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This is likely our last post on our visit to Copenhagen.

Scandinavian design is very well respected, especially furniture, think Swedish Ikea – and at the high end, see our post on Illums Boligus.


Designmuseum Danmark is Denmark’s largest museum for Danish and international design and a central exhibition forum for industrial design and applied arts in Scandinavia.


The museum was founded in 1890 and since 1926, it has been housed in one of Copenhagen’s finest rococo buildings, the former King Frederik’s Hospital.


The museum garden, the Grønnegård, serves as a performance space in the summer.


According to the museum’s pamphlet, “Danish designers have always been more engaged in finding practical shapes that can enhance the utility and aesthetics of existing objects for everyday use, than in revolutionizing society with utopian ideas and theoretic artistic manifests.”


Grete Jalk (1920-2006) Sløjfestolen, the Bow Chair – 1963


Not much of a real chair but at least recognizable as one.


The library at Designmuseum Danmark is the largest in Scandinavia in the field of design and the applied arts.


In addition to books, the library acquires numerous periodicals and its use is free and open for everyone. It was a very comfortable and nice place to read.


“Users of the library include craftsmen and women, designers, students and researchers from design schools, universities and museums, pupils from technical schools, set-designers, private collectors and dealers, conservators as well as people with a general interest in the field.”


Piano by Danish design legend – Poul Henningsen


We had lunch at the museum café –  ‘Klint’.


The exhibitions are organized by periods.

designmuseum-15Danish modern and Pop


There was a special section dedicated to one of their best known designer – Arne Jacobsen.


His designs are very much in daily use all over Copenhagen.


There was a temporary exhibition about toys and games as well as clothings for children …


…, furniture for the nursery and graphics for education.

All in all, it was a very nice museum. And about the right size for roaming in one afternoon.


Well, the arrival of 2016 interrupted the 2-part posts on the Carlsberg beer museum. This story took 2 years to complete !

Part 1 is here.  Continuing with the tour of the Carlsberg beer museum …

The brand name Carlsberg combines the founder – J.C. Jacobsen’s son’s name – Carl with a variant of the Danish word for mountain “berg”.

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The museum grounds also house the old labs – Carlsberg Laboratorium (above) and the Carlsberg’s R&D center (below) which appears to have a very oriental-styled roof – there must be some history behind it which is unknown to me.

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We toured part of the old lab. Professor Hansen must have contributed mightily to the quality of life of drinkers worldwide.

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Also on display are vintage beer delivery vehicles. This Ford T was in use in 1922.

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For a modest admission fee, which was already covered by my city tourist pass, I was treated to two beers – one is supposed to taste like the beer made in the old days.

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In addition, they do beer tasting here twice a day but I wasn’t there at the right time.

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The brewery was converted in 1999 into a visitor center and in 2005, the modern microbrewery was established on site.

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The facility is fully functional to produce from malt to bottle – all modern technology under a 1890’s roof.

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It produces beer sold under the J.C. Jacobsen label.

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Six different types.

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Apparently, this brewery were selling beer under the Tuborg brand in Tianjin, China back in early 1900’s. But the lady looks a bit creepy.

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It was a fun visit.

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More giant beer bottle labels – they were designed by Thorvald Bindesbøll (1846-1908) and included in the collection of the Designmuseum, Denmark. See our next post about this institution.

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Cheers !



Dear Readers, Happy New Year !

This is our first post of 2016. It is almost a tradition of this blog – the first post takes a look back at some of the places we visited last year.

Click on links, where provided to read more about the places of interest. There are usually a series of related posts per location, you can discover them easily in the calendar at the bottom of the post.

In reverse chronological order:

Swiss alps featuring Matterhorn – we went up to Zermatt on December 30 – this was taken from a view point at Gornergrat – ‎3,135 m (10,285 ft)

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Piazza San Marco, Venezia, Italy in October


Tree of Life, World Expo 2015, Milano, Italy in October


Chamonix, France in September long weekend


Crozet, France in August, business meeting


BBQ on Lac Leman lake front, Lausanne


Basel, Switzerland in July


Annecy, France in June – day trip ended with surprise firework display


Louisiana Museum of Art, Humlebæk, Denmark in June


Copenhagen, Denmark in June


See next post for the places we went in the first half of 2015.




