Day 1 Copenhagen: The Tivoli
Every summer, I always travel elsewhere for my birthday (I’m a Leo, born July 25th. Rawr.).
However, due to my MS, I’ve been avoiding the heat like a vampire, so I decided to stay and fully experience the onset of spring and the Swedish summer. I returned from the Philippines just last June and oh boy, it has been one packed summer. I’m so glad I didn’t travel elsewhere and deal with the heat and tourists.
My goal this year was to see more of Scandinavia. I’ve been living in Europe for about four years now and have not really gotten around (insert shame face here).
So aside from the south of Sweden, Malmö, the midsummer trip in the Swedish coast Skanör, and the Viking Festival in Åland, Finland, the other Nordic country I was keen to visit is Denmark. We were going to another Skanör trip anyway to chase the last of summer, so might as well cross the bridge from Malmö to Copenhagen. It only takes 30 minutes.
It only takes about 5 hours using SJ’s snabbtåg (fast train) from Stockholm Central Station to Copenhagen. Tickets are relatively cheaper if you travel midday and during the week. Weekend prices are more expensive, of course. There are also sistaminuten (last minute) prices, so watch out for those. Downside is, you have to travel on those dates, leaving not a lot of room for proper planning and encourages spontaneity.
On the day of the trip, we were rushing so much and forgot something that R had to go back home and fetch it. Since we didn’t have breakfast, we decided to grab McDonald’s (I know, I know) and barely had 10 minutes to catch the train. We wolfed down our burgers as soon as we sat down and we happily settled in – R playing his iPad games and because I was going for a Danish theme, decided to watch A Royal Affair.
1/3rds of the movie I looked up at glanced at R, who was looking just as pale and wretched. My head started to spin and I can taste the bile in my mouth. I was getting clammy and reached out for a cold drink, trying to hold it down. R was feeling it too. For the next three hours, we were literally “riding it out”, trying to keep the motion sickness at bay. We blame the McDonald’s. We knew it was a bad idea.
Anywayyy, we made it Copenhagen. After living in Sweden for so long, I get disoriented every time I see something that is not in order. I was put off by the grittiness of the streets. While heading our way to the hotel, we ran into a bunch of drugged up, drunk folks wandering the streets. In my previous life (pre-Sweden), I would’ve deemed the sight as interesting. I realized I have become a snob, but I guess I’ve been living in the safe, Swedish cocoon for far too long. I’ll get over it.
Since we arrived late into the afternoon, we just decided to head to Tivoli and spend the rest of the day and evening there.
Now, Tivoli is a wonderful, wonderful place where childhood dreams are made true. I prefer the old-fashioned amusement parks over the jawdropping-wow-over-the-top, shiny new ones the likes of Disneyland or Universal Studios. This has it’s own charm and I loved every minute of being there.
Tivoli Gardens (or simply Tivoli) is a famous amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on August 15, 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world, after Dyrehavsbakken in nearby Klampenborg.
With 4.033 million visitors in 2012, Tivoli is the second most popular seasonal theme park in the world, the most visited theme park in Scandinavia and the fourth most visited in Europe, only behind Disneyland Paris, Europa-Park Rust and the Efteling.
I didn’t do any rides. We were still reeling from the motion sickness earlier, so getting on one was out of the question for me. R on the other hand, bought an all-ride pass and knocked himself out.
No, R didn’t get on this one. This was our view from our dining table at one of the restaurants.
Aside from it being an amusement park, Tivoli is also one big garden. If you have the årskort (annual pass), one can simply go there to take a stroll, hang out, and watch teenagers scream and kids cry.
I found myself stalking some kids, haha. And those kids at heart.
Some charming spots: a small European village, a Chinatown amidst the rides, a Beer Garden.
There are over 30 restaurants and food stalls inside the park. It’s a no-brainer to think and decide where to eat. We loved those drink refilling stations where you buy a cup for 59 DKK and you refill it to your heart’s content every 15 minutes. It came pretty handy to R who needed a drink after every ride. Otherwise, buying drinks at stalls can easily cost you 25 DKK on the average.
Also, what’s a visit to the amusement park without ice cream?!
The park closes at 10 PM, so we stayed and wandered around and watched the laser show at closing time.
It was a nice late summer evening, and the whole place becomes even more enchanting at night.
Photos from my Instagram feed.by