Travel – Copenhagen; Day 2

Posted by jerry on July 21st, 2005 — Posted in Travel

Copenhagen is relatively flat, and very bicycle-friendly – there are separate bike lanes right through the middle of the city, separated by its own cobblestone lane markers.

bicycles

Indeed the orderliness of the place is remarkable – people wait a the traffic lights, and there are even footprint markers on the pavement to show whih side of the footpath to walk on!

footsteps

Unlike Australia, the head of state actually lives in Denmark, and the suite of palaces known as Christian IV’s Palace demonstrates a kind of restrained grandeur that suggests confidence rather than ostentation. The royals are well respected in Copenhagen, and there is a strong sense that the Danish royals are part of the community, rather than being aloof from it.

Christian IV Palace

The sounds of jazz were everywhere. I heard some great trad jazz bands, but the whole range from brass and banjo trad to bebop and crooning swing were in action – on boats, in bars – everywhere.

Jazz festival

The streets reflected a medieval past with their organic layout and whereever you turned there were narrow alleyways that led to enchanting micro-scenes with a statue here or a vine-twined courtyard. But the city is by no means a museum. Copenhagen is a vibrant city, full of life and street performers and fascinating shops.

shopping street

After a foray among the shops lining the cobbled pedestrian shopping precinct, you will encounter a round tower that is fittingly called “the Round Tower”. Do look up. On top of the tower is one of the oldest working observatories in Europe – that baroque lantern is actually a telescope dome!

Round Tower, Copenhagen

The second half of the day was spent in buying replacement shirts and a tee-shirt, as my bags had yet to arrive. Prices are not cheap, despite the Summer sales (salg) being in full swing. When I translated back, I found the sale price of my business shirts was around AUS$100 each. This is not a cheap city.

My quest for a hardanger fiddle remained fruitless – I was told in no uncertain terms that that was a Norwegian instrument. So much for a Scandinavian identity! I was eventually told that there was a very fine violin maker’s shop next to the Natonal Museum. I resolved to go there before I had to depart. Two days of business meetings to follow, but the museums would beckon before too long!

Cheers
Jerry

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