We have written up quite a few museums on this blog, for example, big glass boxes like the Der Moderne in Munich, the Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur, the Mushroom museum in Saumur inside a cave, or the rather odd Schaulager in Basel. There are all kinds of museums around the world, for example, the unexpected Museum of Broken Relations in Berlin which we heard about but did not see.

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Well, in Copenhagen, I(Chris) went to the Copenhagen Exbeerience – a beer museum created by Carlsberg where you can first admire and then consume the exhibits.

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Located in Vesterbro, the museum is at the heritage site, where J. C. Jacobsen brewed the very first Carlsberg beer. Many of the buildings had its year of erection marked on the entrance.

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The first brewery was built in 1847 but burnt down in 1867. It was rebuilt with a steel frame and is now still standing tall, seemingly untouched by time.

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Part of the experience is that of an authentic brewery and a beer garden. Food is served naturally alongside the beer in the open space. Too bad I was only there in the afternoon.

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In the various buildings, there were self-guided tours with stations where one can learn about the ingredients and the brewing process, and how these affect the flavor. The official brand store is in one of the buildings where one can buy the beers and branded mechandise – T-shirts, caps, etc.  I got a bottle cap opener. I am such a predictable tourist.

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One can also get a horse carriage ride around the grounds.

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We walked through the stables which were the cleanest I have ever seen.

beer museum-11No odors !

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On the grounds of the brewery, there was also a small garden with its own Little Mermaid.

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It would be fun for kids to ride around on a horse-drawn carriage.

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The museum also houses the world’s largest collection of unopened bottled beer. In 1968 a Danish engineer started collecting unopened beer bottles from every corner of the world.

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In the early 1990’s, the collection reached 10,000 bottles and due to the vast number, the collection was moved to the Carlsberg site.

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The collection is organized in geographical order followed by breweries and brands.

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In 2007, the collection entered the Guiness Book of Records – the collection comprised then 16,384 bottles. On a chalkboard, it was noted that on June 8, 2015, there were 16,879 on display but the total collection comprised 22,558 bottles.

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Giant beer bottle labels adorn the walls of the brewery drinking room.

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More to come in part museum-20Built in 1879 and its twin in 1891.



Continuing with Den Blå Planet (the blue planet) in Copenhagen …

See earlier post here … a few more photos of the building’s architecture.


Futuristic without feeling cold, I may even say it looks organic, possibly because there were no right angles or sharp corners in sight.


They have very few mammals but this pair of sea otters are new arrivals and very cute indeed. We also saw some otters in Lisbon’s aquarium, they are ever so entertaining (to see more otters, click here).


This section of the aquarium is the Amozonas – the sunken forest, which features Europe’s largest herd of carnivorous piranha – I wished we knew the feeding hours – it would be quite a sight !


There were giant catfish as well as normal ones.


They are a bit more colorful than the ones we expect to see normally.


We have no idea what kind of fish this is. They are huge with dark green scales and some orange tinge near the tail. Their heads look fossilized.


The skin around its head looks like the exoskeleton of the mature alien in the movies Alien, Aliens, etc.


The polka-dotted, flat plaice or flounder are stunning. Those dots serve the opposite function of camouflage ! What is the evolutionary benefit ? To attract mates ?




And there is this one that obviously lives close to land given its muddy color. Just don’t tell me that they are the males and females of the same species with the polka-dotted ones.


This look like a giant goldfish.


We had lunch at the aquarium and on its menu was fish and chips. I (Chris) went for the shrimp salad – the shrimps were caught in Greenland and hand-peeled !  (as described in the menu)


From the restaurant, one can see the turbines for wind energy which has been adopted very successfully here. They sell electricity to Sweden and Germany.


Nice aquarium.




Still about Denmark …

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark has a stunning collection of Alberto Giacometti’s sculptures. This is the third of a series of posts on this wonderful museum, click on the link to see part 1 and part 2.

