Friday, May 6, 2011

Scandinavia Trip Day 1: Copenhagen


After the looooooooooooooooooong flight, I finally take in my first breath of European air.

Inhale… Don’t exhale… Inhale more… Don’t exhale… Ack! Help, I can’t breathe!!!


copenhagen airportAhhh… I love the smell of Copenhagen Air…port… hehe


218118_10150169274259570_510889569_6558376_5068671_nHello, Denmark! Smile 


That’s our bus and bus driver waiting to take us on a castle tour


We’re tired, excited, messy, ecstatic, and in urgent need of a bath


Things I’ve learned on the way to our first castle:


This is a man-made lake, one of many in Copenhagen.
The Mute Swan is the national bird of Denmark.


the old stock exhange copenhagenThis is the Old Stock Exchange. Four dragon tails are intertwined to form the spire. According to legend, this spire guards the building against enemy attacks and fires. And true enough, the Old Stock Exchange has many times been spared when fires have broken out in neighboring buildings. I want a spire like that on my roof.


224175_10150164613922293_718632292_6910188_5038888_nThis is a very long building. Our tour guide’s name is Brad.


nyhavn copenhagenNyhavn or New Harbour is nearly the oldest part of the harbour. It used to be a district full of crime and prostitutes. At present, Nyhavn is an entertainment district lined with restaurants and cafes. More about Nyhavn on Day 2.


IMG_2233The northern area of Copenhagen is more expensive. Only the super rich can afford to live here. This white mansion is Brad’s summer home. Or at least he wishes it were.


Villa Rex used to be the place where the naughty king brought his mistresses


Denmark has a population of about 5.5 million people. Danish people love to yacht.
Sales tax is 25%. (Gulp!) Car tax is 180%. Total taxes people pay is 80%, but they get free education, free medication, and pension.


Today is a very cold and foggy day. I am not wearing enough clothes. Brrrr.


kronborg castleEntrance to Kronborg Castle


kronborg castleOrange buildings and the tall men of our group


I love this picture of me, hehe


kronborg castleKronborg used to be a star fortress, which explains all the cannons.
It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Auntie Babie and I and the Kronborg Castle half-covered by fog


kronborg castleUpshot by Vibson


kronborg castleKronborg is also known as “Elsinore” or “Hamlet’s Castle.” It is where William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy was first performed to commemorate the 200th death anniversary of the great writer.


kronborg castleDoors in Kronborg


frederiksborg castleAnd then we go to the Frederiksborg Castle


Beautiful trees line the pathway. (Oh hi Frances, I almost didn’t see you there!)


So beautiful, so serene


frederiksborg castleThe immaculately manicured Baroque Garden makes me feel like I’m Alice in Wonderland


frederiksborg castleThe Frederiksborg Castle is located on three small islands in the middle of Palace Lake.
It was originally built in 1560 by King Frederick II, then rebuilt in the 1600s as a royal residence for King Christian IV. In 1859 when King Frederick VII was in residence, a fire destroyed a large part of the palace interiors. Reconstruction was funded largely by
J.C. Jacobsen of Carlsberg Brewery. Today it houses The Museum of National History.


frederiksborg castleA closer look


fred fred2


frederiksborg castle


fred8 fred6 fred10


frederiksborg castle


Inside the castle is this is Palace Church where kings and queens used to be crowned.
Today the church is open to the public. If you live in Denmark, you can get married here.


fred7A organ built by Esajas Compenius in 1610.
It still plays beautiful music today.


Our tour guide Brad familiarizing us with the coats-of-arms
displayed on the walls of the church


Adam on a pillar


One thing I can say about the Frederiksborg Palace is that it’s got just too many beautiful rooms.


frederiksborg castleCeiling in one of the rooms (Sorry, I forgot which, there were too many!)


frederiksborg castleKing’s bedroom


King’s bed. No, he wasn’t a shorty. In the olden times, the kings slept sitting up
because the lying down position was thought to be for dead people.


Really old chair


The Great Hall, also known as the “Dancing Hall” in Christian IV’s time.
This was where all the king’s lavish parties were held.


frederiksborg castleGreen and gold room


Red room


More old chairs


Queens’s bedroom


Blue room


frederiksborg castlePink room


And this is the very first time I’ve stood so close to a real harp!


Water break. I just love how we can drink right off the faucet.


After the tour, the 3 Fayes raid the souvenir shop


frederiksborgOne last look at Frederiksborg Castle


Then it’s time to go get us some lunch.

university of copenhagenThe bus drops us off in front of the University of Copenhagen


And we take our sweet time strolling to the lunch venue


We see coffee shops and bicycles along the way


222705_10150169277169570_510889569_6558449_2610086_nThis is lunch. I love how foreign the restaurant name looks and sounds.


But EEEP! It’s owned by a Chinese couple!


                         Breads are excellent                                  Shrimp Tempura Salad – shrimps are raw


            Fried Salmon in Mushroom Gravy                                               Banana Split


After lunch, we check in at Copenhagen Island, our home for the next 2 nights. We drop off our bags, freshen up a bit and head to the mall right beside the hotel.


fisketorvet shopping centerFisketorvet Shopping Center. Of course I check out the food scene first.




Hmmm… this looks familiar


Convenience store


It’s my kind of store – all candies and sweets!


And milkshake, too


Felisse buys this jumbo chocolate milk, which I contribute in finishing.
I think our Magnolia Chocolait tastes better, hehe.


Very expensive bottled water


And soon it’s time for dinner.

Royal Palace Restaurant. Yeah yeah, the food blogger is in Denmark having Chinese food for dinner. But you see, we are traveling with the Chiang Kai Shek group, and the Chiang Kai Shek group is… well, Chinese, so…


                            Egg Drop Soup                                                  Fried Fish in Sweet Chili Sauce


                       Egg in Tomato Sauce                               Braised Pork – there’s cartilage in every bite!


                             Fried Chicken                                                                  Chinese Pechay


                                      Rice                                                                                 Cantaloupe


Chinese people having Chinese dinner in Copenhagen


Dinner is so disappointing I have to do a quick run to Sullis Gelato down the street.
I don’t understand a word of it, but this looks pretty and nice.


225922_10150164620542293_718632292_6910273_6816308_nSo true!


The friendly guy lets me try all the flavors including the Danish favorite,
the nasty-tasting licorice. Ack!


In the end I go with my usual flavors, chocolate and pistachio.
They taste just alright.


After dinner, the bus takes us back to the hotel. It is still a bit early so we go back to check out more of Fisketorvet.

This time we hit the supermarket


Check out the digital price labels. They’re so cool.


Flavored oils. I love truffle.




Cakes and pies


View from our hotel lobby. Goodnight, Copenhagen!


copenhagen islandI have sweet dreams about breakfast tomorrow

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...