Not content with visiting both Finland and Sweden on our Scandinavian trip, the Family P. also managed to swing into Copenhagen for a couple of days as well. How many things can you name that Denmark is famous for without using Google? We got Carlsburg, Bacon, Hans Christian Anderson, Danish Pastries, hygge, Noma, lego and of course, the band Aqua. With such an international appeal for a country that is about half the size of Scotland, there is so much going on that when the Family P. called in on our Scandinavian leg of our EU Tour, we could only try to fit as much in as possible.
As our time was brief the Family P needed to get some touristy stuff out of the way. A Copenhagen river sight-seeing cruise gives you a water-side view like Venice or Amsterdam but just a bit colder! You get a great view of the development of the city and the way the architecture has grown from European elements through the centuries which was stolen and developed into the Scandinavian design ethos which has eventually been subverted and mass produced by the overshadowing influence of the Ikea principle. A walking tour filled in the gaps that we couldn’t see from the water and walking through the Royal Palace was a great experience, you get so close that you can peer inside the windows!!
The Tivoli Gardens is the second oldest operating permanent funfair in the world with the first, according to Wikipedia being Dyrehavsbakken in nearby Klampenborg, also in Denmark. The Gardens dominate the central part of the city of Copenhagen and are located just a few steps outside of the train station. At the best part of 15 quid (120 Danish Crowns), tickets for the gardens are pretty good value when you consider you are looking at the Danish version of Alton Towers. They also host Rock concerts every Friday which pushes the ticket price up by another fiver. That’s just for entrance though and tickets for the rides themselves need to be purchased separately which are much more expensive. So while expensive in places, this place as great value for families, both young and old. We stayed far longer than we had intended and to no-one’s surprise, it remains one of The Childs highlights of the country.
The Carlsburg brewery didn’t hold much appeal for Mrs P and The Child so I hopped on the free shuttle bus (leaving every hour from the city’s main Tourist Information office) and went to check it out by myself. As with almost all things of this nature, the reality is somewhat different to what you might expect as calling the site a ‘brewery’ is stretching the point a little. What there is, is a really interesting insight into the history of what has become a world dominating beer branding monolith of a company. The growth of a family business and the way that commercial success can translate into social and moral responsibility for a whole city is something that is almost unknown here in the UK. Admittedly it did start with a guy disowning his son and dedicating his entire fortune to the city. The resulting total disintegration of a family provided the biggest programme of social support I’ve ever seen, so lessons for us all and pros and cons there I feel.
While I was away being mildly disappointed at the Carlsburg ‘brewery’, Mrs P and The Child were busy climbing the Round Tower in the centre of the city – a beautiful view was marred only by The Child’s incessant whining about the cobbled climb needed to conquer the tower to appreciate the aforementioned beautiful view. Luckily Mrs P had an ace up her sleeve because what had we deliberately not mentioned for the previous 48 hours for fear of creating a sugar crazed drooling monster? Of course, if there was one thing guaranteed to motivate The Child to almost super human feats of activity, it was the lure of a forthcoming Danish pastry.
Were they delicious? Absolutely, these examples from Lagkagehuset were jamy, almondy, fruity, or custardy. We each had our favourite but we all agreed that it was only by ordering one of each of every type in the shop that we were able to decide which were the elements of the perfect pastry.
So our time in Denmark was over but what about the Brexit view of our Danish cousins? Well, unfortunately we didn’t manage to find a native Danish willing to discuss with us. I know, it seems crazy but people were either unwilling or unqualified for the role and so in desperation, I reached out to the only Danish person I knew of:
Unfortunately, Sandi was (and remains) unavailable for comment. So there we have it, if you are Danish or you know a Danish person, please get in touch because just like Andy from Italy or Wilhelm from Austria, you too can join the ranks of our very esteemed guests and we would love to hear what you think about Brexit.
The #2MenEUTour Big Brexit Tour journey so far: