Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Copenhagen: K-Town

A number of things popped into Gus' mind as we were landing at Copenhagen Airport but the one that stuck was from the film Hans Christian Andersen ... Gus actually was humming it, in his own mind, as the wheels of the Airbus A320 touched down.


Wonderful Copenhagen words and music by Frank Loesser
 
While a bit bleu cheezy ... the 61 year old scene announces, "there she is," and suggests the magic of this truly wonderful city.
 
As is our standard procedure, we had a car pick us up at the airport and deliver us to our hotel, First Hotel Skt. Petri, located at the very heart of Copenhagen's lively Latin Quarter.
 

Since we had snacks and drinks both in Lufthansa's Senator Lounge in Munich as well as on our flight to Copenhagen we decided to skip dinner. Our room ...


Corner suite on the 5th floor with a view of both Krystalgade
 and Nørregade streets.
The next morning we enjoyed the hotel's breakfast (which was included in our room rate). It included a good variety of food, well presented, and efficiently re-stocked throughout the morning ... featuring freshly brewed coffee, wonderful breads and pastries, a wide selection of juices, cereals, cured fish, meats and cheeses, and seasonal fruit.

Finishing breakfast, we returned to our room and got ready for a day of wandering. First destination was to be Torvehallerne KBH, an amazing food market. An upscale covered market, with about 80 shops, offers everything that any heart, that beats with love for genuine culinary experiences, can possibly desire. It’s all about the highest quality and unique experiences for all your senses. The many shops feature fresh food and cuisine from both the local and (exotic) global market. Some of the fresh vegetables and fruit are sold from outdoor stalls. Get a overview of all the shops at Torvehallerne.

The Coffee Collective (C1) on the left and Lauras Bakery (A1) on the right
 
Recently recognized as one of the best chocolate makers in the world.

On the left, the original "cream puff" with a marzipan bottom - marzipan, marshmallow with Polynesian vanilla, and a heavy layer of dark chocolate -- Grand Cru Flødebollen to a gastronomic taste. On the right, a box with 8 fresh chocolates in 8 different flavors: Provence - Amber - Gianduja - Fleur d'Oranger - Blackcurrant - Praline - Pollock - Valencia.

 
 Exotic Mix (A2)
Go nuts! Wide assortment of nuts and dried fruits.
 

 

 
The stand is dedicated primarily to herbs. Even if you don't plan on
doing any cooking during your stay in Copenhagen it is something
 quite beautiful and original to see!

It is not wrong to say that the spices from ASA Trading are as good as
 hand-picked by the owner himself. Julian Amery after working for over
 3 decades in the restaurant industry, in 2008, embarked on a 2 year solo
 journey traveling east. During his voyage he traversed some truly magical
 territory, and befriended many expert producers of fine flavors. He took
  the spice road through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Nepal and selected his
 favorites directly from the growers. Ground and blended behind the counter
 into masalas, pastes, marinades and other spicy mixes from their own
 recipes and customer requests. Tomas Elfsberg waited on us ...

  
 Il Farnaio Bottega  (C9) on the left and Cleaver's Meat Market (G3) on the right

Fresh and diverse with special attention to oysters. A part of the
 shop acts as a take-away restaurant with "howling" fresh fish & chips.
 
HAV.dk (G7)
The shop consists of a fresh department with the best of the sea. Additionally,
 an open kitchen serves fish tapas, freshly cooked seafood, soups, pies, fish cakes,
 and whatever the chef decides to make that day.
 
Arla Unika (F5)
Offers an unique range of cheeses drawing
 inspiration from the Nordic seasons, land and
 nature, and developed in close collaboration
 with Michelin-starred chefs.
 

Beginning in the upper left and moving clockwise: roast beef with rémoulade,
 pickled horseradish, cornichon, and crispy fried onions; beef tartare with
 grated horseradish, a liaison of egg yolks and cream, red onions, and capers;
 roast pork with its crispy rind and lightly pickled red cabbage; boiled
 potatoes with creamy mayonnaise, chives, red onions, crispy fried onions, 
and a bit of greens.

