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Posts tagged tivoli

Tivoli from the air

Tivoli from Copenhagen City Hall Clock Tower

Tivoli from Copenhagen City Hall Clock Tower

Another photo today from Copenhagen’s City Hall Clock Tower.


As mentioned in yesterday’s entry, there is more to see and do than Bellevue Beach if you get off at Klampenborg Station. If you head west from the station you will soon find yourself in a forest. This area is known as Dyrehaven or The Deer Park in English. There are supposed to be thousands of deer living in these forests but we didn’t see any. That’s OK, though, as we see plenty of deer back home.

world\'s oldest amusement park

After a nice walk you’ll find yourself at Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park. There is a history of the park display, but it was all in Danish so I didn’t get all the details. I think I read that in the early days there weren’t any rides, per se. Rather there were jugglers and other circus-type acts. Most of the rides didn’t seem to be more than a decade or two old, but some of them were quite old and very unique.

bakken copenhagen denmark oldest amusement park

On one ride you have to manually pedal a swan around a track. In another you are in a Viking Ship loaded with water cannons that actually work. Not only are the other riders firing on you but the ride itself will hose you down good. No one seemed to make it off of that ride anywhere near dry.

bakken amusement park denmark

The park is free to get in, but the all-day ride ticket sets you back as much as Tivoli. Food seemed to be cheaper. Bakken was more crowded than Tivoli–maybe just because it isn’t as spread out (not that Tivoli is spread out compared to amusement and theme parks in the U.S.).

deer park outside of bakken copenhagen denmark

On our way back to the train station we road in a horse-drawn carriage.

Things you don’t usually see in the U.S.A.

This entry is for some of the slightly risque things we’ve encountered in Copenhagen. Don’t worry. There’s nothing to offend here–just a few things you probably won’t usually encounter in the states. I’m not going to include, for instance, pictures of the outside of strip clubs, which in Denmark include life-sized pictures of fully nude women.

First up is the tamest of all I suppose. In fact, it barely belongs in this entry. I include it only because I thought it was a bit funny.

My wife points to the above and says, “check that out” as we were walking down Stroget. I thought it was a nice scene so I took the above photograph. On closer inspection, however, we find the following:

naked lady statue with water squirting out of her breasts

The above caused me to recall the story about Tyco’s $2 million birthday party for the CEO’s wife which featured an ice sculpture of Michelangelo’s David spewing vodka from his penis and a birthday cake in the shape of a woman’s breasts with sparklers mounted on top.

Next up is a scene from Tivoli, a child’s amusement park, or so they say…

Not only can you visit bars in Tivoli (and there are a ton of them–something I’ve never seen in amusement parks in the states), but they have large tobacco stands selling all manner of cigarettes and pipe tobacco. The amount of smoking that goes on outdoors here is one of the few things I don’t like about Copenhagen.

For this blog entry’s grand finale I present to you a striptease I accidentally videotaped on Stroget. I was just trying to get the acrobatic performance captured. I had no idea his clothes were going to come off too. You can’t really see it well in YouTube’s crunched video, but he ends up in a tiny g-string.

If you look closely at the bottom of the video you can actually see the tops of my kids’ heads. They get grossed out as his clothes come off and walk away near the end. They are such Puritans at heart. ūüėČ

Tivoli Gardens

First off, I must admit to no longer being a big fan of amusement parks. I used to love them as a kid, but as an adult the rides seldom do much for me. Lines, crowds, and steep prices do nothing to make matters better.

Tivoli Gardens was much better than most of my amusement park experiences of the past couple of decades. It had something of a charm that is lacking in most others. The lines were surprisingly short. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a ride. We got there right when the park opened and went on every ride by about 4 p.m. I didn’t think we’d get on everything before midnight so the short lines were a big shock. The kids went on most rides three or more times.

It is said that Walt Disney was inspired to create Disneyland when visiting Tivoli. Personally, I like Tivoli better. Everything is reasonably close together, there are no lines, and old trees and gardens throughout give a much less synthetic feel to the place.