Alberto Giacometti is a Swiss, Paris-based artist, with sculpting being one of several techniques he practiced. His trademark skinny men and women are powerfully expressive and instantly recognizable.


He died in 1966. His work (L’Homme qui marche I) and his image appears on the blueish 100 Swiss Franc note.


Louisiana placed their collection of AG’s sculptures in a double-height gallery with floor-to-ceiling windows on one side.


L’Homme qui marche I, a life-sized bronze sculpture of a walking man, is the star here.


There are 6 editions of L’Homme qui marche I in total. Edition number 2 became one of the most expensive works of art and the most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction on February 2, 2010, when it sold for £65 million (US$104.3 million) at Sotheby’s, London. In May 2015, AG’s other work  L’Homme au doigt surpassed it at a price tag of US$141.3 million.


I found the face unexpectedly expressive.


The gallery is shared with a large Francis Bacon on the wall on the other side. Including a few smaller bust by AG, there must be more than 150 million dollars worth of art in that space.


Apparently, Giacometti would rarely deviate from the three themes that preoccupied him—the walking man; the standing, nude woman; and the bust— or all three, combined in various groupings.


In the 30’s, he was a surrealist but after the war, he began exploring bronze sculptures and his style matured in the 50’s and 60’s – a motif of the suffering human figure a popular symbol of post-war trauma..


It has been said that his style “summed up the philosophy’s interests in perception, alienation and anxiety”.


The walking man is described as “both a humble image of an ordinary man, and a potent symbol of humanity”. Giacometti is said to have viewed “the natural equilibrium of the stride” as a symbol of “man’s own life force”.


Louisiana’s collection is large even from an international perspective, and remarkable in that it shows the breadth of the artist.



One of the most attractive aspect of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is its location by the Øresund Sound and how pieces of art have been naturally integrated into the landscape.

This is part 2, part 1 is here.


It was a real pleasure to stroll through the museum’s sculpture park, where works are harmoniously set in gardens and groves, and on a grassy bluff overlooking the water.


Across the sound is Sweden. Louisiana is private but receives 25% funds from the state and serves a big role in the cultural life of Danish citizen.


The museum’s buildings are connected by glass-enclosed corridors which shield the visitors from the cold weather (during the winter months, not while we were visiting) and allow the visitors to see the gardens and the sculptures.


In fact, the large rectangular windows effectively frame the pieces. There are about 60 pieces scattered about outside. Some are easily viewed, others almost hidden or blending in to the surroundings in an almost mysterious way.


Erected in a grassy area and facing the water is a large mobile by Alexander Calder. On the day we visited, the panels of primary colors (white, black, red) were swinging gently in the breeze, contrasting nicely against the blue sky.


Every one stopped here for a snack and coffee to enjoy the wide vista of the water.


It is really a place to spend an entire day – relaxing and viewing art. The museum recommends visiting the garden at different times in a year to see how the weather and the seasons makes for totally different experiences of the same sculptures. Well, you are experiencing the summer views with these photos.


A Richard Serra piece was embedded into the sides of a sloping path, where the path leads down from the lawn with the Calder mobile to the beach below.


Several pieces by Henry Moore are strategically placed.


The grounds are very inviting to visitors to explore, get lost and find calm.


We really like this place and would love to visit again (but not sure if we are brave enough to come back in winter).


Denmark’s premier destination for viewing art is actually located 25 miles north of the capital, in Humlebæk— a 45-minute train ride from Copenhagen (København, Danmark) —on the shore of the Øresund Sound which separates Denmark and Sweden.


The entrance is deceptively simple and does not reveal the marvelous modern galleries and lovely natural landscape.


Initially, it was founded in 1958 for the purpose of collecting Danish art. The founder Knud W. Jensen changed his mind soon after and made the museum’s clear mission as the promotion of international art in Denmark.


From the train station, it is a 15-minute walk through the village of Humlebæk or the distance of about two bus-stops.


The museum has two wings. We barely had a chance to see the wing with permanent collection which includes works from Europe and the US after 1945 (pieces by Picasso, Warhol, Rauchenberg, Oldenburg) and numerous pieces from after the 1990s.


