A trip to Denmark, never feels complete unless we get to walk through the breathtaking halls of the Louisiana Museum. It holds a special place in my heart. Strolling through the sculpture gardens; staring at Sweden across the sea; absorbing all the light from the floor to ceiling windows; taking in the architecture and the lighting, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
This was a special trip for me, as we were going to see the Louise Bourgeois Exhibition. I have long been an admirer of her work and to see her Cell series put together like this was hair-raising. It featured all 25 cells and was the first exhibition to do so. To be able to touch and see what she had touched, seen and created, made the experience a deeply moving and intimate one. I noticed on a few of the cells, her hand writing scrawled across the upper part of the doors, labelling them as the “top”. There was a realness to these nooks, they existed within their own worlds. Worlds that we were, at once, a part of and an intruder. I was overjoyed that we had the chance to see this particular exhibition.
Louise Bourgeois, Cell I
Louise Bourgeois, Cell I (a peak inside)
Louise Bourgeois, Cell VI
Louise Bourgeois, Spider
Louise Bourgeois, Spider (detail)
Louise Bourgeois, I Give Everything Away
Louise Bourgeois, Cell XXVI
Other highlights on this visit were the Daniel Richter paintings and work by the Spanish artist Juan Muñoz. Of course we made a pit stop to step inside Yayoi Kusama’s Gleaming Lights of the Souls. It is always worth the wait to go in to that magical little room.
Juan Muñoz, Half Circle
Daniel Richter, Tarifa
Daniel Richter, Alles Ohne Nichts
Daniel Richter, Amsterdam
Daniel Richter, Winter Journey 4
As always it is a treat to stop and eat lunch at the Louisiana. The fire was lit, and there was a beautiful view from the windows of the ocean rocking and rolling at a steady pace just beyond. The air was damp and clean. We feasted on sparkling apple juice and Christmas sausages with the most divine orange sauce; bowls of Jerusalem artichoke soup; and a variety of salads and fresh bread. It is simple, yet elegant.
Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Powerless Structures, fig. 11
I have a secret! Mr. Michie surprised me on Valentine’s by telling me he was taking me to our beloved city for a short break! I almost passed out with delight! We bundled up and walked through the snow to some of our favourite places and made some new discoveries along the way too. We ate delicious food, lit candles in our apartment and watched the river go by at night. It was very hygge!
Our view of the river.
Le Gourmand on Værnedamsvej. This street is the “mini Paris” of Copenhagen.
Blomsterskuret, the most amazing flower shop. Also located on Værnedamsvej.
Tulips for sale at Blomsterskuret.
Snow laden branches.
A walk in the snow.
Lunch at the Louisiana Museum.
Physichromie 497, Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Louisiana Museum.
A different way to view the world, Louisiana Museum.
Juicy Burger Order.
Juicy Burger potatoes.
Brisket, sweet pickles and mac ‘n cheese at Warpigs.
The main purpose for our trip to Copenhagen, was a selfish one on my part. I wanted to see an exhibition at the Louisiana Museum. They were holding a Yayoi Kusama retrospective. I have long been a fan of this woman and the exhibition did not disappoint!
Kusama left Japan and moved to the states in 1957, first to Seattle before settling in New York. There she became a fixture within the avant-garde. She mixed with and influenced the work of Andy Warhol and others. She considered Eva Hess and Joseph Cornell close friends. She designed “happenings” all over NYC, usually involving nudity and conceived to protest the Vietnam War. She moved back to Japan in 1972 and slowly became forgotten. But not by everyone! Over the last 10 or so years, I have seen such a resurgence of her presence and it makes me tremendously happy.
The Louisana and Kusama have a strong relationship. She is truly appreciated by the museum and I can tell you by the number of people that flocked to the exhibit, she is worshiped by the people as well.
The exhibition was all encompassing. Three of her pumpkin statues greeted you in the courtyard. The show moved through her life and work, including films and sketchbooks. The scale truly gets you. The size of some of her pieces are almost unreal. They dwarf you. You don’t just enter her installations you also become a part of them. You are totally encompassed within them, the floors, walls, ceilings all covered in her polka dots.
