Once upon a time, there was a traveler getting ready for the next journey. A special one, filled with fairytale places. The plane ticket displayed the upcoming destination, a Scandinavian one: Copenhagen, Denmark.
Castles, palaces, Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, Vikings, cobblestone streets, and beautiful old houses – this will be the most magical time of my life!, the traveler thought before getting off the plane.
1. Did you ever hear the story of the Little Mermaid?
The first place that the traveler decided to visit is one of the most significant emblems of the Danish capital: the Little Mermaid statue.
As many of us have grown up with Hans Christian Andersen’ wonderful stories, chances are that Copenhagen makes the traveler associate it with the Little Mermaid or Den lille havfrue, as locals call her. The famous Disney movie with the same title is inspired by this captivating tale.
The elegant statue is located on a cliff in Langelinie, right in the city’s harbor and it’s linked to a couple of well-known legends. The first one says that the Oresund’s gorge waters’ only inhabitants were mermaids. The other one is a story about the beautiful mermaid who wished her soul to be eternal.
Back in 2013, the Little Mermaid statue celebrated a century of proudly resting on the cliff. When first seeing the slender statue, the traveler had two surprises: its beauty and its size – the monument measures just 1 meter and 25 centimeters height. But there’s so much allurement, grace and sophisticated simplicity within this small package!
While staring at the charming mermaid, the traveler heard a guide telling the following story: in 1909, the Carlsberg beer founder, Carl Jacobsen Brewer, watched the Little Mermaid play, written by Hans Beck and Fini Henriques and based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story. Deeply impressed by the tale, he asked sculptor Edvard Eriksen to make a sculpture that depicts the mermaid. The bronze statue was unveiled at Langelinie on the 23rd of August 1913.
Who would have known that interesting tale? Not the traveler, for sure!
2. Close to the Little Mermaid, there is the Gefion Fountain, ready to make wishes come true.
And, as the traveler was steps away from the Churchill Park, the next stop was the famous fountain located here: the Gefion Fountain. It’s the biggest monument in the city, inspired by an old, northern legend. It was created in honor of the 50 years anniversary of the Carlsberg brewery and it depicts Gefion, a Norse goddess. Featuring the powerful, mythological figure driving a group of animals, the monument’s magnificence left our traveler speechless.
Nowadays, the Gefion Fountain is also known as a wishing well place; therefore, the traveler threw some change in the water and made a wish: for this trip to continue being as fascinating as it had been so far.
Before proceeding to the next stop, the traveler took a peaceful walk on a nearby alley that was carefully fenced with Japanese cherry trees (sakura). These trees bloom during the spring, painting the whole landscape and spreading their astounding scent all over.
3. In olden times, sailors used to meet at the legendary Nyhavn.
Nyhavn, translated as the New Harbor, is warmly welcoming the traveler, promising to thrill with its eye-catching mien and background story. This is the place where sailors used to meet in the past, a part of the harbor that was also known for its brothels. Wacky, huh? But, on a more fairytale-like note, Hans Christian Andersen lived and wrote some of his magical stories within this area.
Nowadays, Nyhavn is populated by beautiful wooden boats, by old houses’ facades painted with strong colors, and by chic terraces. This old fellow gives our traveler the perfect opportunity to relax. After a long, peaceful walk, the traveler sits at one of the terraces, enjoying a flavored coffee and a traditional smorrebrod – a yummy Danish sandwich.