Monday, 10 November 2014

Copenhagen - Stroget and Tivoli Gardens

The Royal Guard and Military Band
Copenhagen's Stroget is, at 1.1k, said to be the longest pedestrianized shopping street in the world.  With its eclectic mix of shops, from high end fashion to ubiquitous chain stores to cheap souvenir and $2 shops, there is something for everyone and it is a joy to stroll its length unbothered by traffic. We planned to just window shop, however, couldn't resist spending some time in the Royal Copenhagen china shop, drooling over the beautiful, delicate pieces on display.  In the end my daughter-in-law succumbed and bought some pretty little bowls. They will hold great memories. Lingering  at Royal Copenhagen was fortuitous because just as we left the shop the Royal Danish Guard came marching by on their way to the Royal Palace.  My small grandson was beside himself with delight at the sight of the soldiers resplendent in their blue and navy uniforms carrying their rifles and marching to their band.

My morning tea
Other notable shops on Stroget include Georg Jensen, the spectacular Danish silversmith, Illums Bolighus for Danish design pieces and Lego, Denmark's famous toy company's flagship store. If you are affluent, or at least want to see where the affluent shop, Birger Christensen is very high end and the only stockist of Chanel in Denmark.  And, of course, there are Louis Vuitton, Armani etc.,  Down at the Kongens Nytorv end is Tiger.  Laid out over several floors this is the Danish equivalent of a $2 shop but with incredibly good products of Danish design.  We spent a long time in there and bought up large.  Tiger is fantastic value, I highly recommend a visit.   Morning tea was at the famous Lagkagehoust bakery with its vast selection of mouth watering cakes and pastries...what can I say?...just yum!

Fresh fish Smorrebrod for dinner

Later in the day we enjoyed a truly Danish fish smorrebrod (open sandwich), washed down with Danish beer, aboard a boat moored on the canal.  The fresh fish had been caught that day and it was delicious.

Pierrot and Columbine at the Oriental Theatre, Tivoli
Our evening's entertainment was to go to the Tivoli Gardens.  You cannot go to Copenhagen without a trip to Tivoli.  Opened in 1843 Tivoli is a wonderful mix of theme park, beautiful gardens, restaurants and, at night, superb lighting.  Many people go to Tivoli to dine and people watch from the many attractive restaurants ranged around a central lake complete with pirate ship and, of course, the rides are a magnet for the young. 

My grandson enjoys one of the original rides

Tivoli has retained some of its original rides and has kept old traditions alive. One of these is the regular performance of the ballet Pierrot and Columbine on the stage of the Oriental Theatre.  We arrived just as it was starting which entranced my grandson. For me the best part of our visit to Tivoli was watching his delight, enjoying the gardens and watching Tivoli's magical transformation as the lights came on around the park.

Tivoli comes to life when the lights go on

  Tivoli is a fun place, a perfect place for a family outing, it is beautifully maintained with glorious gardens and offers something for everyone.  Our visit to Tivoli was the perfect way to end our stay in Copenhagen. 

The lake at Tivoli