I was delighted to see her pumpkins and I was especially delighted to see and take part within the “Obliteration Room”. Where visitors were given different colored polka dot stickers and allowed to place them on any surface of the white room. The room gradually becomes obliterated by polka dots.
There is something so unique about this museum. The modern design; the light and openness created by expansive windows; and the surrounding grounds filled with the joys of nature and one hell of a breathtaking view across the sound, all work to add the magic of the place. Seeing Kusama’s work exhibited within their space made it all the more special.
It’s only February, I’m not too late to share this post with you, right? Well, I hope not, life is just whizzing by me at the moment and I have yet to manage to get this post finished and out. So, I’m crossing it off of my To-Do list and sharing my love of Copenhagen with you, because after recent events, Copenhagen needs all the love we can give it.
I’m sure you guessed from some of my previous photographs over the month of December and my opening statement, that we in fact, spent Christmas in Copenhagen.It was BEAUTIFUL! It snowed on Christmas day and little bits here and there after that. It was frosty, there were paper stars lit and hanging in everyone’s windows, Christmas trees twinkling in front of apartment buildings and shops. It was magical.
We walked and walked and walked and discovered and explored some areas we had not been to previously. We visited Tivoli and their magical Alpine Christmas market. It was even more dazzling as it had snowed the day before and fresh snow blanketed everything in sight. All of the Christmas Market shops were set up in little chalets and on the back of them a bird house was attached with silhouettes of birds and hearts and stars. These “bird houses” were the boxes that housed the smoke machine that would send smoke plumming out of the chimneys on the little shingled roofs like a real house. It was very cozy, indeed!
There were Christmas trees lit around the Alpine Christmas village. The lights twinkling out from the snow laden branches. We stopped at Andersons to taste the famous pork sandwich that they only serve during this festive season and of course we picked up some mandelhorns for dessert! We saw the water and light show in the lake, scored to The Nutcracker and picked up a few surprises for family and friends.
When we felt too cold we would grab a hot chocolate or find a coal pit they had set out in various places of the park to stand with others and warm our hands. We finished our evening with a strawberry jam and sugar crepe from a charming little stall and sat in a sleigh to eat it, very romantic! Oh, these are the things that dreams are made of!
We visited the Louisiana Museum again and I got to walk in The Riverbed! I made it! It was also a red letter day because I finally got to see a Louise Bourgeois spider in person, it has become a running joke with us, as every time I have had the opportunity to see one in person we have missed it for one reason or another.
I love museums but I do have a few favorites and the Louisiana is in the top 10! Of course looking at all this gorgeous artwork builds up an appetite and we needed to stop for a snack! I chose this amazing looking apple roulade. Needless to say, I ate every single bite!
The Louisiana at night:
We made a few more discoveries this time, playing get lost and winding through beautiful neighborhoods and shopping districts. We feasted on delicious food and went to Emmery’s for hot coffee and fresh chocolate cinnamon buns for breakfast. We watched the snow softly fall while we sat bundled up on the couches, with the view of the river stretched out before our floor to ceiling windows. The riverboats going by were strewn with lights and one of the water buses even had a little tree perched on the back of the boat.
I think that Denmark is a land of dreams. It is a place I could quite happily pick up and move to without a second thought. As soon as I leave, I long to return. Hopefully it won’t be too long as I hear those streets calling my name.
This was our view as we were packing up to leave:
Of course when checking out, you have to write your name on the wall:
Somehow a stowaway managed to get into our luggage. We found this little nisse bundled up in our bed!
When we traveled to Copenhagen in May, we knew that one of the museums that we definitely wanted to see was the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It was one of the most beautiful museums I have ever had the chance to visit. The building itself was almost playful, seemingly blending modern design with a Danish coziness. They had some fabulous almost 1960’s looking brass lights in one gallery space that I just loved! As you move through each space you are surrounded by light, streaming through various windows, you never feel confined. There is an unbelievable collection of work throughout their sculpture garden and the setting is incredible as they sit on the coastline and on a clear day, you can look across and see Sweden.
