Beer! Mermaids! Jazz! The grand Copenhagen birthday-meet of 2009

On Wednesday the plan was to 1) stay in bed until about 1pm when Dimview returned from the airport after collecting our Dutch noder friend, sloebertje, and then 2) go out and do some touristy exploration. We began at the square of Kongens Nytorv and headed north. We veered right to Amalienborg which is a wide octagonal courtyard where apparently the Danish royal family lives in winter. Queen Margaret was born on April 16, and was due to make a public appearance on her birthday, but unfortunately that would have been too late for us. Evil Catullus remarked that it was a pity she hadn't come out earlier. By "come out" I assume he meant "been born". There were one or two smart guards with bearskin hats and black uniforms around the place, patrolling rather than standing perfectly still like Queen's Guard in London, though they had very distinctive tall narrow pointy-roofed red hexagonal houses to stand in, with just enough width for a man to stand upright. I saw these in several other places around Copenhagen (without guards nearby) so I'm given to wonder if there isn't something more significant there. Continuing in the same direction we reached the small garden of Amaliehavn and then the waterfront, with its spectacular view of the Copenhagen_Opera_House and quite a lot of what DTal and I deemed to be quite amazingly clean water.

We headed back in the opposite direction to visit Frederik's Church. The decoration inside of Frederik's Church is pleasantly understated by comparison with other churches and cathedrals I've seen in the past. There was a very minimal quantity of "bling" and instead a large amount of very modern grey stonework and natural lighting.

We continued to head north past various pieces of interesting and pretty architecture. The thing about the architecture in Copenhagen is not just that it's all good to look at; it's also spaced apart nicely. There is no clashing, competing jumble of styles; each has its own space on the road. I like that. We passed a statue to the Danish soldiers of World War II and entered Kastellet ("The Citadel") which is a fortified star-shaped island. I had interpreted the name to mean "Castle" so I was not expecting to find nothing more than barracks and wide open grassy spaces. Kastellet has a very large perimeter for its area (very unlike a circle, which is the most efficient such arrangement) so it occurred to me that finding enough men to defend the whole perimeter would have been difficult. On the other hand, the artificial hills (fortifications, I suppose) and moat probably counterbalance that.

We looped back around to the west, passing rows and rows of mass-produced housing intended for dock workers. (The dock in question no longer actually stands on the waterfront we had just visited.) These houses were very small and close together but, like everywhere in Copenhagen, the streets separating them were very wide, giving no impression of crowding. The houses were also painted bright orange-yellow with red details, rather resembling something you'd see in a Disney movie. We passed one more church, had some difficulty locating somewhere to eat, since the place Dimview had been headed for was now under the management of a different person, very smoky and no longer served food, and eventually wound up at a restaurant called Amadeus. I'm mildly boastful of the fact that I elected to have the Amadeus Burger before everybody else did. That is to say, Dimview, DTal, Wntrmute, sloebertje and Evil Catullus all chose to have the same burger, but it was my idea first. The Amadeus Burger can be fairly described as the Ultimate Burger. Half a pound of meat was purely secondary to the gigantic quantity of bun, crisp salad and sauce provided alongside it. Only DTal managed to clear his plate. Cash well spent.

We returned to Kongens Nytorv where Dimview and sloebertje disappeared off to parts unknown to do girly shopping while Evil Catullus, DTal, Wntrmute tried and failed to purchase ice cream from a nearby stand. When we got home we were forced to move the Beerometer to a second, longer wall, having run out of room on the first one. Dimview demonstrated her ability to interlock all her toes and her much more significant other ability to open a bottle of beer with a pair of gripping pliers. (I tried to duplicate the feat, and ended up with a blister on my finger.) We opened and then sank the entire bottle of vodka. This was a mistake on my part, it must be said. I dimly remember being put to bed that night, and waking up at 5:30am still in my clothes, something which I have never done before.