Monday, April 28, 2008

Copenhagen: Just 'One'derful

"Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen" sings Danny Kaye in the titular role of the fictionalized musical biography Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark's famed 18th century storyteller. Yet while my first 28 hours or so in town have been quite pleasurable, it seems that the singular "Wonderful" of the song's title is sufficient. Although I can't fully judge, as Monday found all the Museums and Castles/Palaces closed, I believe the duality of the refrain may be a bit over effusive.

Like all European capitals, Copenhagen is both beautiful and historic, with random buildings dating back to the 17th century. Compared to most American cities, the architecture/coloration is quite dazzling and overall vibe quite distinctive. Despite forecasts of rain before I arrived, both Sunday night and today have been sunny and beautiful and I have greatly enjoyed walking all around taking pictures of the sights. I have taken tons on pictures and many should look quite impressive. But compared to other European places I have visited in the past -- London, Paris, Ireland, Spain, Amsterdam, Prague -- Copenhagen isn't quite as dazzling. Just not as many mouth-agape things to see.

First of all, about 80% of the prime "postcard pictures" are towers and spires of some sort -- and there are lots of them (and even a few more under scaffolding). This place is more phallic than a Dali Museum. And today, I probably walked 3 miles to reach the city's most famous landmark, The Little Mermaid statue. Now, I like HC Andersen plenty and appreciate the Blarney Stone-esque appeal of the quaint little statue (heck, I schlepped the 3 miles didn't I), but if the statue itself were in Lincoln Park, I'd likely walk right by without a second glance (let alone about 100 photographs).

Even Tivoli, the famed amusement park, though historically quaint, distinctively Danish and worth wandering through -- no, I didn't go on any rides -- was basically Coney Island (today) with a bit of European panache.

I know it probably sounds like I'm whining, but I'm really just critiquing. Being here is far better than almost anything else I could be doing and I am enjoying myself. And I was looking more forward to Stockholm and St. Petersburg from the get-go, so I can't even say I'm disappointed with Copenhagen. It's wonderful, just not necessarily doubly so.

1 comment:

WendySchmidt said...

Sounds like a blast! Cannot wait to see 100 photos of the Little Mermaid statue. Also, really love the way you were able to work both "titular" and "phallic" into one blog post! (Funny line about the spires, btw.)