Friday, August 28, 2015

Feeding the ducks and pigeons

A lady and her son were feeding a few bags of old bread to the ducks at the inner court yard of Christiansborg. When she noticed that Kabouter was watching the ducks, she gave us very genererously 2 big chuncks of loafs for Kabouter to feed. Very very nice of her as it gave us 20 minutes of great fun.

Kabouter had fun throwing pieces out (but did not manage to throw them at some distance away), but each time the ducks or pigeons approached to come and pick the bread he cautiously walked backwards...followed by many hungry birds. So we had to guide him a bit to prevent that he disappeared in the back hedge of the garden with the pigeons on top of him  ...well Kabouter ended mostly on our lap while we were holding out pieces of bread. he had fun tough and so did we.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lego - canal boat trip + inner court yards

On Saturday afternoon we were obliged to sit at some terraces for some drinks while waiting for Kabouter to have his nap as we didn't want to join our planned canal boat tour while he was asleep. (and he really needed this nap but we'd have to wake him up in order to board the boat).   Life can be tough ;).
On our way to the boat, we made a stop in the flagship downtown LEGO store where they clearly have toys that interest all ages :p. 

Then we boarded on a stereotypical tourist canal boat tour which brought us again along some of the monuments we had seen already a couple of times (Opera, Library, Palace and little mermaid, the "Dutch canals" at Christianshaven etc...)  but also toured further and passed some very nice residential waterside properties!
Kabouter was very pleased with the many bridges we toured under :p.

royal yacht

Danish marine manouvring in the port

unclear boat selfie in the modern library building
Before returning with tired feet to the hotel, we zigzagged through the Christianborg palace neighbourhood  (the former old royal palaces...often destroyed & rebuilt).  There was a nice view at the buildings at the royal stables parade ground but a bit further is a true little gem sortwhat hidden inner court yard. A true oasis of tranquility and beauty surrounded by the busy commercial city center.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Made in Belgium: Lieven Tavernier

Lieven Tavernier isn't a well known commercial name but some of his songs are known by everyone. That's because this singer-song writer, author & singer has often written music that is performed by other artists.    But "De fanfare van honger en dorst" and "De eerste sneeuw" are classics in our music history.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Parks and castles in Copenhagen

On Saturday there was the Gay pride in Copenhagen.  We decided to try to avoid the parade area a bit as I feared it would be mad crazy and therefore maybe a little difficult with a toddler that wants to walk himself, although I hoped I'd see some of the party nevertheless.

On the subway we shared the ride already with 2 men in rainbow bowties but we got off a stop early near the botanical garden.  

I find that I really start liking & judging cities by their downtown parks and the use of them by its residents: how much green is there and how is it used? 
So we started by exploring in the botanical garden which only has 2 entrances while there is plenty of fences & locked gates along the surrounding's a bit a pity to first have to walk half of the perimeter to be able to get in and then also walk inside back to the entry you came from as that makes most sense with the rest of your tour you want to do in Copenhagen.  I don't really know why they keep all their gates locked?

In the garden were some old-timer food trucks as we tend to see all over Copenhagen.  The food truck hype is really bigger here than in Belgium and create a lot of little pop-up cafĂ© corners which is really nice. We had a loop walk through the park at the speed of a toddler who finds rubbing each found little stone on his track very entertaining ;)

Across the botanical garden, we had the entrance of the Rozenberg castle: a very charming former residence from the Danish king. I had to stand in line for a while to exchange my "Copenhagen card" for the free entrance tickets, then had to find change to put my bags in the mandatory locker. Fortunately Jan and Kabouter could amuse themselves outside a bit by watching the guards...who Kabouter was imitating at the end :p...very cute. Inside we took a tour of the Danish crown jewels in the basement treasury.  Impressive although my visit to the Kremlin treasury in Moscow will spoil all other treasuries as mediocre.

A few blocks from the Rosenberg castle is Amalienborg Palace, the current residence of the queen and also of her son's family. The palace square is surrounded with some neo classical buildings that are nice but not too impressive either.   We were glad to see large crowds of tourists leave : we were arriving after the change of guards and didn't mind.  Yet there were still 2 groups of guards on the square with 2 lines of watching tourists. We joined for a bit but beside 4 marching guards that disappeared not much was happening, so we went on.

The nearby big fountain was a good stop to get water blown on us on our faces and to jump in the puddles.

We headed back downtown where we strolled through the shopping streets and had some drinks while Kabouter had crashed for a much needed nap.