Travel 2017 – Copenhagen, Weekend 2, Day 1

Saturday 18th February, 2017 – Copenhagen, Denmark

And so after another week at the training coalface, A. arrived in good time on the Friday evening for us to indulge in a quick drink in the hotel bar before we trekked over to O Tempo (using slightly more buses than might have been necessary if we’d known what we were doing!) for a re-run of the wonderful coxinhas, mocqueca and fried fish.

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Except this time there wasn’t any fish. OK. Or at least not that type of fish. We settled for a mixed mocqueca (salmon and tiger prawns) for which there was fish:

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Oh and instead of the fish there was a rich, sticky, dense oxtail stew, which had obviously been cooking slowly for hours so the meat and bones had separated out. It wasn’t really a hardship.

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Again there was too much food including a tomato salad we didn’t order, and  portion of feijoa and lots of rice.

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With a couple of caipirinhas apiece it was an excellent meal and again I was almost too full to move by the end of the meal. Tasty stuff, and we got a hug and were ordered to call in advance next time if we want there to be vatapa! I considered myself duly told!

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The following morning I made an early start and was quickly over at Amager parkrun again, leaving Andrea to tackle the room service breakfast for one, safe in the knowledge that when I got back there’s still be plenty left for me as well. I have no idea who they think they’re feeding but the portions are massive. A great big hungry hairy Viking? I really don’t know.

After breakfast we walked over to the Royal Library, determined to take a look at the inside of the “Black Diamond”. It’s very impressive from outside, especially with the way the surface reflects the changes in the water and it’s equally impressive from the inside. I know it caused a certain degree of controversy but I like the way it knits the two halves of the building together, with the old simply blending into the new and vice versa.

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We snuck into a lift to the top floor to take a look down at the escalators and walkways and were well-rewarded with some fine views over to the Circle Bridge as well. I did spend some time recoiling in horror at the idea that students were allowed to takes snacks into the reading rooms, and drinks with lids on! Dry snacks or not, we’d have been run out of the Bodleian for that sort of thing back in the day is all I know! Anyway, it’s a lovely place and the students of Copenhagen are very lucky to have it I think.

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From there we decided to make the most of our Copenhagen city passes and so we hopped aboard a harbour bus with the intention of finding out where it goes in either direction. The answer was provided in a long, rambling trip down the water to Teglholmen passing lots of new residential developments, many of which looked very attractive. It was fascinating architecturally if nothing else, and it was warm!

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We finally abandoned ship back at Nyhavn, where A decided she really needed ice cream. I’ve never known anyone so keen on the stuff. It was too cold for me. I had cake and a hot chocolate and shivered at the idea of ice cream, but A tends to live on it when sightseeing. Rather her than me!

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Suitably refreshed, we headed over to the Rundetårn (the Round Tower), which we wanted to go up. However we were put off by the fact that it was raining quite heavily and there was a fairly substantial queue. We decided we’d try again on Sunday morning early, when there would hopefully be very few people around. We did however discover that the church to which it is attached, Trinity Church, was open. Apparently this doesn’t happen that often and you usually only catch a glimpse of it through a window in the tower. It started life as the university church and is very beautiful inside, the ceilings a delicate white and gold confection, with some lovely polished woodwork and light everywhere.

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It also has a very scary modern organ…

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I wonder what it sounds like!

From there we headed over to Rosenborg and the slightly less well-known David Samling, hidden away in what looks from the outside to be a modest town house. Inside though it’s anything but. In fact it hides a stunning collection of art both modern and Islamic. It’s the Islamic collection that is the crowning glory of the place though.

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At the ticket desk I was susprised to find there was no charge to get in, and that everyone got handed a guide in the shape of a tablet. A had been before but said she’d not seen anyhwere near the half of what was in there. We made our way to the top floor and lost ourselves in the glories of the Islamic collection. It is jaw-droppingly stunning, with so much to see and so beautifully preserved and displayed.

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If you want one museum that you must go and see in Copenhagen, this is it. It is simply incredible with so many things to see. There are side rooms with drawer upon drawer of rich and wonderful artworks and by closing time we’d managed most of the top floor and a handful of exhibits on the third floor.

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I could have stayed in there all night – and in fact on Wednesdays you can as their open until 21:00. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

It was starting to get cold and dark and so we decided it was time for cocktails. Well, the initial idea was just to get a drink but then we tripped over Dahl & Dahl and the list was too good to resist.

A Ginger Litchi for A and a Bornholmsk Granit for me was a good place to start!

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A second round proved irresistible too, this time a Mr. Dahl for me and a Rabarber Haud for A.

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Happy with that we walked back to Nyhavn, and then across the foot and cycle bridge to Papiroen. We had a table booked at Copenhagen Street Food. Now I know that might sound like a contradiction, but the way it works is that inside the old paper warehouses are around 40 food and drink stalls and in the middle is a wooden contruction referred to as the greenhouse. In the greenhouse you can reserve a table, the waiting staff serve you drinks, provide with a placemat that acts as a map of the stalls, and you go out and choose the food you want to eat. We settled in and ordered some water and a bottle of wine and then I went out in search of starters.

The place was busy but not impossible, with music and people occupying any space they could find. After a bit of wandering around I found Banzai Street Sushi. The salmon sushi was prepared while I waited, with a crispy coated prawn stuck in either end, and given a last minute blow-torching before being handed over, along with a portion of duck gyoza.

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It was extremely good and we might happily have had another couple of portions to complete the meal but there is just so much else to choose from and we didn’t want to waste the opportunity.

The next port of call was Italy, with La Fattoria providing us a fabulous plate of antipasti misto, cheese and charcuterie and mostardo and bread, easily shared between us and packed full of flavour.

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We were getting into the swing of it now. A further sortie forth brought back confit duck and a portion of fries cooked in duck fat from Copper and Wheat. You had a choice of two “sticks” or three (three-legged duck anyone?) so I went for three, and very tasty they were too. Lots of lovely crispy skin and the fries were fabulous.

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And as if we hadn’t had enough there was also a game stew from the Spoon Company. It was wild meat, root vegetables, berries, onions and a sweet/savoury gravy with lots of salad and some bread to dunk in it and reminded me of Finland more than Denmark. Great food but we were filling up now!

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That was it! We couldn;t eat another thing – unless it was ice cream anyway. Actually I had a piece of rhubarb cake with a small serving of vanilla icecream and A had a cone, as I suppose I always knew she would.

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Apparently Mr. Hansen’s ice cream is as good as ever!

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We’d eaten and drunk all we could and all we wanted to do was go back to the hotel. Luckily there was a free taxi just outside the door so we grabbed it and were soon back at the hotel for the remainder of the night.

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