I tell you all of this, because at the weekend we played a favorite game of ours: if you could be anywhere where would you be? I was thinking of Copenhagen and said I would like to be at the Louisiana Museum, sitting in the sunshine, under the Henry Moore sculpture, looking across the water to Sweden. I went to their website and discovered a magical exhibition that is taking place. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has turned the entire south-wing gallery space into a riverbed. You actively participate in this exhibition, in that in order to see it, you must become part of it walking amongst the rocks, dirt, and flowing river.
I think this would be incredible to see. I know what that space looked like before and it would be fascinating to see it’s current transformation. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll make it to Copenhagen before the river ceases to flow.
Day 3 started out with fresh coffee and those gorgeous chocolate cinnamon rolls for our anniversary breakfast and then we walked to the train station. it was a short metro journey to the station we needed to be at and we bought our tickets at a machine and headed down to wait for the train to Malmo. We were heading to Sweden for the day.
I snapped the image of the palm trees while waiting for the train. The station projected this film along the walls and it appeared as if you were sitting in a moving train with the projected film as the scenery outside your window.
The very thought of going from one country to another across a body of water was incredibly exciting, especially since we were going over the Oresund Bridge. The cars travel above and the train goes underneath. We could look out and see the water, the ships and sailboats gliding along. It was magical. Once we arrived in Sweden we had two things we wanted to do for sure and that was to visit the Sankt Petri Church and the Modern Art Museum.
We went to the church first, it was built in 1319 in the Gothic style. They were holding a Confirmation ceremony and we got to go in and watch, it was so beautiful. There was one section of the church, a side chapel that still contained the Medieval painting that the church would have originally been decorated with. The rest of the church was filled with the most ornately carved sculptures and the colors were incredible.
Next, we went to the Modern Art Museum and had something to drink in their cafe before heading inside. Only there was no inside. We went to buy our tickets and the lady said they were closed as they were refurbishing, but we could sit on a couch over there, as she pointed behind her and watch a film for free. We just smiled, I tried really hard not to laugh, as trying to see museums was turning into a bit of a joke. There was no information stating any of this on their website. But, that just gives us a good excuse to go back.
After watching a few minutes of the film, we regrouped and deiced to visit the castle museum instead as that was something we didn’t think we would be able to get to while there and took a lovely stroll through the city gardens. We happened upon a flower show being set up. It was like their own version of the Chelsea Flower Show, where people were building different styled gardens in their allotted spaces and as we walked back towards the river, we came upon a gorgeous windmill, that was straight out of a storybook.
Finally, we arrived at Malmohus Castle and… you guessed it: The art museum and aquarium were closed for renovations, but we could at least look around the castle for free. So we toured through, they had a very sweet children’s toy museum and a quite creepy area in the bowels of the castle that told tales of the souls who had been jailed there and the fate that awaited them. It was an interesting building and Scandinavia’s oldest surviving Renaissance castle.
We headed back to the station after this as it had been a full day and took the train back to Copenhagen. We had our anniversary dinner at a very cute Italian restaurant and then strolled home for dessert.
Our last full day was another trip out of the city. This time to a museum that was open in it’s entirety, The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Our train journey was delightful as we headed through the countryside to the Danish coast.
The figure to the right is from the Niels Wessel Bagge Collection. It consists of more than 450 items, primarily from North, Central and South America before they had any European influence upon their culture. He reminded me of Max from “Where the Wilds Things Are”.
There was a short walk to the museum and it was well worth the trip. The artwork they held within those walls was amazing. I finally got to see Yayoi Kusama’s, Infinity Mirrored Room. Mr. Michie said if he worked here, he would just come and lie on the floor on his lunch breaks in that room. It was serene.
Their art collection was extremely impressive. Having always been a Hockney fan, Mr. Michie was extremely delighted to see A Closer Grand Canyon on display. We strolled through the sculpture gardens and sat on the hill, watching the boats sail by in the ocean. It was a clear day and we could look over and see Sweden staring back at us. We ate the most delicious lunch at the gallery, I should have photographed it, but we were so hungry and it was so lovely! I could have spent a whole day here, but we had one more stop to make, a very special stop.
