In Christianshavn

Dear Readers, for our last day in Copenhagen we decided to explore the region of Christiansholm, just across the Inner Harbour from the hustle and bustle of the main sights. I love to just walk and ‘hang out’ in an area, and as today was more or less dry it seemed like a good opportunity to see what the city looks like from the other side of the tracks.

Well, looking back gives you a fine view of BLOX, which is where the Danish Architecture Centre is (we were there on Monday).

Blox and the Danish Archtitecture Centre

Then there’s the Black Diamond, which houses the National Library of Denmark.

I rather like that you can see people stomping across the bridge in the middle section of the library.

Then there is the bridge that was designed by Olafur Eliasson – you might remember the artist from his installation at the Tate Modern Turbine Hall a few years back, with its great gold sun. This is a little more subtle, and is known as The Circle Bridge.

I am delighted to see some hooded crows (Corvus cornix), a bird that I associate with Northern climes of all kinds. They instantly remind me of my time in Dundee . I thought that they were simply a subspecies of the ordinary carrion crow (Corvus corone) but it seems that I am out of date and that the hoodie (as we used to call it) is now granted species status in its own right.

Here in Copenhagen they are generally seen alongside jackdaws, another of my favourite corvids. There are plenty of magpies about too, but not as many pigeons as you might expect.

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

There is lots of new building…

but lots of old buildings too. I think of terracotta and mustard as being *the* colours of Copenhagen (along with grey, at least this week).

And this is the spire of the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of Our Saviour). In a city of spires, this is surely the most daunting. Not only does it have that spiral staircase around the outside (even looking at it from the ground gives me vertigo) but it has the largest carillion of bells in Northern Europe, consisting of 48 bronze bells that cover a range of four octaves. We heard it ring at midday and it was certainly very impressive.

But then it was lunchtime, and we found a lovely café close to the second, quieter canal. I had a smoked salmon smørrebrød and very delicious it was too, so delicious in fact that I almost forgot to take a photo. So here it is with a single bite taken out of it.

On we go, suitably refreshed, past some lovely social housing on the canal side where the marigolds have self-seeded along the path.

And then there is a small garden full of pollinator-friendly plants, and some more flats with gardens overlooking the canal which I think were the equivalent of sheltered housing.

In the distance is the power plant, which uses waste that can’t be recycled as an energy source. Denmark doesn’t have enough of this kind of waste so it imports some from Sweden. The site itself has a ski-slope, recreational hiking trail and the world’s highest climbing wall, at 85 metres. Very inspiring!

Now, around the corner from all this is the Free Town of Christiania, an area of small wooden structures that are enhanced with recycled materials, a huge warehouse/exhibition space with a motorbike and sidecar hanging out of the wall, various cafés and bars, and an all-pervasive scent of cannabis – whilst it’s illegal in Denmark it seems to be tolerated within Christiania itself and in the streets roundabout, where I swear I almost got high just from breathing in.

Because of the drug use there’s an air of edginess to some parts of the town that made me reluctant to get the camera out. If someone is doing something a wee bit dodgy they’re unlikely to relish getting caught on camera. And so I’m grateful to my husband/sidekick/lovely assistant for getting this photo.

And then it’s back to the Metro, to work out how the system works. By the time you read this we will hopefully be back in East Finchley with a huge bag of dirty laundry and a lot of memories. Tomorrow I’ll put together a note on some recommendations re accommodation and food in this very expensive town. Suffice it to say that I feel as if I’ve only just scratched the surface.

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