 
Danish smørrebrød  is almost easier to make than to pronounce. This decorative, infinitely varied Danish open-faced sandwich is certainly simple and delicious to eat. Smørrebrød (pronounced SMUHR–bruth or to hear a Dane pronounce it, click heremeans buttered bread in Danish, and that all smørrebrød sandwiches begin with just that: a slice of buttered bread, typically rye. The butter keeps the bread from becoming soggy. Although the bread is essential, it is merely the blank canvas; what counts are the toppings, called paalaeg, meaning ''something laid on.'' One important rule is that the bread must not show. It must be completely covered with ingredients to suggest abundance. It has to look much bigger than it is.
  • Smørrebrød is eaten in only one order: herring first, followed by other fish, then meat, then cheese.
  • Before adding a topping, smear the bread with butter or duck fat.
  • Use only rye bread with herring.
  • Do not eat with your hands; only a knife and fork will do.
  • Drink and toast frequently. Not only is this expected, but if you are a smørrebrød rookie, this will calm your nerves and ensure that your table companions will not be inclined to remember your gaffes.

gorm's
Named after Gorm Wisweh - a Dane who
 brought gourmet pizzas to Copenhagen. Thin
 crust using seasonal ingredients and creative
 combinations of toppings. 

On the left are two  pizzas - almost out of the photo is a pizza topped with thinly
 sliced potatoes and rosemary next to the second pizza topped with ventricina and
 artichokes. In the photo to the right is a pizza topped with bresaola, fish roe and
 crème fraîche.


Le Petit (E5)
Stall featuring wine, champagne, beer, and hot dishes in a cozy, rustic
 setting. Known for homemade toast with serrano ham, cheddar cheese
 and a touch of Dijon mustard. 
 
We stopped at Le Petit, sat down on  bar stools and ordered drinks; Joan a glass of champagne and Gus a glass of draft beer. Gus was in heaven ...
 
Leaving the food hall we spent more than a few minutes watching a group of Danes playing pétanque (pronounced "pay-tonk"). The courts had been set up for a one day tournament ... it was 14th July, Bastille Day ... and we didn't even know it ... "Vive la France."
 
 Pétanque is one of Europe's most popular outdoor games and is a cousin of
 both horseshoes and of the Italian bowling game called 'bocce'. The game
 originated in the South of France in the early 1900's. The aim is to toss, or
 roll a number of hollow steel balls ("boules") as close as possible to a small
 wooden target ball, called a "cochonnet" (French for "piglet"). Players take
 turns and the team that ends up nearest to the target ball when all balls are
 played, scores. Unlike horseshoes, where the aim stake is fixed, the target ball
 can be hit (and thus moved) at any time, which can totally upset the score at
 the last second.
 
K-Towners Love Their Bikes
50% of all people choose to bike rather than drive every day; even a substantial
majority (63%) of politicians ride their bike every day to parliament. In central
Copenhagen there are more bikes than inhabitants. Many middle class families
 don't even own a car.
Logo for the city’s I bike Copenhagen  initiative

We had the remainder of the afternoon available to continue our wandering. From Torvehallerne we walked to Rosenborg Castle. Surrounding the Castle is 12 acres of gardens.
 
One of two prominent lime tree lined avenues (Knight’s Path and Lady’s
 Path) within the King's Garden, Copenhagen's most popular park.
While popular with tourists, the gardens nonetheless provide a popular spot for local families to gather in the bright, long days of the Copenhagen summer. 
 
Restful Parterre Pavilion
One of several pavilions devoted to retreat, contemplation, and prayer.
In the heart of the tumult of the city, a visitor can experience serenity.
 
Baroque Perennial Garden
Decoratively shaped bed patterns were formed using small boxwood hedges. White
 gravel was used for the spaces between the hedges, to create an enchanting contrast.
 Additional  charm was created through touches of color in the form of summer flowers
 which gave the beds an animated overall feel.

