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Orsteds Park

July 26th, 2007

copenhagen orsteds park_6

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A fairytale park must be in Copenhagen. After all, Hans Christian Andersen found something to excite his imagination in his hometown. Hmmm. Perhaps Boboli Gardens in Florence is a fairytale park; and the Versailles gardens of Paris are fairytale-like (but you must add an invasion of, say, Star Trek tribbels to really capture that touristy atmosphere).

copenhagen orsteds park_8Orsteds Park will do fine, then. As you look across its large pond from a shaded bridge, you see birds flitting through the treetops, a momma and her goslings fluttering atop the water, a boy on the bank eating a snack, a young girl looking at her reflection in the still water, or a woman walking with a lone slipper hung from her delicate hand. Yes, these might just be a dreamer’s sugarplum fairies, an ugly duckling, and Little Jack Horner holding his pie; and perhaps Alice is about to step through the looking glass, and Cinderella awaits her prince. Of course they can be anything you see in them, because Andersen must have left some of his shoe leather on Orsteds’ paths.

Sunbathers, families, readers, and strollers use this park regularly, and you’ll see more Danes than you will tourists. If you have kids, let them wander into the jungle-gym playground and see how they communicate with the tow-headed Danish girls and boys. Orsteds is perfect for all sorts of recreation, from Frisbee to ball throwing, bicycle riding to walking.
I think that I’ve found good stories bubbling up in Orsteds because it has lots of statues. They ring the paths like so many actors trying to catch the eye of the director to get a place on stage. Children climb on them, lovers pose by them. Some have had their bronze skins cleaned or polished, while others show the slow transformation of a verdigris glaze. There is a mix of noble Danes, classical Greek gods & goddesses, and historical figures.

copenhagen orsteds park_2There are nearly two kilometers of soft stone paths cut into the thick grass surrounding a serpentine pond. The pond dominates the park, yet the hills and trees create postcard views. This is a walker’s park, a place to get lost in thought, stop along the waterline to watch ducks and migrating waterfowl sun and bathe, and also a place to find a bench nestled into a hedge, or lay about in the shade after a bike ride around town. And when you sit, as Copenhagen buzzes with activity along the streets outside the park, absorb the Nordic architecture rising over the trees.

Family Activities in Orsteds Park
A children’s playground is at the southwest corner of Orsteds Park, just inside the gate from Norre Farimagsgade. You’ll find swings, a sandbox, and a fort with a slide, bridge and hide’n’seek tunnels. There are several open areas in the park recreation, a family picnic, or to play ball with the kids.

(read more about Orsteds Park highlights here

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