Day 20: maybe Mary’s home for a cuppa
Worth a mention:
- I appreciate how the Danish appreciate good looks and look good at it
- Petrol here is DKK 11.18 / AUD $2.04
- One of few places in the world where you can choose a beer with your Whopper at Burger King
- Australians call it a danish, the Danish call it wienerbrød – either way, the home of Danish pastries exceeds expectations
Hands down, my absolute favorite store on my travels is not Zara, Weekday or H&M, not even Urban Outfitters. It’s the Lego store. Matt took me past one in Saint Petersburg but this one in Copenhagen brings out the kid in me, let’s it run through the store and then want to pester mum to buy everything in sight, only then remembering that I’m 24 and that I can buy whatever I like. We work to live, right? Individual blocks can be bought in candy-colored fanfare as if you’re choosing lollies at the movies or, more accurately, like the M&Ms at M&M World if you’ve been.
You can hold boxes from the shelf up to a camera in-store and it’ll display what the contents will construct using augmented reality technology, design your own creations on their computers, or construct your own unique Lego person using hundreds of different pieces, or… well, I guess you had to be there, or be me, to feel how exciting this place is.
Kicking and screaming, Kim drags me from paradise and we continue down Strøget Street via more shops, ending in Nyhavn. Two vessels are in port at Kvaesthusgraven: one clearly Russian, having already passed its crew proudly walking the streets, dining, and struggling with the language barrier; the other is HDMS Absalon, the flagship of the Royal Danish Navy and also the largest ship in Denmark’s fleet. Today is also open day, allowing the public to board and explore much of the ship. We walk around on deck as well as explore the bridge. Much of the vessel is set up like a proud high school. Student art hanging from the rafters by string is replaced by weapons, all lined up and barely secured by thin wires to a single panel of MDF, and tours are hosted by multilingual servicemen and women rather than nervous, pubescent teenagers. Those in uniform were really encouraging visitors to get involved, hold weapons, explore the ship, and ask questions. Kim was considering joining.
Not far from Kvaesthusgraven is Amalienborg Slot, home to the Danish royal family since 1794 and also where I hoped we would find Princess Mary. Entering the square from the harbour, along with a large group of Japanese tourists, the palace encloses a large forecourt on all four sides. To the left is home to the country’s Queen Margrethe II and the flag flying above means the Queen is home. This is a good sign. It’s almost a mini-taste of things to come in London; a Queen, a palace, and guards at every door ready to have their photo taken with you. Hoping to see Mary, I was sad to find she wasn’t throwing a shrimp on the Barbie or kicking back necking down a Fosters. We could’ve paid to view their palace museum’s most recent exhibition all about the recent christening of Mary’s twins. The locals are fervent royalists; I chose instead to move on.
Almost everywhere you turn, Copenhagen is under construction. There is so much renovation in this city with a new Metro being added and every second palace, hotel, road and statue has either scaffolding around it or barricades redirecting traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.
With a few wienerbrød under my belt and a detour to the hotel to grab our bags, Kim and I stroll past the Tivoli Gardens bound for the station and our train across the Øresund Bridge to Sweden.