Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yaar main India chala.....


Finally after 1 year 1 month and 16 days I get to go back home tomorrow... Just can’t wait. Don’t feel like working at all in the office...I think I will make an early exit today. All the packing needs to be done... have an early morning flight tomm...Two stops n I will be in Delhi by midnight.

3 weeks of vacation filled with family, relatives, friends, no work and 'maa ke haath ka khana'.. just what the doctor ordered. I hope u will excuse my inactivity on the blogsphere until then. I promise loads of pictures n posts upon return. (Hmmmm....I know about some of them right now like 'How to beat the Delhi Heat', 'How I successfully avoided my Mom's attempts to find a girl for me').

BTW.. if I know you and you happen to be in Delhi anytime within 3 weeks from tomorrow, drop me a line at:-

lalitsingh99 at gmail dot com

PS: The "if I know you" clause doesn’t hold for girls.
Please respond with your name, number, age and relationship status, and I will get back to you ASAP.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Copenhagen / København I

Surprisingly even after a year in Denmark, I hadn't seen the city. Well not a surprise considering that after staying in Delhi for 23 years I haven't seen the Qutub Minar. Copenhagen gets its name from it's Danish name København which literally is formed due to the amalgamation of the words Køben n Havn which means Merchant's Harbor. The city is a welcome break from the small town Aalborg where I stay. Of the 5.3 million inhabitants of Denmark 1.5 stay here. Well its neither too big nor too small... just the right size.

I started my day by going to the city hall the Rådhus and the square in front of it Rådhuspladsen (the Town Hall Square). It is the perfect place to start your tour of Copenhagen. It has the main bus station, hotels, restaurants and is in close proximity to Tivoli, Strøget (shopping street) and the tourist office is just about 200 mtrs down the road on Vesterbrogade.
The building was built at the start of the 20th Century and since then has been the political centre of Copenhagen. Its quite big and majestic from the outside and if u wish u can go in and have a look around n inside. The clock tower stands at 106m but the clock was placed in the tower in 1955. What purpose did it serve prior to that???? They also offer guided tours in the hall but I didnt atend one. Oh...and free washrooms as well.
On the right side of the building is Hans Christian Andersen Boulevarden and a statue of the great writer who gave us fairy tales like The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes and many more.

The bronze statue has shining thighs due the no of people who insist on sitting in it's lap and getting themselves clicked. Thanx to those bottoms at least something is shining.
Next up was the Amalienborg Palace. It consists of 4 seperate buildings, Christian VII, Christian VIII, Frederik VIII and Christian IX's Palace, built in rococo style and is where the Danish Royal family live. The equestrian statue in the middle of the square is Frederik V, the founder of Amalienborg. The Armaliemborg palaces have been home to the royal family since 1794 when the Christianborg Palace burnt down.

The Palace is guarded by the royal guards in their furry bear skin hats and once a day there is a changing of the guard at noon. The Royal Guards leaves the Rosenborg Castle at 11:30am in route to Amalienborg. Aftewards, the guard returns to Rosenborg. If the Queen is in the palace there is a band which accompanies the guards. Sadly, the Queen chose to be away when I paid her a visit... Can you believe that??? :-D
On one end of the square is Frederiks Kirke (Frederik’s Church) and on the other end is a beautiful fountain which overlooks the water front.On the other end of the water front is the Copenhagen Opera House designed by tbe Danish architect Henning Larsen (BTW Sydney opera House is also designed by a Danish architect Jørn Utzon).
The next thing I visited is a symbol of Denmark and something u would have def heard about - Den Lille Havfrue or The Little Mermaid... now fellas... the key word here is 'Little'.. believe me... its hardly noticeable..blink-and-you-will-miss-it types.
The little Mermaid sits at the waters edge with her back to the sea. This statue was inspired by The Little Mermaid fairy Tale by Hans Christian Anderson. The statue, made by artist Edvard Eriksen using his wife Elaine as the model, is made of bronze and was erected in 1913. A gift from the brewer Carl Jacobsen, of Carlsberg fame, to the city. The little one has suffered a tough life I must say. She has been decapitated twice and been covered in paint several times. Did someone say 'Living Dangerously’?
The next stop was Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady). This church is one of the most sober and simple one I have visited so far and yet so beautiful and impressive. The present church is the sixth to be built on the same site. After the fifth church was burned down during the bombardment of the town in 1807 the architect Christian Friedrich Hansen created the present classical building in 1811-29.

It has a two-storeyed interior. Behind the altar is Thorvaldsen's figure of Christ and along the walls the Twelve Apostles (on plinths). The church has witnessed many royal weddings and crownings, the latest being the marriage of The
Crown Prince Frederik and his lady love (now the) Crown Princess Mary on May 14, 2004.

To be continued....