Friday, October 26, 2012

A Short Weekend in Denmark (Part 2)


I was up early as usual with no hangover but of course everyone else was hungover. I watched some American news programming and then showered. I was OK with relaxing and waiting for everyone to get up. Lotte and I had breakfast and went into the city together where she showed me around.

I saw this tower which looks normal on the outside but was built by a crazy king so he could take his carrage up to the top. There was a beautiful platform at the top that allowed us to see the city from above too!

King Frederik II (1534-1588 – ruled Denmark and Norway 1559 - 1588) was the first Danish King, who became interested in astronomy due to the scientific work of Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) - a famous Danish nobleman and astronomer, who developed the “Tychonian” system - which was a complicated astrological model of the solar system.

The Round Tower -- The Kings original idea from the start was to build an observatory identically like Tycho Brahe’s Stjerneborg on the top of the Round Tower with the exact diameter like Stjerneborg’s, 15 m.

The Tower was completed as an observatory with a little planetarium in 1642 and has a height of almost 40 m including the obsavatory. The Round Tower is built with a 210 m long spiral ramp, which leads to the top - and on the uppermost facade of the tower there is a gilded inscription like a rebus. The rebus can be interpreted in the following way: Lead God - the right teaching and justice into the heart of the crowned King Christian IV - 1642 - the year when the tower was completed. King Christian IV's draft of it, written with his own hand - is kept at the Danish Record Office.

The Round Tower is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. Until 1861 it was used by the University of Copenhagen - but today - anyone can observe the night sky through the fine astronomical telescope of the tower in the winter period.

We then toured some churches and other buildings then we embarked on a canal tour with a less than enthusiastic tour guide who gave the tour in both Danish and English but also another guide from a private tour group who gave the same tour (with what I can only assume was much more detail) in either Russian or Polish. 
We took the tour a bit further than we should have, slightly more than the full circle, and slightly more than the one hour we paid for.
 The tour starts from Holmens Church. We pass the old Stock-Exchange and sail through a canal called "Børsgraven". We arrive at Nyhavn, a pictoresque canal with atmosphere, many old houses and sailships. Nyhavn is one of the oldest parts of the Copenhagen harbour and dates back to 1673. At the end of Nyhavn there is a large anchor, which is a monument for 1600 Danish sailors, who lost their lives during the second world war.

We now approach the area of Holmen which was the naval base of Copenhagen for more than 300 years. Holmen is situated on 4 islands. On Frediriksholm we have The Danish Film School, The Drama School, The Academy Of Rhythmic Music and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Architect School. To the left you can see "Dokøen" (the Dock Island) and "Frederiksholm" and to the right the Arsenal Island. We sail past some of the 250 years old bastions or powder magazines, one of which – Frederiks Bastion – has been restored and converted into a small art gallery. Leaving the area of Holmen you can see Nyholm, the fourth island of Holmen, where there is still a naval college. To the right you can see the old Mast Crane from 1748, which was previously a well known landmark at the entrance to the Copenhagen harbour. Finally you can see the Battery Sixtus built in 1736 – 1744.

We are on our way to The little Mermaid illustrating one of the fairy-tales written by the Danish fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen. We pass the royal residence called the Amalienborg Palace and enter the picturesque Christianshavn’s Canal with Our Saviour’s Church with the famous, twisted spire. Leaving Christianshavn’s Canal we see the Royal Library on the water front, cross the inner harbour. We enter Frederiksholm´s Canal with the Royal Arsenal Museum and the National Museum. To the left after the bridge you can see the old Fishmarket and the Thorvaldsen Art Museum. On our way back to Holmen´s Church we sail past Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish parliament. [here]
We stopped and got off at Nyhavn where we had some tea we bought from a small kiosk / car  and relaxed by the water. When we were on our way back, we took our time and stopped to see the Marble church and a park but we were both hungry and decided to walk to the house again for dinner.

Lotte, my host, her boyfriend and I ate left overs from the night before and then just relaxed on the couch to watch a movie. We wound up watching Ocean's 11 and then we all went to bed.


I was up early again and I had breakfast with Lotte's boyfriend and we talked about America. They will visit the America's for three months during the spring and wanted tips on what to see and do from an American perspective.

I had to leave around 10:00 AM to go back to the train station by bus and I arrived at Noerreport St. where I caught an S-Bahn to Copenhagen Central Station. I was early but better early than late! I had to wait for about 45 minutes for my train to arrive but luckily, the track work was finished and I had a direct route this time to Hamburg Hbf.

I got on to the train but I couldn't find a seat open so I sat again in the dining cart. There, I met two young girls from southern Germany who were visiting Sweden for ten days and were on their way home to Germany. We talked for most of the trip and finally found seats together where we could sit and talk easier.

The train, like my last one boarded a ferry and we all had to get off and go to the top deck. I took the 45 minutes to read an article for my co-op and take notes so that I could respond to it when I was home again. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, I arrived in Hamburg Hbf and said goodbye to the girls and went to find a train that would take me to Hannover Hbf.

There were delays on all the trains going in that direction so I waited and waited and finally departed on a train going to Munich that would stop in Hamburg. It seemed like I chose the slowest train possible to get there even if it was an ICE train so it would travel quite quickly and luckily didn't stop at every- single- station. I didn't meet any new friends on this train but rather, I read a book and sat in the small hallway area with no seat reserved.

When I arrived in Hannover, I had to wait but eventually caught an S5 going directly to Paderborn. Well, I say directly because it ended in Paderborn but it was a train that stopped at every- single- station. Finally after all my travels I only wanted to sleep so when I got to Paderborn, I waited for a bus to take me home where I stayed up to some obscene hour of the night talking on Skype with my family and looking at the news to see what's changed.


Luckily, I took Monday off of work as well so I was able to sleep in a bit. Though at 8:00 AM I was awoken by the birds outside making a rukus and someone inside the hall or maybe in the kitchen making some really loud noises as well. I finally shook it all off and rolled over to wake up at 12:00 PM greeted by the church bells from town.

I guess I should get up anyways, right? 

I walked into the city and did some grocery shopping then went home and did laundry. My day seemed so busy, even if it wasn't at all, and I wound up back in bed by 8:00 PM.  

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