My journey to the exploration of what to see in Copenhagen in one day was rather convoluted.
I entered Finland the way familiar to all Russian tourists embarking on budget-friendly road trips – namely, by car, fueled by the achingly sweetened coffee from neon-blinking petrol stations, and pointing my GPS navigator strictly at Helsinki. I spent my first night in the small town of Hamina, whose chief attraction for me at this point was its closeness to the Russian border – though this attribute alone ensured, that every hotel in the vicinity was fully-booked. I drove into Hamina at nine in the evening, and the streets of the small Finnish town were clean, dark and respectably empty. The restaurants were also prudently closed by that hour, so I subsisted thanks to the kindness of a young woman at my hotel. She was slim, dark and energetic, juggled the roles of receptionist and barista, and, faced with another ashen-faced traveler wearied by the jam at the border, offered to fry me a chicken. And thus I ate to see another day.
The next leg of the journey took me through Helsinki, soaked with the winter rain, and over the dark waters of the Baltic Sea. I dozed in my cabin, while our white whale of a ferry was crossing invisible borders through the night.
Only after a day-long drive from Stockholm, much sweetened by a certain audiobook, I finally arrived to my first proper destination in this planned dash of a road trip: namely, Copenhagen.
I loved its blend of liveliness and cosiness. Twixmas sleepiness often threatens to engulf smaller towns completely, but here, it barely made a dent – the shop windows glistened as always, promising innumerable treasures within, and the fair in Tivoli Gardens (pavilions and rides, glogg booths and a mini-Chinatown) roared as if Christmas was still to come.
Alas, even the big city lights proved helpless before the calamities of wind and rain, so I took refuge under the fabulous roof of the Glyptoteket art museum. Its graceful winter garden, light seeping through the transparent dome, welcomed me into its seasonless serenity.
While ancient civilizations spread to the left and right of me, the greatest displays were dedicated to the Romans – unsurprising, probably, though a little ironic, given that Denmark was one of the few European lands the legionnaires have never set their collective sandaled foot in. The room housing the statues was painted deep red, evoking the Mediterranean splendor of Pompeii, and the white marble seemed to glow faintly against the backdrop. I couldn’t help it but spent a few hours among the veiled stone matrons, headless heroes battling serpents, tarnished goddesses of love, and renowned orators whose names were lost to time.
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