Friday, August 21, 2009

European Tour 2009 part 4: København


Day 4
28 July 2009
København - Hovedstaden - Denmark

I ended up too bushed from hiking around to go find and then flyer the Metallica gig that went down last night, so I went back to the hotel and rested up. One more day left.

156. Carlsberg brewery; if it wasn't for those time constraints, I'd look into a tour.

157. The comfy accomodations of the metro.

158. Tivoli sign at the end of the park.

159. Central post office front end.

160. Central post office backend.

161. Ampelmann lives!

162. A river! Actually, this isn't a river, but the west arm of the strait that contains the island of Christiana. But still.

163. Southward view, new buildings.

164. Looking north, classic architecture.

165. And across into Christiana, horribly backlit.

166. One of a row of similar sculptures, interesting because it happens to be juxtaposed with a construction dumpster.

167. Weird steelwork on a construction site. I have no idea what this is going to end up being.

168. Back along Hans-Christian Andersen Boulevard towards the central city.

169. Building with the street sign referenced above. Edited to show detail.

170. A nice postcard shot if you happen to be a weirdo.

171. Modernistic buildings north of the bridge.

172. Ohnoes, teh gais r stopping traffic! This street is scheduled to be temporarily closed for some World Outgames events.

173. Bridge out to a mysterious island....

174. ...and what induced me to explore.

175. An oddly-trimmed bole. Mysterious....

And just like that, I was in Christianshavn. Even shortcuts can be an adventure - actually, no, they usually are.

176. A normal block of flats painted yellow.

177. ....and right opposite, Exhibit A in rent inflation.

The plan was to go up this tower, but it didn't open till 11. That left half an hour. I get bored sitting in one place for too long, and I can cover a lot of ground in half an hour.

178. A history in plaster. Every major renovation, a new crest; pretty cool.

179. Canal view featuring some kayakers.

180. Old-style stone buildings down by the waterfront.

181. Memorial plaque to a polar explorer by the marina.

182. Boats built in the old lapped-plank style that goes back to the Vikings.

183. Another church in this part of Christianshavn.

184. One of the command centers of the WWII Danish Resistance.


185. Room holding some artwork; the main part of the church is under renovation and not open to the public. The tower's still open, though, as it's an excellent source of renovation funds.

186. Carillion console behind a gate.

187. Roof beams in the last bit before the big climb starts in earnest.

188. More architecture from the same point, about 85 steps up of the estimated 400.

189. View from the observation deck part 1, city.

190. Part 2, south towards the Øresund.

191. "Put out my hand, and touched the face of God." Well no, not really, just the base supporting the globe at the top of the tower.

The tourist guides make this sound more impressive and demanding than it actually is. The 400-step count given at the bottom is pretty accurate, but if you make it up the narrow spiral staircase to the ladder to the observation deck around step 235, the outside piece - yes, the last 150 steps of this climb are outside, making this really, really, really bad for acrophobes - is pretty much cake.

Due to congestion, I couldn't get all the pics I wanted of the various stages of the climb, and especially the graffiti dating back most of a century. I was especially struck by the new custom of scribbling email addresses advertising for cross-cultural penpals; you'll have to see it on your own, and it's worth the trip.

192. Warning sign on the Door of No Return, shot on the way down. Speaking of the descent, anyone with any acrophobia at all will really not like it -- the standard advice is "don't look down", but here you have to look down, through the railings out into the city impossibly far below you, in order to keep your feet on the worn metal steps and avoid falling down.

193. A neat wall mural - and it's a frickin EISNER!

194. A closer view of the signature. I'm not making this up.

195. An old mile post.

196. Memorial to the citizens of Christianshavn killed fighting the Nazis. What's really interesting is that the last guy on this monument is dated +17.7.1945, which for the history-impaired is more than 2 months after V-E Day. What's his story? Did he die of wounds suffered in April? Was he assassinated by collaborators afraid he'd give evidence against them? Did he join up with the British and die fighting the Japanese? More questions than answers; much of the time, that's how history works.

