We met last year at the Shanghai Expo, having a short encounter at the Danish Pavillon. She had traveled all this way to honor our city, so I was looking forward to meet her again in her normal home, Copenhagen. The meeting was arranged with a the help of a Danish friend in Shanghai who designed me a tour of the city to occupy my half day there. The little Mermaid from Andersen’s tale was there, like waiting for me, admired and photographed by every single tourist coming to the Danish capital. Her only ever travel was to the Shanghai Expo, since then she has been put back in place. Copenhagen is one of these European cities I always wanted to visit, but never really had the opportunity until this trip.
Feeling the air of Copenhagen spring and walking the streets of the Danish Capital, it feels really far far away from Shanghai bustling crowds. The mix of old city with brand new Scandinavian design really creates something unique. Like most European cities, most buildings are only a few storeys high, a nice change from sometimes oppressing Shanghai’s forest of high rises. Public transport is very well organised and highly effective, including underground, buses and boats travelling up the canals. The city center is not so large and can be walked around in half a day. Copenhagen is also famous for its parks, which are large and numerous creating a the feeling of nature right next to the city center. Just out of the plane from Shanghai, the difference was striking and painfully reminding how far from nature Shanghai inhabitants are.
Just like Shanghai, Copenhagen had a development phase in the 1930’s adding Art Deco buildings to the landscape. Copenhagen Art Deco, like Scandinavian design today, is more on the plain side than Shanghai (or New York) flamboyance. It is much more linked to the German Bauhaus style, but similar geometrical shapes as well as direction lines can found. The most seen buildings are surely the 1930’s Langebro brige and customs house on the harbor. However, the district developed in the 1930’s and built in Art Deco style is more about Christianhavn with a number a housing developments behind Langebro Bridge.
This short stay in Copenhagen was a stopover on the way to Greenland, the most opposite place to Shanghai on Earth I guess. Pictures from this fabulous trip are available at: