Palaces, Parks, and Problems – Europe Day 4

When we woke up this morning, the family we are staying with had bought us some delicious Danish breakfast foods. And by that I mean bread and pastries and chocolate. Europeans are soooooo much better at breakfast than Americans. 

As we took the bus into central Copenhagen, we weren’t really sure which bus stop to take because they don’t really label them. So I decided to ask a kind looking old man which stop it would be. Instead of just telling us he decides to drop what he is doing and walk us all the way there! We have seen so many people like that- helpful, kind, and generous. Denmark is one of the most visitor-friendly (and just plain friendly) places ever!

Then we set off for a great day of sightseeing. We didn’t know what the weather would be like so we decided to start with a trip to Frederiksborg Palace. To get there, you’ll never guess which train we had to take- that’s right, the one we took yesterday on our way to nowhere, Hillerod. But the upside was that we knew exactly where to go this time. 

  The castle was unbelievable. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to see it is because this is where the original paintings of Christ’s life by Carl Bloch are. And let me tell you, they were unbelievable. Although I was a bit bummed that they were in a tiny dark room and the audio guide didn’t mention them. If I hadn’t known what they were I probably would have walked right past them like everyone else did. It’s sad that they have such beautiful paintings there and sort of just ignore them. But at least I got to enjoy them. 

The rest of the castle turned out to be amazing too. From the royal chapel to the great hall everything was beautiful! One very interesting thing they have done is set up the interior decorations and furniture in chronological order. Having studied the history of interior design, it was so fun to see what I had read and seen pictures of lain out in real life. Although to be honest I had forgotten the names of most of the styles and terms, but hey, it was a class I took a year ago. I was just happy to remember the concepts. 

  In the afternoon it was nice and warm and sunny (which is sort of rare in the constantly overcast Danish spring) so we changed our plans a bit and inst ad of seeing museums, went to an amusement park! Quite the upgrade, right? This place is called Tivoli, and it is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, opened in 1843. It is right in the middle of the downtown too. Imagine Central Park if it had roller coasters, fun houses, free-fall rides, and cotton candy sticks big enough to split between an entire birthday party of 7 year olds. It’s really impossible to over-state how charming this place is. Basically imagine a tiny version of Disneyland that costs ¼ the price and has 1/2 the ego. Amazing. 

  At night we thought it would be a good idea to try going to an aquarium, because it was the only thing still open. So we got on the bus and planned to have one hour before closing. But we missed the stop and wound up at the airport. Then we had to wait for another bus and by the time we got back to the aquarium, we only had 30 minutes before closing. But it was still a good time. 

Then the trouble came. Because apparently we can’t have a day without some problems. We knew we had to take the 68 bus to get back to the house, but we couldn’t find it! So at 10pm we sat in the train station trying to figure out how to get back. I ended up having to call our host and he gave me directions to a less direct train, and then he had to come pick us up at the stop, which was a little ways from the house. It was 11 by the time we got back. So we were exhausted, but happy. It was an amazing day. 

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