Copenhagen: 25th – 27th September

The train trip was very very easy and relaxing – I saw lots of gorgeous countryside, but the train-window was very dirty and it was a high-speed train, so I didn’t take any pics. My hotel was about five minutes walk from the station and had a shower which was actually in the same place as the bed and wasn’t communal (YES!)

I had a very nice dinner at Lê Lê Nhà Hàng, a Vietnamese restaurant just down the road from my hotel in Vesterbro (what is it with all the Vietnamese food you ask? Not sure, maybe it was in anticipation of the wall-to-wall pizza and pasta awaiting me in Italy).

The next morning I had a leisurely start and wandered along a canal which had a beautiful green walkway beside it:

and of course there were swans so I stopped to watch for a bit

Then I ventured into über-trendy Nørrebro to have a look around, managing to navigate my way through the masses of bicycles everywhere. I stumbled across the enormous Assistens Kirkegård cemetery – which is more like a giant park than a graveyard – and is the final resting place of lots of famous danes including Hans Christian Andersen and Niels Bohr.

It was a lovely place for a bit of a wander about with lots of cool creatures – including this adorable red squirrel:

Though I did try, I couldn’t find Niels Bohr, but I did find Hans Christian Andersen:

Is it a little weird that I could have hung out in this graveyard all day?

After Assistens Kirkegård I popped a few streets over to the famous Laundromat Café which is a café AND a laundromat. You can in fact do laundry there. I didn’t get any pictures, but I had to google one, ‘cause the bar was made of books:

(oh yeah and fyi, the squeezy-bottles next to the tomato sauce – not vinegar as I thought, but honey. Yeah, that wasn’t pleasant. Apparently it’s just the english who do the vinegar thing on their chips)

After that I did some more wandering along canals and gazed enviously at all the carefree-looking people on their bikes.

I piked out and had dinner at the hotel.

The next morning I started out nice and early and – this is true I promise I’m not lying – hired a bike for the day! Now you may say that hiring a bike to cycle in a busy city when you haven’t ridden a bike since you were 12 would be a bad idea. But I’m not dead, so it worked out fine.

I actually had a blast (despite the pain the next day and the gigantic bruise on my calf which I still have 10 days later), it was so easy to get around with Copenhagen’s never-ending, sacrosanct bike-lanes.

After a shaky start in which I nearly careened into an old man who yelled at me in Danish I did fine – I found a bit of canal to cycle beside:

See! Photographic proof!

I didn’t fall in!

I had a brief juice and coffee stop at Granola Bar (SUCH amazing juice) I cycled to the Statens Museum for Kunst, otherwise known as the National Gallery of Denmark:

After a slightly-too-intense lunch of herring with paprika, mustardseed and red onion (I know right? Just pick one sharp taste would you!) at the museum restaurant, I dove straight into the exhibition of French art 1900-1940:

(Georges Roualt: The Judges, 1908)

(Amedeo Modigliani: Alice, c.1918)

Which, by the way, has the most Matisse paintings I’ve ever seen in one place. Which made me so happy (I love Matisse).

(Henri Matisse: Nude in a White Scarf, 1909)

(Henri Matisse: Portrait of Madame Matisse. The Green Line, 1905)

(Henri Matisse: Recumbent Woman With Her Arms Raised Above Her Head, 1936)

(Henri Matisse: The Green Blouse, 1936)

(Raoul Dufy: A Landscape near Vence in Provence, 1920-1921)

(André Derain: Still Life With Palette, 1914)

(André Derain: The Two Sisters, 1914)

(Henri Laurens: Woman with a Fan, 1921)

(Fernand Léger: Woman with a Vase, 1924)

Next was an exhibition of Danish and Scandinavian art which was overwhelmingly extensive.

(Vigilius Eriksen: The Queen Dowager Juliane Marie, 1776)

I like to think this fabulous lady is saying ‘oh yes young man, come with me to my chambers’ or ‘you better believe I can beat you at popping and locking’

(Nicolai Abildgaard: Christian I Raising the Province of Holstein to the State of a Duchy, 1778)

(Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein Stub: Ossian and Alpin’s Son Hearing the Spirit of Malvina Touching the Harp, 1816)

(Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg: The Nathanson Family, 1818)

(Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg: The Israelites Resting after the Crossing of the Red Sea, 815)

Or, as I think it should be called, The Women Look Exasperated as the Men Argue About Which Way the Holy Land Is.

(Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg: Pont Royal seen from Quai Voltaire, 1812)

(Christen Købke: Portrait of the Artist’s Sister, 1835)

I love this picture, it just feels like a very accurate painting – the shine on her nose and the pigmentation in her face. Gorgeous.

(Johan Christian Dahl: Winter Landscape near Vordinborg, Denmark, 1829)

(Frederik Sødring: The Ruins of Brahehus near Jönköping, Sweden, 1832).

(Herman Wilhelm Bissen: A Victorious Danish Soldier, 1850-1851)

(Ejnar Nielsen: A Blind Girl Reading, 1905).

(Ditlev Blunck: Manhood. From the series: The Four Ages of Man, 1840-45)

Or, as I like to call it: Are We There Yet Dad? I Need a Bathroom Break. For the Love of Mike, Steve Would You Just Let Me Look at a Map? I Wanna Row. Would You All Quit Nagging Me Please?

(Vilhelm Bissen: A Lady, 1891)

These sculptures always make me wonder what it’s like to sculpt someone’s butt, or their boobs or whatever. Wouldn’t you feel weird? These are the things that come into my brain.

(Jan Verkade: Self-portrait, c1891-94)

Or, as I like to call it, The First Hipster.

The gallery had a whole room devoted to female painters and non-typical representations of gender, with this notice on the wall:

How awesome is that?

After taking in the art, I cycled home before collapsing in an aching heap for a while.

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