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|The Modern Marvels of a European Classic - Copenhagen|
Being newfound retirees, my wife Laurie and I decided to embark on our dream vacation: a Baltic cruise. We realized we could stretch out our trip as long as we desired and wanted to avoid any travel hassles getting to the ship, so we decided to spend a few days where our cruise began, Copenhagen, Denmark. It turned out to be the perfect way to kick off our celebratory trip, for Copenhagen is a diverse and dynamic city, a uniquely beautiful modern marvel.
On our first day we took advantage of one of Copenhagen’s most unique amenities: city bicycles, available for 20-kroners (about $3.50) at one of 110 bike-parking stations. A bicycle tour turned out to be the perfect way to explore this city’s most famous landmarks including the Little Mermaid statue, a monument to writer Hans Christian Andersen, one of Copenhagen’s most prominent figures; the Tivoli Gardens, a vast complex of restaurants, theatres and an amusement park that is Copenhagen’s most popular attraction; and the Stroget, Copenhagen’s pedestrian-only shopping street offering everything from trinket shops to Denmark’s exclusive department store, Magasin, where Laurie was in her element.
Architectural marvels are all around you in this city, mixing in beautiful harmony with the elegance of the classics. The Copenhagen Opera House strikes an imposing glass and concrete silhouette across the water from the i8th century Amalienborg Palace. Architect Arne Jacobsen, creator of the “Danish modern” aesthetic, has two masterpieces in Copenhagen: the Danmarks Nationalbank and the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, with exteriors of clean lines and interiors of swooping furniture and sweeping staircases. Denmark’s most famous architect, Jorn Utzon (who designed the Sydney Opera House) designed the Paustian Furniture Store which is grand with its criss-crossing columns and vaulted ceilings. It’s easy to forget you’re in a furniture store and not a museum! On the waterfront is the Royal Library’s Black Diamond, a trapezoidal glass building that beautifully reflects the water below. And spanning across the deep blue Oresund Strait is Oresund Bridge, Europe’s longest at 25,732 feet, which joins the metropolitan areas of Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden.
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