When I was a little younger, I used to wake up bright and early on Saturday mornings, rush down the stairs, dash into the lounge, where my Mum and Dad would be sitting enjoying a hot cup of Indian masala chai on our very comfy brown sofas. I would perch myself next to my Dad and a few minutes later we’d be watching “my programmes”. When I say “my programmes” I mean children’s Saturday morning TV! And what fun it was! One of my favourite cartoons was The Little Mermaid! I don’t know exactly what it was about The Little Mermaid, in fact I could certainly watch it now on Saturday morning’s with my own cup of tea! It just let my imagination run free!
Well you’re probably thinking, ok Naieya, so where are you going with this blog! Well I’ll tell you where, to Copenhagen, the home of Hans Christian Andersen, writer of numerous fairy tales and poems including The Little Mermaid! On Easter weekend my friends and I visited Copenhagen for one night. We boarded an early Saturday morning train from Stockholm T-centralen and started our journey to Copenhagen! An approximately five hour journey which passed by surprisingly fast! I thank modern technology which allowed me to easily work out how to listen to music whilst dozing in my seat.
On arrival we managed an early check in to our hotel and after a yummy lunch made by my two friends we headed out into the city!
Our first impression was: wow, Copenhagen is quiet! But this was probably due to the fact that it was a holiday weekend. We walked past Tivoli – an inner city theme park complete with botanical gardens! Unfortunately it wasn’t yet open for the season but certainly looked like a lot of fun! We then came across the Glyptotecket – what we thought was a Carlsberg brewery, turns out the museum was a collection of sculptures and had nothing to do with beer, other than the fact that the collections belonged to the Carlsberg family specifically Carl Jacobsen son of the founder of the Carlsberg breweries. Ah well beer another time then!
After this slight turn of events we walked onwards to Christiansborg Palace. We bought a ticket that allowed us to view the Royal stables, the old castle ruins and the current Palace that stands today. A short history lesson: there have been a number of previous castles/palaces on this site, two of which were burnt down by accidental fires, both times related to a kitchen stove. The current site is home to the third Christiansborg Palace. The buildings are used by: the Royal family, the government as well as being home to the Danish Supreme Court. A rather unique arrangement some might say.
We started with the stables where I had another flashback…Let me explain, in England, whenever there is a Royal event, it is usually shown on TV, you listen to the commentary, and sometimes hear the words “Here comes the Queen in her Landau”. I never really knew what the word “Landau” meant until this trip! In the collection of Royal carriages was a Landau – apparently this type of carriage was used by Emperor Joseph I for a trip from Vienna to Landau – the carriage had two hoods – a characteristic seemingly unique to this type of carriage. And that is where the name comes from.
The castle ruins were extremely interesting! With some parts dating back to the 12th century, when Bishop Absalon built the first castle on this site! Once again I was left to imagine, to wonder what living during that period would have been like!
From old to new, we moved on to a tour of the palace – a very informative and enjoyable tour I might add! Where once again I learnt a lot! First, I learnt that Christian IX of Denmark was otherwise known as the “Father in law of Europe”…quite intuitive given that many of his children married into Royal families of other European countries, including Sweden and my home country England. Frederick VIII of Denmark married Princess Lovisa of Sweden whilst Princess Alexandra of Denmark married Edward VII of the United Kingdom! It’s a smaller world than I thought!
The other fascinating aspect of the palace were the many tapestries adorning the Great Hall. Tapestries that were clearly made recently and which told the story of Danish and World history! My favourite was one which showed the 20th century – famous men, major world events, advances in technology! I was taken about by how much there was on this one piece of art!
Even with all this fun we still hadn’t seen The Little Mermaid! So our next stop was just that. We walked past Nyhavn – a cute area with different coloured houses (including a number that were previously home to Hans Christian Andersen), then past the current Royal residences and finally on wards to the special sculpture! We finally caught a glimpse of it – it was obvious with the small huddle of people surrounding the otherwise isolated area on the waterfront. As we walked closer, the statue appeared clearer. I don’t think the Ariel that I saw in my Saturday morning cartoons quite reflected what we saw – a bronze statue, quite small and without the additional characters that usually accompanied her on under water adventures! But nonetheless interesting to see!
My trip to Copenhagen was definitely a fun one! Colourful buildings, endless Danish history and never too far from water! All topped off with girly conversations and laughs! I definitely recommend a trip to Copenhagen but only advice would be maybe wait until it’s a tad warmer! 🙂