Sunday, July 10, 2011

Copenhagen: the long-awaited return to Tivoli!

Tea, enjoying the ferris wheel at Tivoli Gardens
[These last few posts of the cruise were written as we sailed back to Amsterdam. We now continue on Thursday, July 7...]

Our last stop was Copenhagen, Denmark. Just a skip from the ship and that famous mermaid was lost in heartache before us.

Uh, no, the other one...
That's better

The walk along the waterfront to the Nyhavn was lovely. I have a soft spot for cities on the water, so by the time we'd stopped for coffee (slash cough pint), taking in those old wooden ships, I was near swooning for Copenhagen. The bill brought me closer to earth, mind -- Copenhagen is probably the most expensive city I've visited. Still, on a cruise littered with jaw-dropping canal shots -- in Amsterdam, of course, but also in Warnemunde and Stockholm -- these pictures are stars for me; particularly the ones from later in the day, when the sun came out.


The Amazing Race shot on this very location a few days later!

Refreshed once more, we continued on. Our destination? Tivoli Gardens. Said to have inspired Walt Disney, it truly is a magical, lilliputian kingdom, nestled in the bustling city. It's founder, Georg Carstensen, said Tivoli would never be finished, and while the roller coasters and towering drop rides are anything but nineteenth century, the intricate open-air stages, elaborate fountains and rides like the tour of Hans Christian Andersen's works pleasingly harken back to what I see as a time of simpler pleasures.

The highlight of the park -- and the whole day, really -- had to be Tea's reactions: she'd been building Tivoli up so much, leading up to the cruise, and then during it; I couldn't see how it would live up to those special childhood memories. But it did; exceeding them even. It's so great to finally see all these places she's talked of for as long as I've known her, and just adds to the surreal nature of our time over here. I can't believe how these two years have flown by!

Speaking of time flying, such was the extent of our Tivoli fun that, by the time we left, we were entering that all-important "missing the boat" buffer we've learned to give ourselves (expert cruisers that we are /sarcasm). Still, there's always time for one last pint -- in this case, at the fantastic Brewpub København: beautiful, secluded outdoor space, excellent beers -- a must-see for beer lovers!

There was a real vibe to the city as we quickly walked back to the ship: whether it was the late afternoon visit from a previously-absent sun, the more respectable hour, or both and more besides, outdoor seating in the plazas and patios we passed was at a premium, and smiles and laughter abounded.

And so ended another fantastic trip. We all agreed it was our best cruise to date. Check out our Picasa album for more pictures from the day. And if you've stumbled here first, check out the other posts from the trip. (Finally, Stephen put together a movie of the trip; just write me or him if you'd like to see it.)

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