Sunday, 26 December 2010

St. Stephen's Day...

Or Boxing Day as it's more commonly known in our house, will be a relaxed affair after yesterday. I actually think I was up before the children, they didn't wake up until 7am which was a pleasant surprise! I have also come up with a new trick to combat the over-indulgence (on my part) commonly associated with Christmas Day - insist on doing all the cooking! My husband loves cooking, it's his way of relaxing (which I of course advocate, but there are two sides to every coin as he is one hell of a messy cook!), but the main event of the year - Christmas Dinner is now well and truly my domain! Since having children, 3 hours alone in the kitchen, (clearing up as I go along!) with nothing but Christmas Carols on the radio to keep me company (how I love you Internet Radio) is my idea of pure bliss! By the time I have dished up I am no longer that hungry, and definitely can't manage seconds, which means more room for Christmas Pudding later...!

(yet another tree picture!)

Friday, 24 December 2010

Preparing Ahead...

I took this picture on Tuesday night. It was the lunar eclipse the night before, so the moon was incredibly bright. It's really grainy I'm afraid as my camera has more options than I have yet fathomed, but I just loved the light and the shadows cast on the ground! I have noticed that a lot of my pictures seem to be of trees at the moment, and I just wanted to point out that it's not intentional...but then I guess I have always been a bit of a tree-hugger at heart!

Just getting ready for the big day tomorrow. The bread sauce is done and is in the fridge, the chestnut stuffing is almost ready, the cranberry sauce was made at the beginning of the week (that's definitely one ofs my favourite jobs, I love it when they all burst in the pan!) and and is currently defrosting. The cake has been iced, the turkey is enjoying a long leisurely spiced bath ready for it's "sun-bed" tomorrow (my husband wanted to barbeque it, but I think the prospect of standing outside for hours in sub-zero temperatures has put him off somewhat)! The vegetables just need to be prepared and then we can just relax and enjoy these .... My grandmother's mince-pie recipe follows: (makes around 20) 200g plain flour, 50g butter, 50g lard or vegetable shortening, 1 egg yolk, a jar of decent mincemeat. Pre-heat oven to 200°C, sift flour into a bowl, slowly rub in both butter and fat until the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk plus a few drops of water to bind. Roll out pastry, cut out rounds and place in a yorkshire pudding tin (or muffin tin if you don't have a yorkshire pudding tin!). Fill with a spoonful of mincemeat, place a round on top of each one for a lid, making a tiny whole in the top of each one. Bake for around 20 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and see if you can't eat the lot before they have cooled down...

The children are hyper-excited even though they both seem under the weather. Luckily there isn't much more for us to do in the Father Christmas department. I did my most hated job (wrapping presents) weeks ago. I am not sure when I will get a chance to write next, so I do hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Now, back to the kitchen......

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Ice Rink

The lake looks almost completely frozen now. Apparently it has to be 13cm thick to be safe to skate on and I haven't seen anyone on it yet, but there are a few tentative footprints around the edge. Last year's harsh winter meant that for the first time in around 14 or 15 years it was safe to skate on the lakes here, the police officially announced this just before New Year, when people had already been skating on it for a week or so! The window of opportunity is quite short as further snow creates pits and bumps on the surface making it not so easy to skate on, but it was beautiful to see (we weren't quite brave enough and had no skates last year!), and quite the opportunity for some people who made the most of it and skated across this vast lake instead of taking the half an hour drive or 4 hour walk around it!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Oh Christmas Tree...

We chose our tree on Sunday. In the UK we would normally drive to a garden centre and pick out a pre-prepared tree, but this year we drove to a farm where we walked through the snow until we got to the Christmas Tree forest. You didn't have to walk, if you waited for long enough, you could hop on this very festive transport . It took ages to choose the actual tree as they were all beautiful, but sadly some of them were just far too big. Once we had ceremoniously chopped it down, we dragged it back to the farm, where brave people sat around drinking glögg and eating æbleskiver after exerting themselves with seasonal lumberjacking. We were frozen so decided to go back home for glögg in front of the fire. Funny how the tree didn't look as big in it's natural environment though, poor thing had to endure a further operation at both ends so it could actually stand up in the house....

