June 23, 2016
If you are just tuning in, this is the fifth installment of the Great Scandinavian Adventure to Denmark and Sweden this past spring. You can read the previous posts beginning here.
The second full day after I arrived in Copenhagen is what I like to call my eventyr, which can translate to ‘adventure’ or ‘fairytale’ in Danish, and both are equally fitting! This was the day Annelise took me to Tivoli Gardens; where I was transported back to my childhood self for a few lovely hours.
If you are not familiar with Tivoli, which opened in August of 1843, it is the 2nd oldest-operating amusement park in the world. In fact, Walt Disney visited in the early 1950s to get inspiration for Disneyland, which opened over 100 years after Tivoli, in 1955. H.C. Andersen was also a fan of Tivoli, and it inspired him to write The Nightingale. Yes, it is that enchanting!
After walking through that magical archway we were immediately met by a tower of giraffes peeking out at us from fun mirrors, as if they took a break from a Serengeti afternoon to stop and say hello.
At The Open Air Stage, a performance of Swedish author Astrid Lingren’s lovable Pippi Langstrømpe (Pippi Longstocking) was being performed for an audience of excited children and children at heart.
Afterwards, The Tivoli Youth Guard led a cheerful parade through the grounds, leaving dancing and merriment in their wake. The Youth Guard, a year-round music school for kids aged 8-16 is a tradition that stretches back to 1844. Just like the red and white flags that adorn all of Denmark, The Youth Guard uniform, of bearskin hat, red jacket and white pants, symbolizes Danish tradition. (you can listen to them perform here on Tivoli’s website).
With our hearts bursting with exuberance and joviality we knew it was time to eat. I was craving a traditional Danish lunch (akvavit and all!), and Annelise suggested that Restaurant Grøften, Tivoli’s oldest and most traditional restaurant, would do the trick. It was called Theatre Café back when it opened in 1874, and although the name has changed, those old-style recipes and customs definitely have endured. Red-checkered tablecloths, whimsical Lauritz Johansen hot air balloon lighting and cheerful, relaxed and (yes, I’ll say it again) the hyggelig ambience made this place a favorite in my book! One look around and I’d have sworn I was in heaven. Alas, it was the next best thing.
Simply calling Tivoli an ‘amusement park’ doesn’t quite do it justice. Yes, there are some rides, but I believe the term ‘pleasure garden’ is far more fitting a term because of the lovely grounds, charming eateries and the delightful design of the space. Tivoli stands alone as one of the most joyful places I have been to. There is so much history to Tivoli, and if you would like to read more about this magical place please visit the website here.
Yes, I only covered half of my 2nd day in Copenhagen in this post – that is how great it was! Tune in next week to hear about my walk to gorgeous Rosenborg, and the amazing time I spent there at one of Christian IV’s favorite castles. Not to mention, the lasting impression he has left on Copenhagen, over 350 years after his death. Additionally, I’ll divulge my fairytale afternoon rendezvous with Hans Christian Andersen in the Kongens Have (King’s Garden), and I can’t forget the lovely meal we had at Orangeriet. That is, Annelise and I, not Mr. Andersen (although, I would relish in that fairytale scenario)!
I hope you are planning to spend a fun day for all at The Danish Home’s annual Summerfest this Sunday in Chicago. Admission is free! Come, eat traditional Danish foods, enter exciting raffles, listen to great entertainment, and so much more!
(photos courtesy of IVY Marketing Group unless otherwise noted)