Rosenborg Castle
This grand building was originally the summer home of Christian IV, the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark-Norway. Christian IV was known for his ambitious projects and was responsible for the construction of many of Copenhagen’s famous buildings. The castle was expanded several times, until 1624, and it eventually became the primary royal residence. Eventually, in 1710, Rosenborg fell out of fashion with Christian IV’s great-grandson, Frederik IV. Frederik, instead, used Rosenborg to house the royal family’s vast collections.Rosenborg continues today, as home to the Royal Collections. The museum contains pieces from the 16th to the 19th century, including the Crown Jewels and the Danish Crown Regalia.
 
Upon entrance, we choose not to buy a sticker which would have allowed Joan to take photographs inside the Castle ... poor decision. The following photos are taken from others:
 
The Knight's Hall
The Coronation Chairs of the King (on the left) and the Queen
 (on the right) are guarded by three, almost life-sized silver lions.
The Hall also contains a large collection of silver furniture, of
 which most is from the 17th century.
(image courtesy of the Aussie Bite)
King Christian V's room - decorated with late
 17th century Flemish tapestries.
(image courtesy TravelJapanBlog)
 





King Christian VI's room at Rosenborg Castle with tapestries
displaying the life of Alexander the Great. Many of the rooms
at Rosenborg are equipped with the original furniture.
(image courtesy of EAD living)

Leaving the main building we ventured down into the Treasury to view the monarchy's Crown Jewels and Danish Crown Regalia which are housed in a walk-in vault.
 
The Crown Jewels date back to Christian VI’s Queen, Sophie Magdalene. In her will of 1746, she directed that her jewellery should not become the possession of any one person, but always be at the disposal of the Queen. The Crown Jewels have increased several times, and in their present form date from 1840. Today, the Crown Jewels are at the disposal of HM The Queen, who uses them one or more times a year.

Ring collection set with precious and semi-precious stones
  
On the left,  Emerald Parure consisting of emeralds and brilliant diamonds in
 a tiara, necklace, brooch and earrings. On the right, the Diamond Belt suite is a
 set of rose-cut diamonds with belt and brooch todivide into 4 smaller brooches,
 and two necklaces.
 
The Danish Crown Regalia are the symbols of the Danish monarchy. They consist of three crowns, a sceptre, an orb, a sword of state, and an ampulla. While not photographing all the symbols ...

 
Our visit to Rosenborg Castle took around two hours and turned out to be a fascinating peek inside Denmark’s royal history. 
 
After a quick 10 minute walk we were back at our hotel. Dinner reservations were in 2 hours at Kødbyens Fiskebar. We cleaned up, changed, and caught a taxi to the restaurant in what seemed to be in the middle of an abandoned warehouse district. But looking past the crumbling cement and cracked tiles we saw ...







Casual yet stylized seafood-centric restaurant.
(image courtesy of pocketfork)
As the name indicates, the order of the day is mostly piscatorial, and one if the main design features of the place is a ginormous cylindrical fish tank around which you can sit on stools if you so wish.


Rather than stools we were seated at a 2 top near the aquarium.






Gus at first seating with the aquarium over his left shoulder.
A bottle of sparkling water along with a glass of Champagne for Joan and a glass of Cremant rosé for Gus were ordered and delivered to the table ... let the dinner begin. 

Langoustine tartar with smoked bone marrow and pickled
 onion (Gus)

Raw marinated brill with Rømø shrimps, seaweed, green tomatoes
 and nasturtiums 'aioli' on fish skins and garlic (Joan)

Scallops with peas, pea tendrils, granola, wild mushrooms, capers,
 and dill vinaigrette (Shared)
At this point in the meal we ordered a wonderfully refreshing Riesling Trocken. 

Baked Kattegat cod with green asparagus, cucumber, horseradish,
and Spanish chervil (Joan)

Hake fried in seaweed butter with green asparagus, cucumber,
 horseradish, and Spanish chervil (Gus)
 
New potatoes turned with lovage (Shared)
The aforementioned wine was excellent with the fish dishes.