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Last week we celebrated our wedding anniversary - in the snow. The polar opposite of that hot sunny day seven years ago, in the Garden Route of South Africa. Eager to escape the big rip-off expense that is a big white English wedding, and to incorporate our love of travelling with that of each other, we decided to choose somewhere we hadn't been to before (and unfortunately haven't yet had the chance to go back to yet - maybe for our 10th wedding anniversary?!). We got married underneath a huge jacaranda tree surrounded by a few of our nearest and dearest, who had travelled halfway across the globe to be with us. The following day we rounded off the celebrations with a huge picnic in the nearby Stellenbosch vinyard. We wouldn't have done anything differently at all, and if you have ever considered going to South Africa before, but haven't yet done so, you should. The people are incredible, the country is the most beautiful we have been to so far, and both the food and wine are amazing!

This year, we somehow managed to give each other identical cards and gifts - I have to wonder whether that means we are the most intune couple ever, or whether it says a lot about the "huge" choice of products available here in Denmark!!

The snow hasn't let up really, with only a brief respite yesterday, when I thought we might be in for a thaw. But, it's back again this morning... We saw Betty Stick out walking earlier and it is seriously no exaggeration on my part when I say she's out whatever the weather!

With the cold weather come the usual colds and bugs, and as I write this looking out onto more falling snow, my small boy is feeling very sorry for himself and is currently being kept entertained by watching The Flumps (which was made when his mother was younger than he is now!).

Two weeks left at school until the holiday. I love this time of year in Denmark, it's just incredibly christmassy (especially with the white stuff) and somehow it seems a lot less plastic than at home. It's still commercial of course, and Christmas stuff starts appearing in shops as soon as Halloween is out of the way - but the decorations seem more organic, and there are candles everywhere (even more so than usual!). As we have visitors this weekend, are hoping to take them to go and chop our tree down at some point. Will update when I can.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Silent Night...

I took this picture on our way home late on Saturday night. The snow absorbs so much sound if you stood still it was quite literally silent. It hasn't stopped falling for a few days, which makes me glad we are living in Scandinavia right now - the UK is also suffering, and will most likely grind to a halt sooner or later. Having said that, a snow day would be nice sometimes....

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Dangerous Activities

Those of you who know me well may find it hilarious that I have recently discovered that I enjoy running & jogging. As a child I never took part in a single sports day due to my life-long loathing of all competitive sports and physical activities (apart from swimming which I have always loved, but I will save swimming in Denmark for another post possibly!), it has come as a surprise to me how much I enjoy it, and how far I can actually run without collapsing (nobody follow me though as you won't be as impressed as I am)! Today was the first day back at school for my son after a spell of sickness, so having been stuck in with him for most of it, I felt that I should really get out and blow away a few cobwebs. However, due to adverse weather conditions such as snow and freezing temperatures, I decided it would perhaps be unsafe to go running, so opted for a walk instead. Wrapped up in my thick down winter coat, it felt like it certainly felt like a more sensible idea than going for a run - until I slipped on the ice and ended up flat on my back in the middle of the road with a very sore head. The hood on this particular coat usually annoys the hell out of me if it's not actually up on top of my head, it's not detachable and feels like I have a small koala bear clinging to the back of my neck, which is especially annoying when I am driving etc. but in all likelihood(!), my hood saved me from getting concussion, as it acted as a buffer between my head and the road, which is a good thing I maybe it's earning its keep after all! I still managed to take a few pictures though, whether slightly concussed or not !

The lake is beginning to freeze, I wonder if they will be skating in on it again soon?...

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Dead Drunk Danes & Other Day Trips...

