Day 2 Copenhagen: Boat Tour, Little Mermaid, Kastellet and Nyhavn
We had a late start on Day 2 in Copenhagen. We had a rough night and had a hard time sleeping because of the really soft bed (where you literally sink), it was somewhat warm and had to open the windows, and got woken up by various street sounds of cars, yelling, drunk people passing by, and of noisy construction early in the morning. The room was facing the street, go figure.
We were determined to have a good day despite this, and before stepping out of the hotel, we requested if we can switch rooms. The staff was very accommodating and just like that, no questions asked, gave us a new room that faces the courtyard. We get to take a peek at the daily lives of the Danes, and the best part is that we get to see a bit of Tivoli as well.
After a late lunch, we walked towards Strøget, the shopping district. I was sooo happy when I saw… KFC! Stuffed myself silly there.
Strøget is a long street, lined with all sorts of shops, leading all the way to Nyhavn. I was happy I found a Sephora store inside Illum, a luxury department store. I wasn’t interested in shopping as most of the stores are available in Stockholm. Why buy H&M in Denmark? LOL.
However, I squealed with delight when I saw the official Lego store. I usually buy my loot in Singapore for my nephews. Since Lego is from Denmark, the prices I thought were reasonable enough. It’s a cute store though, and the back section is like a candy store! You can pick bricks pieces to your heart’s content as long as it fits the tumbler, for a flat price.
We headed straight for Gammal Strand, where the boat tours start. There are several companies, and we opted to go for the Open Top Tours (green boats and buses) since they have the combo ticket for boat+bus for only 245DKK. Otherwise it’s 75DKK for the boat and 195DKK for the bus. Since it’s a 24-hour ticket, we figured it would be best to start after lunch so we can use it the whole morning the next day.
Above pic, bottom: The lowest bridge in Copenhagen, leading to Nyhavn.
We used the boat tour to get off at the Little Mermaid stop. Based on Hans Christian’s Andersen’s tale, The Little Mermaid, I learned that she lost her head, twice. I wonder whose house it’s being displayed nowadays.
A statue of the Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbor in Langelinie. This small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction.
The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, after he had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale. The sculptor Edward Eriksen created the statue, which was unveiled on 23 August 1913. His wife, Eline Eriksen, was the model. It has been severely vandalized several times.
In May 2010, it was moved from its Copenhagen harbor emplacement for the first time ever, for transport to Expo 2010 in Shanghai where it remained until October 20, 2010. In the Disney version of The Little Mermaid when Ariel is sitting on top of the rock looking longingly at Prince Eric, she is in exactly the same position that the statue is in.
The stop was a short walk to Kastellet, a star-shaped fortress. I found the place quite fascinating, a bit too quiet, good for exercising, but majestic on it’s own.
Kastellet, located in Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners. Kastellet was continuous with the ring of bastioned ramparts which used to encircle Copenhagen but of which only the ramparts of Christianshavn remain today.
A number of buildings are located within the grounds of Kastellet, including a church as well as a windmill. The area houses various military activities but its mainly serves as a public park and a historic site.
We got on the boat and got off Nyhavn, where we decided to have dinner. It being a touristy place, the restaurants can be a bit pricey, ranging from 150DKK onwards, but the beer, surprisingly, was cheap. Half a liter for 40DKK in huge glasses! We happily settled at a grill restaurant, where I had the grill buffet (yum!) and R had their house burger, and just watched people pass by.
The view of Nyhavn, at sunset, is hard to beat. There was blue jazz music played by street musicians, people hanging out by the water, on the docks, happily chatting away. It’s such a good, harbour-y vibe.
Nyhavn (Danish pronunciation: [ˈnyhɑʊ̯ˀn]) (literally: New Harbour) is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants. Serving as a “heritage harbour”, the canal has many historical wooden ships. – Wikipedia
Photos from my Instagram feed.by