As soon as I landed in Copenhagen, I was ready to head to the National Museum. I’d read about its collection and the interesting history of Denmark that it celebrates. So, I hopped in a cab, checked into my room, and was ready to strike out.
I got directions from the front desk and went on my way. Now, based on what I saw, for every kiss in Paris, there must be something like 3 bikes in Copenhagen. Everybody is on a bike. It’s nearly overwhelming.
After getting only a little bit lost, I found the museum. In walked I, confidently ready to get my learning on. A very nice lady was waiting for me. She said, in perfect English, “Hello!” I responded in kind. “The museum is closed today.” What? Completely unprepared for the letdown, I looked like a dejected puppy. “You can come back tomorrow,” she said trying to comfort me.
Well, I will! But, I sought some other way to pass the afternoon (which was getting darker by the moment).
As somebody said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” And I was one of them for walking into this place.
After I bought my 129 Kroner ticket (the Danes, it turns out, are like the British in their refusal to adopt the Euro), I was instructed to first go through the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. Being good at following instructions, I did just that.
I was greeted with a video about land diving in Vanuatu. Somehow, Vanuatu — a tiny island in the South Pacific — has overtaken my life. I hear about it everywhere I go. Eventually, I’ll make it there.
As the only customer, I was sure to take my time. I did my best to look fascinated by the many mannequins. One illustrated the man with the largest nose in history (Thomas Wedders, born in the 18th Century, had a 7.5-inch nose). Another mannequin displayed the fattest man (Robert Earl Hughes was born in 1926. He gained, on average, several pounds each day and died weighing 1060 pounds). Let’s just say Ripley’s hasn’t spent enough time in America.
There was also an amazing display of mutant animals including a two-headed calf, an albino deer, and an eight-legged lamb.
While Ripley’s was nice, I much preferred the Hans Christian Andersen museum. He was a great writer of children’s fairy tales who first failed as a singer, an actor, a dancer, and a playwright. He carried a trunk with a rope in it everywhere he went because he was afraid of fire. The placard told
us me (again, I was the only attendee) that he figured, in case a building he was in caught fire, he could just use the rope to climb out. You know, I’d lived my whole life without that fear. Now it’s going to fester. Thanks, Hans. Where do you buy a rope in this town?
Apparently, Mr. Christian Andersen was quite an ugly man with low self-esteem.
“My nose is mighty as a cannon and my eyes are like tiny green peas,” he once said.
However, as we all know he found lasting success writing his fantastical children’s fairy tales.
He used what he earned for traveling.
“To travel is to live.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen.
I agree, Hans. I agree.
Anyway, much of the museum was dedicated to his fairy tales. I must say that they were not all peaches and cream. Most of them seemed to involve some combination of freezing to death, drowning and turning to foam, donning blackface, or being naked.
After the museum, I was hungry. The choice of going to KFC or Burger King, which were next door, proved too much. So, instead, I opted for The Viking House. I walked right in and was greeted in perfect English by a waitress who escorted me to my table. As was the case at the museums, I was the only customer. Apparently, a Monday in November is not a popular time to be in Copenhagen. The menu presented a not-very-wide variety of choices. Should I have the traditionally Danish Nachos, a Club Sandwich, or a Hamburger? I opted for the Hamburger because it was called the “Barbarian Burger” and Vikings are freaking awesome! The waitress insisted that I try the Christmas Beer, too.
“It’s got more alcohol for the same price. You get more for your money!” she said.
She asked me where I was from in America.
“Is it that obvious that I’m from American?”
“Well, okay. North Carolina. Greensboro.”
“I’ve been there,” she said, matter-of-factly. “It’s better than Corpus Christi, Texas.”
Apparently, she had a friend who attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I guess she had an ex-friend from Corpus Christi?
Despite her friendliness, I chose to forsake the “Deal of the Month,” that she offered. It was 5 shots for 100 kroner. I don’t think I missed much.
Tomorrow, I’ll head out and see more of the area. Already, I like it much more than Paris. Time will tell!