Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Denmark, Sweden, Tivoli

I've had a big day. Here are the highlights and photos. Detailed update to come.
  • Walked around Copenhagen - saw Amalienborg Palace where guards were changing (changing guards, not clothes)
  • Explored Frederick's Church. Amanda had always walked by but never in...turned out to be great in there and inspired by St Peter's Basilica
  • Went to Nyhavn, saw colorful houses
  • Went to Malmö Sweden for lunch at a women's cooperative (Yalla Trappan) in an Arabic neighborhood. Had delicious Thai noodle salad.
  • Took a walk after lunch and saw street art
  • Went to Amanda's University. She had a meeting with her Thesis team, I used their Internet and booked a hotel in Hamburg Germany for tomorrow night.
  • Back in Copenhagen, we went to the Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the WORLD, and rode the third oldest still active roller coaster in the world. It is over 100 years old. p.s. It was AWESOME, not at all bumpy and a longish ride.

I forgot to mention that Amanda introduced me to an App called Pocket Earth. It costs something like $4 and lets you download maps from any area in any country and use them offline. It locates where you are via the GPS capabilities on your phone and with the help of the maps and some 'favorites' you pre-save, it should help you get where you want to go. I am still directionally challenged and haven't played with the app too much yet, but it also has another GREAT feature which is easy and fun to use. When you're standing in front of a landmark (church, fountain, bridge - for example), you can pull up the app, locate yourself and there will be (for most things) a Wikipedia blurb about that landmark. Have you ever been wandering around a city, find a really cool thing but didn't know what it was. Well, now you can! (I am in no way affiliated with the people at Pocket Earth and am not earning money off their downloads...I just think it's cool).

So, we started the day by taking the local bus to Nyhavn, where there are rows of colorful houses you often see when looking up anything about Copenhagen.
This is my not-squinting smile - also, this is the cardigan I bought in Rome. 
Nyhavn, photo taken by a Japanese tourist after Amanda spoke with him in Japanese....she's so talented
On the way there, we walked through Amalienborg Palace square and saw the changing of the guards.

And at some point we stopped in "The Marble Church" aka Frederick's church. It was gorgeous inside and out.

Then we took the train to Malmö Sweeden, where Amanda has been attending a Master's program. She had a meeting scheduled and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see another country, so I came with her. First things first, we had lunch at a women's cooperative (Yalla Trappan) in an Arabic neighborhood. The Wednesday menu listed a delicious Thai noodle salad. It was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. And after all the pizza and pasta I'd eaten in Italy, I needed the veggies that were draped all over the noodles. It was seriously good. 

On the way to a bus, I saw a statue, on the sidewalk, of a woman looking up. So, naturally, I looked up to see what the statue was looking at and it was another statue. A boy hoisted up a flagpole. 

Malmö Street Art
We went to Amanda's university, she had her meeting and afterwards we head back to Copenhagen.

We went to the University Library
This beautiful thing was hanging at the train station in Sweden
(not even CENTRAL station, just a regular old station)
One of the oldest buildings in Sweden. It dates back to the 1600's (probably)

I decided not to wrap the day up just yet, but rather to go to Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest Amusement park in the world. The first being 20 minutes away. And even better, to ride the third oldest still active roller coaster in the world.

What I saw inside Tivoli was surprising. 

Tivoli is in the middle of the city. I passed it yesterday when walking from the National Museum to City Hall. The place is HUGE inside. There are rides and shops and more restaurants than I could count. Like proper restaurants, not just the corn dog stands you might see at Great America.  It's like a small version of Disneyland, with different areas. The rides are interesting too. I mean, you have the swing ride that's like spinning chains of doom with chairs on the ends. There are drop rides. But then there are rides that spin and turn in every direction all at once. And they go SO FAST that you don't even hear screaming because the G Forces make it impossible (this is a guess, they might also not be screaming because they are Danish...I'm not sure). Then there are flowers and lakes and peacocks (and poor peahens who are tired of being courted by the peacocks).

The third oldest Roller Coaster in the world. No pipe smoking please.
Also, the driver is on every ride and runs the breaks.

This ride goes up and down  and you can get some serious air! Around the bends centrifugal force throws you into your friend hard. There are parts of the ride where you go into tunnels that are darker than Space Mountain. It was GREAT.

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