Copenhagen and the Little Mermaid

Copenhagen started as a little fishing village and has transformed since the 11th century into a vibrant metropolitan hotspot that has much to offer.

Copenhagen is a fascinating maritime city with a maze of canals not unlike Amsterdam.  As the capital of Denmark,  Copenhagen is home to the royal palace and the monarchy. The King and Queen and their family members live in the palace and are frequently seen out in the local shops and are loved by everyone.

Like all the ports we’ve visited in Europe, there are crowds everywhere.  All were jockeying for position to see the iconic Little Mermaid, who sits perched on a large rock right on the shore.  She apparently has been painted many times, and beheaded twice.  But she remains a beautiful statue and an iconic symbol of the city. It turns out that the model was a young ballerina who was very shy and only consented to her head and shoulders being used for the statute.  The rest of the body is that of the sculptor’s wife.

The canals with their tall ships and multiple lift bridges makes for a great city to explore.  The canals are now lined with condominiums transformed from warehouses, specialty shops, cafes and restaurants and all with facades maintaining the appearance of the middle age centre trading centre that it once was. With very little clearance under some of the bridges, we were constantly ducking.  In the more affluent areas, no commentary is allowed as it might disturb the residents.

Off to one side of our ship was a relatively recent naval frigate that has been retired to obscurity.  It turns out that it accidentally fired its missiles, striking a number of houses and buildings, totally destroying them.  Fortunately no one was injured but the result was a quick end to the career of the ship and I expect the captain.

From our one day stay in Copenhagen we are back on the water on our way to Oslo, Norway where we are told we will see snow.  This will be a first in almost four months and means a further change in the wardrobe for the day’s activities.

The little mermaid is on the waterfront promenade next to the cruise terminal.

The canals of Copenhagen are fronted by cafes, restaurants and specialty boutiques.

Like Amsterdam we were able to take a canal tour that passed the many cafes and wooden schooners.

The palace guards are all students and now include women. They are heavily armed and well trained.

 

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