As is obvious by the information given about me at the top of this blog, I live in Denmark. Which means that I haven't taken the time to really see the country as well as I might, because, well, it will still be here next week, and so will I (Danish immigration permitting, of course), so what's the rush? However, a visit this past week from friend and blogging inspiration James gave me just the push into tourism I needed. Here are the top 5 things we saw/did. I recommend them all and many, many more - Denmark is a small but tourist-interesting place.
1) Hillerød. As the tourist brochure says, "A trip to Copenhagen is a must for many visitors to Hillerød". So make sure your priorities are correct - Hillerød comes first. The Christian the 4th-built Frederiksborg Castle is a must, and will certainly give you many decorating ideas for your own house or apartment, from elaborate plaster ceilings to enormous fireplaces and life-size paintings of all your ancestors, friends, and dinner guests.
2) Hven. O.K., this small (5 km. across) island is actually part of Sweden, but was last of historic interest when all of that part of Sweden was Denmark, so I'm annexing it back for this post. It's a good day trip for Danes wanting to bike or walk round the island, buy crafts, eat lunch and visit famous Dane Tycho Brahe (a good description of whom is on James's site) Brahe's observatory is impressive, as is the museum. The palace where Brahe lived and worked looks like it would have been really impressive, if only Christian the 4th hadn't torn it down. At this point, I can bring in the hero of our trip, Christian the 4th - he builds things, he destroys things, he's the all-round king!
3) Roskilde. Go see the Viking Ship Museum. Go see it now. Ooh, pretty, pretty ships. Ooh, bloody, bloody history. Ooh, nice crafts! Go see Roskilde Cathedral. Go see it now. Ooh, pretty columns and arches. Ooh, cross-Christian (first Catholic, now Lutheran) history. Ooh, Christian the 4th's tomb. Ooh, UNESCO World Heritage.
4) Food. I must be brutally honest...Denmark is not reknowned for its food. However, the pub 'Den Glade Gris' ('the happy pig') on Lille Kannikestræde has a 'grisfest' ('pigfest') every Friday and Saturday in the summer months. Simply put, they roast a pig and then carve it and serve it up. And it is good. 115kr including a beer, so pretty reasonably priced as well. Christian the 4th certainly never ate here, as it only opened this past May, but I'm sure he enjoyed a good roast pig. And a good tankard of beer.
5) The Glyptotek. This is the one Copenhagen sight on the list because both James and I had 'done' the city pretty well previously, so I hope it doesn't seem like I'm slighting Tivoli or the Little Mermaid or anything. Right now the Glyptotek is being renovated, so visitors get to see 'the compact Glyptotek' instead - basically, you can see a few rooms with some representative art in, and can peer over barriers into a few more, but most of the place is closed. However, the indoor entry garden, which is in my opinion the best part, is untouched and ready to receive guests. Once again, this one is too modern for Christian the 4th...but he must have enjoyed good art, as he had so much of it himself.
So, any ideas for your next holiday? Let me know when you'll be here, and you can buy me a drink to thank me for the inspiration!