Waking up with a slight hangover from my birthday the night before, we still had loads to get on with, so an early rise was on the cards. To Christiansborg palace we were bound! A quick shower and brush of the hair and we were out, stopping by a Hungarian lángos stall. If you’ve never had one, a lángos is basically the best hangover food ever; a big, pillowy deep fried flatbread topped with the Eastern European greats; sour cream, cheese and garlic oil. Greasy yet also somehow light, this snack will cure your hangover in no time!
Being an avid fan of Borgen, we just had to visit Christiansborg where, as well as being a Royal palace, it also houses the Danish Parliament or ‘Folketing’. Whilst most of the internal shots were filmed in a studio, they did film many of the outside shots on location. Depending on when you visit (booking in advance of course) there are tours you can take around the real Parlament; unfortunately for us, there were no tours available through English when we were there, but it was amazing walking through the grand stables that were featured in the show. The thing you must do though, if you give Christiansborg a visit, is take the king’s lift up to the top of the highest tower. From here you can see all over Copenhagen – and what a beautiful sight it is, with rooftops of sienna rubbing shoulders with bright verdigris and the gleaming gold from the spire of the Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirk).
Next on the itinerary was the National museum or Nationalmuseet. With a quick jaunt over the bridge we were there. It’s an impressive building, that used to be the residence of the crown Prince. Inside, the range and quality of exhibitions it holds is truly staggering and a testament to the extraordinary preservatory power of Denmark’s peaty landscape. From Vikings to modern day there is something for everyone to marvel at and enjoy. One of the treasures of the museum is the famous Trundholm Sun Chariot, which is a marvel to see, with most of the gold gilding intact on the bronze figure. The layout of the museum is bold and comprehensive without a single dull or squandered exhibit. What fascinated me the most were the rooms dedicated of the Danish history of the Faroe Islands and Greenland – I have a particular, nerdy soft spot for these islands.
It was also interesting seeing the interiors change over the years. When we think of Danish interiors we automatically see stripped back design and white walls with white washed floors. It was almost a challenge for myself to walk in these historical interior reproductions and be met with dark, dingy and cramped rooms. After a quick peruse at the gift shop, my stomach was telling us both to leave for newer, tastier pastures.
Off we went to Nyhavn for some lunch. Now, whilst I wouldn’t recommend going here normally for food (as it’s a tourist trap and therefore expensive), Tom’s dad told us we must try the Danish herring and I had read that it did some of the best herring in the city. The 17th century canal front of Nyhavn is full of vibrant, distinctive architecture, where you’ll find many a tourist taking a snap of the colourful buildings. We went to the deep blue Nyhavns Færgekro to try their famous herring buffet or slidebord. Being a foodie I’m up for trying almost anything but it hasn’t always been that way. At one time I was the fussiest person I know, and fish was a big no-no, but I like to think I’m far less fussy now, that being said the thought of this was like going from nought to sixty!
We sat down outside with a slight chill in the air and ordered two beers. Looked at the menu and ordered a plate to share. Neither of us felt confident enough to go for one each! We assumed that someone would bring up a plate to our table and we’d begin but we assumed wrong. Instead like a proper buffet we had to get up and fill our plate from inside the restaurant. The different of varieties of herring dishes just looked at us in their trays. Being an old build, the place itself was dark and a bit dingy and it didn’t particularly make the food look appetising. But, we grabbed a bit of everything and went back outside. In fairness it looked a lot more formidable than it was and it actually tasted quite nice. The dream herring (drømslide) and ‘Sol over Gudhjem’ being highlights, especially when eaten with some buttery new potatoes. After we finished we paid (125 DKK, quite expensive as I expected) and made our way back up through Østergade.
Here we popped into a few more shops, that I hadn’t noticed the first time round. As it was late October, most shops had their Christmas stock out, which was perfect as I was doing a Danish themed Christmas back home in Wales. The shops were filled with simple and monochrome Christmas decorations. I couldn’t believe it! As you know I love the monochrome palate, but you can never find black and white Christmas things back home – if you do the black is always mixed with gold and the white with silver. However, this was the real deal, the stuff I had been drooling over on Pintrest was right in front of me. We grabbed a handful of things until my Kånken was bursting at the seams. Weighed down by the decorations, we dropped our things off and chilled out for a bit at the apartment.