We wanted to take my Sister and Fiance to a few places we haven't been before, so we went to Gilleleje last weekend, a tiny old fishing port on the North Coast. It's very picturesque, and I imagine it's even more so in the summer, but on this trip we didn't hang around outside for long - the wind chill factor meant we had to bid a hasty retreat into the closest restaurant, as it felt like our ears were going to drop off! We had a nice lunch at Far Til 4 and introduced my sister and her other half to some more traditional Danish fare...

On Sunday we went to the Vikinge Skib Museet in Roskilde. This place is definitely worth a visit, as is Roskilde; one of the oldest cities in Denmark. If you have time, you should not only visit the museum, but the huge Cathedral nearby (where the Kings and Queens of Denmark are buried) and the City itself. The day we visited was very atmospheric as a thick mist hung over the Fjord, serving as a fitting backdrop to the skeletons of these huge beautiful ships. It took 30 years to restore them back to this state and it gives you a real insight into Viking life.

During the week we also went to Louisiana , where this time I actually had time to look at some of the collections rather than going straight to the Children's wing... There's some great stuff here, I loved the fabulously named "Dead Drunk Danes" by Danish artist Asger Jorn. As an abstract painting it's hard to decipher whether it was a self-portrait or not, but the title won it for me! There's currently a great temporary exhibition (running until March 2011) by American Artist Walton Ford, (no pics allowed due to copyright issues, got very nicely told off for just having a camera around my neck!), but you can get the gist of his stuff here. There's also a collection of a series of paintings of female pilots from the Second World War. Information about the (pretty much unknown) role that each woman played is given underneath. As you walk through the hall, the noise of old aircraft plays in the background which is effective and strangely moving. After all this appreciation, it was time for lunch in the fantastic cafe that overlooks the sea. This Christianshavn Kager made me eat it, probably because it was quite possibly the nicest cake I have had here (so far)...! My grandparents visited Louisiana in the 1960's when they did a house-swap with a Danish family. It was funny to think they probably stood looking at the same Giacommetti's as I did. They were over when the moon-landing took place, which made it especially memorable to them as they didn't have a TV at home at the time - but the Danish family did! Poor Danish family, they had to knock on a neighbour's door in order to watch it. They were also asked to look after an undulator, which they agreed to, not having a clue what it was, and wondering whether it was a boiler or other machine that needed looking after, it turned out to be one of these....

Yesterday we woke up to our first snow of the winter which was nice for our guests - it was officially the first time my nephew has ever seen white stuff! It didn't settle in the centre of town, but we still have a covering in the garden. It does seem quite soon though!!

We said a sad goodbye to our guests this morning, it was so lovely to have them here. I miss being around the corner from both of my sisters, so any time we spend together is special at the moment. We managed to cram in a night out though - my sister's first night out alone since she had the baby. We went to Ruby to celebrate her engagement with a quick cocktail (the Carrot Cake Cocktail is highly recommended), then onto Mikkeller to meet some friends. The children loved having them here too and relished the time spent "looking after" their baby cousin (which included giving him his first unsolicited chip much to my sister's horror!). I am not sure they enjoyed the aborted landing at Gatwick due to another plane being on the runway, nor some of their luggage going missing, but all in all a great time was had by all. It seems so quiet here now! Time to regroup and get back into our "normal" routine before our next guests in three weeks time.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

St.Mortens Aften

A homage to the traditional meal that is held here on the 10th of November every year, in honour of St Martin or St Morten as he is known in these parts. According to the story, he didn't wish to be ordained Bishop so hid in a goose shed, but their loud cackling gave him away. He then had to become Bishop and decided that that would be a good a day as any to slaughter the geese of the land in return for their betrayal, and it became an important medieval feast day. How he is the Patron Saint of animals with that track record I don't know! Most people nowadays cook a duck as they are smaller and cheaper (and easier to cook in my experience)! We had ours a day late in honour of my sister, fiancé and baby arriving for a visit. The duck was delicious stuffed with apples and prunes, but the Rødkål (red cabbage) is something I will never be a great fan of! No candied potatoes for us either, just the boiled variety served with brun sovs (gravy)! The duck fat will make great roast potatoes on another day though! Apparently if St Morten's Aften is mild (which it was), we will have a white Christmas - we shall see!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Nearly Bare.....

