AWAY TRIP REVIEW: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, NOVEMBER 2017
This visit to Copenhagen was unfortunately timed. Not just because of the weather, but also due to much of the city centre being walled off with construction work on the metro extension that has run years behind schedule. But otherwise the pedestrianised streets – the first in the world – were spotlessly clean (save the sticky pavements outside The Dubliner pub) and the public transport worked efficiently.
The picturesque Nyhavn harbour district is a must. The Little Mermaid Statute is a must avoid. Christiania Freetown is worth a stroll, photography ban notwithstanding. Also worth a look is Hans Christian Andersen’s old room in what is now the Copenhagen equivalent of Selfridges. Just ask nicely and the shop staff will lead you through the backrooms on the third floor to Andersen’s rustic old gaff.
That Carlsberg advert claims that Danes are the happiest people on earth. Probably not true, but Københavnere certainly are a chilled, contented lot. Nowhere did you see an angry local. Spoke better English than most visiting supporters too.
The choice of local cuisine wasn’t great if you weren’t into cold fish on rye bread. There were some fine dining options, but all at eye-watering prices. We resorted to the usual litany of fast food chains, which were also the only places you could get a bite to eat after midnight.
You all know Carlsberg and Tuborg (their dark Christmas beer was something of an acquired taste). Prices averaged about £7.00 a pint which, you would think, should have curtailed the heavy drinking that has become one of the characteristics of an Ireland away trip. Not a bit of it. Especially when Carlsberg provided free passes for their brewery tour to all Irish passport holders, and the tour ended with free tokens with which you could redeem for Carlsbergs in town.
Telia Parken Stadium is real British style football ground with four stands close to the pitch, not like the generic concrete bowls that are modern stadia. However it is badly served by public transport, with just one bus and one tram going anywhere near it. Most fans, Danish and Irish, simply had to walk there. No match programmes on sale either.
The Danish royal family are an interesting bunch; one prince got tattoos done down a Nyhavn parlour. Another prince married an Aussie estate agent the met at the Sydney Olympics. And the queen actually works (as an illustrator of children’s books). Something certain other royal families would do well to follow.