Wonderful Copenhagen! Home of neurotic fairy tale writer Hans Christian Anderson, Carlsberg Beer, herring, pastries and the Museum of Freaky Rubbish (aka Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum) - hooray! We were only here for a couple of days on either side of our trip to the Sweden Rock festival, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time in this charming, well ordered city, in which quaint oldy-worldyness meets cutting edge design.
The Tivoli Gardens are Copenhagen's answer to Disney Land. Situated conveniently just opposite the train station, they're a mini enchanted wonderland in the heart of the bustling city. Like Disney Land the Gardens are clean as a whistle, super cute and cheesy and packed with funfair rides, cafés, restaurants, kiosks, sideshows gift shops and many cunning things designed to part you from your hard earned cash - after you've paid about £8 to get in, as well.
And yet there's something genuinely sweet and magical about the Tivoli Gardens, that makes them more 1950s fun fair than 21st century commercial enterprise. And after spending three nights in a tent covered in sun cream and dust, these old fashioned, kitsch, sparkling pleasure gardens provided just the sugary antidote we needed (okay, I needed). As we pushed our way through the gates at around 6pm, we were greeted by fountains, flowers, a miniature version of the Taj Mahal and an orchestra in a dainty bandstand sweeping their way through the theme from ET. Bless!
In the Tivoli Gardens, no country is left unstereotyped. Here's China...
... and here's India!
I like this watery funfair ride in the shape of a squid!
I think that's the town hall in the background of this picture.
This pirate ship sits in the gardens' main lake. It's a family restaurant - shame!
Ian and I had a drink by the side of the lake and took some photos.
I think Ian looks cute in this picture!
While we had our drinks, we watched this sweet little parade: a boy and girl dressed up as a prince and princess are accommpanied by a guard of cadets onto the pirate ship, across the lake in a boat and into a fairy tale coach, pulled by tiny white ponies and flanked by mounted soliders. Bless! (again...)
Dusk is a lovely time in the gardens, as all the lights come on (and there are fewer kids running around...)
These cute carousel horses are in the 'European' part of the Gardens. Prepare yourself for lederhosen and waffles...
More carousel animals...
Nyhaven is possibly the most picturesque area of the city - beautiful colourful old houses line a cobbled alongside a harbour filled with lovely wooden boats and yachts.
Nyhaven is lined with lovely restaurants - we had an excellent lunch here. Although the area hasn't forgotten its roots as a harbour - you'll still find the odd tattooist and strip joint lurking amongst the tourist trap eateries...
What no Little Mermaid? No, we never quite made it that far, but we did like this eerie underwater statue of a merman and his family. Cool!
Okay, so we didn't get far in our travels around Copenhagen, but we liked what we saw and would love to go back. Maybe next time we'll get to see the Little Mermaid after all...