This is the walnut tree in our garden. My parents once had a village pub called exactly that, and guess what? It had a walnut tree in front of it! It's still there I think, although it was the victim of many an accident, including a Robin Reliant exploding underneath it. The walnut tree in our garden is hanging on to its last few leaves for now, but the garden is covered so you can guess what we will be mostly doing this weekend! It hasn't produced many walnuts this year though. According to English folklore, you are supposed to whack the trunk with a stick to produce a good crop the following year... a good job for stick boy!

We have had a crazy couple of weeks what with half term and the like. Our first lot of guests arrived on the Thursday of half term, in time to visit Halloween Tivoli on the Friday. They loved it and couldn't get over how many pumpkins there were, it was also much warmer than Halloween Tivoli last year which was a good thing, but it was sooo much busier... I don't think Halloween was that big in Denmark until recently, but (like the UK) it gets bigger each year, and Tivoli's marketing is obviously working! Our three year old was given some candyfloss which was nearly as big as him. After a few minutes he began to look like one of the X-men with a bright orange, very sticky sugar crust over his entire face and hands. A woman pushed passed us on her way out and got rid of most of it for me when she walked off with half of it stuck to the side of her coat. She was in too much of a rush for me to be able to tell her, so I expect she was really pleased to discover that later on! But luckily the small boy was completely oblivious to the fact that half of it had disappeared. Horrendous stuff!

On the Saturday we went to the Frilands for their last day before closing for the winter. They had a great festival in the form of a 17th/18th century carnival which was fantastic! The kids loved the "circus" and the pretend strong man and performers. At the end of the show, they announced that a "beautiful lady" was about to perform, out came a girl with a large blouse with fake arms attached. Her real arms (or rather elbows) formed her "boobs" under the blouse which she then moved about in time to music. The children all stood saucer-eyed at this, their faces were a picture. I would have taken a picture of them, but it definitely would have had camera shake as I was laughing too much. At the end of her performance, she leaned forward and produced two material boobs out of the front of her blouse. After she had left the stage, we asked our three year old what she had done. He said "she showed us her cakes..."!!! Bless!

Sunday we went for a long walk through the forest. Our friends couldn't get over the amazing autumn display we are enjoying at the moment. I don't remember last year being like this, it is pretty breathtaking, although rapidly disappearing in the wind...I don't know whether the bitterly cold winter had something to do with the amazing colours perhaps, but I love it! I don't think I could ever live somewhere that didn't enjoy a good autumn!

That afternoon, I had a text message, it simply said, "see you Friday!" I immediately knew who it was from - my father, a Yorkshireman of limited text words! Hence the lack of blog, for which I apologise, but we have been too busy gallavanting to Sweden (and various other places) where we drove down towards Ystad again, this time stopping at a tiny fishing port called Abbekås. When we got there we were flagging as it was past lunchtime, so we took a chance (it was Sweden after all!) on a small place there called Abbekås Hamnkrog for lunch. What a find! The owners are so friendly and welcoming and the food was wonderful! I had plaice with roasted beetroot in lemon and a beurre blanc. It was huge and delicious and I didn't have room for the potatoes. The children had authentic swedish meatballs made to a family recipe (with the nicest mashed potato I have ever had) with lingonberry jam, and my Husband and Dad both had plates of herring and smoked eel. This place is also a hotel, it's peaceful, the food is excellent and the staff act like you are their very first (and best) customers - what more could you ask for?

A couple more days to enjoy my Dad's company before he goes back home. I will update again shortly - honest!


