Posted by: lucylastic | June 18, 2008

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen – friendly old girl of a town

Just back from a blowy, but nevertheless ‘wonderful’ Copenhagen.  Many of you will no doubt remember the tortuous tones of Danny Kaye extolling the virtues of this most spectacular of Nordic cities.  A real mixture of old, new, borrowed and blue, (well, OK, green actually, as all the towers and spires have faded to that lovely verdigris’ed shade of green so familiar in Northern & Eastern Europe.

I have never been to Copenhagen before – and can’t really claim to have ‘done’ it, as most of my time in the country was spent attending an enlightening conference on the Infrastructure of the Nordic Rail Industry.  Want to know anything and everything about the intricacies of train passing operations on Finnish branch lines and I’m your woman!!!  2 or 4 Track in Oslo – the Pro’s and Con’s, me again; Telecommunications in Rail – opportunities in Norway…….. I’d like to offer my services, but I’m afraid I actually snored in this session, (much to the amusement of my colleage, who only poked me when others had started laughing).  It was exceedingly hot in the conference hall, that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it.

So, a swift walk across town to the Tivoli Gardens was just the job to blow the cobwebs away.  I am a sucker for fairs – especially slightly tacky ones – so I loved this place.  I am very proud that I managed to persuade my 3 male and extremely wimpy colleagues up onto the ‘Heaven Skimmer’ – basically a lot of swings on chains that ascended 60m above the park to give wonderful, if somewhat breezy, views of the city.  And I lost a button.  From my new jacket.  I loved it!  A stray thought did cross my mind as to whether there was a weight limit, and if so, if I had exceeded it, but I chose to put the creaking and groaning down to mechanical actions, not physical strains.  We returned safely to earth and headed for Groften (the ditch), a traditional Danish eatery and enjoyed ‘lumpsucker roe’ and Wiener Schnitzel and a ‘traditional’ Danish apple dessert that really finished me off.  The ‘special brew’ dark beer also went down a treat.

To walk off dinner, we headed for the old port and the bijou bars and hotels that line either side of the canal entrance.  We managed to find a dark, polished, friendly, English style pub, (quite by chance, I don’t like to ‘go English’ when away normally, but it was the only one NOT showing football).  We were treated to a Danish songster with a very out of tune guitar and a repetoire of Beatles songs that kept us entertained with banter and music (off sorts) for an hour or so.  Then it was back to the hotel, (a Marriott, been there, done that, could have been anywhere) for a nightcap in the bar overlooking the river and a chilly few minutes on the patio for me to smoke a cigarette.  This new law has reduced my consumption even further – Sunday to Tuesday in Copenhagen – 5 ciggies.  I shall soon give up without even noticing!

Day 2 saw more delights of the rail industry and the disappointment of not seeing the keynote speaker – the Danish Transport Minister – as she had apparently been summoned to a meeting with the Queen, (of Denmark, not with out own Queen who was busy having tea with George Bush or something).  Home again on an SAS flight, (Star Alliance good, BA bad) which was great EXCEPT for the drop down screens which spookily showed footage from cameras mounted on the undercarriage, when they weren’t broadcasting the safety briefing.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to watch the runway falling away beneath us, or see other stuff around as we come into land – I have never come across this before and found it truly unsettling – has anyone else experienced it?  I didn’t like it one little bit and kept thinking something dreadful was going to hove into view.  Like all these things, (daleks, axe murderers) you close your eyes, but somehow have to keep peeking!!!!  Too much information.

3 things.  1) A row of wind turbines just off the coast of Copenhagen spinning fast in a strong breeze. 2) Lumpsucker roe – lovely with sour cream, chopped onions, lemon juice and cruncy rye toast.  3) Tacky fairs – all these high tech Disney/Alton Towers are all very well, but the charm of old-fashioned, (but more extreme) rides, accompanied by lights and Wurlitzer music and the whiff of toffee apples reels me in every time.






  1. I remember spending a day in Copenhagen a few years ago and doing all the things you did. I loved the Tivoli Gardens. The mermaid was a little disappointing I thought….seemed to be in the middle of a busy shipping lane and there were constantly tourist boats zooming by. Lovely place though.

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