197. Shorter sign: jumping off the bridge isn't just stupid, it's illegal, and if you survive, you'll be arrested.

198. An older-style building on the way towards Slotsholm.

199. Come fly the friendly skies - full of friendly anti-air munitions that just want to drop in and see wassup.

200. Everyone's favorite society-with-secrets has made it here as well.

201. Half-timbered house; it pays to go off the path.

202. Aaaaw maaaaan..... There were other tourists around that I didn't want to set a bad example for (or be ratted out by), but otherwise I would have gone right on in. This sign might as well say HAY ADVENTURERS COME IN HERE, which is a good indication that they aren't expecting any to drop by.

203. Internals of the palace, opposite the arms museum that I couldn't get into.

204. Front of the royal library and courtyard.

205. Kierkegaard statue. If you have your picture taken with it - and I saw several people doing so - you are officially overeducated.

206. Weird twisty dragon-parts spire on top of the old stock exchange.

207. The imposing front of the royal palace.

208. Equestrian statue of Christian IV in front of the palace.

209. Mural on the side of the palace, from the other side of the water.

About the time that the last pic was taken, a light rain started to fall; being hungry I hit a sidewalk restaurant and wrote this up while waiting for a Thai beef salad.

Lazy-Ass Canal Boat Tourism

210. Old church tower and Bishop Absalom, the city founder. I don't care what they put on the statue, clerics still can't use axes.

211. Warnings of an underwater statue. If it wasn't for all the canal boats, this would be neat to check out swimming or in a smaller craft.

212. Old stock exchange.

213. One of many bridges with low head clearance.

214. Golden spire again, from the water. You can see the tourist congestion near the top.

215. Customs House restaurant.

216. New opera house, gift of Maersk Lines.

217. Looking back into Nyhavn.

218. Cannon boat sheds. As a penalty for being on the wrong side in the Napoleonic Wars, the British impounded most of the Danish Navy's ships and sunk everything that they didn't want. The city still needed defending, though, so while new capital ships were being laid down, the Danes took cannons from the army and fitted them onto rowboats to patrol the approaches to the harbor. These sheds are where these singularly awesome innovations in naval warfare were based; those on the left are unrestored, waiting to be made into a museum.

219. The sky darkens....

220. Naval area; mostly museum ships now.

221. Old naval pumping station with the opera house in the background.

222. Frigate and PT boat.

223. Battery Sixtus and the official Danish flag, which all other Danish flags have to conform to.

224. Cannons on the Battery.

225. Sculptures by ex-Yugoslav artists in exile, left over from København's time as the EU cultural capital and since put out here in the harbor.

226. Out to sea.

227. The Little Mermaid, and a Chinese tour group.

228. Amalienborg, the current royal residence.

229. A better angle on the foregoing.

230. Stormclouds over the opera house.

231. Hippie camp near the Out Games main area.

232. Entry to the old palace.

233. Short bridge, part 1.

234. Short bridge, part 2.

235. Souvenir of that last bridge: concrete scrapes on the hat.

"O Krušovice, o Krušovice
You truly are the fucking shit
Not only found
In Elbe bars
But also Ko
penhagen far
O Krušovice, o Krušovice
You truly are the fucking shit"

(Sung to "O Tannenbaum", obviously)

Yes, I found some Krušo Ćerné in a liquor store by the Gammel Strand. Then I drank half of it sitting on a bench and went home to rest my feet for Wacken. Then I wrote up these notes and drank the rest.

236. ((not germane))

237. Municipal building towards the city center.

238. A cool looking dome east of the Tivoli garden.

239. Awesome graffiti on a building east of Tivoli.

240. I think Dong Energy (cue Beavis, heh heh heh heh) has this building opposite the post office now, but that's no clue as to who had this weird architecture done or why.

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