Thursday, 21 October 2010

Family Traditions and S-tog Scuffles

It's a relatively new family tradition in our house to make the christmas cake in the autumn half-term holidays because a) it's a good afternoons work with two helpers and b) because my mum always makes hers in October and as some of my readers (not yet followers!!) will testify, she makes the best Christmas cake ever. I am not expecting to match her beautiful fruit laden cakes, but this is another family tradition passed on from her. I had been hoping that my mum would pass on her "secret" recipe to me, but I have a feeling it's a Delia Smith recipe from the 70's anyway, so I found a Delia Christmas Cake recipe a few years ago and it turns out well (especially if you "feed" it with brandy every couple of weeks in the run up to Christmas before you ice it). I pre-prepared all the ingredients before calling the apron-clad helpers in to help (as it tends to minimise stress), I had even prepared the tin, tying the extra protective layer of paper around the outside before the chaos began. My five year old began by sifting the flour - it looked quite christmassy in the kitchen after this(!), while the three year old started to crack the eggs!!! All came together eventually though and as soon the mixture was ready to go in the tin, which I was quite grateful for as an electric whisk wielding boy was distrating me somewhat. So into the oven it went (for four hours) and we sat down to relax. Whereupon my five year old said "mummy, weren't we meant to put these in as well".... Luckily it was only the orange & lemon zest and Lys Syrup (substitute for black treacle) but annoying nontheless! I will just give it an extra drink of brandy before the marzipan and icing. Anyway, here are some before and after pics. I didn't take any of the kitchen, you can just imagine the state of that once we had finished

For the past couple of days I have put my three year old into nursery so I could spend some exclusive time with his sister on her half term break. Yesterday I took her to the Glyptotek as she had wanted to see the Little Dancer by Degas. My funny little girl is full of surprises, the amount of Danish she was speaking to the other children here was really interesting (if not a little worrying the more she learns, as I can't understand a word of it!). She also decided to take a sketch book and pencil with her to the museum and spent ages sitting on the floor and drawing various sculptures and pieces of art while I hovered about, looking at art (and trying not to look like some sort of obnoxious pushy parent - luckily it was quite quiet as I don't know how to say "it was her idea" in Danish...!), it was really nice to see her enjoying something I love and it even raised a smile from Mrs Grumpy in the Greek section! I especially loved R's interpretation of the Little Dancer!

The only downer of the day was on the trip home. A homeless guy was wandering up and down the train asking people for change, nothing unusual there you might think, until he entered the carriage next to ours and spotted another beggar obviously on his turf. He immediately jumped upon him and had him in a headlock and they started fighting. It was over in seconds and the surrounding passengers did the usual slow and silent retreat, as I saw on many occasions during my commuting years in London when something similar broke out. The poor guy seemed to be OK and his aggressor got off at the next stop. My little girl seemed rather oblivious to it all and thankfully wasn't really watching, but just in case I said "that wasn't very nice was it", and she replied "but they were only dancing mummy"...if only!

Guests arriving tonight, we will be investigating Halloween Tivoli tomorrow and then probably hibernating over the weekend if the weather forecast is anything to go by.

Will update when I can...


Monday, 18 October 2010

Computers, Cakes & Cold...

I have been without a computer for a few days as this one decided to have a give up the ghost quite typically while my husband was away. Thankfully he is back now and so is my computer thanks to him! He's not just a pretty face you know!

The past few days have been much colder, we had a hoarfrost this morning but it was starting to melt by the time I got down to the lake. I would have been there sooner had two small people not decided to come with me, as it takes at least half an hour to get the protesting things into their snowsuits (which believe me were quite necessary this morning). My Scandinavian winter coat came out too, a bit sooner than that month I guestimated not so long ago. It was quite beautiful nonetheless, and not surprisingly we didn't see anyone swimming in the lake this morning... The children were more enchanted with a graffiti dog they found on an underpass, but he will come in useful in tempting them out on a more regular basis now the cold is setting in.

