In case I finish this and have the energy to write another one later; it’s only 15:30. Or I might lose the will to write, post what I’ve done, and finish it later. We’ve come back to the apartment to rest our feet: I don’t know how far we’ve walked so far today, but we started at 0800 and haven’t stopped much – although we weren’t walking fast.
Over the Inderhavnsbroen (foot- and bicycle bridge) for a quiet walk along the canals to find breakfast in Christianshavn. Then across Knippelsbro, with a quintessentially European vista. Amongst other things the street lamps are really lamps hanging over the street.Incidentally all the towers in that photo should be vertical – the preview suggests some lens distortion.
The pointy tower to the left is truly fabulous, a good reason to try the ‘real’ pocket digital camera. Let’s see what it can capture… it worked! From the tip, which seems to be a skewer of alternating orbs and crowns, the tower spirals down, each ridge apparently ending in a human torso plunging head down, arms extended. It crowns the 17th-century Børsen, or stock exchange: a warning against pride and greed?
We’d decided to check out Torvehallerne, the Copenhagen equivalent of London’s Borough Market. I admired the fire hydrants, each adorned with a fireman’s helmet and two fireman’s axes: two major fures in the 18th century destroyed much of Medieval and Renaissence Copenhagen. According to Wikipedia, the rebuilt city incorporated straight streets and wide splays at the corners so ladder wagons could reach fires more quickly in future.
We kept walking. Over Dronning Louises Bridge and up Nørrebrogade in persistent drizzle. We left the street to walk through the peaceful green of Assistens Kirkegård, Copenhagen’s main cemetery. The older areas are now park, while the centre is reserved for modern burials. We left the cemetery, turned southwest onto Jagtvej, and walked and walked and walked. Bike and computer repair shops gave way to sandwich bars, then restaurants. South on Gammel Kongevej, past increasingly expensive boutiques. By the time we reached the Planetarium we were hungry. (A planetarium! Neither of us have been to one since childhood. Maybe we’ll go tomorrow.) But nothing on the street looked as desirable as the smørrebrød we’d seen at Torveshallerne… which was just a little further, really. So we walked northish along the Sankt Jørgens Sø, then right a bit. Lunch was worth every step!
We walked across the end of Kongens Have to pick up a walking route to the Kastellet.
Along Sankt Pauls Gade, past the earliest surviving part of the Nyboder naval barracks built from 1631-1795. Apparently that yellow ochre is now known as ‘Nyboder yellow’ although the barracks were originally red and white.
An unnervingly ferocious Valkyrie guards the park surrounding the Kastellet, a star fortress built in the 17th century and in use until 1839. It defended Copenhagen against the British Navy in 1807; the British attacked in order to capture or destroy the Dano-Norwegian Navy to prevent Napoleon getting it. For the last two days I’ve been trying hard – and failing – not to think about BRexit, the (truly) infamous British vote to leave the EU, but this brought it to both our minds. It is simply incredulous, beyond belief, that a civilised nation would want to turn its back on an organisation founded to prevent war, to promote negotiation, discussion and cooperation instead of bloodshed. I refuse to believe it will happen.
Here, have a Little Mermaid. A. wanted to avoid it completely, but I said that would be too predictable and we must therefore make a point of proving we’d seen it.The cruise ship Wind Surf in the background is really more interesting.
As is The Zinker, on the Nordre Toldbod dock. A’s legs for scale: it’s big.
As we headed down Tolbodgade towards Nyhavn, we passed yet another gateway leading through the street front of a building to courtyards and other buildings hidden from public view. A sliver of sunlit greenery can be seen through the part-closed door.
Looking back at the street entrance.We passed many more today. They seem to signify something about the past character of the city, a feeling that its inhabitants felt it necessary to conceal their private lives and spaces in more dangerous times. Modern Copenhagen is more outward-looking, street cafés, picnics in parks and a wealth of open spaces for everyone to enjoy. A city of the 21st century, a European city. We like it here.