Another thing that is different when compared to American amusement parks is the lack of warnings and instructions. You aren’t told to “please remain seated…” fifty million times throughout the day and warning labels aren’t affixed to every thing in sight. The ancient fun house at Tivoli is practically a death trap, but no one seems to care. I like that.

Be careful when eating or paying for things at Tivoli. We asked for tap water with our meal. At other places we had eaten at in Copenhagen there was no charge for non-bottled water. We were surprised when our bill included a charge for the water. More than US$12 is what¬†we paid for four glasses of water out of the tap! We were warned that if we used a credit card at our meal we would be charged an additional 5.75%. They didn’t warn us at the gate, and we were charged 3.75% for using a card to pay for admission. Our card company is going to charge another 2%.

To me the most interesting ride was the Star Flyer (although The Odin Express had the best name for a ride). I think the kids liked the Rutschebanen Roller Coaster which is almost 100 years old and includes a brake person on the ride with you. The Star Flyer is similar to many of the merry-go-round swing rides found at fairs and amusement parks in the U.S. The big difference is that instead of going 20 or 30 feet in the air, you go over 260 feet in the air. Not only does this make for a strange sensation, but you have the most incredible 360 degree view of Copenhagen imaginable. This ride is really fantastic and one of a kind.  

Congratulations on being an American today!

On the Fourth of July we went to Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world dating back 165 years. It brought back Independence Day memories from when I was a kid as we went to the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, California on the 4th a few times when I was young.

Tivoli Gardens Chinese Pagoda

My wife was reminded that it was the 4th of July at the grocery store earlier in morning by the clerk. Then, when we were getting ready to board our first ride at Tivoli, Vintage Cars, the ride operator heard us say something in English and he says to us, “Congratulations on being an American today!” I thanked him for his well wishes. What does one say to others on the 4th of July? The Danes don’t know any more than I, but I enjoyed his attempt.

Copenhagen City Hall from inside Tivoli Gardens

Later in the day we ran into the same ride operator on a different ride. This time he was running the Hans Christian Andersen stories ride (The Flying Trunk). He didn’t remember us from earlier in the day but did take another stab at wishing us a happy 4th. This time he said, “Happy Birthday to America!” I had to smile.

I asked him if he had been to America. He said, “No.” He had been to Canada once though. He went to Montreal so he used his French there–not English. The language ability of these Scandinavians is amazing. Some of my students here can speak four or more languages.

mini viking ships ride Tivoli Gardens

Above is the family on the Galley Ships–a ride in which the pirates in the middle fire on the viking ships spinning around them.

Tomorrow I’ll blog some more about Tivoli.

Probable change in Copenhagen apartment

In just over 10 days we’ll be in Denmark. I just found out today that there will probably be a change in plans for our apartment. We were planning on staying in Norrebro, as previously mentioned. Now it looks like we’ll be staying in a slightly larger place closer to where I will be working in Frederiksberg.


The building looks just as nice, if not nicer than the other one. The green courtyard is missing, but we are still a block or two from the reservoir. We’ll now be on the southern end of it instead of near the middle of the reservoir. We are closer to Tivoli.

My guide book isn’t as enthusiastic about Frederiksberg. “Frederiksberg was a green, prosperous country village that became increasingly popular as the upper and middle classes began to revel in the countryside in the 18th century. It is now a tranquil, upmarket residential area…”

We will be close to the Tycho Brahe Planetarium which I look forward to visiting. We will be a short bike ride to Norrebro as well. The Forum is a block away, but nothing is on the their calendar while we are there. We’ll probably catch Chris Cornell at Vega though.

My other guide book is a little more positive stating, “Leafy, stately Frederiksberg begins further west at Frederiksberg Alle. This broad, tree-lined avenue is lined with fin de siecle apartment blocks some of the most desirable in the city. It finishes at Frederiksberg Have, the city’s most romantic park, with a boating lake, rolling lawns and, looking down from the hill, Frederiksberg Slot and Copenhagen Zoo.”

aerial view of copenhagen denmark

In the above image I’m trying to get my bearings. #1 is where our first apartment was going to be. The blue dot is our probable new location. CBS (Copenhagen Business School) is where I will be teaching. T is for Tivoli. K is for Kastellet.

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