WHEN traveling, it is good to familiarize yourself with the vicinity you have chosen to stay at. This is the first thing I do whenever I reach the first point of any destination. It’s like mapping out the area and knowing where the ride is, the nearest restaurant, etc.
|Sit & observe. One of the first things I do when new in an area.|
|An oriental noodle restaurant beside the hotel. Who doesn’t crave for a bowl of noodles on a chilly day or night?|
|You don;t know what you’ll chance upon when walking around your hotel’s neighborhood.|
Most of the hotels will have a directory with a section that points you to the “tourist spots nearby” and how far it is from them. That is, if you even bothered to open the desk or bedside drawer and flip through it.
|This cozy corner in our hotel room at Copenhagen Admiral Hotel. See that white thing on top of the coffee table?|
The tour on foot was interesting. It was a treat. But what made it more interesting was meeting the “people in the neighborhood.” Here’s a list of the Copenhagen personalities I met during the short visit
When you say Copenhagen, it’s the Little Mermaid’s image that pops to mind. It is the city’s most popular attraction, admittedly, and she turned 100 years old in August 2013. She’s never moved an inch from where she’s sitting, on a rock by the waterfront of Langelinie Park.
|Hello there Little Mermaid. I’m staying next door.|
But prior to reaching this famous fairy tale character, you’d meet Gefion, the legendary goddess, standing at the center of a monumental fountain built in her honor. The Gefion Fountain, with the goddess on a chariot pulled by huge oxen, is the city’s largest monument, is a huge, sculptural fountain in the Langelinie Park near the waterfront.
|I got to meet a goddess. Should I tell her I’m we’re on the same level?|
By the same harbor, you’d probably bump into Frederick IX, the King of Denmark from 1947 to 1972. It was during his reign that Denmark saw a great change in society structure and economy, which turned the country into a modern one.
On the 35th anniversary of his accession to the throne in 1947, the statue of the king in admiral’s uniform was unveiled on April 20 1982, the tenth year after his death.
|Walking with the man who modernized Denmark, King Fredecrick IX|
From the hotel, take the opposite direction to Metro and say hello to Ludvig Holberg. Born in Norway but spent his adult life in Denmark, this man was the Baron of Holberg, a writer, essayist, philosopher, historian and playwright who was said to be the founder of Modern Danish and Norwegian literature.
He is best known for the comedies he wrote in 1722-1723 for the Lille Gronnegade Theatre, and from 1736 to 1936, his works about natural and common law were widely read by many Danish law students.
|The baron & founder of modern Danish & Norwegian literature, Ludwig Holberg, sits in front of the Royal Dansih Theater|
Walk along the famed “longest pedestrian road in Europe” and you’ll chance upon a Royal Guard made from thousands of bricks-a Lego man. If you must know, Lego’s mother company is based in this country.
|I salute the Royal Lego Guard. He’s Danish.|
But if you wish to see the living (and very good looking) Royal Guards, head to the Rosenborg or the Amalienborg Castles. You can catch the changing of the guards or have photo with whoever is standing on guard. I did.
|This was as near as I can get to this castle guard of Rosenborg (at gusto pang mas malapit?)|
It’s impossible to miss Robert Pershing Wadlow along the Kongens Nytorv. He is towering at almost 9 feet. Robert is not a local though, he’s an American from Illinois, but has been standing on this street for ages. Well, he’s a Guinness world record holder and it’s no surprise to find him in front of a Guinness museum.
|“How tall are you, sir.” I asked the tallest man on earth. He’s a permanent tourist in Copenhagen|
Of course, you’ll bump into a Viking. I chanced upon one. Unusual though, he was way shorter than what I perceive a Viking to be. Is there a troll Viking?
|I didn’t know Vikings came in troll form|
The longest street opens up to the City Hall Square. In this area expect to meet important personalities and one of them is the Little Mermaid’s “father”, Hans Christian Andersen. The fairy tale writer is sitting beside the brick-wrapped city hall and gazing up his left shoulder. I wonder why.
|Look up, look up, said the father of the Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Andesren|
On the way back to the hotel, I saw a picture of Simon and I wonder if he won a seat in Denmark’s house of politics.
|Hello Mr. Strange.|
It was a lovely walk through the streets of Copenhagen and meeting the people in the neighborhood of my home in the city, the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel. The next day’s IT, I get to visit a castle and meet the royalty.
Copenhagen Admiral Hotel is at Toldbodgade 24 – 28
DK-1253 Copenhagen K. Visit their website: http://www.admiralhotel.dk/en
For good deals on this hotel, visit the Agoda website at http://www.agoda.com/copenhagen-admiral-hotel/hotel/copenhagen-dk.html
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 07, 2015.