Friday, November 4, 2011

Riches

Hmm, I see on the way to coming here that this blog has had a visitor from Hanover - which is a coincidence because Copenhagen is full of rampaging Hanover football fans decked out in green and white scarves. They were marching about in groups, carrying crates of beer and singing randomly, though cheerfully. Something happened while I was in a museum however, nosing happily through an excellent, if unexpected Titanic exhibition - I could hear lots of sirens despite the headphones of my audio guide - and when I walked back to my hotel, the big square at the end of Nyhavn, though empty of fans, was awash with an appalling tide of litter, crushed beer cans and broken bottles. I hope the Danish police, many of whom get about on bikes wearing endearingly unflattering black and reflector-strip shorts, were able to cope with the Germans.

Today was grey and cold again, alas, so the autumn colours went to waste, and when I explored the Rosenborg Castle it was hard to appreciate the treasures within because the lighting was so dim in all the rooms. That was a shame because there was no surface not covered with fine glass or china, old tapestries, portraits big and small, or carved wooden panelling - however, it did speed up the inspection process. I lingered in the basement treasury, though, where the crown jewels (Denmark has the oldest monarchy in the world) were gleaming in their cases and I felt sorry - well, not really - for the woman who had to bear up bravely with a monster ruby the size of a goose egg hanging from her neck.

At lunch I sat in the rooftop restaurant of the old Post Office and had a little feast of Danish specialties, including a crispy fried plaice fillet, smoked salmon with cream cheese and a small beef steak with mushrooms. It was all very tasty and I enjoyed it, but it was filling and I'm still not feeling empty enough to be looking forward to dinner tonight, which is in a restaurant that's impressed the apologetic young man at reception here (he's called, inappropriately, Raphael). And it's just tragic that I haven't had room at any time during my stay to indulge in any street food: not the hot roasted and/or candied nuts, not the crepes with nutella and banana, not the organic hot dogs, and not - sob - the sweet breads and pastries that make such gloriously-smelling use of sugar and cinnamon.

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