Fyn strawberries with smoked buttermilk, shortbread,
 and woodruff (Shared)
We concluded our dinner with Rebos tea for Joan and a double espresso flanked by a grappa for Gus.
 
Incredible, crazy delicious food & ridiculously amazing service ... thanks guys!


Dining at Kødbyens Fiskebar was culinary bliss!
 
The next day, Monday, saw many of the city's museums closed. Today, we would walk and enjoy the outdoors. We left our hotel headed to City Hall Square and Tivoli Gardens via Strøget Street. Walking east on Krystalgade and turning right onto Købmagergade we came to ...
 
The Rundetårn
One of the many architectural projects of Christian IV,
 it was built as an astronomical observatory. Today, from
 the top of the Round Tower you can spot most of
Copenhagen’s famous buildings and visit Europe’s oldest
 functioning observatory. Halfway up the tower there is an
 entrance to the Library Hall, which serves as a popular
 concert and gallery venue. It's one of the most visited
 places in Copenhagen.
 
We did not stop to tour the Tower, but continued along Købmagergade, turned right and headed southwest down Skindergade, across Jorcks Passage  to Vimmelskaftet. We now found ourselves in upscale Strøget (pronounced stroy-it or to hear a Dane pronounce it, click here), a wonderful area of car-free pedestrian shopping streets.  

 
Window of ILLUM Department Store
A unique & famous department store in Copenhagen with a
 120-year-old building.  The window displays a Velorbis delivery
bicycle that retails for $1,725 ... yet, who would argue with
"That calls for a Carlsberg"

"Just let the men stay naked, as long as we girls can shop..."
Royal Copenhagen Riflet Contrast Mugs
(we ended up buying 6 mugs at CPH airport duty free)

Gus, hands on hips, posing in front of
 Stork Fountain located on Amagertorv Square

Hay House
 Located upstairs in a 2nd & 3rd floor "apartment."
The store offers furniture, accessories and rugs by
 Danish design company HAY as well as items from
 other European designers.


Copenhagen City Hall
Designed by architect Martin Nyrop and built in 1894-1905. The building
 provides the residency for the city's municipal government and political life.
  It is dominated by its richly ornamented front, the gilded statue of Absalon
just above the balcony and the tall, slim clock tower standing nearly 350 feet
 in height. In addition to the tower clock, the City Hall also houses Jens Olsen's
 World Clock.

Statue of Hans Christian Andersen sits
next to City Hall

 
Entrance to Tivoli Gardens
Across the street from City Hall is Tivoli Gardens, Europe's first great amusement park. Tivoli is wonderfully Danish; it doesn't try to be Disney. We did not go in, but Rick Steves reports that the "park bursts with 20 acres, 110,000 lanterns, and countless ice cream cones of fun." He recommends the wonderland of rides, restaurants, games, marching bands, roulette wheels, and funny mirrors. Schedules posted near the entrances listed the day's free concerts, mime, ballet, acrobat, and puppet shows. Finally, Steves warns visitors go with a full stomach or a full wallet — its restaurants are costly.

Panorama from the Roof of the  Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Left to right: pyramid roof of the Hack Kampmann wing of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, the
Star Flyer at Tivoli Gardens, Dæmonen at Tivoli Gardens, Vertigo at Tivoli Gardens, and to
 the far right the City Hall Tower Clock.
(photo taken the next day)

 
Star Flyer at Tivoli Gardens
(photo taken the next day)
 
Dæmonen the steel Floorless Coaster
(photo taken the next day)
 
 We left central Copenhagen and headed to Christiana passing by ...
 
Magstræde
 Charming old street in central Copenhagen.
and ...





King Frederik VII equestrian statue on Christiansborg
 Palace Square. The bronze statue, modeled by sculptor
 Herman Bissen and completed by his son Vilhelm, was
 unveiled in 1873, a decade after the King's death.



and over the Knippelsbro Bridge, crossing Copenhagen's inner harbor, connecting Børsgade on Zealand-side to Torvegade  on Christianshavn.


