COPENHAGEN, DENMARK• We were lazy today by our exploring standards but somehow still saw so much!
After breakfast, we did some shopping. I’m extremely indecisive when it comes to making purchases that I feel are important (this goes way back to my days of picking out My Little Ponies with my birthday money from my grandparents; Should I get another purple one? Or work on the Pegasus collection and get the yellow one?). At least I am aware of how much I agonize. I decided I would come back and wring my hands over what to buy after Libby and Lauren left.
Rosenborg Castle, along with The King’s Garden was next. It’s an opulent place and each room varying from the last. Unlike most castles (that I’m aware of), this one has a basement vault where all the Crown Jewels were stored (and they are worn by the current royal family). It definitely gave the place a little something extra as old museum-type visits go.
I do find that once I’ve seen a few portrait paintings of monarchs that look inbred, I’ve seen them all. It was interesting, however, to see the evolution of portrait painting over time. It was clear that artists improved and learned how to paint their subjects more realistically. So, that was a relief to start seeing leaders without deformed heads and heavily hooded eyelids.
Hurrah for artistic advancement!
Room after room of gold guilted items big and small, ceilings painted with naked ladies and angelic babies flying around, scenes from wars playing out on tapestries, a room full of mirrors that stored Frederik IV’s erotica (yup, you read that right), and on and on.
As we entered the basement vault, we were asked to keep our voices down. There is a sound alarm in the vault should any of the glass be cracked or tampered with, and if enough people are visiting and they raise their voice, it can set off the alarm.
Elephants, I noticed, were a reoccurring theme throughout the castle and especially in the vault. A docent told me that they are a symbol of the Royal Order and they replaced the Virgin Mary as the symbol of the royal order when they monarchy converted from Catholicism to Protestantism.
The Order of the Elephant (Danish: Elefantordenen) is a Danish order of chivalry and is Denmark’s highest-ranked honor. It has origins in the 15th century but has officially existed since 1693, and since the establishment of constitutional monarchy in 1849, is now almost exclusively used to honor royalty and heads of state
After the castle, we made our way to a lovely corner cafe for some coffee and smørrebrød; open faces, tiny sandwiches indicative of Denmark. They are topped with things like mushrooms, herring, salmon, beef tartar and so on. I went for a small piece of salmon smørrebrød. I’d hoped to try a classic herring one before leaving the country but never got the chance.
Back at the AirBNB, we relaxed for a good long time before slowly getting ready, dressing up a bit, and heading back out for another fancy meal. This time at a place called 108. The walk there was lovely. Our reservation was at 8, and the sun goes down so late here that it was the perfect hour to photograph a famous port here in the city called Nyvahn (provinces new-howven with a slightly ghosted “v”).
The meal was fine, by my general feeling about them is much like I feel about high fashion; it’s art that’s pretty to look at but I don’t feel like wearing it. I appreciate the artistry that chefs put into meals like this, but in the end, I usually don’t find them satisfying.
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