Wonderful, Wonderful Rainy Køpenhavn
Friday, June 25th, 2004: Køpenhavn, Denmark
Still rainy and cool. Big, flat, low-hanging grey-hued clouds continue to dominate the Køpenhavn sky. Everyone, it seems, is complaining about the lack of warm dry weather both in Europe and in Canada. It is even making the local television news at 6. As charming as Køpenhavn is, it is dull and grey. The morning drags and we focus on the mundane chores of organizing laundry and updating the website. I head off to the café to figure out the wireless connection and after some self-translation from Danish to English, I’m on-line.
A Self-Guided Walk
We have decided to brave the elements and do a self-guided walking tour of the city, one that The Lonely Planet recommends. We start at the Rådhus (the City Hall) in the busy Rådhuspladsen and are to finish eventually, at the Little Mermaid in the harbour. We pass through the major pedestrian shopping area (we need more of these in North America!) pass Gammel Torv and Nytorv, the old and new squares, winding down to the Kongens Nytorv, a huge square, under restoration, circled by many glorious old buildings including the Royal Theatre and the Charlottsburg, that houses the Royal Academy of Arts. We then walk to the Nyhavn Canal, home to Hans Christian Anderson, who lived at number 67.
Umbrellas Up, Umbrellas Down
Our umbrellas are up and down during this walk. Sometimes it is just a light misting, sometimes a gusty, pounding rain. We head along the harbour and turn into the Amalienborg Plats and the Amalienborg Palace, home of the royal family since 1794. The cobbled square is wet and has that flat, grey magic light that the 18th century French painters captured so well. We move across the deserted circular square, and like many others take refuge in the Frederikskirken, the Marble Church, spending 15 minutes sitting in solitude in the cool dampness. The rain drives us back to the Rådhuspladsen and away from the Little Mermaid in the choppy harbour. Many will be disappointed that we did not visit her but we are told that she is disappointing at the best of times or weather, and always covered in gull droppings. Unpopular choices are sometimes made in life and we must live with them.
Naps and laundry beckon as we wander back to our beautiful B&B facing the Sortedams Sø. Pedro and Bjarne have a beautiful apartment overlooking the water and both they and their two very friendly sibling cats have made us feel quite at home.
We have a very average meal in a smoky, crowded restaurant and a quick beer on the walk back to our beds. We don’t have a lot of Dannish Kroner left and don’t want to take any out of the bank machine as we leave for Stockholm tomorrow.
Night, night, Erin.