The Rhode House, from 1640, on the corner of Strandgade and Torvegade.
 
Christianshavn Canal
Separating Christianshavn into a City Side and a Rampart Side.
Overgaden neden Vandet (left-City Side) and Overgaden oven
 Vandet (right-Rampart Side)  are two streets running along each
side of canal.

Magnificent Hollyhocks
on Dronningensgade, Christianshavn 
  
 Gus and Joan taking a break  at Café Oven Vande
This might be what the Danes refer to as Hygge (pronounced hYOOguh or to hear a Dane
 pronounce it, click here), which  often translates to "cozy" — though it connotes much more.
 
Quenching our thirsts we left the café and waked  the short 3 blocks to Freetown Christiania. We entered from Bådsmandsstræde onto Prærienporten through the newly opened entrance ...
 
Franklins Entrance

... rather than the more well known entrance on Prinsessegade  ...
 
Hovedindgang
 
Many visitors to Christiania, including Joan and Gus, mistakenly  believe that photography is banned all over Christiania – it’s not! Just keep your camera shuttered on Pusher Street in the "Green Light District." 


Established in 1971 by a group of hippies, squatters, and others as a partially self-governing community. In 1972, the alternative urban community came to an arrangement with the Ministry of Defence, who owned the area, about payment for electricity and water, and was given a political seal of approval as a massive "social experiment". Over the next 40 years, Christianites struggled to continue as a social experiment and preserve its self-government and its cultural values. Today it has almost 1,000 residents, covering more than 84 acres. Freetown Christiania has fiercely maintained its independence from the Danish state for years. Supporters claim Christiania is the perfect example of a functioning anarchic society. Detractors see it as a parasitic group of freeloaders leaching off the rest of society. Despite this, Christiania is one of Copenhagen's biggest tourist attractions (over one million visitors  a year), and inextricably linked to Denmark in the minds of international visitors. 







The Christiania Flag
 Red with three yellow dots — contains a bit of symbolism.
When the original hippies took over, they found a lot of red
 and yellow paint. The three dots are from the three "i"s in
 Christiania. (image courtesy of weheartit)
 Rule of Law
Early on, Christianites created the common law that
 forbids weapons, riders colors, bulletproof clothing and
 violence (to reduce the gang activities); no hard drugs,
 no stolen goods, no private cars (they only use bikes),
 no thunder-flashes and no fireworks. Whoever doesn’t
 respect these 9 rules can be kicked out immediately and
 forever. (image courtesy of milepoint) 
 

I kan ikke slå os ihjel
(translated: "You cannot kill us")
Christiania's unofficial national anthem written by
by Tom Lundén of flower power rock group Bifrost

It helps to have a map ... many visitors abstain from exploring Christiania, simply because they cannot find their way around.

  • Hovedindgang - main entrance
  • Loppebygningen (Flea Building) - named after the original flea market, today houses the music venue Loppen, the restaurant Spiseloppen, the gallery Gallopperiet , the Café Flea and the Christiania post office, and the Youth Club.
  • Carl Madens Plads - Carl Madens Square is named after a  left-wing lawyer who litigated two lawsuits, for breach of promise, against the Ministry of Defence  and the City of Copenhagen in 1976 on behalf of Christiania.
  • Pusher Street - main street on which the sale of cannabis and hashish are widely available, illegally, for open-market purchase. Additionally, on the right side of street lies Sunshine Bakery, Vaskeriet (laundry) and behind these, Fælleskøkkenet (community kitchen) and Abegrotten (café). A bit further on you find Woodstock (pub), and across from that Malerværkstedet (painter’s workshop), and the local tattooist. Still further on lies Grøntsagen (produce market and café). Turn right here, and you will find Nemoland (café and bar). At the end of the street lies Den Grønne Hal (construction and fuel supply store). 
  • Den Grå Hal - the Grey Hall. By far Christiania’s largest assembly facility with room for 1,500 people. Originally, it was built as a riding hall, today it is used mostly for concerts, parties and for the traditional Christmas market and the Christmas party.
  • Morgenstedet and Månefiskeren - a vegetarian eatery and a relaxed café.
  • Pyramiden - the Pyramid. One of the newer laws is that nothing new can be built in Christiania; however, roof work can be legally done. This house was built to get around the law (and apparently has done so since it is still standing) by being nothing but roof.
  • Bananhuset - the Banana House. This hand-hewn geometric  “banana” shaped house was built by a group of Germans who came as volunteers to erect bridges in the community and were subsequently allowed to build their own structure.
  • Mælkebøtten - a green residential quarter with lovely houses and a charming site-hut village.
  • Børnehuset - for children and young people that was largely inhabited by runaways, it had a big sign outside saying ‘down with stupid adults its baby power now’.


