According to most Danes, Hans Christian Andersen, the 19th century author of classic stories like The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes, and The Little Mermaid, is the most renowned historical Danish figure. In Copenhagen, you can't go far without a HC Andersen reference. A Hans Christian Andersen gift shop (equipped with animatronic characters) here. The walk-through-his-life-story Wonderful World of HC Andersen there. And a larger than life statue of the man pitched right next to Copenhagen's City Hall. All the tributes to this tale-teller appear fitting now as they seem comparable to my feelings of wonder for this city.
Imperative to my waning days here was the inclusion of all that I found wondrous about being here. A train ride through the now autumnal countryside to the island of Funen. A stroll through regal Christiansborg castle. A bike ride over the meandering canals of Christianshavn and in the busy signal-heavy inner city lanes. Absorbing the sidewalk cafe chatter. Being warmed by the toasty glow of candlelit steps of shops on cobblestone Strædet. Nestling into a worn leather chair with a latte for a few hours at the Living Room. And even finding some new cafés to add to my list of favorites.
Amidst the wonder-ful to-do list was revisiting Tivoli. A truly magical gem of an amusement park right smack in the middle of the city. Opened in 1843, and as the second oldest theme park in the world, Tivoli strikes a remarkable old-world charm meets modern technology balance through its grounds, rides, and size. There is something for everyone. Watching the Star Flyer, a crazy, too-high-to-be-U.S.-legal swinger slowly rise and tower above the city would garner a chuckle from me every time I'd look up when pulling in to the train station across the street. And with its current celebration of Fall and Halloween designed into every nook and cranny of the park, you could carelessly wander, with a Danish beer in hand, around cultural eateries and seasonal booths without feeling a need to go on a single thrill ride. It is a special place.
A microcosm of the city that surrounds it actually. That wondrous blend of cosmopolitan and cobblestones that perhaps inspired HC Andersen too. Copenhagen definitely has my heart. And my gratitude for all the stories that I am able to tell.
Mange tak to you all for joining me and being a part of this Scandinavian journey.
Double decker bike parking in the city center
My favorite daily stroll down Straedet
Doorstep candlelight to welcome guests at night
Getting lost in the cozy downstairs of The Living Room cafe
Nyhavn, my home sweet Copenhagen home