The museum includes not just a cafe but a buffet restaurant on the waterfront (we had dinner there).

In 2008, extending its hours until 22.00 Tuesday to Friday enables the museum to serve as a cultural center.

Louisiana1-7It has a mini lecture hall. According to the museum’s web site,

the founder “divided the exhibitions into hot and cold varieties: The hot consisted of artists that the guests already knew – the great modern classics – while the cold gave room for names the guests had never heard of – the less easily accessible, often contemporary artists.”


There is also a multi-level gift shop, which is an understatement, since it not only sells museum catalogs and books, it also sells a carefully coordinated collection of clothings and accessories taken from multiple brands.


The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is named after the wives of the original owner of the building, all three of whom were named Louise. Nothing to do with the state of Louisiana in the US.


The view of the water from this room is stunning. Don’t we all wish to have such a living room ?


Among its permanent collection are entire galleries dedicated to Asger Jorn (Danish) and Alberto Giacometti (see later post), as well as an installation of mirrored psychedelia by Yayoi Kusama – Gleaming Lights of the Souls.


You enter the installation through this small non-descript door and walk a short distance into the middle of a space. It looks the same all around. Can you see us ? The light changes color continuously. One loses all sense of direction, perspective, size and distance in this room. I really liked to turn the lights on and see how actually small or large is the room.


The temporary exhibitions include work by Jeff Wall


David Hockney produced a series of drawings while staying nearby.


Paintings by Peter Doig


I (Chris) have not heard of this artist Doig before but I liked his work. Apparently, a living Scottish painter, residing in Trinadad, whose paintings sold for 25 million in 2015 at Christie’s. Hmmm.


We will take a stroll through the museum’s sculpture garden in our next post.

Continuing with our adventures in Denmark (København, Danemark) earlier this year …

If you have just joined, part 1 starts here. We went to Copenhagen in June – the beginning of their summer.

… Certain areas of Copenhagen really looked like Amsterdam. We took a boat tour of its harbor and canals.


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Nyhavn (new harbor) in the middle of the city.


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From the boat, we saw the back of one of Copenhagen’s defining sights – Little Mermaid. It is really little despite its fame. Locally, it is best known for its history as a stolen item – parts of the statute have been cut and removed several times.


Tourists and locals alike, relaxing by the canal – Nyhavn, where there are endless bars and restaurants.


… including the Hong Kong Night Club.

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Copenhagen Opera House

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The harbor also has a military presence.

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One day we all went our separate way. I(Chris) went to a museum about beer (see later post).

But we met up for an afternoon snack at the Cafe Royal of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel – a historic hotel that was designed by Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen for Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) in the early 1960s.


The entire hotel – from the exterior façade through to the stainless-steel cutlery used in the restaurant, and the Swan and Egg chairs gracing the lobby – was designed by him.


Poster-size photos of the glamour of yesteryears adorn the cafe walls.


In downtown Copenhagen near the Rosenborg Castle Park (Kongens Have) stood the Danish Film Institute, it had a cinema and DVD shop. The entrance of the institute is flanked by these two cartoony animal head sculptures … we are not sure if it was from an actual cartoon.




Next up will be photos of the neat Designmuseum and the incomparable Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Don’t miss them.

Continuing with Denmark (København, Danemark)…

We really liked Illum Bolighus- a specialist department store here – full of furniture, lights, design objects, papers, textiles, and even some clothes. It reminded us very much of Vinçon in Barcelona (see earlier post here) and The Conran shop in NYC (now closed) and the UK. This store is located on busy Amagertorv in the heart of Copenhagen’s Strøget district.


The store shares the same side of Amagertorv and is situated next to the flagship stores of Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen. Can’t get any more convenient for the tourists to load up on Danish made souvenirs. Btw, just learnt that Georg Jensen has been taken over by David Chu ? (who founded Nautica in the US in the 90’s).


Illums Bolighus was originally founded in 1925 in Copenhagen under the name of BO (not to be confused with BoConcepts which is also a Danish company).


With a store strategy that had never been seen before, BO was a store with arranged and furnished interiors, where textiles, appointments, and furniture all interacted as art.