Christiania Aerial View
(image courtesy of Italian Idiots)

Christiania has been described as a life surrounded by art. There is art everywhere, mostly in the form of mural or graffiti art as depicted below:
 
Mural by Marianne Rydval
 

Graffiti painters from all over Europe have over the years created spectacular
 and not so spectacular works of colorful art. Graffiti in Christiania ranges from
 simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Many of the works express underlying
 social and political messages particularly relevant to Christianities.
 
Inscription of Hovedstadens Forskonnelse Diplom 2003 which
 loosely translates to English to read Copenhagen's Beautification
 Diploma 2003.



Kvindesmedien
One of Christiania's many businesses. Founded in 1997. Three
 women smithies are behind the workshop design and production,
 working primarily with steel, mirrors, and glass. Together they
 create unique furniture, candlesticks, and sculptures.
 
Walking around the park-like neighborhoods, you would never guess you are right in the middle of the city. Birds are singing, there are fish in the large lake in the middle of Christiania and community members ride around on bikes ... cars , motorbikes, mopeds are not allowed and must be parked outside of Christiania.

Residential neighborhood on the edge of Christiania

 
Stadsgraven Lake
 
We continued to walk along the shore of the lake in a southwest direction and soon found ourselves at Torvegade and civilization. We paused for a moment and reflected ... what a place, what a time, what a lifestyle ...

Luckily we were able to quickly find a taxi and asked that we be taken to Nyhavn. We bought two tickets for a harbor and canal tour with Strömma. We departed from Nyhavn and were to see the following: Copenhagen Opera House - the Little Mermaid (statue) - Amalienborg Palace - Amalie Garden - Christianshavn - Church of Our Saviour - Black Diamond (library) - National Museum of Denmark - Gammel Strand - Christiansborg Palace - Church of Holmen Stock Exchange - Nationalbanken - and back to Nyhavn. Leaving New Harbor, as we began our tour, Joan captured the images of the famously colored 17th and early 18th century townhouses along with the wooden boats tied up along the waterfront. Nyhavn is also called "The longest outdoor bar in Scandinavia" - with its many restaurants, pubs, and cafés overlooking the canal.
 
 

 

Royal Danish Playhouse
The Playhouse contains three stages of varying size. The exterior is
 dominated by a continuous glass-encased top storey with offices and
 facilities for the actors. The architects chose to pull the building right
 out into the harbor. Visitors arrive along gently sloping ramps like a
 promenade with panoramic views of the waterfront.

Opera House
Copenhagen's brilliant new Operaen or Opera House
 opened in January, 2005, with a performance of "Aida"
 by the Royal Danish Opera Company. Costing $442 million
 dollars and taking 3 1/2 years to build, the opera house was
 a gift to the city by the enormously wealthy shipping magnate,
 Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller.
The building, always controversial because of its design, again came into question when Maersk Moller insisted that metal bars or grids be built into the front "bubble" window of the building over the objections of the architect, Henning Larsens Tegnestue. The architect nearly quit the project over the matter.

