Day 35: Second rest day in Copenhagen

Slept better last night although I was woken by a delivery truck about 5am but managed to get back to sleep until about 7am.

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View from our room

Once again beautiful weather and a great breakfast. After breakfast we were off sight-seeing again.

First off we walked to the Church of our Saviour. We had been told it gets really busy so wanted to get there early. No matter where you are in Copenhagen you can see the spiral staircase up into the sky.

The Church of our Saviour appears in a chapter of the novel by Jules Verne’s “A journey to the centre of the earth”. The character Axel is made by his Uncle to spend 5 consecutive days climbing up and down the spiral to cure him of acrophobia before his descent into the volcano. I can understand as climbing up the stairs didn’t worry me at all, but I wasn’t too happy once we got to the spiral staircase out side, the steps are narrow and you only have a waist high narrow fence.

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Stair case on the way up

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Coming back down the spire stairway

Great views and interesting seeing the church bells from inside.

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View from Our Saviours Church spire looking towards Hotel Strand.

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One of the larger bells in the spire

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Smaller bells

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The spire dome

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Inside the spire

Just past the church is Freetown Christiania which has been under self government since 1971. Freetown Christiania is an international community and commune set over 84 acres (34 hectares) with 850 to 1000 residents.

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Christiana has been a source of controversy since it opened and was briefly closed by the government in 2004 but soon reopened. Squatters took over the former Amy military barracks after the military moved out. As the abandoned area was only watched by a couple of watchmen, homeless and squatters moved in. In addition people from the neighboring areas started taking the fences down so their children could play in the ground.

It was very interesting walking around, there were art and craft stalls, vegetarian café, and other coffee shops.

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There was a strong smell of marijuana. When we first walked through we didn’t see any, but after we had walked around a bit on our way out we went through Green Square. In my naivety I thought green square on the map would relate to recycling but actually it is where marijuana leaves, single packets, and hash powder is sold. Quite openly there were about 7 tables set up with a good flow of customers.

I had a photo taken of me at a mock table with a hoodie and mock supplies in front of me.

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The police are aware this happens but are turning a blind eye so long as it stays in Christiania. There is a big sign on the way out alerting you that you are now re entering the EU. Not surprising there are no photos allowed in green square apart from the mock table.

We left Christiana about 15 minutes before the church bells were going to ring so we stopped at an ice cream shop and had an ice cream each, sitting in the chairs out front. I had heard the liquorice ice cream was really good so I had a scoop of that and a scoop of blood orange. I enjoyed both but the blood orange was my favourite.

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Wire strung street lights in Copenhagen

We walked back to the hotel and then walked along the canal down to where the Little Mermaid is, so we could get a picture of the front as well as the photo from the back we took on the cruise yesterday. On the way there we went past a swan and five signets pruning themselves in the sun. As we got closer on the path the mother fanned out her wings and hissed at us to warn us not to come any closer.

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The Little Mermaid was surrounded by hordes of tourists all jostling to get a photo but after a few minutes we managed to get a clear shot of her without other tourists in it.

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While we were there, 3 hop on hop cruises arrived (which we should probably have got yesterday, ours was no stops) plus about 4 hop on hop off buses, all disgorging a steady stream of tourists heading towards the Little Mermaid. The Lonely Planet says a lot of tourists are disappointed as they are expecting a statue on the scale of the Statue of Liberty, not a statue smaller in size than the average person.

We walked back to the Cafe Toldpoden on the wharf, and had fish, chips and salad and a cold beer for lunch. We stopped and took a photo of a statue of a man made entirely of recycled parts.

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The sun was very hot today especially as there was no wind. I managed to get sunburnt as forgot to put any sunscreen on my neck, I look a bit like a turkey.

Once again there are numerous people out enjoying the sun, sunbathing and swimming all along the canals. Along the Nyhavn canal area there were a lot of very expensive looking boats and yachts lining the canal.

We walked back to the hotel and sorted out the bags for tomorrow, then it was time to meet Arnar for dinner. Arnar locumed in Wellington for 9 months last year and said to be sure to look him up when I was in Copenhagen. We went to the Restaurant Galionen, 5 minutes away from the hotel in the Nyhavn. It was a lovely restaurant. Arnar had booked so we had a great table inside, right by the window looking onto to the canal outside.

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Restaurant Galionen in the middle

I had fish soup and the Salmon which was lovely. We all had cheese to finish which was delicious, so lovely and soft. Was great to catch up with Arnar and ask him some questions about Denmark. Arnar was very interested in the miniature railway in Hamberg as it is only 3 hours drive away and he is going to take his two daughters there.IMG_5928

Lovely stroll back to the hotel, still daylight and warm at 11 pm at night. IMG_5929

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