Copenhagen Day 1

Dad and I flew to Copenhagen last Friday night to visit Dad’s adopted brother and oldest friend, Carsten, and his wife Karen. (Carsten was a foreign exchange student with my dad’s family during their senior year in high school nearly 50 years ago, and they are still great friends!) Carsten and Karen live in Jutland but are former Copenhagen dwellers themselves, and both of their kids live there. They were two of the best hosts and tour guides anyone could want!

Our plane landed pretty late on Friday night, but Carsten and Karen met us at the airport and quickly whisked us onto a train and into our very nice hotel just across from the station. Despite the cold and the rain, we were all excited for the weekend ahead and sat down with a bottle of red wine to discuss plans. Unsurprisingly, Carsten and Karen had several plans depending on the weather the next day.

Saturday morning proved to be just as rainy and chilly as the night before, so we went with plan B: eat a lush breakfast at the hotel buffet (complete with Danish rolls and Spanish chorizo!), then drive north along the coast to see Hamlet’s castle and the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art.

The coastal drive was gorgeous. Despite the weather, the water reflected different tones of blue, and you could look across the water to see Sweden very clearly on the other side. We passed a good number of houses/villas that I would not mind living in but am not likely to have the money to buy anytime soon!

Here’s a shot of Hamlet’s castle and an amazing scene of the ocean that looks more like a painting than a photograph:

 

We spent about two hours wandering around the Louisiana, which isn’t a terribly large museum but has a really interesting collection of modern art. I’m not generally one for modern art (and have a limited tolerance for large quantities of art while touring), but I truly enjoyed this museum. I have three favorite “pieces”. The first was called the Singing Cloud:

This is made of a few hundred microphones which have been reversed into speakers, and it plays a random assortment of sounds: at one point we could hear a mystical voice chanting/singing “I want to fly”; a moment later we heard the sound of rain and running water. It was really cool!

I also liked this message board, which changed about every 10 seconds. I took lots of pictures but condensed a few of the sets into one picture. Here’s my favorite:

But by far the best was an installation “piece” which was actually an entire room. It’s called the Gleaming Light of the Souls. The four of us were just able to fit inside together. It’s a square room with mirrors on all four walls and the ceiling and then just a platform surrounded by water on the floor. It’s totally dark except for colored lights that hang from the ceiling and change colors every five seconds or so. It feels like being in heaven or outer space! I wanted to stay in there a long time.

 After the Louisiana, we drove back into the city and took power naps before setting off for the center and an afternoon in the Tivoli gardens. (By then the rain had cleared up.) Tivoli is an old amusement park located right in the center of the city, across the square from town hall. It’s incredibly charming, full of classic roller coasters and buildings that look like they were transported from another time or place. Here’s my favorite view:

We had dinner at a recently-opened restaurant located inside the park. It’s run by two brothers who come from a theater family, and its decorations were really awesome. Not as awesome, however, as the food, which was classic Danish. Dad and I split an appetizer that involved mini pastry crusts, white asparagus, chicken, and a deliciously creamy sauce:

After that, I opted for the cured veal with cabbage and horseradish, while the others got “small chickens” (cornish hens?):

Last but not least, a Danish traditional dessert: lemon mousse.

Sufficiently stuffed, we walked through a pedestrian shopping area to a jazz club to see Carsten and Karen’s son Jacob perform (he’s a “legendary” jazz musician in Copenhagen – literally, that’s how he was introduced!). We also met their daughter Signe. After enjoying the music (as a former jazz player myself, I always enjoy getting to listen to jazz), we headed out into a plaza for some Irish coffee and took this absurdly cute picture of us wrapped in the cafe’s blankets:

This year’s Christmas card, anyone?!

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