Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blue skies in Copenhagen.

The second day of wandering around Copenhagen was less directed.  What I did accomplish was a haircut and a trip to the Statens museum, their national gallery of art.

My visit with Gerti the hairstylist came from a stroke of luck.  Everywhere else I stopped in was booked for days.  Gerti had a slot open an hour later and was a block from the hotel. We chatted for an hour about Trump, kids, hair, Obama, movies... She showed me photos of Nyhavn when it was being filmed for "The Danish Girl" and her shop had its sign removed and she "became a fish monger." I learned one of her sons is the Danish voice-over for Batman... the regular Batman, and the Lego one... and is currently in South Africa working in the next Tomb Raider movie. A friend of hers stopped by and absolutely had to show me her clothes, clothes she'd made herself. I had a delightful time, and forgot my credit card in the machine on my way out. A block later back at the hotel I noticed and returned, where she was standing with my card.  I recommend Gerti at Nyhavn 6, 1051 København K, Denmark.

Beautiful blue skies.
The rest of the day I really did wander, until Ian was almost done with work, and I wandered to the Statens museum of Kunst.  The State Art Museum. With only an hour to check it out, (my goal had been the Hirschsprung Collection, but it closed an hour earlier), I visited the Danes. The audioguide is free and only covers the main pieces, but it was enough.

A kind of art I'd never seen before, death
stealing a child from its mother.

In the French and "general European" sections down the hall I didn't see much that grabbed me. They do boast a couple Matisse, but even those... not a huge fan.  But the Danes really have something going on, akin to the Dutch and I'm sure that's not a coincidence. There is something remarkable in their story-telling of day-to-day lives that isn't completely judgmental, mythological, or other-worldly. Normal people doing normal things in a brilliantly rendered way.

That evening we had dinner at the home of one of Ian's A100 classmates. Thank you Rebecca!

Saturday was another gorgeous day, and one I was able to spend with Ian wandering the streets.  We followed the noontime marching band to Ameliasborg Palace and watched the changing of the guard, or the moving of the flag, or something (never did figure it out, haven't looked it up), and made our way to the Strøget where we had a delightful lunch outside, people-watching. As it was outside, our waitress told us the house policy was to charge folks immediately for their order.  We had a good chuckle at that, and asked how they managed dessert... in a separate bill? We didn't care one way or the other how they managed their billing, but after that question she asked her manager and came back with the announcement that our bill would come at the end of the meal.  I guess we didn't sound like we were going to make a run for it.

The Strøget is your typical pedestrian tourist trap, if there were cars driving across it and parked through it. Kind of annoying. I brought him to my old haunts (I was there the day before, I can say that), and that's when we saw this place.

Oh yes we did!
I'm not sure if I recommend getting your feet chewed on by fish or not.  I'll admit that my feet came out quite nice, but is it worth the 20 minutes of tingling like they've both fallen asleep? Is it worth knowing that, according to the words on the wall, the fish magic comes from fish spit? Is it worth sticking your feet into water that also has fish droppings? Seriously, these fish have a diet of dead skin on people's smelly feet? Isn't that considered animal cruelty? Glad we did it, don't think we'll ever do it again.

With such lovely weather, and it being a Saturday, the city was teeming with people. We ambled about and returned to the hotel to collect our bags, but not before taking the typical Nyhavn selfie.

The sun ruined it!
And we discovered that on the pier next to our Admiral Hotel (look it up, it's AWESOME), was a sauna and hot tub set up.  My coat smelled like burned sauna fuel (oil? wood? peat? horse hair?) for days afterwards.  And those weren't your average every day hot tubs.  Oh no.

Next time... better than fish, I'm sure.

We'd recommend spending some time in Denmark.  Truly, before I went up I looked on Trip Advisor and wasn't all that impressed. Maybe people just don't rave about it? Are they calm and serene people? But I had a great time and there are things I still would like to see (Kronborg Castle aka the inspiration for Elsinore Castle in Hamlet) and that Hirschsprung Collection, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Thank you Denmark for a lovely time with lovely people.


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