August 19, 2007

Scandinavian Pictures - Day 3 (August 16)

Third day in Copenhagen...

August 16 - Since I missed the changing of the guard at Amalienborg the previous day, I decided to head there first and then spend the rest of the day at the Glyptotek and the National Museum. Amalienborg is the currect residence of the Queen of Denmark and her husband, and it was finished in the 1750s. As usual, I completely overestimated the time it would take to get there before the changing at noon and ended up wandering around a lot after my breakfast of grande caffe latte, which is the Danish version of a cappuccino (although they do sell cappuccinos) served in a giant glass, the kind you would get Coke in if you were in the US. I got addicted to those lattes very quickly and had probably two a day because it was a good way to get out of the rain and cold. Anyway, I sat in the garden (Amaliehaven) for a while and took some pictures of the weird metal sculpture, wandered over to the art museum to take a photo of the fake David and the shore to take a shot of the opera house across the canal, and then waited patiently for the changing of the guard. There was a huge mob, most of whom were Italians, all of whom were pushing and shoving and whining in Italian that they couldn't see well. The changing of the guards was quite disappointing - even more so than the one at Buckingham Palace - and I left before it was even over, feeling a bit cheated.

I grabbed a giant falafel pita for lunch (my staple, since it was only 25 kr/$5, by far the cheapest thing to eat in Copenhagen, where a tuna sandwich cost 40kr and a latte 35kr) and headed over to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. This museum is famous in classical archaeology because of a trove a Roman portraits that were discovered from a tomb a few decades ago. The Glyptotek is the proud owner of one of the most famous busts of Pompey, for example. However, the Imperial portrait gallery was closed - from August 14 to August 19, the exact time I was there. More impressive than the actual art in the Glyptotek, which I only saw a little bit of, is the way that the art is presented. I like that the stark, clean lines of Scandinavian decor (a la IKEA) are combined with the Danes' penchant for neo-classicism. It made for excellent pictures of the interior of the Glyptotek.

From there, I headed to the National Museum, which was free to enter. My guidebook said you could go through it in an hour, but I would have been hard-pressed to walk through the entire thing in an hour, much less stop to admire the art. It closed at 5pm (like most things in Copenhagen, it was open 10-5pm, which leaves little time to hit two museums in one day), so I just took one picture of their display of Greek Iron Age figurines - because it included plastic figures of Herakles and, I guess, Dejaneira. Weird. I then got drenched while walking to the Assistens Cemetery slightly northwest of town. Here are buried famous Danish people, most of whom I'd never heard of, but I did take pictures of the graves of Kierkegaard, Hans Christian Andersen, and Niels Bohr.

I also included in this day all my pictures of weird Danish things. They had a Cow Parade exhibit, where local artists decorate cows that are then displayed in the city. There was a cow dangling over the entrance to the Stroget, for example, one decorated with eyeballs, and one in the airport with a baby and cremation pyre tied to its back, skull strapped to its head, and flippers on. Funny Danish and Swedish words that have other meanings in English include "slut spurt" (end of season sale), Plopp (Swedish candybar), and Spunk (Danish gummy candy). I'll blog more about the dancing black guy later, I think.


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