Jul 132012

July 1, 2012 (Day 19)

Weather: Absolutely gorgeous and beautiful day

Today we woke up early as we have many things to do. We wanted to be at the Carlsberg Brewery just as they opened up. The walk from the train station proved to be quite interesting. Carlsberg has a full campus to walk through and we found various artwork and kids playgrounds amidst the industrial buildings. There was a very intriguing art(?) display consisting of a large roof with hundreds, thousands, probably, lengths of rope hanging from the ceiling down almost the the floor. The ropes were knotted at different spots. When we came back after our tour, we found kids playing in the area, so I guess it was a playground of sorts. We also passed by a high-ropes course here in the middle of the industrial area and then of course various Carlsberg historical spots like statues, arches, and of course the large elephants.

Rope art? on the Carlsberg Brewery campus

The brewery tour left something to be desired as it was just a self guided tour mostly through just a museum of Carlsberg facts. We didn’t see any part of the brewery actually in action or anything. And it was pretty deserted this early in the morning. One of the first places our tour took us through was the stables where we learned about the famous Carlsberg horses that used to be the driving force of the Carlsberg wagons bringing beer to the masses before motor vehicles. They still have several Jutlandic Horses for show.

Carlsberg horses

We thought this was rather a lame start to the tour. While interesting, not quite what we expected, to learn about horse maintenance and tour the stables, followed by a little outdoor statue garden of Roman art. But, then we entered the old brewery and this building seemed to keep going and going. We were absolutely amazed by the collection of unopened beer bottles. This collection is the largest of its kind, founded by Mr. Leif Sonne, who then transferred the collection to Carlsberg in 1993. The collection was counted in October 2006 as the worlds largest collection of beer bottles containing 16,384 bottles! Now it holds 21,797 bottles. Wow…… And it was a sight to see! A huge room encased in plexiglass held shelf after shelf of unopened bottles for us to marvel at. It was impossible to get a photo to show the scale.

Biggest unopened bottle collection in the world. This is just one shelf of many, many.

The most hilarious part of our visit to the brewery was entering the history room, where a timeline of world history was placed around the walls focusing on the beer history of the world. In fact, most amusing, where the photos, yes, photos, of cavemen holding beers at 10,000 BC! I’m still laughing when I think back to it. The history of the world as told from the eyes of someone holding a beer was very different from the history you might read about in text books. Mostly it told about how beer played it’s role during major world events.

Coke Zero in a beer glass looks like dark beer. =)

Eventually, we entered the most anticipated room, the smell room. Here 20 different bottles held the smells of all the ingredients that might be found in a Carlsberg beer. Once you sniffed the flavors, you could then read a large board showing which flavors are in all the varieties of Carlsberg beers, and supposedly knowing which aromas interested you, you could choose a flavor of beer you would like.

Sniff, sniff

Beer aroma chart

Finally we ended at the bar where we could grab either a soft drink or a beer. I was happy to find that we had a choice of soft drinks and Mark was more disappointed to see they only had about 4-5 beers on tap. He was hoping to try something new. But, we actually had a lot of fun drinking our beverage while playing at the foosball table. Mark let me win the first game, and then it was no contest as Mark won all the following games. =)

Grand elephant entrance

And now it was time to leave and move on with our day. We took the train back to main Copenhagen and had lunch at a cafe on our way to the Kopenhaven Museum. This museum turned out to be completely awesome and one of the best parts of our trip! It was actually rather funny as we almost walked past it. I noticed a building with a mini model of old copenhagen (year 1530) out in front. I told Mark we should go inside the gate so I could take some photos. We learned that the model town was made of fired stoneware and also that we were standing in front of the Kopenhaven Museum! Great entrance!

Model of 1500s Copenhagen

This off-the-beaten-path museum was an awesome and ecclectic museum. The temporary exhibit was most apparent since the front entrance was lined with trash-art as they had an exhibit on Copenhagen and trash. But, we started with the main exhibits that mostly told of the history of Copenhagen as told through the various immigrants. The idea is that Copenhagen-ers are all immigrants that make the city great. The museum focused on the people of Copenhagen and how the integrated into Copenhagen to call the city home rather than just a history of main events of the town. One of the interactive displays allowed us to pack a suitcase. I opted out as I’ve been packing, un-packing and re-packing enough for everyone here in the museum already. =) There were some really neat displays and cool interview videos of current Copenhagen citizens talking about what it means to be from Copenhagen. There was a hilarious video of a guy who decided to start an annual event of buggy-racing. That’s racing with a stroller. The temporary trash exhibit had real potential to it. I was certainly interested in how the city handled the trash and recycling programs. However, this exhibit was so poorly laid out, that I stopped trying to read the information and instead just focused on the trash-art.

Fashionable babies in Copenhagen

We realized that we did not have enough time to visit Rosenborg Castle, and called it a day (as far as business hours go). We went to the train station to buy tomorrow’s ticket to Billund (home of LEGOland!!) and found massive amounts of lines. But we made it. Now we walked down Stroget Street, the main pedestrian-tourist street to find souvenirs and get some ice cream before we walked on towards Christianshaven again. This was where we had tried to eat dinner the other day and also an area we visited on our canal cruise. Today, we were coming to visit Vor Frelser Kirke, the chuch on the skyline with out outdoor spiral staircase up the steeple. Until 8pm, we can climb up to the top. The interior staircase we had to climb was extremely narrow like the various duomos and campaniles we climbed in Italy. Then we went outside onto the exterior staircase which was a thrill. The views were superb, though it was very windy outside. If today had been a crowded day, it would have been almost impossible to pass people going up and down on the staircase. When we walked past the bells inside the church, we found warning alarms that would sound just before the bells were to ring so you could be ready for the intense sound. We were also very lucky that today was July 1st as the later opening hours started today.

View looking up

View looking down

Finally, we ended our day by taking the metro to the Nyhaven (new harbor) area. We had reviews for a place called Cap Horn for dinner. We sat outside on the harbor to eat our dinner while we people-watched. Lots of people, actually, were just sitting on the edge of the harbor wall with take out pizza boxes and ice cream desserts. Perhaps for a more authentic experience, we could have done that, but we were very happy with our delicious dinner. Oh, and tonight was the Euro Cup finale of Italy vs Spain! So, everyone was decked out in their team colors and walking down the harbor to the end of the area near the sand castle competition to watch the game on the big screen. Here people watching was at its finest!!

Nyhaven Harbor

Finally, tired after the long day, we decided to go home and open our new puzzle purchased the other day. We turned on the soccer game, worked on the puzzle, and ate our own ice cream before heading off to bed. Tomorrow we have to wake up very early to travel to LEGOland!! I’m so excited.

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