Half term this week, more guests arriving on Thursday so I hope it stays as crisp and dry as this! In the meantime our tasks for the week include buying pumpkins, making the Christmas cake and getting out and about before they arrive. Watch this space...

Friday, 8 October 2010


As someone who has never had that much time for authority (and still cannot stand being told what to do!) I loved the idea of Christiania, so I was quite disappointed the first time I went. We only made it as far as Pusher Street before I had a row with someone about a camera that I was actually putting away in my bag, (incidentally the only street you can't take pictures on is Pusher Street, you can take pictures elsewhere as long as you have respect for your subjects!) the atmosphere wasn't great and the few stalls selling rubbish nearby just reminded me of Camden, so we gave up and went elsewhere. More fool us for not persevering beyond this particular street! I went back a couple of days ago with a guide fromRundvisergruppen, the official tour guides of Christiania(many of whom are long-term residents). Our guide met us in the lovely and warm Gallopperiet where we learned a bit about the history of the place and how it came to be. She has lived here since 1976, her husband was one of the original Christianites who helped establish Christiania by claiming the deserted military base as their own. Then we followed her on her Christiania bike (naturally) through the site (and the pouring rain - which didn't deter the hardy few), starting with Pusher Street which actually doesn't have that much to do with the real Christiania. The hash stalls are run by different gangs from outside, so although there are problems with occasional clashes and fights and "difficult" customers, the police presence is high here because of it, and that in turn ensures that Christiania is ironically probably one of the safest areas of the city!

Currently there are around 900 residents here, and around 1,850 mostly self-built buildings of all shapes and sizes. The oldest dates back to 1688 (an old powder magazine forming part of the bastion, the walls of which are 2 metres thick). I was so surprised at how big this place is and the complex infrastructure behind it. Most people think that Christianites don't pay taxes or rent, so don't deserve to be here, a fact that is actually not true. All residents pay a monthly "using fee" and the money earned collectively from the "white business" is used for tax and maintenance. Aside from what is referred to as grey business (the soft drug market)which doesn't bring any money in for the residents, the legal "white" businesses run by them are thriving. There is a great blacksmith's with beautiful gifts and sculptures, a greengrocers, several cafes and restaurants including the famous Spiseloppen. Other shops include one which restores beautiful iron furnaces for re-sale, the Christiania Bike shop, and the various music venues including Loppen. We spent over two hours with our guide - the history behind this place is incredible, and I really admire the residents who strive to make their community run like clockwork. It is ironic then that this laid back lifestyle is perhaps not as relaxed as it once was, with the stress that must be currently hanging over them. Christiania will be taken to the High Court for the second time at the beginning of next year. The Government wants to reclaim this land and "normalise" it as it wants to restore some of the 16th century site, and place cannons along the waterfront. The high rise modern apartment blocks it possibly also wants to build will look quite out of place then surely? As the second biggest tourist attraction in Copenhagen maybe it would be wiser to work alongside the Christianites, as it will be a huge loss to the city and its history should it cease to exist - there is only one Christiania after all! I am really looking forward to coming back here again, and would highly recommend a visit with Rundvisergruppen for visitors new and old.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Lobster Market...