In 1941, the store was purchased by the Illum, Berg, and Trock-Jansen families, who also owned the A.C. Illum A/S department store. It was then renamed Illums Bolighus.


Illums Bolighus is now independent and has no connection with the Illum department stores – the biggest one located just a block away.


The store operates an online store with a beautiful catalog – here.


“By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark” – may be she shops online too.


Not as avant garde as driade in Milano (see earlier post here), Illums Bolighus has the widest collection we’d seen of Scandinavian’s modern and mid-century designer furniture.


According to Wikipedia:

“The term Scandinavian design emerged in the 1950s to describe design from the Scandinavian countries. It is a design movement characterized by simplicity, minimalism and functionality. …”


“Influenced by the German Bauhaus school, many Danish designers used the new industrial technologies, combined with ideas of simplicity and functionalism to design buildings, furniture and household objects, many of which have become iconic and are still in use and production.”


A little discreet corner for Vitra (see Vitra at the Milano Furniture Fair here).


IT and MW bought a few pieces each of Arne J’s classic designs. Despite having to add shipping costs, they are still a bargain over the prices back home.


They have a huge collection of lights on the top floor.


We came back a second time to buy small gifts on the ground floor. Great shop.

Kiin Kiin is a modern thai restaurant in København, Danemark, and apparently the only Thai restaurant outside of Thailand that has been awarded one Michelin star.


Upon arrival, we were not taken to our table but were shown to a seating area, very dim with a low table. Downtempo music was piped in from somewhere.


We were informed that before the dinner, a multi-course amuse bouches (“street food” in their parlance) will be served !

Pickled and fried lotus root.


Soya cashew meringue – really good.


The Asian server was a bit awkward at first because he was trying too hard to act as if we are “old friends”. We did not understand half of the descriptions of the courses when he mixed it with his jokes.


Can’t remember what these bunches of wheat grass was about – we didn’t eat the grass – that we can recall.


The seating area was so dim that we could hardly see the food we ate, which is a shame.


We, in fact, really needed the explanations as the dishes were so clever and surprising while tasting quite delicious.


This dish has something to do with the smell of Bangkok and the smoke was we believed created by a BBQ.


The smoke was trapped and used to cook and present the grilled sausages.


We were quite impressed by the inventiveness of each of the amuse bouches … we thought we ate about 8 different items.


Then we were led upstairs to our table … see next post.

Continuing with a tour of our rental’s neighborhood in Copenhagen (København, Danemark) … if you didn’t earlier, see the interiors here and here.

The apartment overlooks Strandgade – the same street where Noma is located – the best restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. Of course, IT made a reservation months ago but we were placed on the waiting list … and in the end no luck.


Our host noted that the apartment once had a very famous neighbor – Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916).


His painting was sold in 2012 at Sotheby’s for a record setting 1.7 million pounds – it was not that large compared to some Monets but it was the highest record for any Danish work of art at that time. He was a painter known for his poetic, low-key portraits and interiors (literally next door).


Beautifully-kept garden just under our kitchen window. Note that this rustic town house and garden is in the middle of the city.


Apart from Noma, the street Strandgade is also the home of the Danish Architecture Center (below) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


We hear that Noma will close at the end of 2016 and emerge in this same neighborhood but closer to Christinania with its dining room situated in the middle of a greenhouse where the vegetables and herbs are grown.


The neighborhood is rather quiet near the harbor but a lot livelier near the canal.


This is Christianshavn in Copenhagen (and not Amsterdam).


We ate locally at these eateries several times.
Very cosy and convenient.


Great neighborhood.


Loved it.

Continuing with the tour of our rental apartment in Copenhagen (København, Danemark)… part 1 is here.

This is our oversized living room with windows facing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs across Strandgade.


The apartment is in a historic building so we suspect that many aspects of the apartment cannot be altered. For example, the kitchen and the two bathrooms are rather small relative to the living room, by today’s standard.


Similarly, the master bedroom is small while it is adequate for us. Loved the old gold effect on the bed and the wall.


There is a small door behind the bed that, judging by its position, lead to the landing outside the main entrance … for sneaking in or out of the bedroom … intriguing.


