Christianshavn Kanal, Copenhagen 55:40.510N 012:35.592E

Frans & Sarah Toonen
Fri 20 Jun 2014 14:31
Arrived 20 June 2014, stayed 4 nights. NW, W and Var 2-4 and gusting 5 in the thunderstorms. It rained on us today - first time in Denmark- all the way from Køge on and off but we did manage to sail most of the way. The sun came out as we entered the Lynetteløb channel leading to the main canal which runs north/south through the whole city. As you would expect there is not much room on the Christianshavn Kanal as boats are berthed both sides and the city water tour boats transit the canal on their trips as well as the popular canoe and motor boat rentals. Captain Frans was on form and berthed Pelagia in our reserved spot no problem. 

By a stroke of fortune(?) we were right next to a one Michelin star restaurant so we dined on foam, air and flowers accompanied by delicious more substantial items each course having it’s wine specially chosen to accompany it. Denmark’s only two Michelin star restaurant, Noma, was nearby in an old warehouse and we peered through the glass when they were shut. They have built an alpine rockery around the end of the warehouse and have a few beehives which look very out of place. 

We decided not to use any form of public transport but to walk everywhere. There are fabulous churches, civic buildings, museums and castles right across the city. You could easily get bored with all this culture and so we just picked a few things. We wanted to learn about Denmark’s position in the Second World War and so we went to the resistance museum only to find it had been burnt down. On the way we came upon a fisheries research vessel moored on the main canal as part of a 'science week’. This was very interesting as not only did it catch fish and carry out sampling it had a large laboratory and all the crew and scientists were very chatty. They displayed every kind of fresh fish from Danish waters and they had set up open kitchens on the deck to serve free fishy snacks. There has been a big project researching how the eels are getting on with breeding in Bermuda before swimming to Denmark but as the film was in Danish all we know for sure is the crew had a good time. We also learnt about the so called ‘killer jelly fish’ which has been brought to North Europe in ballast water from the far east and is competing with our native species for food.

The national art gallery was next and then the obligatory palace. Rosenborg Slot is not very big and we got in before too many tour buses from the 4 or 5 cruise ships on the canal. We learnt that whilst mostly Denmark and Sweden spent hundreds of years fighting over who would control the narrow stretch of water, Øresund, which gives access to the Baltic from the North Sea, the British had a go as well in 1807. Denmark was siding with Napoleon so the British navy attacked Copenhagen, destroyed the naval yard and returned to Blighty with the 170 Danish gun boats they hadn’t sunk. Hostilities ended in 1814 and part of the treaty was that Denmark had to release Norway to become independent. Denmark was bankrupt and had been under siege for many years by then. They still have plenty of crown jewels to fill the vaults at the Rosenborg Slot. 

The magnificent Øresund bridge opened in 2000 and is the setting for one of our favourite Danish TV thrillers ‘The Bridge’ so we decided to brush up on our Danish and watch it again over 2 nights on the PC. The takeaway pizza place around the corner was great and as you are not allowed to discharge into the canal we could hardly cook and wash up could we? We had walked so far each day we had to lie down with our feet up anyway. 

We visited the Botanical Gardens which were nice but quite small scale, nobody does gardens like the Brits really. Some rain showers so we headed to the cinema. Overall the city is attractive and enjoyable to visit. 4 days was enough for us though and we were happy to swop pavements for water once again. 

Not a lot of room to manoeuvre. Tourist boat in front...
…and canoes behind.

Museum closed… well actually gone completely, burned to the ground.

Rosenborg Slot