Posted by: jeannineatkins | January 14, 2016

Copenhagen Sights

Last night my daughter and I got back from a few days in Copenhagen, admiring the canals and bright houses, visiting palaces and winter gardens, eating great food, and ever alert for signs of Hans Christian Andersen or mermaids, tin soldiers, little match girls, the emperor with new clothes, red shoes, and wild swans.


We took the train to Helsingør one day to walk around Kronberg Castle, built right by the sea in 1420, which is said to have inspired Shakespeare as his setting for Hamlet. We admired the Great Hall, the biggest in northern Europe, and survived ducking through winding underground halls and dungeons.


We warmed up from the sea winds at a lovely nearby library. This little boy could dip into boxes of books with various royal or medieval themes, while looking out to the water.


Reminders of Hans Christian Andersen, who lived and wrote around the city. abound. He was reported to have stayed at our hotel. When I asked if his rooms were known, a woman at the desk said she didn’t really know that he stayed there, then was quickly interrupted by another who asserted that he certainly did though his room wasn’t known. She said they dedicated a suite on the second floor, as it was unlikely that he would have slept higher, because of fear of getting trapped by a fire. We read that he traveled with a rope in his trunk for quick escapes.


The several statues Emily and I saw were of him alone, as he rejected the idea of being shown surrounded by children, as he did not like to be touched and thought of his stories as being as much for adults as for children: he is right there.


In the oldest part of the city, or Latin Quarter, we climbed the Round Tower, a 17th observatory, the oldest remaining in Europe. In 1716 Tsar Peter of Russia rode his horse up the ramp, and it remains a working observatory with a telescope. Hans Christian Andersen wrote in the library halfway up, where visitors can now get coffee and view art, with an emphasis on children’s book illustration.


Slips of stories are everywhere.




  1. Fascinating, Jeannine! Wonderful photos. I love the idea of boxes of books on various themes – great for kids to dig into.

    • There was a lot of activity at that library where books for small ones were placed low and diggable, and lots of comfy nooks for those who were taller. xo

  2. Thanks for sharing about your trip! You two have the best adventures together. Interesting that Hans didn’t like to be touched . . .

    • A genius with quirks, and sadly, as some who grow up feeling an ugly duckling never was quite able to see the swan he became and others saw.

  3. I loved this little travelogue this morning. Jama is right, you and Emily take the most wonderful trips together!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed traveling along in this way, Tara. I hope you are feeling better.

  4. Lovely! Please thank your daughter for tagging you in her FB travel posts–love seeing the pics!

    • She not only keeps me from getting lost or stepping into bicycles (a lot buzzing by even in the snow) but takes great pictures, so I can focus on my steps and elbows and only rarely take out my camera. I’ll thank her!

  5. Lovely photos. I was there for three days in 1970 and went to Kronberg Castle, but missed most of the other things you saw (partly because I had a cold and stayed in bed for a day). I did visit Tivoli Gardens and apparently just missed seeing Victor Borge.

    • Oh, that’s hard to get sick on a vacation, but it happens. Tivoli Gardens was closed up for the winter, and we were sorry to miss that. Peered over the fence…

  6. A trip with your daughter… what a gift! Interesting that HCA didn’t want to be represented surrounded by children. Huh. xo

    • Yes, a great gift. Andersen falls into those writers who children love, but it’s not exactly recipricated. But he felt he never got enough love and acclaim for adults, and turned bitter. Not a fairy tale.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: