The big city experience

We fell asleep around nine yesterday and wake up before seven. We have a museum planned this morning, this opens only at ten, so we decide to head out to town for an extensive breakfast. We google in bed and decide on The Union Kitchen, because it gets good reviews and the pictures look nice. This is more or less in the neighborhood of the museum and will give us the opportunity to explore the area around Nørreport, to the north of the old city center. We take a direct S-train line and set off on foot, more or less in the direction of the restaurant. First we walk to the Rosenborg Slot, a 17th century palace and royal museum. It’s more of the Dutch Renaissance style we’ve seen before, for example in the stock exchange building. It’s a Dutch variant of Italian renaissance, with typically symmetrical brick exteriors. It looks a bit familiar to me, because the city hall of Antwerp is in the same style.

This is a lively neighborhood – lots of cyclists – with fewer tourists and pedestrian zones and there’s a lot of people having breakfast on terraces outside. It’s sunny but not yet very warm, so we decide to have our breakfast inside: I decide to go all the way and order eggs benedict and a chocolate milkshake, it’s delicious. We have loads of time and chat about whatever, mom has a second coffee and croissants for dessert.

We’re anxiously waiting for a reply from DHL Denmark Freight about our bike shipment. We call them as soon as they’re open for business and find out – while making our way towards town again – that we’ll need a Belgian account. We admire the Mindeankeret, a ancient anchor now used as a memorial for sea-faring personnel who’ve lost their lives in the second world war and the Kongens Nytorv square, a beautiful cobbled space with majestic buildings. We stroll through the shopping streets (they’re almost empty because nothing is open for business yet), stop to reserve the electric bikes for Saturday’s tour and go back to the royal island. We take a closer look at the stock exchange building and the black diamond building and admire the orchestration of bridges opening for a passing weird boat. There’s a neat and orderly line of cyclists waiting until the bridge opens again, no jumping the queue, no impatience, I love the Danish.

We arrive at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek around 11, use the lockers to put away our bags and set out to explore the collection.

This building was especially constructed around 1890 to house the large ancient and (then) modern art collection of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg breweries. He gifted his collection to the country of Denmark and the city of Copenhagen on condition they would construct an appropriate setting for it. Against his wishes they selected a spot just outside the center, next to the Tivoli amusement park. The original wing was constructed in Venetian Renaissance style, later a Neo-Classical wing was added and very recently a minimalistic addition.

The building itself is beautiful with loads of marble and a luxuriously verdant winter garden. We try to be methodical about our visit and go from to the Danish paintings, up to the temporary exhibit about the Egyptian god Bes, then across to the French wing, followed by lunch and the final solution to the DHL administration puzzle. On to Greek and Roman sculpture and ancient Egyptian art and mummies. My favorite part is the French sculpture room with marbles of Constant Meunier and August Rodin. Next we needed some directions to find the newest wing, visit the rooftop terrace and do a whirlwind visit of the two exhibitions there. Now and then we can hear people screaming, we suppose and hope this is simply people having fun at the nearby Tivoli entertainment park.

By the time we walk out after two out we’re pretty weary and we decide to be lazy for the rest of the day. We walk to the Illum department store and have a drink on the rooftop terrace, where we call some restaurants and finally manage to make a reservation for this evening. We have some time left before dinner, so we browse the store. We each buy a t-shirt of Danish designer Mads Nørgaard, in support of Amnesty International and created in all colors of the LGTBQ rainbow. Outside again I spot a men’s hat store and walk in to finally get myself a sun hat. A very friendly and somehow ‘hatty’ gentleman helps me out in the tiny store, finds the right size and gives me several models to try. I settle on a dark grey panama hat, which will stylishly keep the sun out of my eyes.

We take the long walk to Baest in the Nørrebro area. Our reservation is at five and we have to be out by seven, but this is plenty of time to enjoy the delicious food. We have home made mozzarella, home grown tomatoes, soup from home grown zucchini, .. you get the picture. We share a bottle of organic Pinot Noir and admire the many passers-by in this busy pedestrian corner. We discuss some of the particularities of Copenhagen fashion: no high heels at all, mostly sneakers and Birkenstock sandals. Varied clothing styles, from leggings to shiny tops and long dresses. Everybody seems to feel very comfortable and relaxed, they all look like they have a great self-image. Back at the hotel around seven where we take off our shoes with a long sigh. 21.000 steps today! And I’m back online with 4G! And I have a hat! And DHL is picking up the bike tomorrow!

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