Google Maps is my best friend at home but my worst enemy on every other trip. We don’t have cars this time, so Google Maps can’t tell us to go down the pedestrian-only paths like it did in Belgium. Google Maps is driving me crazy at this point in the trip. I vow never to use it again, but I can’t seem to get the hang of it. This means there’s probably a better transit app for Denmark, but I don’t want to change at this stage of the trip.
Because the local trains are often delayed and because the labels confuse me, I have learned to obey the signs posted on the platforms. Google is unaware of these delays. I believe that if these trains were in Japan, it would cause a revolt. They are very nice. They’re also very late. My Duolingo Danish words have been handy, as I can understand about half of the announcements. This is especially helpful when riding local trains with no English announcements.
A train is shown in the picture. It’s currently four minutes late.
We started our first day with a free walking tour to identify the places we should visit or those our guides thought were a bit meh. The Politically Incorrect free time in Copenhagen was a great choice. Was it both educational and entertaining (edutaining?) international? ).
The highlights tour began at the foot of the statue of Bishop Absalon (the axe-wielding founding father of Copenhagen). It ended just after changing the royal guard in front of Amalienborg, the royal residence, and Frederiks Kirke, the Marble Church that is not marble because they ran out of money. Amalienborg has toilets in the gift shop. This was a lifesaver several times.
Copenhagen is a city that burned down a lot because it was so densely built and made of wood. There needs to be more medieval architecture in Copenhagen. It’s flat because, for fire-detection reasons, no building could be taller than St Nicholas Church (which is now an art gallery and not a church). Ironically, it was decided to save money and fire the fire detector. Six weeks later, the Great Fire of Copenhagen broke out, and all the firefighting equipment in the church’s basement burned down. Whoops.
The New Port is a tourist attraction with restaurants and boats. We watched the changing guard at the Royal Residence. According to legend, the Queen smokes like a chimney, and her home has more vents than any other. She is also a sports fan and loves roller coasters.
The statue of Christian V in front of the French embassy
The Marble Church
The changing of the guard
L’Hotel D’Angleterre is located across from the French Embassy
Our guides gave us some good tips on other things to do in the city. Our afternoon activity was to visit Christiansborg Palace, which was near where we met the guide. Today, the Palace houses the Danish government and the stables of the Queen. In its basement, you can see the foundations for the original castle, Absalon’s Castle. Neat!
This is actually a well from the 12th century
The 12th century cat pawprints
Old castle foundations
You have to wear blue booties to enter the Palace so that your peasant’s feet do not ruin the floor.
Bootie-fie for the whole family
The Palace is a showcase of Danish art and history. The dining room can seat 50 people, and many of these reception rooms are still used by members of the royal family or government. The library was the best room.
The lights are on!
I was surprised to find actual horses inside the stable. I thought it was a historical artifact. There is a museum where you can learn about the history and colors of the Frederiksborg original horses. The practice was discontinued in the 1800s due to the inbreeding of the horses. Now, the Royal Horses are beautiful Kladrubers, which come from the Czech Republic.
One of the royal horses
What is the name of this horse? Idk, her silly?
A Frederiksborg horse stuffed that won a record-breaking race and then dropped dead
Copenhagen Card includes the round tower on our return home. The tower was one of Christian IV’s numerous building projects throughout the city. The tower was constructed as an observation tower for astronomy and is part of a complex with a church and university. The tower used to be a library. Now it has a small historical center, where you can learn about the church and university.
You must ascend by going around and around the big spiral corridor. If you’re fancy, this is called a “helical corridor.” It was originally built for horses and donkeys to traverse. It hosts an unicycle race in the spring.
The top of the hill offers a great view of the flat city.