Copenhagen & Helsingør

I had promised my long-time travel guru and mate Baja to show him a bit of Copenhagen so I took him down Strøget to Nyhamn, which I felt was a safe bet. However, it was raining, so Strøget was unusually quiet for summer. Now, walking past The Church of the Holy Spirit, we decided to have a look, and I was positively surprised by the visit. The crucifix to the left of the altar had a real contemporary feel to it, while they were playing Taizé music in the background, and had placed an Orthodox icon in front of the very Lutheran altar. An interesting mix of traditions I think. It probably made sure people found at least one thing they really liked about the church. If I’m ever asked to show someone Copenhagen again, I’ll make sure to include this church. 

The overwhelmingly well stocked second-hand bookshop to the left of the church entrance made the stop even more fascinating. Problem is, if your suitcase is already over 20 kilos, buying books is not a good idea. I left the bookshop after just a few minutes so I didn’t end up doing something I would regret later. 

Nyhaven is a must if you visit Copenhagen, and it’s a place that usually delivers lots of selfie opportunities. Some food outlets are better than others, and some are a bit pricey, but if you want to do Nyhaven at a more cheap-and-cheerful level, you can buy takeaway pizza and bring your own beer. You won’t be alone.

Talking about food. Don’t miss the Copenhagen Street Food Market if you’re into eating. They’ve got wild boar, ostrich, whiskey soaked salmon burgers, you name it. And anything in-between. Funny thing was, it’s next to the Copenhagen Contemporary Art Centre (CC), and as I was joining the flow of people heading that way I thought, “These Danes are really into art in a big way”. The truth is, the Danes are into food in a big way. Not many people went into the CC. 

I did, however, and I wasn’t directly disappointed. Though I wasn’t over the moon either. Paul McCarty’s Mechanical Pig was kind of fascinating. I stood there watching it breathe for a while.

The Little Mermaid is another must. You’ll get more clicks on your Mermaid selfie on Facebook than any other of your holidays snaps from Copenhagen. People are just like that. The EXPECT to see you next to The Little Mermaid. Don’t disappoint them.

Next it was my mate Baja’s turn to show me Denmark. He’d read about the Kronborg Castle in Helsingør and wanted to visit it. I quickly agreed to it. I have vague memory of visiting it when I was eleven but it’s so vague, I can’t really remember anything. So, why not? It’s about 45 minutes north of Copenhagen, so it’s a bit out of the way, but the thing is: this is where Hamlet used to live. Well, kind of. Anything linked to literature usually gives me palpitations so I was getting really excited as we sat on the rail-replacement bus called “Green” (it was yellow). The visit definitely didn’t disappoint. 

I particularly enjoyed seeing Hamlet and a jester walking around the courtyard, chatting to people.

And the Grand Ballroom was really, well, grand.

And I obviously had to buy the T-shirt.

All in all, the only thing I didn’t get time to do was visiting the Glypoteket as it closed quite early, but on the whole, what we did for our day and a half in Copenhagen and Helsingør was totally worth it.


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