This modern Opera House combines granite, marble, limestone and hardwoods in the interior and exterior design and exemplifies modern Danish architecture. The building can accommodate 1,400 to 1,500 guests and is home to the Royal Danish Ballet Company as well as the Royal Opera Company. The Opera House is situated in Holmen, the place of the former Royal Naval Dock Yard. It certainly has a commanding presence on the waterfront and is one of the major buildings which we saw on our harbor and canal tour. 


The Little Mermaid
Denmark's biggest tourist attraction is a little mermaid. This 4-foot-tall
bronze statue sits atop a stone at Langelinie Pier. Unveiled in 1913, the
 statue represents the protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale.

This famous sculpture in Copenhagen, based on The Little Mermaid fairy tale, is actually a copy. The real statue is kept at an undisclosed location, which is probably for the best since the replica has been defaced, vandalized, decapitated, and blasted with explosives.
 
Church of Our Saviour
This large baroque church in the Christianshavn
 district of Copenhagen is one of Denmark's major
 tourist attractions. With its twisted spire, the church
 is a national treasure, but also a living parish church
 for about 8,000 people.

Børsen
Børsen (The Stock Exchange) is a gorgeous Dutch renaissance
 style building on Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen which was built
in 1619–1640 . It housed the Danish stock-market until 1974.
The tour was a bit cold and windy ... uncomfortable in the totally open boat ... many of the sites passed from view far too quickly to get a good photo ... however, we were glad that we did the excursion. Just before we returned to Nyhavn we saw the home of what has been called by many "as the best restaurant in the world." 
 
Nordatlantens Brygge
an 18th century warehouse which houses Noma
Noma
 
The name NOMA is an acronym of the two Danish words "nordisk" meaning Nordic and "mad" meaning food. NOMA is known for its reinvention and interpretation of the Nordic Cuisine. A trio of Danes, Chef René Redzepi, Ditte Isager and Christine Rudolph teamed up to create a Nordic sliver of exquisite beauty and inspired by the use of the local and wild ingredients. The restaurant was closed while we were in Copenhagen.
 
Upon finishing our harbor and canal tour we decided that we would have a late lunch in the area. Without plans or reservations we walked to the Royal Danish Playhouse and ate at Café & Restaurant Ofelia. The restaurant is located in the beautiful, high-ceilinged foyer of the Playhouse and had a prime view of Copenhagen's outer harbor, but that was all ... the food was over "Nordicized" with unbalanced flavor combinations and service was missing - physically and professionally. This restaurant, at least in Gus' final opinion, is victim of the inflated hype of new Nordic cuisine.
 
Following lunch we ventured nearby and explored the Copenhagen Sand Sculpture Festival. Sand artists from 17 countries participated in the festival. The exhibit was described as " one of the largest and most spectacular sand sculpture events taking place in North Europe. The sculptures are created by some of the world’s most talented sand artists. " We would describe it simply as amazing!

Huge sandbox near the entrance where children (young and old)
 can test themselves within the art of sand sculpturing. A number
 of kids are having a good time playing in the sand.
Antarctic, by Katsu Chaen (Japan) and Bagrat Stephanyan (Russia)
Prince Consort Henrik of Denmark

Bye Bye Mister Money, by Etual Ojeda (Spain)
Time Curves, by Gianni Schiumarini (Italy)
Won the Artist Prize


In the Mind of the Mask, by Bob Atisso (Ghana)
Won the Jury Prize


Metropolis, by Andy Briggs (Canada), David Billings (Canada),
 Charlotte Koster (Holland), Johannes Weckl (Germany), Johanna
 Landscheidt (Germany), Marie Bang (Denmark), Liv Soendergaard
 (Denmark), Nigel Zabiela (Great Britain) , Maiken Thorsen (France),
 and Martin Tulinius (Denmark)






Go Green - Save the Earth, by Sudarsan Pattnaik  (India)
Won the Grand Prize
We returned, a bit early, to the hotel and called it a day. Based upon our late lunch and no dinner reservations we were asleep before the sun went down.
The next morning, after another satisfying Danish breakfast, we were off to see the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The museum contains the personal collections of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries, and are comprised of more than 10,000 works of art.
 
