“Her boobs are out. I can see the nipples of my childhood heroine, staring straight at me (not 10-feet away!)”…And that was my first impression of the ninth most famous statute in all the world: Copenhagen’s The Little Mermaid.
Everyone had warned me about how small she was, how randomly out-of-the-way, how unimposing … but nobody advised me she was NAKED.
Yet there’s something strangely compelling about a woman who (over the past two decades) has been decapitated, had explosives strapped to her neck, been blown in half, suffered graffiti scrawled on her face…and still has the courage to sit topless and nonchalant in public. This is one feisty Danish lady!
And her surprises didn’t stop there – She even has her very own soggy-tourist-parade. You see – clambering over the rocks to get a selfie with Den lille havfrue, the great numpties of the world inevitably fall in to the Baltic waters. Like a siren for the stupid, she lures idiots into her murky depths. Fifteen minutes we were there and THREE men (obviously, women wouldn’t be so ridiculous) tripped in to the sea after trying to get too close and slipping on the rocks. That’s a half-drowned sightseer every five minutes – a statistical show strangely worth the long stroll to get there.
Dampness certainly became a theme of our Danish holiday; it rained sporadically through-out our stay. Not even July is a promise of sunshine in Scandinavia. But luckily, there’s plenty to do indoors – museums, extortionately-priced-bars-where-you-can-have-a-beer-for-the-price-of-a-small-car, and a host of palaces which house the best looking Royal family in the world. Look at them :
Beautiful, sturdy, half-Australian! Not a sullen Hamlet in sight. They make our Royals look like they’ve been sleeping with their cousins and uncles for generations, don’t they?
And like the strapping natives, their buildings are likewise HUGE. Everything is vast and impressive, in a way that says: “We straddle Europe and the North, we are a country of Vikings and men who look like Hemsworth Brothers! We make lots of beer! Don’t mess!” Which is probably why nobody has messed with them since the Second World War and won’t until the third.
Just as you’d expect, Hans Christian Anderson looms all over, like perverts at a pub: he is omniscient and omnipresent. His statue watches over the main-square (the Rad-huspladsen), his various museums crowd the streets in Little Matchgirl-esque fashion, his words are carved into the pavements… All that death, poverty, imbalance… What’s not to love about his stories? Full of suicide and lessons on why you shouldn’t go to work naked. So much more grisly than Enid Blyton.
The district of Nyhavn even looks like it popped right out of one of his books: it’s a waterside stretch of bars and restaurants – the sort of bold colours and symmetry that would dazzle an obsessive compulsive – where Danes spill onto the streets with their Carlsbergs and Tuborgs and Gulds and ridiculous Scandinavian beauty.
Copenhagen really is one of the most picturesque cities I’ve visited. Or at least it will be – when they finish it. Genuinely – I saw more scaffolding than I saw Danish pastries! Everywhere there was some form of construction. What are they building? When will it be finished? Why are they doing it now in the middle of tourist season? Who knows! Which is why I would recommend visiting Copenhagen in about a year’s time… So you can find out for me. 🙂