So: I am on the bus from Boston to Portland. Every connection on this whole trip has gone smoothly, and this was no exception, although I didn’t really expect to spend an hour running between gates in Frankfurt. Enormous, confusing airport.
I had arranged for my longtime friend, Carla Siegert, to meet me in Copenhagen. We go back to I think 1988 when she was a graduate student at Brown from Rostock, Germany, and have met many times over the years.
I met Carla Sunday night at the Copenhagen Central Station after arriving back from Estonia and Stockholm, and we had supper at Wagamamas before splitting for the night. The next day was a bit disorganized because museums and other “attractions” are closed on Mondays. We went to the beautiful botanical gardens by Rosenborg castle and then walked all over, even to Christiania, the bedraggled hippie enclave. I’m too old for that, I fear! We had a good lunch at the same restaurant I’d eaten at before, Maven, and it was just as good as before. I was tired and returned to the flat and dozed a bit, then went to the supermarket below and bought myself some of the many prepared foods there for supper. Kirsten, my landlady, was still feeling terrible so we kept apart.
On Tuesday I met Carla again and we set off for Fredericksborg castle, a truly impressive castle with moat and many many sculptures embellishing the facade. Inside, we found out that almost nothing in the castle was original to it, but installed as part of its current incarnation as the national museum of Danish history. A great great many dark portraits of Danes. Some furniture but not a lot. The castle looks to be in marvelous repair but that is because in 1853 a good bit of it burned, and was restored. There were a lot of sketches, etc, to work from in doing the restoration. It is indeed impressive, just not ancient.
Carla and I lunched there, and then she left me to return to Copenhagen and Germany. I took a train over to Helsingør, on the coast, and walked quite a long way to see the castle there, called Kronberg. I didn’t attempt to go inside, but I did go into the “casements” which are two levels of corridors below the ramparts of the castle. Dark and damp. Just after I emerged, and was leaving to walk back to the train, a thunderstorm came up and by the time I was at the station, the lower half of me was quite damp. But I persevered and caught the train down the line to Louisiana, the newish art museum.
At Louisiana, the current exhibition is pop art, and as with Christiania, I found that I was in a been-there, done-that mode and not really interested. But the grounds, and the siting of the sculptures on the grounds, and the way they could be framed by the building, were quite impressive. Reminded me of some of the high-end modern houses in Houston in the fifties, the ones that were on house tours, all in one museum. The train finally made it back; it was a real milk train.
Wednesday Kirsten was feeling better so we talked all morning, and we really enjoyed getting to know each other. I was relaxed, then went out in the afternoon for last minute shopping, then back for a goodbye dinner of chicken fricasseed, stuffed with parsley, with potatoes and salad and gravy, and raspberry compote. i really love Copenhagen, with all its bikes and pedestrian streets, and the flat and its location were perfect. In a few years the metro they are putting in will be done, and then it will really be fabulous.
Absolutely no problem with any of my connections today: taxi to train to airport to plane to Frankfort and then to Boston, to the Concord bus coming almost immediately. A relaxing day to end a very satisfying trip.
[p.s. and then a three hour wait in the Portland bus station for the bus to Brunswick.. a timetable change, a bus running late.. hrumph!]