Coasting into our Capital Cities of the Baltic cruise, my Mum, Aunt, Cousin and I docked at Copenhagen on 13 July 2019.
Unlucky for some!
No sooner had we joined the Red Sightseeing Bus than it inexplicably and prematurely stopped in the city centre, to offload all passengers. After some mapping and muttering, we decided to divide and conquer our six hours in the city. My Aunt and Cousin opted for historical site seeing and Mum and I made for the galleries.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Heading across the road, we reached the highly recommended Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Showcasing the art collection of Carlsberg Breweries’ Carl Jacobsen, it was a refreshing mix of national and international taste.
Admiring its marble steps, high ceilings and gorgeous glass solarium, we explored the gallery’s Ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Etruscan, Danish and French art.
French art of the 19th Century was the highlight of the stop, with superstars such as Van Gogh, Monet and Degas, all within footsteps of each other.
An entire room was dedicated to the painting, sketches and sculpture of Edgar Degas, which focused on racehorses and ballet dancers. A bronze cast of the Little Dancer Aged Fourteen took centre stage; with notes explaining the original was made of wax, textiles and human hair, causing then audiences to label it ‘repulsive’.
Less controversial was the Danish art, with pastoral scenes from scriptures, legends and fishing villages. Here bright colours brought life to the canvases of Danish Golden Age artists such as Abildgaard, Eckersberg and Købke.
The National Museum in Copenhagen
Moving from Danish Golden Age to Danish gold, Mum and I were bedazzled by Viking jewellery and artifacts in The National Museum. Featuring one of Denmark’s largest collections of antique gold and silver, its highlights included the Tissø ring and the Fæsted hoard.
The Meet the Vikings exhibition signs told how designer Jim Lyngvild worked with museum experts to depict lifelike Viking statues that epitomised the housewife, warrior, berserker, völva and peasant, complete with authentic tattoos and togs.
Switching from ancient to recent history, we entered The Children’s Museum part of The National. Here we found toys through time, including Lego, mechanical structures and a stunning collection of antique dolls’ houses. With dimmed back lighting and illuminated interiors, we admired a world of magic miniature mansions.
Childish delights continued as we headed over to Tivoli Gardens, to discover the 19 Century legacy park that inspired Walt Disney. With wooden roller coasters, modern rides, manicured gardens, water features, and an Youth Guard (of parading children) there was plenty to see.
Soaking up the ambience, we enjoyed a pint in one of its alfresco cafes, relaying our adventures to my Aunt and Cousin. Refreshed, but with ship curfew calling we choose to try just one ride, the Star Flyer.
Climbing 80 metres high, the Star Flyer swing-carousel provided a visceral view of Copenhagen, perfect for people watching! My Cousin who was scared of heights was not so thrilled, however even she enjoyed the view once coaxed.
Hot-footing it back to port, we stopped only twice to admire statues. The first was at Copenhagen City Hall Square, where we dodged tourists to pap the statue of author Hans Christian Andersen, by Henry Luckow-Nielsen.
The second stop featured similar jostling as we snapped The Little Mermaid bronze by Edvard Eriksen, at the Langelinie promenade.
Back on board we listed top tips for visiting Copenhagen again: arrive early to beat tourist congestion, be prepared to check bags into lockers at museums, also to pay at museums, to utilise concession discounts, and to never trust a Red Sightseeing Bus!