Thursday 3 November 2011

Better by design

Sadly we had a leaden sky all day with not even a glimmer of sun, so my toiling up the Round Tower was a bit of a wasted effort as far as the view over the rooftops was concerned; though the tower itself is worth the visit. It was completed in 1642 and is remarkable for the spiral road to the top inside it. Peter the Great rode up there on a horse, a car has made the journey, and there have been lots of bike races in it; but what surprised me most today was that no-one seems to have been tempted to set loose one of the big round pumpkins sitting in the window recesses as Halloween decorations. Such a well-behaved people.

There's an observatory at the top, but it was closed - and there wasn't much to observe either, as fog came down and rubbed out the tops of all the towers, unfortunately. So today was about interiors: of warm and inviting Baroque churches where music was being played; the Lego shop with its lolly-bins of brightly-coloured bits; the Royal Cafe where we had Smushi for lunch - beautifully-presented open-faced little sandwiches, a cross between traditional smorrebrod and sushi; the Design Centre, which took its form follows function philosophy seriously and was not just hands-on but bums-on in its display of stylish Danish inventions, from egg-cups to chairs. They're nothing if not practical, the Danes: proudly included were also colostomy bags and hernia knickers.

It's a good city for walking around, though the cobbles are punishing; but it was a shame there was no sunshine to bring out the colours of the autumn trees and the painted buildings. Perhaps tomorrow.

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