On our (well, my) first full weekend in København we were thrown into the deep end of house hunting. Turns out it’s impossible to decide where you want to live if you haven’t been anywhere except your immediate neighbourhood, so we spent the whole weekend wandering to every far flung house on our list of potential places. It ended up being a pretty good way of structuring a weekend’s sightseeing.
On our second day of traipsing around we were vaguely headed towards Amalienborg, which became very easy to find once we stumbled across the palace guards marching through the city en route to their shift.
March like no-one is watching and awkwardly following you in a herd
Sorry guys – #MaryWatch got nowhere, but full marks to Denmark for their stylish guards and extremely low key changing of the guards ceremony. No giant fences or brass band covers of Bon Jovi to be seen (take note, UK, think about your choices).
No touching the hats
See England! So classy…
Our ‘Secret Copenhagen’ book alerted us to the presence of ‘rejection fences’, which are brutal spikes put up to stop people pissing in the corners of the Colonnade. Apparently the original 19th Century solution was just to put urinals in the corners – so practical and accommodating! – until the 20th Century came along and spoiled all the fun.
Then we wandered out to the little Mermaid, who was as expected – little and demure against a backdrop of heavy industry.
den lille Havfrue
The little Mermaid was totally upstaged by her neighbouring statues, the mighty Isbjørn and the Norse goddess Gefjun – goddess of ploughing and all round bad ass.
The mighty Isbjørn
Plough that land with your oxen sons, Gefjun!
There are also a few strange variations on the little Mermaid statue scattered around the place as well, which I frankly don’t want to endorse or encourage by posting pictures. One of them, as public art in a new build development that we decided to pass on living in, was a vaguely disjointed cubist reinterpretation of a mermaid, so… fine. Somewhat unnecessary, but fine.
The other seems intended to shatter the dreams and innocence of anyone who has ever had any empathy for the little Mermaid, because it can only be described as the ‘all grown up and fallen on hard times stripper Mermaid XXX-rated GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS’ statue. All the classy points Denmark racked up with their changing of the guards were lost at the sight of that Mermaid’s dead-eyed stare and fake stone boobs. For shame, Denmark, for shame.
And thus ended our day of touristic house hunting – statues 5, potential houses 0, Mary sightings 0.