As the host is a designer, the apartment is full of interesting details. Galloping horse door handle.


Vintage furniture.


Preserved architectural details in the bedroom.


Homemade original art, vintage lighting.


Studio ambiance.


At dusk.


Snowflakes-patterned window pane in the bathroom.


It was a perfect apartment for a short stay but we are not sure if it is practical for a family to live in it year round – the host has a family with kid(s) – perhaps that is the reason why this apartment is rented out.

This place reminded us of the apartment we rented in Vienna, see earlier post here.

And then there were the four of us (C & S, IT, MW)…  on this trip to Copenhagen (København, Danemark). It was indeed a good idea to rent an apartment – more economical and convivial.


Our apartment is located in Christianshavn just across the inner harbor from the city center. We could walk to the center in under 15 minutes.


Our host is a stage designer who evidently applied her skills to decorate the place. The result is unique and fantastic.


She baked us fresh bread in the oven in the apartment and took it out as we arrived – the apartment is filled with that warm and welcoming smell – a trick that is borrowed from a real estate agent’s playbook.


We liked to gravitate around the table in the dining room.


Breakfast, one morning, including the bread our host baked for us.


We have gloriously high ceilings, except the kitchen and the upper floor. P


Parts of the apartment felt like a loft but it isn’t since it was not built for an industrial purpose in the first place.

MW’s new old guitar


The apartment was very bright – possibly the dining room windows face south or east. We got a lot of sunshine in the morning.


The living room is large and thus appeared to be sparely furnished – the sofa, coffee table, and chairs are adequate.


One side of the living room is lined with bookshelves. Above the shelves are shallow alcoves where a few pieces of art are displayed and lit. The light can be turned on or off remotely to accent (show off) the art work.


Many fixtures in the apartment are classic Danish designer pieces.


In the middle of the living room, there was a iMac on a rather large custom-made, leather-wrapped table (used to be a draughtsman’s table) and a vintage designer office chair, topped with a shaggy sheep skin seat cover.


The TV is relegated to a corner of the living room behind a door. That’s how important TV is to the host’s family.

More pictures to come … but if you are curious to see what we rented when we were in Paris, click here.

We were traveling with IT and MW in Copenhagen and they love flea markets and antique stores. The last time we traveled together we went to the flea markets at the Porte de Clignancourt (Les Puces) in Paris – see earlier post here.

Our last post here showed some of IT’s purchases, and here are some more, including MW’s collection.

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MW is interested in antique eyewear.

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The translucent frame of this pair of sunglasses is made with turtle shell and the lens with a mineral, possibly mica.

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Foldable opera glasses (?)

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Spring-loaded to unfold. Pretty cool, huh.

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One of these we believe is IT’s purchase.

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A ram-like candle holder.

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MW is into transportation. A model of a three-wheeled car made by Messerschmitt – a famous German World War II aircraft manufacturer.

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Lada, Fiat 124 ? (the tray belongs to the apartment, the graphic pattern came from the same era)

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MW is also interested in musical instrument.

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An ex-guitar player’s purchase.

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Happy hunting, and not too cumbersome to take home.

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We came to Copenhagen from Berlin after the Champions League 2015 Final (see earlier post here). The Final was held in the Olympiastadion, the original stadium used for the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games.

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In 1936, the Olympic Games were held under the direction of Hitler who exploited it for Nazi propaganda purposes. IT picked up this official souvenir book about the 1936 games from a flea market in Berlin.

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The book was in excellent condition despite its age.  The photographs in the book were not printed directly on the paper. Instead, each photograph is an original and glued on top of the page next to the text.

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James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was a black American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist at this event. At the time in the US, the blacks and whites were segregated. There were controversies around the fact that Hilter avoided shaking his hand after he won the gold medals. Well, there is proof in this book that at least his achievements were etched in stone.





We were traveling with IT and MW on this trip to Denmark. One of their favorite activities is crawling flea markets and antique stores. Copenhagen is fresh pasture for them and we shared the excitement.

