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Tuesday, 06 December 2016

Copenhagen at Christmas. The capital of cosy (part 3)

A different type of food hall - Copenhagen Street Food (pic) - is located on Paper Island, so called because of the huge buildings there that once stored paper. To reach the collection of food stalls, trucks and containers (offering tastes from all over the world), we took a water taxi from Nyhavn, the 17th century harbour area where bars, cafes and restaurants line the canal. Nyhavn’s Faergekro is one of many.

From the street food building we could see the mightily impressive Copenhagen Opera House (pic) which opened in 2005. It was built in line with Amalienborg, home of the Danish royal family, and with the Marble Church, both on the other side of the water.

There were two other modern waterside buildings we wanted to look at too: the Royal Danish Playhouse (popped in for a quick cup of coffee) and the 1999 extension to the Royal Danish Library, known as the Black Diamond. Design, design: never far away.

A longer trip over the water, 35 minutes across that famous bridge, took us to Malmo in Sweden. But as the weather was so grim - grim enough for a Scandi Noir - we didn’t stay long. Thank goodness for the large lamp (pic) that lit up the day. Coffee and cake were welcome at Andersen Bakery (pic) near Copenhagen’s main station on our return.

Right beside the bakery is Tivoli, the famous amusement park and pleasure garden. Generations of families have come here for the walks and flowers, the rides and restaurants but what awaits them at Christmas is an experience even more magical and memorable.

We spent four hours there one evening, wandering through the grounds, marvelling at the lights and decorations (pic) sipping gløgg at an outside bar and then rounding off the evening at a lively restaurant called Grøften.

The occasion reminded me of a Christmas Eve many years ago when, once again, I found myself in Copenhagen. While their parents prepared roast duck, roast pork and rice pudding with a whole almond - a traditional Danish Christmas dinner - I was detailed to take my two little nephews for a walk around the city.

We popped into the Marble Church to hear the carol singing and stopped to speak to the bearskin-hatted soldiers on sentry duty outside Amalienborg Palace. And all the time the snow was falling softly and steadily from the dark Scandinavian sky. Hygge indeed.

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