I have long been a fan of Karen Blixen and since I know that I won’t be able to see her home in Africa any time soon, her home in Denmark was the closest I could get. We walked back to the train station and had a short journey back down the tracks to Rungsted. I knew there was about a 20 min walk to her home, but when we came to the crossroads we made a mistake and kept going straight instead of turning right. We walked through a neighbourhood for about 15 minutes and just as we were thinking we might need to turn around we spotted a grocery store. Mr. Michie went inside to ask for directions and spoke to a very kind lady.
We learned at that point, that we should have made a right at the intersection. We laughed, because what else can you do and we headed back in the direction we came. It wasn’t long before we heard someone honking their car behind us and pull up beside us. It was the lady that Mr. Michie had spoken with. She said it was too hot a day to walk there from here and we wouldn’t have a lot of time left to see the museum as it was, so she wanted to drive us there. The kindness of strangers!
We made it to the museum in time for the last entry into the main house. We went upstairs first to what was once the carriage house, now turned into an exhibition space. I stared at her typewriter, looking at the keys her fingers once touched, there were cans of coffee beans from her plantation. The gramophone given to her by Denys Finch Hatton rested beneath a glass case. Her record collection still in existence. My throat tightened and I caught my breath, I couldn’t believe that I was looking at her things. Now, I know that this sounds silly, but I have a lot of respect for this woman, she was an adventurer and an excellent storyteller, she was her own woman and I like to think that we would have been friends.
We moved back outside and waited in the gardens to be called in to the main house. Once inside, we were given linen shoe covers and had a chance to walk through the downstairs floor. Her home was as she left it, the furniture displayed where she kept it. She always kept fresh flowers in her house and the museum does the same. There was a small gallery of her paintings, she was a wonderful artist and the images she painted of the Africans she knew held a beauty all of their own. I looked her her grandfather clock, at the trunk that Farah Aden, gave to her, her desk, surrounded by family photographs. I was moved. At any moment, I expected her to walk through and greet us.
After leaving the house we walked through her gardens and down a path to where she is buried under a ginormous tree. It was a simple grave marker, it was a simple place. Yet it was eloquent. Her home overlooked the ocean and we walked along the waterfront before heading back to the station. It was on this walk that we discovered a path that led you through the woods, past her grave and to the house. But it was the walk we were not meant to have, we saw the house as we were meant to have seen it. I have only a few photos of the outside of her home that I took on my Diana camera. You were not allowed to photograph inside her house and out of respect for this women, I wouldn’t have, even if I was could have.
We headed back in to the city and went for one last hotdog at Andersen’s. I was really after the mandelhorn. We got one each this time. I wasn’t sharing dessert. Now, here is my old lady part of the trip, our apartment had everything and so when we got back that evening, we just chilled out and watched some TV, while I did all of our laundry, which made my life very easy when we got back home.
Early the next morning, I packed and straightened everything up, while Mr. Michie got us coffee and of course chocolate cinnamon rolls from Emmery’s! We ate, cleaned-up, gave our home away from home, one last goodbye and then headed out to the metro station to make our way to the airport.
Copenhagen’s airport is dazzling. I have never been in and through security so efficiently. We checked in by ourselves. The machine prints out everything, even your luggage tag, we put that on, walked over to luggage belt, put our bag on, scanned the tag and off our luggage zoomed. They even gave you a time estimate of how long you would be waiting in security, at that point it was 8 minutes. In less than 20 minutes, I’m going to write that again, in less than 20 minutes, we had checked-in and gone through security. AMAZING!
Our flight home was full of sunshine and back to reality we went. I’m telling you, I am normally a bit down for a few days when I get back from seeing my family, but when we travel other places I miss it, but am okay with being home. Not this time. Copenhagen was special, I have been sad to not be there, the people were so kind, they were calm, there was no pushing to get on the train, to get your groceries, to walk down the street. They enjoyed life.
That is something that we don’t quite have right here. The work/life balance is a bit skewed and everyone needs to work on their manners. I know that the grass is always greener, but I don’t think that is the case here. I just appreciated what they had and I wished that my day to day could be more like that, especially where traveling in London is concerned, no one is patient and I am, which normally makes me invisible and the one who gets pushed and smushed.
Visiting this city was a true treat and I hope we get to return. Copenhagen, wait for me, I’m coming back.