, and an academic library which was the first purpose-built facilities of the Copenhagen University Library which had been founded in 1482.

Today the Round Tower serves as an observation tower for expansive views of Copenhagen, a public astronomical observatory and a historical monument. In the same time the Library Hall, located above the church and only accessible along the tower’s ramp, is an active cultural venue with both exhibitions and a busy concert schedule.

We thought it would be a good idea to walk up the spiral, then found two sets of stairs followed by a very narrow spiral which defeated us.  As they say on board, for exercise only!

Trinitatis Natkirke

Trinitatis Church is located in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It is part of the 17th century Trinitatis Complex, which includes the Rundetårn astronomical observatory tower and the Copenhagen University Library, in addition to the church. Built in the time of Christian IV, the church initially served the students of Copenhagen University. It is situated at the corner of Landemærket and Købmagergade. The interior was seriously damaged in the fire of 1728 but was rebuilt in 1731.

Rosenborg Castle & Gardens

Rosenborg Castle (Rosenborg Slot) is a renaissance castle located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV’s many architectural projects. It was built in the Dutch Renaissance style, typical of Danish buildings during this period, and has been expanded several times, finally evolving into its present condition by the year 1624. Architects Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger are associated with the structural planning of the castle.

Rosenborg Castle
One of the cannons in the Kastellet

Kastellet, is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners. Kastellet was continuous with the ring of bastioned ramparts which used to encircle Copenhagen but of which only the ramparts of Christianshavn remain today.

A number of buildings are located within the grounds of Kastellet, including a church as well as a windmill. The area houses various military activities but its mainly serves as a public park and a historic site.

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue depicting a mermaid. Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913. It has become a popular target for defacement by vandals and political activists.

The statue sits on a rock in the harbour off Langelinie promenade. It has a height of 1.25 metres (4.1 ft)[1] and weighs 175 kilograms (385 lb).

Christiansborg Palace from Canal cruise

Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, is the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister’s Office and the Danish Supreme Court. Also, several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel and the Royal Stables.

Børsen (Old Stock Exchange) from Canal cruise

Børsen (The Stock Exchange) is a building on Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It is built by Christian IV in 1619–1640 and is the oldest stock exchange in Denmark. It is particularly known for its Dragon Spire shaped as the tails of four dragons twined together, reaching a height of 56 metres.

Walking Copenhagen

Copenhagen – Sunday 14 July

Our hotel is on the canal overlooking Christianshavn.  In the distance we can see the bridge to Sweden.  We face South East and the sun rose early (0445 and was coming earlier than that!)

We had a slow start but then walked for five and a half hours, firstly towards Tivoli Gardens, then along the longest shopping street in the world (Stroget), to the  Amalienborg Palace, the Nyhavn harbour, and along the waterfront back to the hotel.  The harbour and waterfront are very old but much of it is being renovated/restored, especially along the canal waterfront where pedestrian and bicycle ways are being installed.

A good day with dinner again in the hotel.

Todesfigur by Christian Lemmerz (1959) at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is an art museum built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen (1842–1914), the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries.

Primarily a sculpture museum as indicated by the name, the focal point of the museum is antique sculpture from the ancient cultures around the Mediterranean including Egypt, Rome and Greece, as well as more modern sculptures such as a collection of Rodin works which is considered the most important outside France. However, the museum is equally noted for its collection of painting that includes an extensive collection of French impressionists and Post-impressionists as well as Danish Golden Age paintings.

There was a special exhibition “Degas’ Metode” showing the works of Edgar Degas.

Joy was after a 2,000 g block of chocolate!

Tivoli Gardens (or simply Tivoli) is a famous amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on August 15, 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world.

Look who we found walking down Stroget

Stroget is the longest shopping/pedestrian area in Europe and the world.  It stretches 3.2km from the Town Hall to Kongens Nytorv (The Kings New Square).

Guarding Amalienborg Palace from foreigners

Amalienborg is the winter home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard (Danish: Amalienborg Slotsplads); in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederick V.

Views along the waterfront at Nyhavn

Nyhavn (literally: New Harbour) is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants. Serving as a “heritage harbour”, the canal has many historical wooden ships.

The end of this chapter

At Sea – Friday 12 July

Our last day at Sea this cruise!  We had an easy day, took in the cooking demonstration and the technical presentation, missed the back stage tour and avoided the life at sea presentation.  Champagne and nibbles in Grapevine where we found out that Mallory had been promoted to Cruise staff for her next contract.  Dinner with the Baked Alaska parade followed by the Cruise Show, a re-visit to the ventriloquist (same show!) and bed.

London to Copenhagen – Saturday 13 July

We arrived in Southampton along with five other cruise ships, including the Queen Mary 2 which we sailed past as we docked.

An orderly transfer to Heathrow, an ordeal with security, and a flight to Copenhagen that was one hour late.  Arrived in Copenhagen in the middle of a baggage strike and waited two hours for our bags.

Just as well our wait-listed reservation at Restaurant Geranium did not come off!