Mermaids and Angels

City of bicycles

Following a brisk run through Copenhagen’s extensive network of running trails, we wandered the streets in search of a cafe for Christmas brunch.

According to advice from my colleagues, the Danes live for Sunday brunch. Cafes become overwhelmed with locals lazing at their tables, enjoying fine food, sipping coffee and watching the tourists wander by.  Today was Christmas day, and Sunday.

It was the perfect day to optimize our Denmark experience.

We wandered off the beaten track, and found a lovely cafe to serve two hungry runners.  $300 Kr bought us two large coffees, elderflower juice, and the most delectable brunch we’d ever experienced.  I chose the vegetarian option, while Brian went for the more traditional option.  Exotic fresh fruit, nutty yoghurt, pancakes, brownie, roasted pinenuts, gorgeously slow roasted tomatoes with delectable topping sitting on a tasty potato mash, a 1/4 of camembert, and wedge of mozzarella, (and chili sausages and Parma ham for Brian) was what we received.  It smelled wonderful, and tasted even better.  However, the calories ingested meant that despite our run, some post brunch walking was in order.

Harbour view

We headed along the waterfront, through the parks, and strolled past the strange and wonderful selection of statues.

For the most part Copenhagen seems deserted.  I guess it’s not a winter destination.  There are tourists about, but not many.  This makes this already lovely city, just a little bit more attractive.  However, I can imagine in summer, with leaves back on the trees, and gardens in full flower, it must be overwhelming both in terms of scenery and volume of visitors.

So, as we strolled along the harbor taking in the expansive views, we were a little surprised when suddenly we came across a massive clump of photo-snapping tourists.

Thinking maybe a seal, or polar bear had washed up on the beach, we headed in for a closer investigation.  They were busily photographing some little mermaid statue on a rock.  Clump groups were patiently waiting to take their turn standing in front of her.

The Little Mermaid


Why this statue has become the city token icon for the ‘been-there-done-that’ crowd, is baffling.

The Little Mermaid was donated to the city in 1909 by the son of the Carlsberg brewery founder.  Nothing particularly exciting.  The statue, through arguably aesthetically pleasing, has little on the any number of other statues randomly placed throughout the city.

Only a few minutes’ walk further long is another mermaid statue, significantly more photo worthy.   This one though is abandoned and seemingly completely ignored by the crowds.

Here’s my photo attempt.

The Big Mermaid

Here is Brian’s.

Brian's Mermaid


I’m not sure whether it’s the detail in her face, or the stark contrast with the cloudy background, but something in his photo just seems hypnotically captivating.

With our statue photos taken, we headed back to our hostel bar for some tea, and a possibly a game of Norwegian Scrabble*

Full photo essay from Copenhagen Day 2, below.

*My Christmas gift from Brian

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One Response to Mermaids and Angels

  1. david says:

    “Why this statue has become the city token icon ….”
    Really?…, she gives up the sea and takes human form for a prince, who then dumps her for some princess tart, leaving her to blow away as sea foam.

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