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One area in Copenhagen where there is a good concentration of antique shops is Nørrebro –  an area that feels like the East Village in NYC.

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We had a daily show-and-tell session to examine and admire the loot. Below are some of IT’s loots. We will put up MW’s in a later post.

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Zither –  a popular instrument in central Europe and alpine countries, related to the guitar. It can be played flat on the table or on the lap.

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IT has been buying musical instruments lately especially ones that can still be played.

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At the time, we really doubted whether she could carry all these stuff to the airport and then home. Well, she somehow got home safely with every thing she bought.

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Harmonicas are much more portable.

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We wandered how much cleaning IT will need to do to the harmonicas before they are “safe” to use.

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IT bought other knick-knacks.

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A well-balanced hand mirror, definitely useful.

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Apparently, some of these pieces cost very little, especially if you bargain and if you combine it with another sale.

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What was this made for ? Borderline junk ?

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There is more to come.




Just a quick post about what we ate while in Copenhagen. The places we mentioned in our food diary entries are all memorable for various reasons and definitely recommendable.


Food is generally more expensive in Scandinavia than other parts of Europe (possibly with the exception of Switzerland). At FaFa’s, I(Chris) found the best-value-for-money lunch in downtown Copenhagen.


On that day, we all went to do our own thing in Copenhagen, I did not want a touristy restaurant, nor did I want a chain restaurants that serve fast food. A kebab place is usually the answer but most of them are greasy joints.

But FaFa’s is a different kind of middle eastern place, one with white walls decorated with art.


“Be the reason someone smiles today” – on a clipboard


The menu was written on a giant chalk board behind the counter. I ordered the 85 kroner ($12) kebab platter. Doubt you can get this price in NYC, except from a lunch truck, perhaps.


After I ordered, it took a while for them to prepare the dish. But it was worth the wait. Delivered to me was a generous portion of juicy lamb kebabs, 2 small falafels and a fresh green salad, plus a big serving of tahini sauce and pepper sauce.


Since I was sitting on a bench facing the street, when a family came to see the menu on the window, I gave them a thumbs up.  The family came in and I was sure they will not regret it.


Fafa is at Store Kongensgade 18.

OH ! Just read on their facebook page that they are closing and will look for a new place. Posted just days ago. I wish them the best of luck in their next location.

Guess what.

I went to their web site here and discovered that Fafa is a small Finnish chain and there are 5 stores in Helsinki. Good for them. Will check them out when I visit Finland.

In June, we spent a few days in Copenhagen with IT and MW. It was the first time for us and IT to visit Denmark. We did many touristy things and our friends did some serious shopping.


We rented an apartment in Christianshavn which was located a block from the harbor front – we enjoyed walks and great views at dusk. The apartment was interestingly decorated and will have its own posts later.


Views of the inner harbor.


Freetown Christiania is a self-governing city within a city in Christianshavn – well known for its hippie lawlessness and related cannabis business. On “Pusher street”, while the selling is very open, the purveyors wear masks and absolutely forbid photography.


Incidentally, the Royal Danish Ballet Company was giving, as a part of their summer tour, a free performance in Christiania.  So we just walked over from our apartment to see it but it was very crowded !


We climbed up a little hill thinking we might get a better vantage point … others had the same idea.


Copenhagen has in the middle of the city, an amusement park – Tivoli Gardens. Due to its location, we passed it every day and did not go until a day before our departure. Belatedly, we were dismayed to discover that our regular admission ticket would have entitled us repeated entrance for up to 3 days ! And on the only day we could go, it rained.


Tivoli has a old-fashioned, timeless feel to it – no movie or cartoon character references, no high-tech wizardry, it is hard to describe it – perhaps the graphics in its advertisements, the artistry in its gardening designs, it definitely produces a fun and fantastic experience.


Tivoli is not for kids only. It has nice restaurants and hosts classical as well as rock concerts.


Copenhagen is expanding its subway system and a big public square in the downtown area –  Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square, like Trafalgar Square in London or Union Square in NYC) has become a major construction site. We had to detour around the site and got lost for a bit.


These antique sellers were probably displaced by the construction.


More highlights of Copenhagen to come … watch this space.