 
Winter Garden
The central rotunda is filled with sunlight and
 subtropical plants. In the front, Kai Nielsen's
 sculpture of the Water Mother, depicting a woman
 with fourteen squirming  babies crawling up from the
  water and coming to rest into her arms. The baby with
 the bizarrely big head, sitting precociously upright
 and holding an apple, is supposed to be Venus.
 

Kneeling Barbarian
Pavonazzetto marble from Anatolia.
The figure was part of a monument to

 the Roman conquest of the East.
 
Penelope the Faithful Wife
by Jean Adolphe Jerichan
 
The Wounded Amazon
Amazons, the legendary founders of Ephesus,
 were the female warriors that lived in Anatolia
 There are different opinions about the origin of
 the name ‘Amazon’. According to the most popular
 theory, the word ‘Mazon mean breast and a-mazons
 were the females without a breast, connected with
 an etiological tradition that Amazons had their right
 breast cut off or burnt out, so they would be able to
 throw their javelins; there is no indication of such a
 practice in works of art, in which the Amazons are
 always represented with both breasts.
 
Archaic Greek Lion
Vivid, stylized colors give life to this reconstruction of the
 polychromy of a lion statue, found in a Greek tomb. Color
 scheme was based upon pigments found in the original statue.
Babylon - Glazed Brick Relief of a Striding Lion

The Priest Ahmose and his Mother, Baket-re
 
Egyptian Scarab Collar
At the conclusion of our tour we took a few moments to stop and relax and, of course, for Gus to enjoy a cold one ... 
Gus and a pint of 
Fadøl Carlsberg Pilsner at Café Glyptoteket
and the Glyptotek Dome above
 
Glyptotek Dome from the roof
 
Wonderful museum. It is said that that founder, Carl Jacobsen, "wanted to enrich his townsmen with the art of international standing." We, two discerning Americans, certainly were enriched; thank you Carl.
 
Heading northeast, we walked up  Stormbroen and across the bridge to Slotsholmen island and onto Vindebrogade, to Fortunstræde in Indre By, to Vingårdstræde, up Holmens Kanal/O2, and onto Frederiksgade  ...

View along Frederiksgade towards The Marble Church
With its great dome rising high above the rooftops
 of Copenhagen is one of the characteristic landmarks
 of the city’s skyline.
 
Amalienborg Palace
Is the Royal Couple’s winter residence. The complex consists of four palaces, built around
an octagonal courtyard, in the center of which stands the French sculptor Jacques Saly’s
 equestrian statue of Frederik V, the founder of Amalienborg Palace and Frederiksstaden.
 
Amalie Garden
Fountain with the Opera House in the background. The park is the result
 of a donation from the A.P. Møller and Chastine McKinney Møller Foundation.
 Construction started in 1981 and it was inaugurated in 1983. The garden was
 designed by the Belgian landscape architect Jean Delogne.
Returning to our hotel enlisted a taxi. We were dropped off a block from Skt. Petri as we decided to have a light afternoon snack at Café Dalle Valle. We sat outside and had Bruschetta with tomatoes, garlic, and mozzarella appropriately paired with two cold beers.

Joan looking very Copenhagen chic.
Colorful sunglasses have replaced oversized black ones in K-Town
We kept our 6:00 pm reservation at RADIO, an unpretentious eatery tucked away on Julius Thomsens Gade. 
 
Restaurant RADIO
Informal restaurant with an unfussy urban style, typified by
 wooden walls and cool anglepoise lighting. Oft-changing set
 menus feature full-flavored, good value dishes, with organic
 produce from the chefs' own fields just outside the city.

We enjoyed three purely Nordic, seasonal courses (with clever and playful texture combinations) expertly paired with wine. The unhurried service was very informative yet unobtrusive and the ambience of the restaurant was relaxed. Excellent restaurant. We returned to our hotel by 8:30 pm, as we had a flight to London tomorrow.
 
On this merry night
Let us clink and drink one down
To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen