The Dark and Rainy side of Copenhagen…….
Lesson learned………….Always TAKE an Excursion offered by the Cruise Ship, EXPLORER. There was a reason they didn’t offer an excursion to the city of Copenhagen…….They knew what was what……..but that is what we wanted to see, so we decided to do a historical walking tour following a map we had………
What actually happened………
The day did not start off well, maybe it was the weather…….maybe it was two ships, one a Disney Cruise Ship with 5,000 people plus, debarking at the same time as our little group, who were there for excursions only. Maybe it was the lack of taxis, maybe it was all the jostling in lines with people with a bazillion kids and that many suitcases also. Maybe, it was finally settling on taking a HOP ON-HOP OFF bus to the city just to get out of the port area and all the confusion. It was a mess to say the least. Because there were not enough taxis, the HOP ON-HOP-OFF tour buses decided to also take people with their many suitcases, so they could get into the city or the airport to catch their flights. So, the majority of passengers were not planning on touring at all. They were using the buses as a taxi service, but paying the touring fees. So we sat and sat and sat, waiting for enough passengers to fill all the HOP ON-HOP OFF BUSES. When all the buses were full an hour later, the buses took us out of the port terminal area and dropped us at another pick up stop about a mile away, where we all transferred to different buses depending on where we wanted to go. That way the HOP ON-HOP OFF buses could go back to the terminal and pick up more passengers. PLEASE, what nonsense…………
Okay, I’ve got that off my chest now…what happened next……
Maybe it was the crowds…….maybe it was the dirty look to the city……maybe it was how everything was in disarray…..I don’t know……
But, I can’t remember, when I have never liked a city before…..
This is what we saw……….on the next bus………….a really nice group of silo-style buildings, where the reflection from the windows matched the blue of the buses……….
In the plaza of City Hall Square, on one corner was the THAI Airways building. I liked the thermometer on the edge of the building…….I would have liked it better if it had been working….I think as the temperature goes up the rider above goes around faster and faster…..appropriate because there are a lot of bikes being used here……
City Hall Square is located at the site of Copenhagen’s old Hay Market and the old Western City Gate. In the 1880’s, a new City Hall was planned for these grounds. The new City Hall was inspired by the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, Italy and the design of the square was modeled after Sienna’s, Piazza del Campo. The Square with its large size, and central location makes it the perfect spot for events, celebrations, demonstrations and tourist operators. Today, it is a dirty hub of people, trying to meet up. With all that hubbub, it now also includes the entrance to the underground Metro. Congested, dirty and very unappealing… To add insult to insult, looking down the tiny surrounding streets, there are smoke shops, chain stores, and fast food stands interspersed between the fine old buildings. Some of the great architecture, we had hoped to see was here, but intermingling with all the new, cheap stores and shops, it was unappealing. It would have been nicer, if they had kept their historical center, old. We snapped a few photos this way and that and walked away……………..
Next to City Hall on the plaza, is the large Scandic Hotel…….with 1100 rooms and a conference center…….I could find no historic information about this hotel……
But, it definitely looks like it should have a history…………
On the next side of the plaza, in another old looking building. It is now the Hard Rock Café……..
In the center of the plaza, between all the construction, is this fountain….
Made in 1904, it represents a bull and a dragon in combat…….surrounded by fish that spit water….
The basin was quickly dubbed the “spit tray.” Totally appropriate…….
I liked this lamp post……
The Lur Blowers is a bronze sculpture standing atop a column of terra cotta tiles. It was created from 1911-1913 by Siegfried Wagner.
The Caritas Well Fountain was originally carved in wood by a German woodcarver, Statius Otto. Later the fountain was cast in bronze. The figures represent the greatest of the three virtues; love or charity (caritas in Latin) Love is symbolized by a pregnant mother with her children. The figure stands in a copper basin and the copper basin is raised on a stone pillar. The female figure sprays water from her breasts, while the little boy, “pees” into the basin. From 1857 to 1940 these holes were sealed, because the folks found them lacking in good taste. Yep, it’s not. It’s degrading the fountain to me………
A look at another type of streetlight! And the old folded into the new……….
Back in the Middle Ages, when Copenhagen was a small fishing village called Havn, Amagertory Square was the site for the main corridor between the village and the beach. In 1449, it was referred to as the Fishmonger’s Market. By 1472, the name Amagertory first appears, as named after the Amager farmers, who came into town to sell their goods.
By a royal decree on July 28th, 1684, all trade in fresh fruit and vegetables was to take place in Amagertory Square. Gammeltory Square was for the meat market trade, mainly for pork and poultry. The square was known for the “poultry ladies,” who gathered around the Caritas Well selling poultry and eggs.
By 1901, a covered market hall was constructed in the Meat District to ensure hygienic handling of meat and livestock. By 1910, a Pork Hall was opened. The Poultry Ladies were allowed to continue with their sales at the well, until 1917. Gammeltory Square became so dominated by cars in the 1950’s, that it was turned into a car park……..and by 1962, this square was made into the Strøget pedestrian zone. No cars allowed……….
It takes a lot of wires to get this lamp to work……………
We moved on from the Square, seeing all that was of interest ……I wanted to see the Tivoli Gardens……
Tivoli Amusement Park was first called “Tivoli and Vauxhall,” after the Jardin de Tivoli in Paris and Vauxhall Gardens in London. Founder, Georg Carstensen, obtained a five year lease to create Tivoli by telling King Christian VIII that, “when people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics.” Fifteen acres was granted outside the city limits (which is now city center) for a park that included buildings in the exotic style of the Orient. It had a theater, band stands, restaurants, cafés, and flower gardens. It also included mechanical amusement rides such as a merry-go-round, wooden roller coaster and a primitive scenic railway……….. After dark, colored lamps illuminated the gardens and on some evenings fireworks could be seen reflecting from Tivoli’s lake, a remnant of the moats surrounding the city’s fortifications. This had to be the Disney World of its time! As my luck was going so far in the day, it was not open yet……….
But, I loved the outside!
Suddenly, we were in a downpour! Sheets of rain coming from all sides…… We scurried to the Hop On-Hop Off Bus waiting area and waited, and waited, and waited……finally a bus came round and picked us up. The bus was packed, but we decided we would see the city from the bus. The bus took us to the nearest hotel………where we waited for thirty minutes to allow passengers to get off and new ones to get on. We moved on……..to the next hotel, where the same routine took place…….and then to another hotel……….what?
So far, we had been on the bus two hours and seen the parking lot of three hotels……..and this was our view……..at the fourth hotel we decided to get out at the hotel and do PLAN B! See you tomorrow and learn all about Plan B!
PS: the city today, didn’t do a thing for me.
6 Comments Add yours
So, I’m not the only one who’s not a fan of Copenhagen! Sorry you had such a miserable day.
It does get better! Read Plan B tomorrow!
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I’ll look forward to it!
No Hans Christian Anderson statue? or his house? Oh, dear. Did the entrance to Tivoli make up for that? I do like the views through rainy bus windows. Think of them as softening up your mood on this trip.
Jo, you have to see what happens next! The Tivoli Gardens would have been just the thing……..but I am glad they weren’t open, since it was rather expensive and I would not have enjoyed it in the rain!