This morning I went to the last local loppe (or lobster market as my 3 year old insists it's called) market of 2010. The hardy stall owners didn't seem to mind the cold strong winds and neither did the crowd of prospective buyers (I spotted my first snowsuit wearers today it was that cold, I also wore my English winter coat, I guestimate that my Scandinavian one will be coming out in a month or so. The winter tyres also go back on the car tomorrow, a sobering thought!). I have really enjoyed my jaunts here first thing on a Sunday morning throughout the summer, foreign junk is always a lot more interesting than that of your own country, and English car boot sales these markets are not. Yes there are the usual household stalls with pre-loved toys and clothes and shoes (I still can't believe how people will buy tatty second-hand shoes), but amongst them are the more interesting antique stalls selling Scandinavian bits and pieces from years gone by. The cupboards of Danish Mormors hold plenty a Royal Copenhagen vase from the sixties and seventies, stuff not wanted by many Danes nowadays (their cupboards are full of them too), but some of it is wanted by us "tourists", who scavange amongst the piles of Fajance looking for good deals. It might be a coincidence that things seem to go in phases here too, last week was definitely a Barbie week, but that could have been because I had my five year old with me so I wasn't tuned into the finer antiques! The week before there was a glut of strange cross-stitched samples on various stalls. Do stall-holders look out of the window and think, well it definitely looks like the kind of day that people would buy a certain item? My finds this year have included a couple of paintings, several vases and bowls and beautiful scandinavian jugs. Today I bought a wooden balance bike for my son for a mere 50KR. I am going to miss this market over the winter, but luckily the big flea markets carry on in the halls and auction rooms of central Copenhagen so my shelves won't be getting a rest just yet.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Pictures From An Early Walk...

My mother is a photographer, she usually carries around a couple of cameras with her wherever she goes. I am trying to get into this habit (with only one camera though!) and would like to try and take at least a couple of pictures a day, not because I want to be a photographer (or claim to be any good at it), just because one day I will be glad I did! Earlier in the week I remembered to cram it into my bag before I went into town for a meeting. I went in much earlier than I needed to because it was a beautiful day, and because I don't go in as often as I should! Here are a few of what I took along the way, they were all taken mid-morning (and I must have been hungry as they are mostly of food)...

Monday, 27 September 2010

Bad Weather?

I am sorry to report to those of you residing in Denmark, that we are in for another very bad winter. Well, at least my husband thinks so according to the amount of wood that turned up from our recent order! The lorry couldn't get down the drive, so the first part of our weekend was spent shifting it after they dumped it half way down. Very luckily they delivered it after I had been out on the school run!

Friday, 24 September 2010

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

I love this place. Started by Carl Jacobsen, the founder of the Carslberg Brewery, who decided to make his sizeable private collection public, in this beautiful building just around the corner from Tivoli. It's worth doing a guided tour if you book in time, I always find I learn a lot more about these kind of places by doing that occasionally. We did the Highlights Tour last week, and an hours tour included a visit to the Egyptian mummies in the vault, various statues by the likes of Rodin (including The Kiss, which is just beautiful and is based upon Dante's Inferno if you didn't know - I didn't!), and a tiny corner of its vast art section. My favourite had to be the Van Gogh collection, where amongst others we saw the beautiful "Mountainous Landscape Behind St Paul Hospital" which depicts a view from the mental institute in St Remys where he was a patient at the time. Around a year after he had painted this, Van Gogh shot himself in the stomach, apparently in this very same field (so the story goes). He died a couple of days later. He only sold one single painting during his life time, and his brother's widow was advised to burn all of his work that she owned at that time. Very luckily she didn't. Other works here include the lovely Degas Little Ballet Dancer of 14 Years in Bronze , and a stack of other famous works of art by artists such as Picasso, Manet, Renoir and Monet. We had lunch in the gorgeous Winter Gardens, but they are currently filming a very popular cookery show here, so you must book if you want a guaranteed table - the cakes are gargantuan (but with a price to match - see there's always a downside to everything!). There's plenty more to see aside from the art collection, including a huge collection of ancient artifacts in the basement. One word of warning. Make sure your mobile phone is switched off, and do not switch it back on again until you leave. I came here months ago with one of my best friends, and made the mistake of switching a phone back on just to see what the time was, whereupon an untimely SMS announced it's arrival, and we were reduced to two sniggering school girls again after a very hefty telling off from an officious museum guard. I think she enjoys her job a little too much (she resides with the artefacts section in the basement - you have been warned!). Enjoy...
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